The Potty War Comes to Canada

Is it me, or did the circus come to town? Canadian media from The Globe and Mail and The National Post on down have all seized upon a case in which the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s mere willingness to hear a case about a transsexual who was not allowed access to a ladies’ gym is taken as proof positive that the OHRC has lost its mind and should be abolished. With editorial headlines like “Man, oh, man! Get that guy out of the girls’ room” (Calgary Herald — for the benefit of people who point out that the issue involves showers and not washrooms, this headline and a number of the comments that have been made demonstrate that many Canadians are not making that distinction) and “Ontario Human Rights Commission declares — if you think you’re a woman, you’re a woman” (National Post), they seize upon every conceivable misconception available to them to whet the sharks’ appetite.

This is being offered up as a public reply, because as of this moment, I’ve yet to see any of these publications devote a single column inch to contrary response (mine or otherwise) or clarification of the misconceptions about transsexuals being exploited. Plus, I’m getting tired of having to write the same letter over and over and over and seeing zero response, formal or private.

The Facts of the Case

The Ontario Human Rights Commission will be hearing a case of a woman-only gym owner, John Fulton, and looking at whether or not he refused membership or access to the facility to a pre-operative transsexual. Mr. Fulton says that he simply stated he needed time to think about it, and a week later, he received a letter demanding money. I don’t know if it’s true or not that there’s some kind of extortion at play, but what bothers me is that the media has taken this statement of events as gospel. We’ve not heard the complainant’s side at all.

The Media’s Slant

There is a push in Canada from the resurgent right wing on a number of points. Conservatives (including the ruling federal party) have declared an intent to do away with the part of hate crimes law pertaining to hate speech. Conservatives (not including the feds) have also been pressing for the abolishment of Human Rights Commissions, with that of the Province of Ontario being top priority. These campaigns have conservative journalists and bloggers, the Roman Catholic Church and white supremacists getting into bed with each other — I guess that as long as the banners one flies are “morality” and “free speech,” nobody bothers to ask questions.

The OHRC has been under fire for some time, and recently tightened up policies to make it difficult to bring a case before them unless one has good access to money, but that hasn’t been enough. Last year’s ruling which reinstated Provincial Health Care funding of gender reassignment surgery is one of a number of rulings that have offended conservatives’ sensibilities, with pundit Mark Steyn declaring that “the human right to a transsexual labioplasty” is among those that “tramples on real human rights including property rights, free speech, the right to due process and the presumption of innocence.” (I still haven’t quite figured out how)

The Reason For Anger

People should certainly be able to decide what they are in their own minds. By all means, please, be my guest, be whatever you like — men, women, bullfrogs, butter knives. It is (or used to be) a free country. My problem is with people who want to decide what they are in my mind. The way liberty works, they can decide what they are for themselves, and I’ll decide what they are for me.
George Jonas, National Post

But the Ontario Human Rights Commission took this complaint seriously. Its code wraps in gender-identity with sex as a prohibited grounds of discrimination…. Sorry about the man who wants to be a woman, but we’re more concerned with the women who don’t want every Tom, Dick or Harry in their changing room.
Nigel Hannaford, Calgary Herald

Commission spokeswoman Afroze Edwards says all that matters is whether the individual considers himself a woman. Wrong. Common sense dictates that if he still has a penis, he doesn’t belong in the women’s gym, no matter what he thinks he is.
Main Editorial, Calgary Herald

The Reply

The first assumption commentators typically take advantage of is that a transsexual’s gender identity is purely a delusion in their mind. The reality is not so simple: transsexuals undergo therapy, and then a minimum of one year of living as their identified gender before surgery can be obtained (in Canada’s various Provincially-governed medical systems, this often ends up being several years — in Alberta, it can be 18 to 24 months on the waiting list just to get one’s first appointment with a gender identity specialist). While we don’t yet know the full reason why some people have an identity that does not match their birth sex, studies in recent years have demonstrated a likelihood of a biological origin — and shown how gender identity and physical sex develop at different times in utero (and occasionally develop incongruently). Additionally, as much as people would like to believe that anti-psychotic drugs, conversion therapy and ECT would help transsexuals “just get over it,” modern medicine has realized that this approach simply does not work, and usually results in self-destruction, suicide or extreme anti-social behaviour. Aligning body to mind, however, has enabled transsexuals to become valued and successful people in society. That is why the standards of care set by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) recommend transition and surgery – as also supported by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association and the Canadian counterparts of all three. And quite frankly, if there were an alternate solution to the transsexual dilemma that were proven to work and didn’t risk losing one’s spouse, children, family, friends, career, financial well-being, respectability, residence, personal safety, privacy and ability to travel freely in society, I can assure you that people with non-congruent gender identities would flock to it. While the mechanism is still uncertain, transsexuality is driven by something that is far more than a passing delusion (or a sexual fetish, as is often assumed).

