Christin Milloy:

Rise up and seize equality

Author Archives: Christin Scarlett Milloy

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Are Trans Women Real Women?

A couple of stories have come out recently about incidents where cis women commentators have courted controversy by opining that Trans women aren’t “real” women, on the grounds that we have (to some degree) lived experience of male privilege. Morgan Page‘s excellent response article on BuzzFeed thoroughly addressed the ideological conflict between Second Wave feminists versus trans women, placing […]

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Ontario Claims Health Cards Dropped Gender—They Didn’t. Read This Before You Renew

In a surprise announcement in June 2016, the Ontario Liberal government stated they were immediately removing gender markers on all newly-issued provincial “OHIP” health cards: Welcome news for trans people and feminists in Ontario. An OHIP card is required to access healthcare, and like all documents with gender markers, they had caused many problems for […]

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Transgender Uterus Transplant: My Body, My Choice (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1… Where Swedish doctors had ignited in my mind the somewhat-realistic prospect of some day being able to carry a pregnancy, a trio of Canadian doctors appeared and made quick effort to snuff that prospect out. In 2012, the three doctors (all men) from the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 3 Comments

Transgender Uterus Transplant: My Body, My Choice (Part 1)

As a liberal and a feminist, I am fiercely pro-choice. I believe each individual has an inalienable human right to autonomy over their own body, a right that should be protected. I find it reprehensible that patriarchal legislators, overwhelmingly men, would abuse the power of law to limit a person’s access to modern reproductive health […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 1 Comment

Healthcare Heirarchy Holds up Heroine’s Hormones (a Tirade)

Editor’s note: Temporary disruption in access to hormone replacement therapy in trans women can result in medium-to-long and angry blog posts. If symptoms persist, contact a doctor, because legally you have no gods-damn choice. In Part 1 of this story, we heard how my doctor retired a year ago, and his clinic randomly ceased renewing […]

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Here’s How I Was Banned From Voting Membership in Pride Toronto

After I publicly resigned from my volunteer role with Pride Toronto, Executive Director Mathieu Chantelois and members of Pride’s then-current Board of Directors opted to strip me of my Pride Toronto membership— Despite my hundreds of hours of volunteer work over two years, and my vested interest in the future of Pride. Pride Toronto Memberships […]

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Apparently They Can Just Take Away Your Hormone Therapy at Any Time without Warning

I am trapped in the middle of an evolving bureaucratic nightmare, my health hanging in the balance, and Ontario’s medical system largely to blame. I’m a transgender woman and I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for nine years, with the exception of one eight-month period quite a while ago during which I had to temporarily stop HRT in order […]

Posted in News | 1 Comment

The Perils of the Plus-One: A How-To for Poly-Friendly Event Organizers

I’m polyamorous or “poly.” I have two romantic partners at the moment, and I’ve had as many as four at one time. I love each partner in different ways, and they in turn show me different sides of the same wonderful universe. For me, the magic of love and romance has been multiplied and I’m probably never going back […]

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Air Canada Accidentally Bans Fictional Sci-Fi Device that Doesn’t Actually Exist

While travelling recently, I learned that Air Canada has updated their rules for dangerous baggage in reaction to recent safety concerns arising from small, high-powered lithium ion battery packs and their tendency to explode on a random basis. Such batteries and the devices that use them are now banned, even in checked baggage. To train staff on the […]

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2016 “Equal Pay” Campaign Explicitly Featured Trans Woman to Prove an Important Point

Europe’s “Equal Pay Now” organization made a splash on International Womens’ Day back in March by releasing an ad on YouTube featuring a trans woman. The video, prepared by Brussels-based ad agency mortierbrigade (brand in lowercase), is designed to bring attention to Equal Pay Day and tackle the gender wage gap: The difference in average earnings […]

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Welcome to the Restrooms of the Future

Imagine, if you will, that you feel nature’s call one day in a public place. Following the arrow on the sign marked Restrooms, you round a corner and come upon two doors. To your mild surprise, neither door carries the traditional “pants” or “dress” emoji that you’re used to seeing. You take a moment to […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | Leave a comment

An Open Letter to the Racist Lady in the Blue Jays T-shirt

Dear Toronto Blue Jays fan lady (with the reddish-dyed hair), who I met on Front Street last Sunday afternoon, You don’t know me, but my friend and I met you briefly on our way to Union Station. You and your companion were dressed like you were coming from the baseball game, along with the rest […]

