Toronto Ca.: Transcending Stereotypes

From Now Toronto:

It will take a while for this to sink in, but it’s not only immoral to discriminate against trans people – it’s now illegal
By Susan Gapka
June 28-July 5, 2012

When you unpack it all, human beings have more in common with each other than we have separating us. But sometimes it’s hard to remember that.

Two weeks ago we took another step toward that commonality. Ontario passed Bill 33, an act to amend the Human Rights Code with respect to gender identity and expression. This would protect transsexual and transgender persons. And I’m overjoyed.

Not only is it wrong to discriminate against trans people, but it’s now illegal, a fact that sends a clear message to employers, landlords, restaurant owners and gyms that they can never say, “We don’t serve, hire or rent to people like you.” It tells the trans community that we are included, that we are valued.

Of course, there are still people who don’t get it yet, but we hope to surround them with positive, supportive messages. The issue is, we look different, we sound different. Our body image doesn’t always express who we think we are inside, and sometimes people see us as different.

Imagine me on the telephone, for example. I’ve been refused credit card validation, had trouble activating accounts and dealing with student loans – those at the other end of the line don’t believe I’m Susan because of my deep voice. I have to be more patient, but it wears me down.

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