By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 0 Comments
Rob Anders is circulating a petition that suggests Bill C-279, which deals with extending human rights protection to transgendered individuals, is “intended to give transgendered men access to women’s public washroom facilities.” This argument has been raised by opponents of the bill before—here is Conservative MP Dean Allison raising it during debate on a previous version of the legislation.
I think it’s just an alarmist argument from people who do not support extending human rights coverage to a very marginalized group and a group that suffers discrimination in our society. There’s nothing in the bill that will legalize assault, sexual assault, exhibitionism, voyeurism, harassment – any of those kinds of things. What’s inappropriate and illegal in a women’s washroom or a gendered space remains illegal and inappropriate. There’s nothing in this bill that would contemplate changing that …
The reality now is that transsexual people – people who have gone through the sex change process – we already share washrooms with, and we already share washrooms with transgendered people, and most of us aren’t doing a gender check on everybody who’s in the bathroom. If the bathroom is being used appropriately, it’s not an issue. The other reality is that I know of no jurisdiction that has changed the law to establish full human rights for transgendered and transsexual people that has seen change in what happens in bathrooms in terms of criminal behaviour I can’t find any evidence that that happens. If someone can show me some, fine, but I’ve never found any, and no one who has raised this issue has ever been able to point out that those kinds of things happening.
C-279 passed at second reading in June with 14 Conservative MPs voting in favour.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 12:30 PM - 0 Comments
The agency in charge of issuing Canadian passports is reviewing its policies towards gender,…
The agency in charge of issuing Canadian passports is reviewing its policies towards gender, according to a report from the Montreal daily La Presse.
A note obtained by the Quebec newspaper under access to information request confirms that Passport Canada has placed the issue under review, and a spokesperson for the agency confirmed the review on Tuesday. It is yet unknown what kind of process for transgender individuals Passport Canada take, whether passport applicants will have an additional third gender to choose from or if transgender individuals will be allowed to apply under their new gender without having undergone sex reassignment surgery.
From the National Post:
Although the details of the change are not yet known, Canada may follow the Australian example and allow Canadians to mark their sex as “X” rather than “M” or “F.” Or the agency may simply streamline the process for transgendered people to obtain a passport denoting their new sex.
Under current requirements, Canadians can change the sex on their passport only if they provide medical proof of having undergone gender-reassignment surgery. If they are still in transition they can obtain a temporary two-year passport by furnishing medical documents showing the surgery is scheduled for sometime in the next 12 months.
Critics note the policy effectively excludes a minority of transgendered people who identify with a different gender, yet are unwilling or unable to undergo genital surgery.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, February 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
Will Trudeau go blue?
Things are heating up between Liberal MP Justin Trudeau…,
Will Trudeau go blue?
Things are heating up between Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, 40, and Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau, 37. The two are set to go at it in the ring on March 31 in a charity boxing match for Fight for the Cure. Trudeau trained as a boxer years ago and is currently working out in the ring and watching Tae Bo videos. Brazeau holds a second-degree black belt in karate. The fight will be for real. “If I break my nose, then I break my nose,” says Trudeau. The Liberal MP’s wife, Sophie Grégoire, has also helped her husband prepare for the showdown by purchasing Trudeau a robe with his name on the back. But Trudeau is not sure he can wear it. Says the MP, “The robe is blue and I’m fighting from the Liberal red corner!”
Minister skirts issue on transgendered
Much drama last week over the issue of transgendered people needing to match the sex on their identification when travelling by air. Gay Liberal MP Scott Brison could not resist a few one-liners. “I thought airport security was already a drag.” On how Transport Minister Denis Lebel handled himself in question period, Brison quipped, “The minister skirted the issue.” More seriously, Calgary Conservative MP Lee Richardson said such security issues could be solved if people, for example, “just matched their iris identiﬁcation” within an enhanced security system.
Conservative advice for Occupiers
Alumni from Nova Scotia’s Mount Saint Vincent University gathered on the Hill for a reception. The event was hosted by Nova Scotia Liberal Sen. Jane Cordy, NDP MP Megan Leslie, who represents Halifax, and Conservative Sen. Nancy Ruth, who established Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at the Mount in the ’80s when the government at the time offered to create four women’s studies chairs across the country as long as the university matched the funding. Nancy Ruth stepped up and donated the $500,000 needed. She has an honorary degree from the Mount and last fall joined Sheila Fraser when the former auditor general received her honorary degree. At the time the senator spoke to a class of students who were supposed to hear a lecture about women and politics, but the students were more interested in asking her questions about the Occupy movement. “What do you do when the police come and pick you up?” asked one person. She told the students to find out who was on their police services board and added this advice: “Never protest alone, always work with other networks.” At the Hill reception, Liberal MP Geoff Regan asked that the attendees be told he had to leave before the speeches because he was on House duty. This prompted NDP MP Peter Stoffer to quip: “I’m on House duty but I’m not going.”
By Roberta Staley - Friday, August 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM - 17 Comments
Kids are being diagnosed—and identifying themselves—as transgendered younger than ever before
Cormac O’Dwyer entered Grade 8 in Vancouver as a girl named Amber. All traces of femininity stopped with the name; Amber looked, dressed and acted like a boy. “It was awkward,” admits Cormac, sleeves rolled up to reveal downy, muscular arms, elbows resting on the kitchen table in the family’s immaculate home in upscale Kitsilano. From the other end of the table, Cormac’s mother, Julia, pipes up. “People would use the male pronoun,” she recalls. Usually Julia felt obliged to correct the error, leaving new acquaintances flustered and confused.
But solecisms were the least of Cormac’s worries during the transition from female to male. Becoming a boy involved wearing a breast-flattening binder, changing for phys. ed. in the teachers’ change room, declining invitations to go swimming, and carrying a cellphone to call for help in case of bullying. And then there was the therapy: testosterone injections, counselling and surgery that removed his breasts and contoured what remained into the flat, square planes of a male chest.
Now 16, Cormac is one of a growing number of teenagers in Canada who have been diagnosed with gender identity dysphoria (GID), or transgenderism. These kids feel that they have been born into the wrong bodies, and are actually members of the opposite sex. Cormac recalls his epiphanic moment following a presentation by a peer-counselling group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth at Lord Byng Secondary School. “I always sort of knew I wanted to be a guy,” says Cormac. “They explained to me what transgender was and, for the first time ever, I ‘got it’ and went home and told my mom.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:48 PM - 9 Comments
After the House adjourned yesterday, the NDP’s Bill Siksay quietly announced he won’t be seeking reelection.
This does not mean that I am abandoning Bill C389 and the struggle for full and explicit human rights for transsexual and transgender Canadians. I will continue to work hard to get the Bill through the House and off to the Senate before an election … One of the highlights of my time as an MP will always be my work with the transsexual and transgender communities. You’ve taught me so much about our humanity for which I am very thankful.
An astute reader notes below that Mr. Siksay was apparently the first openly gay man elected to the House of Commons as a non-incumbent.