Posted in Letters, Opinion | 1 Comment

Why Star Trek is Always the Most Important Show on Television

There is a very special place in space and time that (to me) symbolizes diversity, and always will. Three white men are in charge of it, although one is slightly greenish and has pointed ears. A Japanese man drives for them, and a black woman answers their phones. There’s a Scottish repair man, and they have a Russian […]

Posted in Opinion, Star Trek | 1 Comment

Rachel Dolezal Drops New Bombshell: “I’m Also Transgender”

In 2015, the story of Rachel Dolezal went viral when it emerged that the leader of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP was in fact a white woman posing as black, after she was revealed publicly by her parents. In the wake of the revelation, she was compared by many on Twitter to transgender people such as […]

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Transgender: Get “Female” Canadian Passport With “Male” Birth Certificate and NO Medical Documentation, Here’s How

Today I am the proud holder of a fully valid, non-provisional, five-year Canadian Passport, bearing my actual gender (female) as opposed to the gender I was assigned from birth without my consent (male). The kicker: I got it without showing medical documentation, no doctor’s or psychiatrist’s letter, even though my birth certificate still says “male” […]

Posted in How-Tos, News | 4 Comments

For a Model of How Companies Should Handle Trans Discrimination, Look to KFC and Lyft

Employment horror stories are tragically common for transgender people, just look at the transgender unemployment rate. So with so many companies and businesses doing it wrong, it’s reassuring to notice when some companies get things right. Last week, a woman named Georgia Carter reported she was interviewed, hired, and then almost immediately fired by a […]

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8 Funny Shareable ‘Star Trek’ Valentine Cards

These eight valentines are for the Star Trek fan with truly discerning taste when it comes to the more recent cinematic contributions to the franchise. You know, the ones by JJ Abrams. These are designed for and dedicated to my beloved, the brilliant and beautiful V.W., but all Star Trek fans are welcome and free […]

Posted in Letters, Reviews, Star Trek | 9 Comments

Salacious Personal Details about My Sexy Trans Body

I’ve covered many trans topics, but unlike some other trans writers I have shied away from sharing personal thoughts and feelings about my body (even when asked). In particular, I’ve insistently refused to publicly disclose my surgical status: Whether I am post-, pre-, or non-operative. In other words, whether the body of this woman includes its factory-original penis […]

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I Want to Believe… That X-Files Didn’t Just Pull the Trans Prostitute Trope

Recently resurrected fan favorite The X-Files sent itself a love letter this week in the form of “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” the third episode of the 10th season we waited 14 years to see. The show takes great joy in this episode, parodically lambasting many of its ’90s-era monster-of-the-week outings. In those occasional money-saving trips into the bush, Mulder and […]

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Volunteers Needed for National Transgender Voting Rights Campaign

If you’re a Canadian citizen, you have the right to vote. Being Transgender shouldn’t change that, and activists across Canada have joined together to set up a non-partisan organization to ensure that every Trans person who wants to vote, can. The project is called Trans Vote Canada, with the web domain votingwhiletrans.ca. It’s about helping every Trans person […]

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Three Months Later, Pride Toronto “Dyke” and “Trans” Trademark Applications Are Still Active

It has been just over three months since Pride Toronto applied for legal trademark ownership over the terms “Dyke March” and “Trans* Pride.” Following national outrage from Dyke and Trans* organizations, Pride Toronto promised to withdraw those trademark applications in a statement published on July 19th. “Over the next few days, our organization will work […]

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Happy ThanksQueering— Maybe

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” blog. This is the time of year when we’re encouraged to think about surrounding ourselves with the love and support of our family. The trouble is, as many queer people can tell you (and many more would prefer not to discuss), when you’re one of the interesting people, family […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 2 Comments

All-Genders Underwear Has Arrived: Play Out Celebrates Semi-Nude Diversity

Are you ever frustrated that the underwear that actually fits your body’s shape isn’t gendered the way you would want it to be? Panties too feminine for your taste? Boxers or briefs too masculine? If you’re not into society’s stereotypes for how you should dress your body, the limited underwear market is enough to make some of us want to go naked in […]

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Pride Toronto has Applied for Corporate Trademark Ownership of “Dyke March” and “Trans Pride”

