Protecting My Rights

  1. What does LGBTQI2S discrimination look like?

    Discrimination is when someone is treated unfairly or unequally because of who they are or because of their circumstances; the discrimination may be based on one’s real or perceived identity within LGBTQI2S communities. Some discrimination is against the law – see below section on Trans-Inclusion & Gender Segregated Spaces.

    See also, the Ontario Human Right’s Commission explanatory video and information sheet on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights.

    If you are a trans-identified person, please note that some of the following items are discriminatory on the basis of your gender identity and/or gender expression.

    • When an individual purposefully chooses to not use the gender pronouns that correspond to, or best meet the needs of, your gender identity as you have requested. For example, refusing to switch from “she” to “he” when you have articulated that you identify as a boy/man, and that “he/him” are your identity-affirming pronouns; or, using a dehumanizing pronoun such as “it” to refer to you.
    • When an individual refuses to use your chosen, identity-affirming name and purposefully insists on referring to you with your birth-assigned name.
    • Removing or banning you from a gender segregated space that best aligns with, or best meets the needs of, your gender identity and/or gender expression. For example, forcing you to use the washroom designated for boys/men because of your birth assigned-sex, despite affirming your gender identity to be that of a girl/woman; or forcing you to use a gender neutral washroom when you have clearly articulated that you feel most safe, and comfortable using the washroom that aligns with your gender identity.
    • Purposefully outing you as transgender without your consent or permission to do so.
    • Harassment can also manifest as ‘teasing’ about personal, confidential information as it relates to transgender identities in ways that are invasive, and inappropriate. For example, teasing about whether or not you’ve undergone a “sex change operation” or asking if you are “pre-op” or “post-op”; or asking if you are “all woman” or “all man.”
    • Forcing the gender binary on you (in other words, refusing to acknowledge your non-binary identity as real and valid) despite your having clearly articulated that you identify outside of the gender binary. For example, purposefully refusing to use gender neutral pronouns when you have requested that they do so.

    For more information, visit the Ontario Human Rights Commission website’s information on Gender Identity and Gender Expression.


    How am I able to prove this?

    You need to speak to a lawyer for legal advice about your particular situation. Contact Justice for Children and Youth or the Human Rights Legal Support Centre about your particular situation. The examples above is not exhaustive of all types of discriminatory behaviour.