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March 9, 2022

Riley Nielson-Baker - Gender Affirming Care

Riley Nielson-Baker - Gender Affirming Care
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While a war rages in the Ukraine, a few states in the US have waged war on the lives of trans and gender diverse people. Although President Joe Biden has stepped in, there is still a troubling anti-trans sentiment that fueled orders and legislation in Texas and Florida that would in essence, make it illegal for parents to seek gender-affirming care for their trans children, calling it ‘child abuse’.

Here in Canada, there is more optimism.

Riley Nielson-Baker is a trans policy advocate out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. They hold a Masters of Public Administration from Dalhousie University and are currently studying for their Masters of Arts in Political Science at Dal with a focus on Canadian politics and the legal concept of the trans person in Canada. 

Riley is the author of a new policy which would revolutionize gender affirming care for transgender, gender diverse, and intersex people in Nova Scotia. This policy is grounded in the philosophy of community-based policy, placing trans, gender diverse, and intersex people in the centre of their care. 

The policy has the support of nearly 40 organizations across Canada, and will make the province the most progressive on transgender, gender diverse, and intersex healthcare in Canada. 

Riley has ingrained support for those requiring gender affirming care in rural contexts in the heart of this policy: as half of Nova Scotians live outside of the Halifax core, access to healthcare in general, let alone gender affirming healthcare, is incredibly difficult and often costly. 

This policy will help close the healthcare gap not only between the cisgender and 2SLGBTQIA+ community as a whole, but will also address the rural-urban healthcare divide that often leaves the rural queer community behind.  

CBC Interview with Riley


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