An edited version of this article originally appeared in NOW Toronto Magazine. Public records on the website for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, which manages Canada’s Trademark registry, reveal that Pride Toronto has applied to take corporate ownership of the terms “Dyke March” and “Trans* Pride.” Records also show that Pride Toronto is the first […]

Posted in News, Published Work | 2 Comments

My Open Letter of Resignation from Pride Toronto

To Whom it May Concern, With heavy heart, I find it necessary to publicly submit my resignation from Pride Toronto, in my capacity as the unpaid volunteer Team Lead of the Trans Pride Team. When I was asked to join this team in March of 2014 in the lead-up to WorldPride, following years of enmity […]

Posted in Letters, News | 49 Comments

Best Transgender Hate Mail of 2014

In my years as an activist and writer, I’ve received a lot of positive support and feedback from thoughtful, amazing readers all over the world. And then there are these people. Here’s a sampling of some of the best material donated by generous souls who’ve sought to share their competing views with me. Thanks for […]

Posted in Letters, News | 7 Comments

Pride Toronto Announces 2015 Trans* Pride March Route: Longer Than Pride Parade

Pride Toronto has published their info map, which confirms the routes for the Dyke March, Trans* Pride March, and the Pride Parade. Once again, both the Dyke March and Trans* Pride are enjoying routes which run longer than the Pride Parade itself, in recognition of the political struggles that remain for queer women and Trans* people. This year’s Pride […]

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When Editorial Policies Out Trans People, Discrimination Goes Unreported

Not everyone is able to be out and proud. Even now in 2015, for a significant portion of the trans population, being outed would mean being fired or disowned, made homeless, beaten or even killed. Or for some, just embarrassed and ashamed— But it’s not our place to judge strangers in their own circumstances. It must be left up to each person when […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | Leave a comment

We Get It, Barbara Kay: You Don’t Understand Gender and the Law

In a May 26 National Post Commentary entitled Sorry LGBT, sex and gender are not the same, Barbara Kay rails against efforts by Morgane Oger, a BC trans activist working to remove legal sex designation from birth certificates. Kay’s piece (which is specific to trans issues, but inexplicably addressed to “LGBT”) is only her latest salvo in a series of pieces where she consistently attacks the legitimacy of trans […]

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Don’t Confuse Trans Women’s Assertiveness With “Male Energy”

This article first appeared in Slate’s Outward blog. According to some Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, trans women exhibit male entitlement through oppressive behaviors of dominance and misogyny, and by just generally continuing to be dicks. They’re also pretty quick to define any assertive action by a trans woman as being evidence of “male energy” or entitlement. That position […]

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Pride Toronto to Provide Free Accessible Meeting Space to Grassroots Trans* Orgs, All Year-Round

In the latest of several announcements about improvements to Pride Toronto’s outreach to grassroots elements of the Trans* community, the organization responsible for Toronto’s Pride Festival has come up with a way to support Trans* communities not only during the Pride festival, but all year round. Grassroots Trans* organizations, such as social groups, Trans Lobby Group, the […]

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Never Been Done Before: Pride Toronto Announces First Annual Trans* Community Fair

Pride Toronto is creating a brand-new safer space for Trans* community members to find each other during the Pride Festival, and to access groups, services, and organizations that are “by trans, for trans.” The first annual Trans* Community Fair will operate in Norman Jewison Park, on the Friday of Pride Week, June 26th 2015. The […]

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Facebook Bans Disabled Trans Woman of Colour for Not Appearing Feminine Enough

If you follow social justice activism, then you may be fortunate enough to already be familiar with Kylie Brooks. Brooks is an activist, whose lived experience is as a black Deaf and disabled trans woman. Brooks routinely combines her stunning intersectional life experiences with brilliance and energy, sharing her thoughts and experiences online, tirelessly educating others about important issues. Last […]

Posted in News | 49 Comments

City of Toronto Pays Funds to Country where Women Forbidden to Own Property, Gay Men Sentenced to Prison and Whipping

This article originally appeared in Daily Xtra. The City of Toronto is paying hundreds of dollars in public funds each year, to a foreign country where the civil rights of women are severely curtailed—And where gay men face imprisonment and whipping. These payments from the City’s budgets are part of a misguided attempt by City of Toronto officials to boost the social […]

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Pride Toronto Announces Improved Gender-Free Restroom Policy

