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Discrimination and LGBTQI2S Rights – Trans-Inclusion & Gender Segregated Spaces

Protection in spaces and public services

The Ontario Human Rights Code protects all individuals from discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. Under the Code, there is a legal duty to accommodate the needs of people based on their gender identity or gender expression, unless it would cause “undue hardship”. Undue hardship is legal test that looks at many factors; you should discuss this with a lawyer.

Does my school have to make sure I have a trans-inclusive classroom and school community?

Schools must make changes to accommodate and provide an identity-affirming, discrimination-free learning environment for trans, non-binary, Two Spirit and gender variant students. These changes are to ensure integration and full participation in all aspects of the classroom and school community.

Do I have a right to use gender segregated spaces?

As a trans, non-binary, Two Spirit and/or gender variant person, you have the right to access gender segregated spaces that correspond with, or best meet your needs in relation to, your gender identity. Examples of these spaces: locker rooms, change rooms, washrooms and sports teams.

Alternative accommodations, such as a separate all-gender washroom or change room, are within your legal right to request. However, an alternative accommodation cannot be forced on you. You have a right to use the gender segregated space that best meets your self-identified needs in relation to your gender identity.

Where can I read more about this topic?

There are many resources available, including:

Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression by the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Policy on Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

Leading the Way: Working with LGBT Athletes and Coaches by Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity

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