The incident is also being characterized as a “shakedown.” While I can’t know the motive of the person bringing the claim, I can assure you that transsexuals who raise issues such as this do so at great risk to their personal privacy, and sometimes (if their identity becomes known) also to their safety. I will also point out that to date, only one party is speaking to the media and only one perspective on the events has been disseminated. People with transsexual histories most often value “stealth,” which is the ability to live unnoticed in society – some of this is because stealth can be the most appropriate conclusion to a transsexual’s journey, but some of it is certainly from the fear of discrimination or potential violence typically faced by marginalized and misunderstood minorities. There is a Day of Remembrance set aside every year to recognize the large number those who have been murdered simply because of their gender identity or gender expression.

This brings us back to the original question as to whether it is reasonable to expect the owner of a women-only gym to allow a pre-operative transsexual to use the facility. There are two primary areas of concern in that discussion: respect for privacy, and potential for risk. The latter can be addressed quickly and easily.

The last time I checked, allowing a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual to use a womens’ changing room still did not change the fact that inappropriate behaviours in privacy facilities were still subject to legal consequences. Since protections for transsexuals were first introduced in Minneapolis, MN in 1975, over 120 jurisdictions in North America have allowed TS women to use public facilities in explicit legislation — even pre-operative (most of them are listed here). Only once has this been used to justify seemingly predatory behaviour… at a gym in Gaithersburg, in an incident that a group called Citizens for Responsible Government admitted to staging, in order to raise fears about such legislation. There is no statistical evidence to support the spectre of predatory behaviour in womens’ spaces by transsexual women.

Respect for privacy is a more subjective issue, and I can only point out that transsexual women are just as concerned about their own privacy as any other woman — and in turn are just as inclined to respect others’ right to privacy. Many gyms offer privacy stalls for changing clothes, and I’d expect that someone who is pre-operative would prefer to use them. Likewise, satisfactory arrangements can almost always be made regarding showers. Gender Dysphoria (the medical classification for transsexuals, sometimes also called Gender Identity Disorder) is most often accompanied by a person’s own aversion to their own genitalia, and it is certainly uncharacteristic for a preoperative male-to-female transsexual to allow that to be exposed to anyone else (most also “tuck” to ensure that even when dressed, nothing is visible).

In the end, the only genuine argument that remains is that other gym patrons may experience the “squick factor” — the fears that exist based on misperceptions and misunderstandings of transsexuals. This epidemic of fear will probably persist for as long as the reality is shouted down by sensationalist press, and shamed into hiding. Until the overwhelming societal condemnation that pushes people of transsexual histories into stealth changes, few will be willing to share the truth about their lives, and the public will not see that the reality is far less “creepy” than at first imagined. As much as one might sympathize with the “squick factor,” misinformed prejudice is not considered justification for any kind of segregation, and instead needs to be challenged.

By the standards set by WPATH, it is appropriate for a transitioning woman to use ladies’ facilities, and to some degree even required as she adjusts to living as female. Certainly, using a male facility is inappropriate and often unsafe. And presenting as one’s birth sex in order to conform to others’ standards is considered by the WPATH Standards of Care as reneging on one’s commitment to transition – not to mention a serious step backwards. Transsexuality is not a new phenomenon, co-existence has not been harmful to date, and the realities are far different than the perceptions being exploited by the media frenzy surrounding this case.

(OT footnote: I don’t know if this means I’m “back” or not. But for the benefit of someone who I know will be reading this, screencaps had been made, IPs have been traced and should anything happen to myself, my partner, the person we’re taking in until she’s back on her feet, our home or anything related, the possibility of incitement will be investigated.)

  1. Had a feeling that the ‘potty war’ attack line was headed north of the border. Harper’s living on borrowed time and he has to may conservahay before the opposition coalesces and forces him out of office.

    • sueann173
    • March 5th, 2009

    Transpeople need to realize that they may believe they are one sex however society does and always will judge that by a person’s physical sex.
    Common sense dictates that a person with a penis is a man to the greater world.
    A transperson shouldn’t enter woman’s lunchrooms until they have had their corrective surgery.

    If they chose not to have corrective surgery then they don’t belong there.

    S

  2. Sue Ann,
    Society once said that the Earth revolved around the Sun, that African descended people were ‘less than human’ and in the States said they were 3/5 of a human being.

    So it’s only a matter of time before society catches up to the science, so put down the superstitions and read some science textbooks.

  3. oops, first line should read ‘Sun revolved around the Earth’

    • femme
    • March 6th, 2009

    First part. This is not the first time various columnists have focused on this issue here in Canada over the past ten or so years. It’s nothing new here. In fact when the Commission first began it’s writing on protection of people that are transexual back in 98 the same nonsense was written.

    As for Harper living on borrowed time, this issue has little to do with him, this one being a provincial issue not federal.

    Also Harper will continue in power until people feel there is another party more worthy of their full support. Unlike the U.S. system, Canada has more then a two party race, which splits up the votes more so.

    I wouldn’t expect another vote until the fall, at the very earliest and only if the Liberal party gets it’s own house in order so they feel they can stand a chance in defeating them. Other wise look to 2010 for the next election in Canada. The next vote will be focusing on how Canada deals with the global economic issues, not issues such as this one mentioned in the article.

    Again unlike the U.S. fights like this one have happened in the past and precedences has it in various commission rulings that she, preoperational, very much had the right to be in the woman’s change room had she joined.