“Restrooms should be offered gender-free.” Starting in 2015, that is the official rule whenever Pride Toronto’s policies involve restrooms. Pride has supported gender-free restrooms, as a general practice, for some time: The festival site has always provided non-gendered portable facilities, and Pride​ routinely de-genders the restrooms at venues hosting official Pride events. However, this is the first time […]

Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Comments

How Not to Talk to a Trans Person About Your Establishment’s Bathrooms

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” blog. I recently had a negative experience and the opportunity to reflect on it. I was at a friend’s birthday party at a Toronto club. After checking my coat, I proceeded to the restrooms. I watched a man go in one and a woman enter the other. Checking the […]

Posted in How-Tos, Opinion, Published Work | 1 Comment

Pride Toronto Offers Free Advertising & Promotion for Grassroots Trans* Community at Pride 2015

The second public Town Hall meeting by Pride Toronto’s Trans* Pride Team, for Pride 2015, was held on Saturday, February 7th, and started off with the announcement of an exciting and unprecedented outreach initiative intended to leverage Pride Toronto’s resources to benefit the Trans* community at large. Pride Toronto began the meeting by acknowledging the amazing work put in over many years […]

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Canadian Blood Services’ Policy is that Trans Women are Men

This article was originally published by Ricochet Media. Transgender People are collateral damage in Canadian Blood Services’ continuing discrimination against gay blood, says the trans community. Canadian Blood Services’ (CBS) presently maintains a policy of banning blood donations from MSM (“Men who have Sex with Men”), even in the midst of a critical blood shortage, which […]

Posted in News, Published Work | 1 Comment

TD Bank Locks Trans Customers Out of Accounts

This article originally appeared in DailyXTRA. A TD Bank Group employee shut out a Toronto trans woman from her bank accounts and credit card because he didn’t like the sound of her voice on the phone, the woman alleges. “I got locked out of all my accounts because . . . my voice wasn’t completely perfect,” […]

Posted in News, Published Work | 5 Comments

Dear UPS: You Fail to Deliver

TO: UPS Canada 1022 Champlain Avenue Burlington, ON L7L 0C2 Dear Sir, Madam, or Gentleperson, With regret, it is my somber duty to inform you that the man who serves my condominium building, in the capacity of UPS delivery person, is a douchenozzle ignoramus extraordinaire. I’ve spoken to a few of my fellow residents, and […]

Posted in Letters | 2 Comments

Today I Am a Pimp

This article was originally published as an op-ed in Ricochet, Canada’s crowd-funded non-corporate news source. Last week, I was a law-abiding citizen. (Alright, I customarily jaywalk, but that’s it.) Today, I am a pimp. That’s right, I’m “living off the avails of prostitution,” and this is my confession. Perhaps I should clarify. My beloved partner […]

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Remember What’s Important on Trans Day of Remembrance

Originally published as a guest editorial in DailyXTRA. The International Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is upon us, a day set aside to memorialize those who have been killed in the past year as victims of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, in Canada and worldwide. Internationally it’s set to take place in “late November,” honouring Rita Hester, a trans woman […]

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I’ve Got the Transgender, No Photo ID, Can’t Get a Mortgage Approval Blues

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” blog. Recently, I came close to losing thousands of dollars—and my new home—when a real-estate deal nearly fell through over issues with government-issued identity documents. Problems I would not have had if I’d once possessed the foresight to avoid being born with my genitalia turned inside out. You see, after I determined what […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | Leave a comment

Why My Hat Says “BOY” on It

You may have seen these hats around: baseball caps, most commonly black, with “BOY” printed or embroidered on the front panel. I’ve seen a version that also has “GIRL” printed on the underside of the visor. On the websites that sell them, the hats are most commonly seen on men. Interestingly, though, in the real world, you will […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 3 Comments

An Open Letter About my Birth Certificate Application

TO: Office of the Registrar General c/o ServiceOntario 189 Red River Road PO Box 4600 Thunder Bay ON P7B 6L8 CC: Glen Murray MPP 120 Carlton Unit #318 Toronto ON M5A 4K2 RE: An Open Letter, About my Birth Certificate Application Dear Registrar General and to whom it may concern, This letter, delivered in conjunction […]

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South Park Takes on Trans Issues … and It’s Great

