Not all Canadians now have clear and visible human rights protection. Trans-identified people are still invisible in human rights legislation everywhere in Canada except the Northwest Territories.
Trans people do have protection under the grounds of ‘sex’ and ‘disability,’ but the protection is unclear and invisible. Trans people shouldn’t have to fit themselves into grounds designed for other groups. It’s time for governments across Canada to treat trans people with the same dignity and respect as other minorities, starting with the federal government and its Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).
Egale has launched its Trans Protection Campaign to work for passage of legislation to amend the CHRA to explicitly include trans people. This will send a message to Canadians that trans people are worthy of equal consideration and respect, and will make clear to everyone that we are indeed protected.
Egale is raising awareness of this issue with Members of Parliament (MPs), as we expect a new private members bill to be introduced in this session of Parliament. There is much work to be done and WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
We have the legal, moral and political arguments we need to convince MPs to protect trans people. But we need to put a human face on this issue. That’s why we need your stories.
We want to hear about your life. We need to show there’s a real need for explicit protection against discrimination. That means we need not only need stories about things like losing a job or an apartment, but also stories to highlight the sense of exclusion or lack of consideration when you look at the law and don’t see yourself reflected in it. As one trans person told us, “I simply cannot point to a public recognition and acceptance of my life and value as a person.”
Telling your story is easy. All you have to do is provide answers to the questions below or write it up freeform, and send it to Egale at email@example.com.
These guidelines will help Egale put a human face on the need to protect trans people from discrimination.
The questions are intended to help make your story as full and descriptive as possible. Please feel free to answer only those questions you’re comfortable answering. Of course, Egale intends to make some of these stories public, but we can keep your name or other particulars confidential if you note that.
Please send your story (and pictures too if you like!) to Egale at:
mail: Egale Canada, 310 – 396 Cooper Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P
by fax: 613 230-9395
1. Personal description
b. Hair colour
c. Eye colour
d. What city do you live in?
2. Trans Identity. I identify as (check all that apply):
other (please specify) ________________
3. Childhood. Please tell us about your childhood, perhaps including details about your family and what you wanted to do when you grew up.
4. When did you become aware you’re a trans person?
5. What are your hopes, dreams or aspirations?
6. Have you ever felt limited by being a trans person?
7. Are you working? If so, what do you do?
8. Any name-calling or harassment you want to describe?
9. Any story of being denied a job or fired because you’re a trans person?
10. Any story of being denied an apartment or service because you’re a trans person?
11. If you’ve come out as a trans person, did you experience any harassment or discrimination?
12. Do you feel you have any legal protection against harassment or discrimination?
13. Human Rights Complaints. (Only applicable if you’ve suffered discrimination or harassment)
a. Did you ever consider making a human rights complaint?
b. If not, why not?
c. If so, what was the result?
14. Do you feel the government cares about you, understands you, or even knows you exist?
15. Anything else you want to tell us?
16. Contact info (optional, but will allow us to get additional information from you. All contact info will be kept confidential if provided)
17. Publication of your story
a. Other than contact information, any other information to keep private?
Please make sure you send us your story. Thanks so much for taking the time and trouble to make your voice heard!
Egale Canada ©2007