Watch the video above: Transgender woman’s identification fast-tracked
SASKATOON – After battling the federal government for basic identification for more than a year, a Saskatoon transgender woman still aims to make a change.
Miki Mappin has been struggling through a maze of red tape that seemed endless.
She simply needed to obtain two documents – a citizenship card and certificate – that reflect her current gender identity.
“I’ve got to fully, legally, in every way, transition to living and being a woman,” said Mappin, who was born a man.
Even though Mappin became a Canadian citizen decades ago, the updated documents were required to change basic ID, like her driver’s license and passport.
After sending Citizenship Canada doctors notes, witness signatures and many other required documents, Mappin was told she was missing a document.
“If I had a clear idea at the beginning of all the stuff, about what I was going to have to do, all the lineups, all the forums, all the waiting on telephones, maybe I never would’ve done it,” said Mappin.
With help from Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar Member of Parliament Kelly Block, Mappin was able to send the right forms and was told the application process would take six months.
Seven and a half months later, there was still no word. So she enquired again.
Block’s office forwarded her an email from Citizenship Canada. The email said it would now take two years for her case to be processed.
Mappin was shocked and outraged. She couldn’t believe it would take two years to receive the documents.
So she took her story to the media.
Mere days later, she was told her application process was being “fast-tracked” and documents would arrive any day.
Mappin says the government is trying to keep her quiet and she won’t stop fighting to have her story heard.
Dr. Alex Wilson is an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s department of educational foundations. She has written numerous articles on gender identity and says government red tape like this has been very harmful to minorities.
“When there are institutional barriers, such as length of time for getting ID, I think that is just another additional form of oppression,” explained Wilson.
While Citizenship Canada was unable to comment on this specific case, it says the majority of applications take up to six months.