This article first appeared, complete with video clips, in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” Blog. When we found out South Park was doing an entire episode about gender identity this season, a few of my trans friends were worried we were about to become the joke of the week. After all, the show has mishandled the issue in the past. Most famously, […]

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Beware the Chasers: “Admirers” Harrassing Trans People

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” blog. There are cis people whose primary sexual attraction is to trans people. I’ve seen this described as “trans-oriented” or “trans-attracted,” and many such people self-identify as trans “admirers.” Unfortunately, a great many admirers demonstrate misogyny and transmisogyny. When these badly behaved admirers actively seek out trans partners and inflict their disrespectful nonsense on us, we call them “chasers.” What’s […]

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Why I Don’t Ride The Night Bus

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” blog. I was stranded downtown at 2:47 a.m. I had lingered too long with someone I enjoy spending time with, and the subway was closed. It was too late to prevail on a friend for a couch to crash on. So I was stuck, far from home, with […]

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Post-Office Parcel Pickup Added to List of Services Trans* People Can Be Barred from Accessing

It was plain bad luck that the mail carrier happened to arrive with my package during the 10 minutes per hour when my condominium’s concierge security was out doing his rounds. With me at work, and nobody there to sign for my package, off it went to the local post-office. I discovered this when I received a pick-up slip, in lieu […]

Posted in News | 4 Comments

Toronto City Hall Could See Trans* Flag raising: Help Needed to Make it Happen

The Trans* community in Toronto has a big opportunity this year, the chance to achieve a Trans* flag raising at City Hall for Transgender Day of Remembrance… but it can only happen with cooperation, community consultation, and the free sharing of ideas. Every November 20th is the international Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s a day to memorialize those who have been […]

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Should Gender Be a Non-Required Field?

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” Blog. Imagine you are filling out a form. You begin by inputting your name, and date of birth, but then you come across this: Please select your species.* Turtle  Duck *Required Field Neither of these options applies to you, but … it’s a required field. What do you do? You need to submit […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 3 Comments

How-To: Three Simple Ways to “Upgrade” Gender in Forms and Data Collection

Maybe you’re an awesome executive at a super-cool agency, or perhaps the data officer at a forward-thinking not-for-profit doing work in LGBTQ communities. Maybe you’re just interested in improving accessibility, by removing the default mandatory requirement of gender specification on your forms. Since you’re already here, you probably already know the reasons why gender shouldn’t be a required field. So instead, here’s […]

Posted in How-Tos | 2 Comments

That Feeling When your Employer Includes and Accepts You

This post originally appeared in the Klick Culture & Engagement Blog. As a web developer, I don’t meet directly with the bigwigs very often, but if I had to guess before joining Klick how often that would be, I would have said “never.” However, Klick’s senior partners live by the philosophy that every employee might offer valuable […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 1 Comment

Trans* Pride Team at Pride Toronto Announces Dates for Next Two Community Town Hall Meetings

In an effort to step up community consultation, enhance organizational transparency, and more effectively engage Toronto’s Trans* community in decisions about how Trans* Pride is handled during the annual Pride festival, Pride Toronto’s Trans* Pride Team has announced dates for the next two public consultation meetings… and they’re coming a lot sooner than you might expect. […]

Posted in News | 1 Comment

TRANS*Vision Episode 2: Memorial Destroyed by City, Rebuilt

This week on Trans*Vision: Toronto’s grassroots Trans* Memorial, callously destroyed. Who is responsible? And, a community in mourning responds, rebuilds, and makes a pledge. Last week we reported on the creation of a grassroots memorial, a place for the Trans* Community to reflect on those lost each year to murder and suicide… and inspire activism […]

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TRANS*Vision Episode 1: Toronto Grassroots Trans* Memorial

Toronto Trans* community members have set up a new Memorial, to remember those we’ve lost to violence, and oppression. But the future of the new memorial is not yet certain. After waiting fruitlessly for the City of Toronto and the 519 Community Center to respond to calls for a permanent Trans* memorial, the Trans* community this week took matters […]

Posted in News, TRANS*Vision | Leave a comment

Klick Camp and Awesome Work Culture

This post originally appeared in Klick Health’s “Agency Mojo” Blog, and in the Klick Culture & Engagement Blog. I’ve been a Web Developer at Klick Health for nine moths now, and right from the start, I’ve always felt “at home” here. I know a lot of my co-workers feel the same way. On the weekend of June 13th, […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 2 Comments

Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” Blog. Imagine you are in recovery from labour, laying in bed holding your infant. In your arms you cradle a stunningly beautiful, perfect little being. Completely innocent and totally vulnerable, your baby is entirely dependent on you to make all the choices that will define their life for many years […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 34 Comments

Local Activist to Hold Emergency Meeting in bid to Unify the Two Separate Trans* Marches

UPDATE: The meeting address has changed. It’s here, at 1PM: Ryerson Student Centre 55 Gould Street, Toronto ON, M5B1E9, Toronto, Ontario M5B1E9 Two Trans* Marches? Again!? WTF? For those who may not be aware, there’s the big long one on Yonge Street, Trans* Pride March and Rally at WorldPride 2014, and then there is The Trans March 2014, organized […]

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Conservative Senator Caught in Bald-Faced Lie in attack on Human Rights Bill

The Honourable Donald Neil Plett needs to get his facts straight… Or perhaps he was deliberately counting on the ignorance of those who were listening to him speak in yesterday’s Senate debate. The subject was bill C-279, which would finally give equal human rights protections for Gender Identity at the Federal level in Canada. If […]

Posted in News | 20 Comments

Is it Natural to be Queer?

This article first appeared in Slate Magazine’s “Outward” Blog. When people debate equal rights for queer people, it often comes down to an argument over whether or not being queer is “natural.” Or if you prefer, whether it is changeable or unchangeable. Let’s answer this question once and for all. Many argue fiercely over whether queerness (or lack thereof) is an […]

Posted in Opinion, Published Work | 1 Comment

UPDATE: Wheel-Trans Stops Collecting Gender, Revamps Name-Change Policy, Trains Staff!

Two weeks ago, we learned of Kylie Brooks, a Deaf and Disabled Trans* Woman resident in Toronto. Kylie shared her story of frustration, uncertainty and confusion surrounding the treatment she received in a phone conversation with Wheel-Trans customer service, when she requested to have her gender identity and preferred name respected by the TTC Wheel-Trans […]

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Disabled Trans* Woman Hit with Name-Change Discrimination by TTC Wheel-Trans Service

Transphobia and Ableism are bad enough individually, but Disabled Trans* people face double trouble. In this case, a service specially designed to accommodate Disabled people was made inaccessible to one woman, when her request to have Wheel-Trans use her preferred name was met with confusion and apparent refusal. Kylie Brooks (who has given consent for the publication of […]

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Trans* March 2014 is Legal and Longest Ever – Permit for Yonge St, from Bloor to Dundas Square!

Pride Toronto’s Trans* Pride Team announced their route today, and it’s very exciting indeed. This year’s Trans* March is longer than Dyke March. It’s even longer than the Pride Parade itself. In recent years, Trans* activists have taken on the city over the problems with the Trans* March route. All of the hard work has clearly paid […]

Posted in News | 1 Comment

The Top 19 Questions People Always Ask a Trans* Person

There are other Trans* FAQs out there, but none of them really address the true interests of the general public—at least based on these questions which I get asked on a semi-regular basis. So, as a public service, I do hereby present this list which fairly captures the essence of the many uncomfortable conversations I […]

Posted in How-Tos, Opinion, Published Work | 55 Comments

#FreeAvery Highlights 4 Systemic Trans* Human Rights Violations by Canadian Government

Our federal government has failed us again. Avery Edison is a comedian and writer from London, England. After landing in Canada Tuesday, she ran into a border nightmare with Canadian Border Services Agents (customs) which resulted in her being arrested and detained at a men’s prison facility, in a case of anti-Trans* discrimination so egregious […]

Posted in News | 6 Comments

Source: Ontario Registrar has Rejected More than Half of Sex-Designation Requests, Including Mine—and they Shredded my Birth Certificate!

