Nova Scotia can largely, and perhaps fairly, be considered a sleepy little corner of the country; with its rocky shores, winding rural roads, and abundance of small towns with deep roots that almost feel untouched by time. We’re nearly the smallest province, at least by geographical standards, but there’s something to be said for the people.
There’s a long-maintained preconception about Atlantic Canadians’ hospitality and kindness, and it’s not entirely unfounded to say (or at the very least to hope) that this pervasive ideal is something that most Nova Scotians do earnestly strive to uphold—a sense of welcome, of comfort, and of acceptance that we endeavour to extend to others.
When the 2021 census data from Statistics Canada was released, it revealed that Nova Scotia—the country’s second smallest province by landmass, and fourth by population—has the highest reported proportion of transgender and non-binary individuals in Canada. According to this census—which, historically, was the first to ever give respondents the option of indicating a gender identity beyond male or female—around one in every 300 Canadians identified as transgender or non-binary. Among them were 3,940 Nova Scotians, meaning that our population percentage of those who self-reported as trans or non-binary is 0.48% versus the national average of about 0.33%
March 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility in Canada—a day intended to recognize the hardships, sacrifices and achievements of those who fought, and continue to fight, for their identity, for gender equity, and for change.
Nimbus fully and proudly stands alongside the LQBTQ+2SP community, and strives to be an ally to them in meaningful and impactful ways; we hope to amplify their voices, to document their history, and to share stories where they are able to see themselves represented. That’s why we are so unbelievably proud to be publishing celebrated actor and screenwriter Shelley Thompson’s debut novel ROAR this November.
A novel inspired by the original screenplay for the award-winning feature film Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor, about a young trans woman who returns to her family farm in the wake of her mother’s death, ROAR follows a family through grief and estrangement as they become catalysts for change in their rural community. Told from multiple points of view, with confidence and tenderness, Shelley’s debut is profoundly authentic, drawing on her own experience as the mother of a trans child and a fierce activist for the trans community.
To celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility, as well as next month’s Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, ROAR is available to be preordered exclusively through independent bookstores for a limited time! Indie booksellers are vitally important parts of their communities, and are integral to sharing culture and knowledge—championing local authors, illustrators, poets and artists of all kinds, and introducing readers to a diverse range of voices from across the country’s rich cultural landscape.
When asked to share a few of her own favourite bookstores, Shelley was happy to pass along this list:
All of these booksellers are offering preorders of ROAR, but if none of them are near where you are, the book is still available to your local store too—and they may be able to accept preorders! Check out the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association’s ‘Bookseller Map’ to find an indie near you.