    I’d also like to point out that this is true in the U.K. as well under the GRA

    This woman could not be expected to use the men’s bathroom since according to the owner of the gym he had no idea that she was preoperational, let alone transexual, until she herself made it know(for some unknown reason)

    It’s also a fact that most women’s change rooms allow for greater privacy and I highly doubt that this woman was going to be walking around constantly outing herself, in undress.

    Since most funding clinics, if not all, have guidelines which tell the person they must live fully in their known gender, that does include bathroom use. It should not be expected that she be singled out and use a segregated bathroom set up.

    This is about education, nothing more, nothing less. It wasn’t that long ago that general society in the U.S. had different bathrooms, schools, water fountains etc, to separate people of colour for people who were not. Laws and education have now changed that.

    BTW Sue this woman has since had her surgery, this wasn’t about not wanting to have surgery but rather having to wait until she could.

    Don’t mix up the two different issues for your own purposes.

    Because so far media has only heard from the owner of the gym, we only have one side of the story of events. His story has it that she, as she was there to join, seen the place, at the last min said she was a man. His words not mine. He has played the sympathy card very well in the media, saying he tried very hard to find out what he was suppose to do, contacting the police and the hrc. He said he told the woman that he had to look into things, she went away then he got a letter from a lawyer asking for money and a letter of apology.

    Myself after hearing him interviewed several times I don’t find his story that credible, some parts make no sense, but again bigoted non educated media don’t need things to make sense to make it into a story.

    Our focus needs to be around protection laws, education and hearing the whole story.

    • dentedbluemercedes
    • March 6th, 2009

    Indeed, there have been discrepancies in his story. In one telling, the plaintiff gets as far as signing the membership papers before saying “I’m a guy” (by Fulton’s telling — I can’t imagine most TS women saying it that way). Other tellings, he picked out the voice on the phone in the original inquiry as male and then picked out her voice as male when she came in.

    • sueann173
    • March 6th, 2009

    Truthfully I don’t know of any self-respecting Pre-Op or Non-Op for that manner that would invade that space.
    The restroom is one thing, act appropriately and you won’t get thrown out. However in this case where we are talking about locker rooms “The Needs Of The Many Out Way The Needs Of the Few” Should we start issuing drivers licenses to blind people because they are not privileged enough to have sight?
    I think not in both cases.

    • sueann173
    • March 6th, 2009

    “Truthfully I don’t know of any self-respecting Pre-Op or Non-Op for that manner that would invade that space.”

    Should read for that matter…
    Sorry.
    \

    • Sara Law
    • March 6th, 2009

    Sueann,

    I’m with you on this one! Not only did I have enough respect for myself as a pre-op (back then!) but also for the women I am now sharing those kind of spaces with. It was never even a thought that crossed my mind.

    Sara …

    • Editor
    • March 6th, 2009

    I do hope you’re not looking for a career in Canadian journalism. Then again, fringe viewpoints never did hold much currency with the general public, anyway.

    • sueann173
    • March 6th, 2009

    “I do hope you’re not looking for a career in Canadian journalism. Then again, fringe viewpoints never did hold much currency with the general public, anyway.”

    Just wondering;
    What fringe viewpoints are you referring to.

    I have always considered, and have been affermed by mainstream media that my viewpoint was anything but fringe.

    The Mainstream works on visible sex characteristics; they don’t care what is between the ears of the body the4y are looking at. I could appear to be a woman but identify as a Green Reptoid from planet Zetea-prime.
    The would would still see me as a woman.

    Where the rubber (not the condom) meets the road it’s what is between your legs that counts.

    Take Care
    S

    • dentedbluemercedes
    • March 7th, 2009

    “Truthfully I don’t know of any self-respecting Pre-Op or Non-Op for that matter that would invade that space.”

    I have known fitness junkies and working girls (escorts – where physique is everything) to want or need to go to the gym. Many wouldn’t approve of that, of course, but it doesn’t change the fact that for some, the perceived need to go is greater than the need to not go.

    And then there’s the occasional person who needs physio. I needed therapy for a repetitive strain injury (both knees) around the time I started my transition, and that was one of a few reasons that I didn’t go (it wasn’t the entire reason, depression, money and fear all played their parts). And yes, the clinic I was referred to operates like a gym.

    • dentedbluemercedes
    • March 7th, 2009

    “I do hope you’re not looking for a career in Canadian journalism. Then again, fringe viewpoints never did hold much currency with the general public, anyway.”

    I hoped it was obvious that the preamble was borne of frustration rather than total disrespect. This is far from the first time the Canadian media has exploited transsexuals for sensationalist purposes.

    http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/gives-good-headline-how-the-media-loves-its-sex-changes/

    • sueann173
    • March 7th, 2009

    Facts of life 101;
    the media exploits everyone when given an opportunity or a moment of weakness, except for the hand that feeds it.
    Your media never says anything bad about the queen even when she removes authority from parliament.