Trans* people who were born in Ontario can apply to the Registrar General’s Office (part of the Ontario Ministry of Government Services) to have the Sex designation on their Birth Certificate changed to reflect their Gender Identity. At least, they can try. Information from within the Registrar General’s office, which I have obtained from a […]

Posted in News | 12 Comments

NoRobo Campaign Launches Interactive Election Fraud Atlas of Canada

Very exciting news tonight. My NoRobo Co. Team colleagues and I have deployed a Beta version of our Interactive Election Fraud Atlas of Canada, available online at stopelectionfraud.ca. This interactive data visualization tool aggregates reports from hundreds of court testimonials and news articles, organized by electoral district (by riding), and allows a visual comparison of reported […]

Posted in News | 3 Comments

U.S. Genderqueer Denied Entry to Visit Canadian Partner; Officers See Therapist Letter, Question Mental Health

Very disturbing information has emerged about an incident which recently occurred at the Peace Bridge, one of the road crossings along the Canada / U.S. border, at the hands of Canada’s federal Border Services Agency (CBSA). Toby, 25, is an American citizen and resident of New York state. Identifying as genderqueer, Toby does not use gendered […]

Posted in News | 15 Comments

Here’s the Scoop on Toronto Trans* March 2013

Toronto’s Trans* March has a short and controversial history. As plans take shape for 2013’s “Pride” week, the controversy has re-ignited. Once again, the hot-button issue: what is the appropriate route for a march that champions the causes of equality, and visibility for Trans* people in Canada and worldwide? As Canadian Trans* people (and a […]

Posted in News | 5 Comments

London Community News Pokes Fun at Transgender Youth Council Candidate on Medical Leave for SRS

Kaylie Sorrenti, a young heroine in London, Ontario, is currently vying for a seat on London’s Youth Advisory Council (LYAC). She’s running on a platform which includes, among other things, better acceptance of diversity in London. “I come from a (youth advocacy) background, and run a weekly support group for (trans*-identified adolescents) who have issues […]

Posted in News | 12 Comments

Ontario Registrar is Stonewalling Trans* Birth Cert Applicants; Citing False, Unpublished Requirements

Once upon a time, a legal change of sex was available in Ontario only to those Trans* persons who could prove with documentation that they had completed “transsexual surgery.” Early in 2012, that requirement was found to be discriminatory in a human rights ruling. Consequently, the Ontario Registrar General was given six months to provide […]

Posted in News | 6 Comments

Transgender Day of Remembrance, a Brief Statement

Yesterday, November 20th, was the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). This is the day that the LGBT community and allies gather together to remember all of the trans people who have been lost in the world this year due to acts of violent transphobia, or due to suicide (which is rampant problem in the […]

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Steal From My Family and You Will Go to Jail (As this Thief Did)

I have just had a whirlwind twenty-four hours, beginning with a minor tragedy, followed soon with a hard-won reversal, and culminating in the sweetest of victories. Saturday, October 20th, Midnight My closest associate is [Fake name: Megatron]. They’re my co-conspirator in life, my emotional support all these years, and as close to me as any […]

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Prospective Mother Required to Have Unwanted Sex with Queer Sperm Donor by Government Regulations

I recently became aware, through a reader, of a rather disturbing story developing in the Province of Ontario. [EDIT – It is unclear whether the regulations in question are in fact Provincial, as they were described, or Federal, originating with Health Canada. I am currently performing additional research.] The details are 100% true, however the […]

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How-To: Prevent Your Name Change From Being Published (!) By the Government of Ontario

This article pertains to residents of  Ontario, Canada. Note that you do not have to be born in Ontario, or even in Canada, to legally change your name through this process—you just have to be a resident here. If you’re a Trans* person (my use of “Trans*” explained here), it is very possible that your […]

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New Ontario Legal Sex Change Requirements a Huge Disappointment for Most Trans* People

Some of Ontario’s Trans* community are celebrating this week, as Service Ontario has released a revised set of legal sex change rules which no longer require surgery. This came as the result of a Human Rights Tribunal ruling which occurred in April. However, as the new forms reveal, the Government struck back against the ruling […]

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Bathroom Fearmongering Conservative MP Launches Anti-Trans Petition

Conservative MP Rob Anders (Calgary West) has reached out to his constituents and local church pastor with a petition against C-279, the federal bill that would add human rights protections based on “Gender Identity,” and which passed second reading in June. His petition, unsurprisingly, appeals to the transphobic “bathroom argument.” In Anders’s view, C-279 will […]

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Trans Ontarians: Update the Sex on your OHIP Card and Prepare to Die* for your Cause

This article has nothing to do with the question of government funding for SRS. While that is a very important issue to be sure, there are still other considerations which are of equal importance for trans and genderqueer persons looking to change their ID in Ontario. Now that Ontario will very shortly be forced to […]

