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MP Blake Richards has it wrong on Bill C-389

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Dec 16, 2010 06:00 am

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Re: “Risks inherent in ‘Bathroom Bill’ Wild Rose Report, Dec. 10.

Dear editor,

Bill C-389 says nothing about bathrooms. Inappropriate behaviour in washrooms remains inappropriate, and illegal behaviour in bathrooms remains illegal. Incidentally, trans people have already been using facilities appropriate to how they identify since transition and surgery first became possible, over 50 years ago. This changes nothing with regards to trans people and washrooms.

Trans people are no more predatory than any other segment of the population. Legislation that protects transgender people already exists in over 130 jurisdictions in North America, as recorded by the Transgender Law and Policy Institute - and no such epidemic of attacks has ever taken place.

The transsexual predator myth exists because people assume that we transition for a sexual kick. In fact, we do so in order to finally be at peace with ourselves, usually after trying to change our minds (sometimes trying for decades) has failed. In some cases, where male-to-female hormone therapy is concerned, hormone replacement therapy would be entirely self-defeating, if that were the case. Instead, transition has a very high success rate.

Trans protections also do not typically encourage predators to pose as trans people in order to access washrooms.

Why risk drawing attention to oneself when travelling in public in order to access a facility that they can just wait until they’re unobserved and walk into anyway?

This is an employment, housing, access and protection from violence bill. Trans people need to be able to work, find a home, access medical treatment, access public services and not be beaten or killed simply because they’re trans.

Some of these protections exist but they’re applied inconsistently, are vulnerable to a potential reversal of precedent, and without a signal by inclusion in the Canada Human Rights Act, employers and agencies have largely not developed workable policies to accommodate trans people in a way that is mutually equitable.

Mercedes Allen, High River


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