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Transcript of Bathroom battle
After much emotional debate at the house of commons, a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender Canadians passes on March 20th, 2013.
A transgender girl was stunned when being told that she’s not allowed to use the girls’ washroom anymore by the mother of one of her classmates. The school asked her to use the staff washroom or the unisex one, while her parents fought for her rights with the support from many others.
A woman from Caledon East felt vulnerable when a transgender man walked into the changeroom when she was in the middle of changing, thus contacting the town staff at the center.
Poll Shows The Majority Of Americans Oppose Transgender People Using Preferred Bathroom
Should transgender people be allowed to use the washroom they prefer?
The American public’s response to the CBS poll regarding allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom they prefer has been upsetting, showing the amount of work needed to be done to educate the public about transgender lives, experiences, and rights.
American survey subjects
60% of Americans believe that transgender individuals should use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were born with, while 26% are comfortable with self-determination
A Transgender Individual:
a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth
gender identity relates to a person’s inner sense of being male, female, in between, or even beyond these two concepts
not related to sexual orientation
sexual reassignment surgery (SRS)
changing the gender on birth certificate
Definition is blurred; policies are new and evolving
Highly controversial topic at school board
American survey subjects
the debate of public school policies for transgender children was sparked since the case of Coy Mathis
The Huffington Post
Parents suing Vancouver School Board over new transgender policy that lets students use any washroom
Transgender ‘bathroom bill’ passes with crucial support of 16 Tories
Transgender washroom use calls for education
Transgender Manitoba student told she can't use girls' washroom
An eight-year-old transgender Winnipeg girl named Catherine Burgos, her parents, and the mother of one of Isabella’s classmates
Catherine was rudely confronted by another parent, telling her to not use the girls' washroom
The parent worries about her child's safety
Q: Would you feel comfortable and safe sharing the public washroom with someone born of the opposite sex?
also supported by more than 180 affidavits from like-minded parents.
They have filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court claiming the school board policy, adopted June 16 in front of a deeply-divided audience, violates the School Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
filled out October 31st, 2014
“Some students are uncomfortable with sharing very personal information or private spaces with members of the opposite sex and deeply care about their privacy when using the washroom or change room,” states the petition
Q: If you were a transgender person, would you be willing to use the transgender washroom instead of the washroom that correspond to the sex you identify with?
Q: The will of the majority VS. The rights of the minority
Which one is more important?
House of Commons
We strongly believe that transgender people have the right to utilize whichever washroom that corresponds to the gender they identify themselves with. People should correct the false, fearful mindset that transgender people are most likely dangerous sexual predators. In fact, they are exposed to higher risk of victimization. Banning transgender individuals from using the washroom they prefer because they make the public feel uncomfortable is a blatant act of discrimination, similar to the racial segregation. Some solutions for this complicated issue are introduced in an attempt to please the public while protecting the rights of the transgender people. However, these solutions have their problems. The unisex/ gender-neutral washroom bill in Vancouver aroused tremendous disagreement from the parents. Another solution is to install transgender washrooms. However, this might offend the transgender people. For example, the eight-year-old transgender girl, Catherine, has the option of using the transgender washroom; however, she feels hurt because it is an indication that she is not a normal little girl, but some “other”. Furthermore, installing two more transgender washrooms, one of each sex, would be a huge waste of resource considering the high difference in the ratio between transgender people and non-trans people.This type of categorizing will only encourage discrimination towards them. Catherine, who has to deal with the offensive confrontation from other parents, expresses her wish, “I’ve asked my teacher if we could learn about transgender in my class so they all understand.” The government should take on the responsibility of correcting the conservative, discriminative mindset of the public and lead this issue in the right direction by introducing more policies to protect the rights of the transgender community and provide education regarding this matter at schools. The lack of knowledge contributes to the fear and resistance the public holds against sharing washrooms with transgender people. In conclusion, letting transgender people go to the washroom of their choice best reflects our country's policy of human rights.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal had supported adding transgender identity to federal anti-discrimination and anti-hate legislation, saying it would promote acceptance and send a message about tolerance.
Thank you listening!
March 21st, 2013
House of commons, Canada
to fight for the rights of transgender people
Who: Paul Hockham and his wife Cindy who live in Caledon East
What: Cindy felt upset when a transgender man walked in on her in the middle of changing. She contacted the staff of Caledon Centre for Recreation and Wellness about the issue.This lead to the Manager of Communications, Bethany Lee, explaining town staff were following direction from the Ontario Human Rights Code.
When: February 5th, 2014
Where: Caledon Centre for Recreation and Wellness (CCRW)
Why: she felt vulnerable
Source: Caledon Enterprise
-people could take advantage of this law and enter the washroom/change room of the opposite sex and claim to be transgender when they’re not
-people feel uncomfortable and scared
-the fear of sexual assault-
transgendered were already protected on the basis of sex and disability, the tribunal said it would be better to have explicit protection so that the question is not perpetually challenged.
-Trans people are not sexual perpetrators, and are at more risk of victimization
-transgender people are in the washroom for the same reason as you are
-no indication that laws allowing increase the risk of sexual assault
question: Should transgender people be allowed to use the washroom they prefer?
QUESTION: Should we install transgender washrooms?
-majority people feel uncomfortable and scared about sharing washrooms with transgender people
-prevents the danger of sexual predators abusing the right for transgenders to use the washroom of their preference
-respect the choice of the majority
-some transgender people identify themselves as women and some as men
in this case, it would be like men and women sharing washrooms together
-singling transgender people out
-offensive and disrespectful because it is like saying they are different
Question: Should the washrooms be gender-neutral?
-some people are uncomfortable with sharing very personal information or private spaces with members of the opposite sex and deeply care about their privacy when using the washroom or change room
-increase the risk of sexual assault especially for women
-necessary step to combat discrimination faced by some students
-more efficient use of resource
- prevents the awkwardness of people who are confused about their sexuality
-some people feel like they belong to neither sex