Special rules for transsexual strip searches

One of the things I really like about Canada is how they at least try to exercise a bit of common sense and respect for people’s dignity.  Strip searches are never pleasant for anyone being subjected to them.  For transsexual (especially pre-op) and transgender folks they are often occasions marred with added abuse and humiliation at the hands of the authorities.

This piece from a Canadian source suggest an attempt to avoid some of the embarrassment and humiliation.

From IFP Press:  http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2011/12/07/19090066.html

By Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau
Last Updated: December 7, 2011

Anyone who’s had a sex-change operation – or just feels neither fully male nor fully female – has a special option available if pulled aside for a strip search by a border services officer (BSO).

QMI Agency has learned the Canada Border Services Agency issued a directive in August telling officers that transsexual and intersexed individuals can choose whether a man or a woman will search them.

Or they can opt for a “split search,” notes the directive, which involves two sets of border services officers – one all male, the other all female.

“The first set completes the search of the upper body while leaving the lower body clothed,” says the directive. “The individual is then permitted to fully dress, and is turned over to a second set of BSOs of the opposite sex to conduct the search of the lower body, while the upper body remains clothed.”

Officers can pull aside someone entering or leaving Canada and require a strip search if the traveller is suspected of violating the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.

4 Responses to “Special rules for transsexual strip searches”

  1. dentedbluemercedes Says:

    Oh, the LFP article uses the Sun Media one with the undermining language. “Special rules,” “or just feels neither fully male nor fully female,” “individuals can choose,” etc. It seems harmless and is technically accurate, but also sets up a “special rights” argument when Bill C-279 comes up in a few months’ time. That’s why they’re focusing on the split search, which from the way it’s presented here sounds ineffective and an easy out for criminals (i.e. “what stops someone from moving something they conceal on their body while changing for the second half of the search?” — the actual split search is not so easy to subvert). And thus we get an inference that transsexualism and intersex are deliberate deception for nefarious purposes.

    That may sound like reading too much into it from this article alone, but Sun is absolutely nefarious for this kind of spin. That’s why they’re presenting something that happened in August as though it’s a news scoop. Canadian police departments have been all implementing similar policies over the past decade, following a legal issue proved necessity several years ago, so this is hardly new at all.

  2. femme Says:

    Except what people are seeing is not the actual written policy but rather the writers view point. At no time would the person be permitted to be alone. I expect after the first half of said “spilt search” the other officers would enter and the old ones leave to allow for the second half search to begin.

    The real problem that will face the upcoming bill is the issue of the crime aspect added onto it this time in assense making this two bill to eventually go through two different committees yet which will in the end be tied to one outcome. So if the governemnt MPS don’t agree with the crime aspect, and they won’t and don’t, then the Bill will not make it. It was foolish to put to initiatives together during a Conservative government. Especially one that has already shown it’s willing to end certain positive pubic services, like the Court Challenges Program or women’s initiative.

  3. femme Says:

    Have to say what I read at the following has me shaking my head at some in the native community who either think its a cute joke to say things like beat them over the head with a rubber hose like the rest of us, but I don’t think it’s that cute. I’d say I would expect this from said Sun Media but not them.
    http://www.metisonline.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1736:canada-when-we-strip-search-our-transexuals-we-give-them-the-royal-treatment&catid=18:blog&Itemid=13

    • Suzan Says:

      I personally think the world of democracies and governments is crashing into a major crisis where the only possible paths are total corporate fascism or a revolution that ends multi-nationals as well as the WTO and GATT. Racial minorities, ethnic minorities women, queers and probably Jews are all convenient scapegoats for the anger of the manipulated masses.

      Fucking with us is a way of avoiding something that is completely unavoidable, that is the end of Capitalism as we know it. We have some 3.5 times as many people as it is reasonable to expect a declining supply of oil to sustain. We have been running the planet for the last hundred or so years on the oil credit card fueling the growth by burning of assets it took literally millions of years to acquire>

      TS and TG people are nothing to these fascists. At best we are raw meat to be sacrificed as a diversion.

      Avoiding police is highly recommended.

      Small concessions are better than nothing and like sand in the wind or water freezing and thawing in cracks may keep progress moving in these dark times.


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