Nina Usherwood, Royal Canadian Air Force veteran and trans woman

Sargent Nina Usherwood has seen a lot in her life. From being a Catholic altar boy, to being a nearly 40-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force (39 years, 1 month and 2 days to be exact), to coming out as a trans woman in 2009, Nina has a lot of incredible insight about the world today.

When Nina started her military career in 1979, she had no idea what it might mean to be non-binary. She actively avoided addressing her identity for most of her career. While Canada has had a policy to support open LGBTQ service members since the 1990s, the social stigma and sense of alienation from not fitting the conventional family structure meant that Nina and soldiers like her were not even aware of the systems in place meant to support their transition.

Despite all of this, Nina does not regret a thing because of all the incredible work it has led to. Since coming out in 2009 and meeting the love of her life, Nina has spoken across the country about her story as well as the constant need for self-evaluation and change to create an inclusive society, including from herself.

Nina Usherwood joins hosts Gilad Cohen and Simona Ramkisson to discuss her struggles coming out in the military, the changes she has seen in her career, and why she identifies as a “Ros-bien”.

Image: Nina Usherwood – by Gilad Cohen

Hosted by Gilad Cohen (Founder, JAYU) and Simona Ramkisson, produced and edited by Brandon Fragomeni and Alex Castellani. Associate Producer: Ron Ma.

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