    By the wan back in 97 I, my best friend and another friend took water aerobics classes.
    I wore a shift over my bathing suite, when we finished I put on a tarry cloth robe and we left for home where I showered.
    That is what self respecting Pre-Ops do. That was six years before I had my corrective surgery.

    I really don’t see a problem with that.

    Take Care
    S

  4. Oh brother, Sueann;

    What does what a person has between their legs have to do with where they should change? How safe is a non-op or pre-op transwoman in a male locker room? Why would any of the bio women in a locker room know that a transwoman has a penis anyway if she took care to use changing stalls?

    So are you saying that transmen, many of whom don’t get bottom surgery either because we can’t afford it or because it’s too risky, should perpetually use women’s changing rooms even though we are living as male full-time? That’s just bloody ridiculous.

    • sueann173
    • March 7th, 2009

    It creeps out the natal females.

    As far as transmen go, I don’t have a horse in that race.

    This is an issue that will backfire on the Canadian TG’s, just like it has in several states here in the US.

    Take Care
    S

  5. How can it creep them out if they don’t know?!?! We need to work on dispelling people’s ignorance, not go hide in closets or in changing rooms where we are unsafe.

    • sueann173
    • March 7th, 2009

    I guess you wouldn’t know what it’s like to have a man in woman’s spaces.
    That’s the whole problem you see, is the lack of consideration for the needs of others.

    It never bothered me to consider those around me and was no danger to my safety ether.

    You can’t expect TG’s, being only 1 or 2 percent of the population to demand that the world bend to their needs. I am sorry but it’s just not going to happen, and all the TG community will accomplish by forcing the issue it to alienate TG’s and it may even cause violence to be waged on TG’s.

    In real life you can’t have everything your wan, others live here also. A good example of that is the California Supreme Court will rule to hold up the Gay Marriage Ban because the GLBT have civil unions and the line in the sand was drawn five or so years ago.

    People everywhere in North America are saying Enough Non Sense Already.

    Take Care
    S

    PS;
    Don’t shoot me I am jsut the messenger.

    • femme
    • March 7th, 2009

    You know what bothers me more then anything else is when people make assumptions on a case or issues at hand.

    Sueanne, this case has to do with a woman who happened to be pre operational at the time. She has since had her surgery. No one, but you, has gone to the assumption this is about TGs.

    Secondly, so are some of you suggesting that when you were pre operational you used the men’s bathroom? I’m guessing you didn’t did you.

    That this woman, and by the way the OHRC, felt she should very much indeed be using the women’s bathroom. There is nothing wrong with that feeling, nor based on past law here in Canada was it wrong thinking on her side.

    Yes Mercedes I too have heard those other accounts made on the radio about the voice being how the owner knew it was the same person, this wasn’t something he himself said in live interviews I have heard or seen him in. These are comments and wild interpretations made by the stupid twits reporting on the case.

    Sueanne you mentioned that before your surgery you wore a woman’s bathing suit, But you were pre operational shouldn’ you have been wearing a man’s? That’s about as sensible a statement as the one’s being made by some here suggesting she should be in the men’s change room. Duh.

    What you said, Sueanne, was you changed/showered at home. Well why are you making the assumption this woman had other plans. You have not read her complaint, you have not heard her speak on the issue, you don’t know her so if anything it sounds like you are getting all your facts from religious right wing media types.

    By the way,were the “water aerobics classes” with other women? Well what about how they felt about you being there? Oh ya they didn’t know so they didn’t care. My guess is the same would have been the case here They wouldn’t care because they wouldn’t know.

    My first reaction is to say you don’t have a “horse” in this race either. But more so such a comment, to me, speaks loudly towards your thoughts and concerns about men who are transexual.

    Let me make it even clearer for you. This case, regardless of it having been a woman or a man who brought the case forward, will affect how the other is treated in such situations in the future.

    Case law is case law, as such when dealing with discrimination because of, in this case, “sex” the end result carries both ways. The ruling will also set up how, in this case, men will also be accommodated.

    See I can understand the frustration you might have Sueanne, about the TS/TG thing going on.

    The refusal of some to not use both terms, or the lumping into that umbrella term. In fact I have issues with it as well. But you have now done the same thing, jumping and even labeling another against their own will. That which you dislike others doing to you.

    It has been clear since your first post that was where it was going with you. It might be because it was Mercedes’ Blog, I don’t know, but I do know that you’ve shown that you aren’t reading.or seeing the truth, but instead just making a blanket statement about what you think is happening based on little or no facts at all.

    It’s that type of behaviour which has caused more harm then good around the issue of working to educate why people who are transexual should not by lumped into an umbrella term with no real concrete meaning.

    Just wanted to add to this comment. How can you ascribe to think you know what the various media here in Canada have said about the Queen? Clearly you haven’t heard so many of them doing talk shows talking about why we shouldn’t bother with a Queen.

    In fact just back in December/January it was part of discussion with some as the issue of a failed Parliament was in the news.

    j

    • sueann173
    • March 7th, 2009

    To my knowledge femme;
    Nobody suggested we used the men’s room….
    Lets keep on track this is not about the bathorrm, this is about the locker / changing room and other women’s spaces.
    Being Pre-Op and doing RLT doesn’t given anybody any right into woman’s spaces..

