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Discrimination and LGBTQI2S Rights – LGBTQI2S Legal Rights

What does LGBTQI2S discrimination look like? 

Discrimination may be based on one’s real or perceived identity and membership within LGBTQI2S communities.

The Code protects against discrimination on many “grounds”, including:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression

For example, the Code says it’s illegal for you to be fired from your job or harassed at work because you are gay. The protected social area is employment and the protected ground is sexual orientation.

What does “Gender Identity”, “Gender Expression” and “Trans/Transgender” mean?

Gender Identity is each person’s internal and individual experience of gender.

Gender Expression is how a person publicly presents their gender.

Trans or Transgender is an umbrella term referring to people with diverse gender identities and expressions that differ from stereotypical gender norms.

Some examples of discrimination against Trans-identified persons on the basis of their gender identity and/or gender expression:

  • When someone 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 told them 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. Such as 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 told them 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 include being “teased” about personal, confidential information as it relates to transgender identities in ways that does not respect your privacy or in ways that are inappropriate; such as being teased about whether or not you’ve undergone a sex change operation, or by asking if you are “all female” or “all male”.
  • Forcing the gender binary on you (in other words, refusing to acknowledge your non-binary identity as real and valid) even after you tell them 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.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the Ontario Human Rights Commission website:

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