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Montrealer vows to continue hunger strike for 'X' gender on Quebec health card

Non-binary Montrealer Alexe Frédéric Migneault, shown in Quebec City on Tuesday, Nov.21, 2023, is on day six of a hunger strike to pressure Quebec's public health insurance board to add a third gender option to its health cards.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot Non-binary Montrealer Alexe Frédéric Migneault, shown in Quebec City on Tuesday, Nov.21, 2023, is on day six of a hunger strike to pressure Quebec's public health insurance board to add a third gender option to its health cards.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
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Non-binary Montrealer Alexe Frédéric Migneault is on day six of a hunger strike to pressure Quebec's public health insurance board to add a third gender option to its health cards.

Migneault, who uses they/them pronouns, says they've been trying for years to get an 'X' gender marker on the health cards, which currently only display the traditional 'M' and 'F' identifiers for male and female.

Migneault says they're doing well on day six of the strike and relying on vegetable broth, water and the occasional hot chocolate to maintain hydration and keep up their blood sugar levels.

They're vowing to continue their protest despite a call to end the strike from the provincial minister overseeing government efforts to expand inclusive gender marker options on official identity documents.

Minister Martine Biron, speaking to reporters in Quebec City on Friday, said the government is making progress and asked Migneault to be patient, though she didn't say when an 'X' gender option would become available on health cards.

Migneault says they haven't heard from any government officials since starting the hunger strike on Monday but are hoping to meet Biron to discuss the gender markers issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2023.

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