    You Said;
    “”Sueanne you mentioned that before your surgery you wore a woman’s bathing suit, But you were pre operational shouldn’ you have been wearing a man’s? That’s about as sensible a statement as the one’s being made by some here suggesting she should be in the men’s change room. Duh.””

    I suppose you haven’t heard of RLT have you?
    I had the consideration of others to shower at home.

    By the way I have read more then just the article posted here.

    The women in the warer aerobics class didn’t care because I dodn’t push the issue and invade their space after the session was over. Again I have consideration for the needs of others, it’s a grown up thing, you know.

    As a female I have a horse in this race as I don’t feel it is right for people with male anatomy to invede woman’s spaces.

    The penis people have their spaces why shouldn’t we?

    I may not subscribe to your truth or drink TG Kool-Aid I do feel what I perceive as the truth is more in alignment with the greater society.

    By the way…
    I read a lot of Canadian news.
    As a matter of fact I get my news from sources outside of the mainstream special interest owned news media.

    Earlier this year whey your parliament was suspended by the Queen it demonstrated quite will that Canada is still a colony of the Queen’ empire.
    That is an issue for another time.

    Y’all take care;
    S

    • femme
    • March 7th, 2009

    “Nobody suggested we used the men’s room….”

    Nor did I say you suggested or even said you did use the men’s room. But thanks for helping make my point.

    “Being Pre-Op and doing RLT doesn’t given anybody any right into woman’s spaces.. ”

    “I suppose you haven’t heard of RLT have you?”

    Ok so which one is it. You can be in there or you can’t? It was ok for you to use the change room because of RLE,but not for others who are doing their RLE ? It was ok for you, while pre operational, to be in woman spaces, women’s aquatic, but again not others.

    “Common sense dictates that a person with a penis is a man to the greater world.
    A transperson shouldn’t enter woman’s lunchrooms until they have had their corrective surgery. ”

    So according to you, you were a man, yet you still forced yourself into the women’s Aquatics? I bathrooms too. What does this have to do with bathrooms you asked before, well I suspect much more then women’s lunch rooms you subscribe to.

    And why is it you some how know what was in the mind of the woman who is at the heart of the story? How do you know she intended to do anything but get into her work out gear and back into her clothes after with showering at home?

    Certainly not by the media reports because she hasn’t spoken to any media. Which again gets back to what I said before. Since you are getting your information from said media, this would be the ones who have an issue with this, you are getting their incorrect slant. Within 30 minds of listening to the owners live, on his way to medication, interview that same media outlet had slanted the story and were reporting it incorrectly.

    So that you read other reports is my point exactly about not knowing much about the case.

    “The women in the warer aerobics class didn’t care because I dodn’t push the issue and invade their space after the session was over. Again I have consideration for the needs of others, it’s a grown up thing, you know.”

    But by your own admission this was their space and by your own widely known views since you were not post operative, you were invading their space, even if they did not know it.

    That isn’t to say I think you shouldn’t have been there, rather I believe you as a woman who was pre operational, had every right to be there. You mention they didn’t know because you didn’t push the point. Well the same would have been true for this woman, but instead the point got pushed on her by the gym owner. She then stood up for her legal rights.

    And I will repeat once again, this woman, was in her RLE, living completely full time, including all documentation corrected, she completed that, had her surgery and is going on with her life. This is not a new claim, this claim was filed years ago, unfortunately it takes a number of years to get from the beginning of the process to the end.

    No Sueann you don’t have a “horse” in this race. As a U.S. citizen you have no “horses in Canadian law and how it affects us here. Fortunately, unlike American law, we do look at the rights of the few, because it tends to be minorities that are overly discriminated against. Also unlike the U.S. we do, rightfully, have equal marriage here. We didn’t allow a majority to invoke their will to keep a form of discrimination going, instead we looked at the issue legally. You see just because we allow human rights here to happen, clearly doesn’t follow that you will there. So no horse, sorry.

    LOL, Kool Aid, oh wow that’s so funny, wow haven’t heard that one in years, wow. NOT.

    Interesting that when someone disagrees, can see sense in another’s rights, that’s called drinking Kool Aid. Wow narrow minded for sure.

    The real sad thing is that you and I agree that people who are transexual should not be forced and listed under the umbrella terms transgender, yet reading our arguments, and attacks almost makes me sick that we agree on that fact, that we stand on the same side of anything.

    I guess right now if someone is going to accuse me of drinking Kool Aid, it’s better it’s not Sueann Kool Aid, that truly would be an insult.

    When the Prime Minister asked the Governor General to pirogue Parliament, and this was my point which seemed to fly right over your head about your own comment “Your media never says anything bad about the queen even when she removes authority from parliament.”, there was once again much discussion about the place of the Queen by many media types. For a person who claims to listen to alot of Canadian news to not have known that is rather odd.

    I would like to re point point out that it was the Prime Minister, who .asked for this to happen, not the other way around. As such your comment about the Queen “.. removes authority from parliament” is of course incorrect. The G.G. could have said yes, as she did, or no throwing us into either an election or under a whole different system of government. She felt the better idea, considering the world mess, was to allow things to continue with the government which had only months before been elected after a short break.

    Also I would like to point out that the Queens representative, other wise known as the Governor General, is appointed by the Prime Minister not the Queen. Though the Queen is still the official “Head of State” she carries no real weight in the day to day running of the government and or the country. Nor our policies.

    • sueann173
    • March 7th, 2009

    femme
    quoting what I said, out of context is the fastest way to discredit your own position. One sentince does not a complete thought make.

    As I said;
    “Transpeople need to realize that they may believe they are one sex however society does and always will judge that by a person’s physical sex.
    Common sense dictates that a person with a penis is a man to the greater world.”
    Let me translate;
    Society sees a man by his penis and a woman by her vagina. You ether have to live with that or find an island somewhere to live.
    Recognizing that IS part of RLT.
    RLT insures you can live in society on it’s terms not on yours or the imaginary construct of a subculture.

    You went on to say…..
    “So according to you, you were a man”
    Wrong again; according to society I was a man because of my genitals. I have been female since the day I was borne and Knew it from the time I was 2 years old.

    Then you said…
    “”And why is it you some how know what was in the mind of the woman who is at the heart of the story? How do you know she intended to do anything but get into her work out gear and back into her clothes after with showering at home?””
    What is in the mind of this woman makes no difference to society. Go back to my previous statment regarding how society sees women and men.

    You said….
    “And I will repeat once again, this woman, was in her RLE, living completely full time, including all documentation corrected, she completed that, had her surgery and is going on with her life. This is not a new claim, this claim was filed years ago, unfortunately it takes a number of years to get from the beginning of the process to the end.”
    You can repeat this again if it will make you feel good; she tried to join this club as a pre-op, something any level headed pre-op would Never Think of doing. Now she is paying for that mistake, we all make mistakes during transition and have to live with them and move on with life.

    The term drinking the Kool-Aid means that one buys into dogma or propganda on a given matter.

    I know it was your prime minister who asked for the queen to step in and fight his fight for him since he was about to be thrown out, he was doing the Queen’s bidding.

    You can have your colonial life and the government that goes with it, I respectfully submit it would not be for me. I happen to like our form of government when it is working properly, it hasn’t been for a while and we have recourse built into the system for when the government becomes too corrupt.
    Stay tuned things are getting interesting in the US.

    Take care
    S

    • femme
    • March 8th, 2009

    “quoting what I said, out of context is the fastest way to discredit your own position. One sentince does not a complete thought make.”

    So sorry if you don’t like your own words being used against you in public, if you don’t mean them, don’t use them. Good try on deflecting things though. Have to give you a B for the effort. The key sentance was “quoting” what you said.

    “Let me translate;”

    No rather lets use your words.

    “Transpeople need to realize that they may believe they are one sex however society does and always will judge that by a person’s physical sex.

    Until people are educated ignorant people, not all people in society, will see things as they wish to. Some still see people of colour as inferiour to their white ness. In fact this was typical thinking in so many ways, until people decieded, by fighting for thier rights and others working to educate others, this was true fact.

    Common sense dictates that a person with a penis is a man to the greater world.”

    Your thoughts, not comman sense. Comman sense would see people treating each other with res[pect, but many don’t live a common sense life.

    .

    “Society sees a man by his penis and a woman by her vagina”

    I don’t know what world you live in but in the world I live in we can’t see through clothing, so we tend to take our cues on the person themselves, how they appear, dress, act, their name and who they say they are.

    “You ether have to live with that or find an island somewhere to live.”

    Since the earlth is made mostly of water I suggest we all live on islands, but that’s another matter. I live in a society that, mostly, tries to learn u, understand different things around them, uncluding cultures, religions and so many other things that make up the society and world we live in. Sad you have closd that part of the world off.

    “Recognizing that IS part of RLT”

    Getting on with your life is part of RLE. Learning to allow yourself to be yourself. Learning that there are bigots out there is sadly something many of us have to put up with, be we of transexual history, of colour, woman, different religion, culture etc..

    “RLT insures you can live in society on it’s terms not on yours or the imaginary construct of a subculture”

    Sad you spend your life conforming to what everyone else expects of you rather then branching out and doing with your own life what you wish. Mine, and many medical professionals look at the RLE as a time which one begins to be their true self, not one set up for them. It makes sure, yes, the person is who they believed themselves to be and learn to funtion as that person, but there are not the boundaries. you seen to live with.

    “You went on to say”…..

    “Wrong again; according to society I was a man because of my genitals. I have been female since the day I was borne and Knew it from the time I was 2 years old.”

    Wll then you were defing society as such by your own defination failed the RLE because you didn’t follow the way society , you say, saw you.

    “Then you said”…

    “What is in the mind of this woman makes no difference to society. Go back to my previous statment regarding how society sees women and men.”

    Your premise has been that this woman planned to shower, walk around with out clothing on so the other women would see her, unlike you who knew better and respected the women and didn’t do that. So I say how is it that you know this?

    “You said….”

    “You can repeat this again if it will make you feel good; she tried to join this club as a pre-op, something any level headed pre-op would Never Think of doing. Now she is paying for that mistake, we all make mistakes during transition and have to live with them and move on with life.”

    And again it was ok for you to join the women Aquatic, but not for others to join other women’s excerise programs. Or are you saying when you did that it was a mistake doing so?

    See I don’t see her wanting to live her life as a mistake, in fact she was living the RLE to the letter it was written. She lived as herself, presented as herself and was getting on with life, as herself. Since no one could see under her clothing, least in this part of the world we don’t have such power, none of the other women would have known either way.

    I will agree with you when you say we all make mistake, but I hold short in saying only when one is transtioning and instead though out our lives. But in this case it was anything but a mistake to stand up for her, and others, basic human rights.

    “The term drinking the Kool-Aid means that one buys into dogma or propganda on a given matter.”

    I’ve read your many different responses using this term far to many times to not understand your meaning of this term. But to follow your beliefs would be drinking your Kool Aid, something I could not do.Not out of fear or out of some sort of consprisey, but out out respect for human beings and because of a life working to understand the many differences out there in this world.

    “I know it was your prime minister who asked for the queen to step in and fight his fight for him since he was about to be thrown out, he was doing the Queen’s bidding.”

    Actually it was the PM who asked the G.G., the Queen wasn’t there nor was she consuled by the G.G. in the matter before hand. Either way the Queen wouldn’t care one way or the other who was running the country, as such he wasn’t doing her bidding but rather that of his party and his self.

    “You can have your colonial life and the government that goes with it, I respectfully submit it would not be for me. I happen to like our form of government when it is working properly, it hasn’t been for a while and we have recourse built into the system for when the government becomes too corrupt.”

    Thank you I very much love our life of freedom, human rights and I might add better econimy. Our political system allows us to not wait 4 years to do something about corruption and our system clearly has shown it works well. Even though the PM was able to save his skin, it was really because of the consestions he had to make to the opposition party that sees him still leading the country.

    Had he not then after the pirogue of Parliament had ended his government would have failed. The G.G. would not have allowed for the running of the country to be put on hold longer. She would have turned to the opposition and invited them to form the government.

    I doubt very much I could live happily in your country either. I like the fact that I have extremely good health care and don’t have to worry about the cost of various medications or tests I rely on to live, a high educational system, freedom to marry who I chose, protection from bigots who would, if they could, deny me the rights others have. I have to say I also love that our Judges aren’t elected, least they worry more about their carrer then the law they are there to serve.

    Could I do without our currect PM, hell yes, and as I said before I expect that will happen towards the end of 2010. Right now the other oposition parties are in a mess, much like the Republican Party is over there, and must rebuild it’s credibilty.

    “Stay tuned things are getting interesting in the US.”

    I sure do hope so. I was glad to see Obama elected, it showed that finally people were starting to look at things in a less bigoted way, seeing that their close minded ness had lead the country to the brink of disater.

    “Take care”

    Thanks I always do try to.

    • dentedbluemercedes
    • March 8th, 2009

    “Wll then you were defing society as such by your own defination failed the RLE because you didn’t follow the way society , you say, saw you.”

    Sueann’s gender identity is not the question, here. Although you do make some points about perceived gender identity (which may have been the intention).

    I know it was your prime minister who asked for the queen to step in and fight his fight for him since he was about to be thrown out, he was doing the Queen’s bidding.

    We have a figurehead that represents the Queen, but the fealty is only ceremonial (and the process of the PM going to her to shut down Parliament until the new year is a legislative formality) — you’d see that evaporate in a second if any real authority was attempted. The Queen is so far removed from our system and our minds that I find it bizarre that she’s seen as cause to challenge whether or not we have a real democracy. Sorry to say, but we’re ruled by uninformed bumpkins, just like you.
    ________________________________________________

    A story I’d forgotten, but should probably be considered.

    A couple of years ago, my partner and I stayed at a hostel in Vancouver for a week, which necessitated the use of a communal shower (with semi-private stalls with curtains). I just handled things discreetly, and no one was ever confronted with a penis in a woman’s space. However, someone else I know, whose body has been more ravaged by testosterone than most, had troubles in a similar situation around the same time. The fact that she was post-operative was only taken into account after the fact.

    I wonder how much of the issue becomes a question of the perception of a penis than about a person’s operative status itself.

    • dentedbluemercedes
    • March 8th, 2009

    BTW, for those who would call the hostel incident a willful violation of womens’ space, there are times when we don’t make the arrangements for accomodation, and don’t realize the situation until we’re in a non-refundable scenario. A related story.

    • sueann173
    • March 8th, 2009

    Mercedes;
    A body ravaged by testosterone combined with a deep voice using male speech patterns and word usage can lead to confusion. Part of transition is the migration to female speech patterns and word usage. For most it takes longer then electrolysis and it is the most neglected aspect of transition. There is a fairly long list of high profile TS/TG’s who look nice but when they open their mouth totally puts people off and can un do $40,000 worth of FFS.

    Take Care
    S

    • sueann173
    • March 8th, 2009

    Femme;
    I am not going to argue with you anymore.
    You can attack me all you want, I have my life, I transitioned and I am who I am all the way back to my birth certificate. I can also marry if I wish, in any state in the union. If I chose to enter into a committed same sex relationship (with another female) we can engage in a civil union, good enough for me.

    I am glad you like where you are.
    I have good health care it costs me less then $50.00 per month. It covers all my current needs, I did pay for my SRS out of pocket as did many of my British friends who wanted their result to conform to higher standards of appearance and functionality.

    I was in Vancouver 8 years ago visiting an acquaintance. After suffering sticker shock buying an outfit I saw at a thrift shop We started talking about taxation in BC. The outfit I bought had a 13% sales tax on it 6% for the Canadian federal government and 7% for BC. It gets worse, much worse, had I been working in Canada in the profession i retired from I would be taxed at the rate of 65% instead of 35%.
    If that is what you like then more power to you, each country has it’s advantages I guess…

    • femme
    • March 9th, 2009

    “I am not going to argue with you anymore.”

    Fair enough, though I considered this a difference of life opinions, sharing those differences and attempting through discussion to share why the other was incorrect in their thinking.

    “You can attack me all you want, I have my life, I transitioned and I am who I am all the way back to my birth certificate. I can also marry if I wish, in any state in the union. If I chose to enter into a committed same sex relationship (with another female) we can engage in a civil union, good enough for me. ”

    Sorry you choose to see what I was writing as an attack. I wasn’t my intent to attack you, but rather attempt to show you why I , and others, feel your opinion was wrong.. I don’t like placing people into narrow definitions which then don’t show or allow various complexities of the human condition.

    My B.C. and birth registration is also corrected and I also enjoy the right to marry whom ever I choose, be they woman or even a man. BTW to myself and others, which is why so many fought and won, civil unions are not good enough since it only slightly recognises certain rights yet leaves that couple open to not fully the same rights as those who marry. Same but not equal. Our courts agreed.

    “I am glad you like where you are.”

    As am I.

    “I have good health care it costs me less then $50.00 per month. It covers all my current needs, I did pay for my SRS out of pocket as did many of my British friends who wanted their result to conform to higher standards of appearance and functionality”

    I’m glad you have been lucky enough to have good health care with not so high a cost. Unfortunately that isn’ t the case for far to many there. Hopefully over the next year or so that will change for many in your country with the new government in place.

    I’m also glad you were able to afford your own corrective surgery funding. Many people I know also were able to do this, while still others either were not able to yet, and still others have been fortunate enough to receive provincial funding. As part of their health care. B.C., where you visited, being but just one of those that do.

    Also fortunately for those who received funding their province has agreements with one of, I would consider, the world’s top surgeons. But even those who did not wish to use him still had a choice in who they could use. For them they would just have to pay before hand then wait for reimbursement. I understand that isn’t the case in the U.K. which is indeed sad..

    “I was in Vancouver 8 years ago visiting an acquaintance. After suffering sticker shock buying an outfit I saw at a thrift shop We started talking about taxation in BC. The outfit I bought had a 13% sales tax on it 6% for the Canadian federal government and 7% for BC. It gets worse, much worse, had I been working in Canada in the profession i retired from I would be taxed at the rate of 65% instead of 35%.”

    I hope you enjoyed your stay in B.C. It’s a beautiful province for sure. I have a number of close friends living there. I do find the shock at the thrift shop to be interesting since I know there are a great deal of very good thrift shops which have fantastic, and very cheap, clothing. Some even who swallows the taxes. Maybe one just has to know where to look to find those shops.

    But yes B.C., and many, not all, provinces have both GST and PST. But then it’s that tax which allows Canadian society to have a fuller health care system for all. One which sees them not having to claim bankruptcy because of an unexpected life changing illness or hospital stay. It, BTW also helps pay for other services and infrastructure through out the country. In some cases sure it could do a better job, would never deny that but over all not having some of those worries, especially as we age, sure makes life somewhat less stressful.

    Another difference, I guess, is the minimum wage between the two countries. So yes though the taxes may be higher, so too is the basic wage system.

    “If that is what you like then more power to you, each country has it’s advantages I guess…”

    Thanks and yes I’m sure both very much do. There is much I do like about the U.S. or rather certain parts of the U.S. In fact my sister lives there.

    Also one of my past family clients moved there, back in 2000, because the husband was offered a new position through his company to an area which had some excellent autism services. At the time the amount covered for their son was lower then it is now, as such much of my, and the other therapist, fees were paid out of pocket. Part of the deal by the company was to help cover extra costs, to sweeten the deal.

    Have a wonderful week.

    • sueann173
    • March 11th, 2009

    I did enjoy my stay in BC, I like the cooler climate.

    I don’t share your feelings about socialized medicine.
    The plan they are pushing here is modeled after the British system, which means health care rationing, that also means the old won’t get the care they need.

    This country is, unfortunately attempting to slide down the socialist drain. I would be all for a return to the government our founding fathers had intended. The one were the states had all the power, there wasn’t a private bank in charge of the money and the federal government was only responsible for interstate commerce and defense of our borders.

    Take care
    S

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