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Proud Life: Kyle Scanlon

NOTE: This was published in XTRA Toronto (with minor edits) on Friday, July 20th 2012, along with a lovely photo of Kyle Scanlon. The community said goodbye to celebrated activist and community leader Kyle Scanlon in a touching public memorial Thursday, July 19th. Kyle took his own life on July 3rd. “Kyle changed people’s lives,” […]

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Ontario Name Change Form Directs Trans People to a Dead Email Address

It came to light this afternoon that the Ontario Registrar General is directing transgender applicants to a dead email address. The problem is on the form for requesting a name change. The error on this form only affects trans people, due to the context in which it appears. Normally, by law all name changes must […]

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Secret Selves is a Secret Worth Revealing

NOTE: This was published in XTRA National on July 4th, 2012, as Allowing Secret Selves with minor edits. I try to avoid forming preconceived notions, but when I was asked to review Jamie Johnson’s Secret Selves, I felt a twinge of scepticism. As a self-published book by a first-time author, it raised warning flags and I initially […]

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The UNAUTHORIZED Trans* March of Toronto’s Pride Week

I want to draw some attention to an excellent street march event which is set to take place in Toronto tomorrow, Friday June 29th. The UNAUTHORIZED Trans* March of Toronto’s Pride Week is billed as an opportunity for Trans* (transgender and transsexual), Genderqueer, and other gender variant people and their allies to get out into the […]

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The True Nature of Opposition to Toby’s Act (Christin Milloy’s Committee Deputation on Bill 33)

What follows is the written version of the oral deputation I delivered this afternoon (Monday, June 11th) to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Social Policy, at Queen’s Park in Toronto. The committee met today for one afternoon to discuss Toby’s Act (Bill 33) in advance of its third reading (and anticipated passing) this Wednesday […]

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UPDATE: Federal Gender Identity bill passes second reading

NOTE: Carried as Feature Story in XTRA National, UPDATE: Federal gender identity bill passes second reading. In a late vote last night, Randall Garrison’s C-279 has passed second reading by a vote of 150 to 132. Several Conservative MPs were among those who rose in support for trans and gender variant Canadians. “I’m excited, but it’s […]

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Federal Trans Human Rights Bill Hangs by a Thread, Vote Scheduled Wednesday

NOTE: This article was published by XTRA on June 6th as MPs to vote on federal trans rights bill. On Friday June 1st, the House of Commons resumed debate for second reading of C-279, “An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression).” Currently, murders and […]

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Toby’s Act Likely to Become Law in Time for Pride—Full Details, and Next Steps

Thursday (May 10th) was a day of celebration for members of Ontario’s trans community. Toby’s Act had been expected by trans activists to pass second reading without much trouble, but none of us predicted such a dramatic outpouring of support from the members of our provincial parliament. I was as professionally impressed as I was […]

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SIN Registration Refuses Mediation—Trans ID Discrimination Complaint Proceeds to Investigation Stage

As previously reported, in January I filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) against the Ministry of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), after months of failed attempts to persuade them to change the gender marker on my SIN record. After the complaint was accepted, HRSDC was given a time frame of ten […]

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The Economic Case To Support Ontario’s Bill-33 (Toby’s Act)

For better or worse (opinions vary), we have a Human Rights Code in Ontario. Toby’s Act is the chance to vote for, or against, new explicit inclusion of a “ground” which is already implicitly covered. Bill 33 (Toby’s Act) will very slightly amend the Human Rights Code (HRC), to explicitly mention “Gender Identity and Expression” […]

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C-26—Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act

Summary: Bill C-26 strengthens provisions allowing for Canadians to use self-defence to protect themselves, others, and their property. Decision: Christin Milloy would vote YEA on C-26. (41st Parliament, 1st Session) Explanation: Bill C-26 was sponsored by Conservative MP Robert Goguen. The bill at the time of this writing has already completed its readings in the House and has also passed […]

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Kitchener-Waterloo By-Election is a Chance to Spread Message of Liberty

Elizabeth Witmer can be said to have been one of the few truly progressive MPPs left in the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. Now that Witmer has resigned her position as MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo, not just her seat, but control of the entire provincial legislature hangs in the balance. Last October, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals came up […]

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Another Pageant Convinced to Revise Anti-Trans Rules

A month ago, the Jenna Talackova Miss Universe Canada disqualification controversy brought transphobic beauty pageant rules under mass public scrutiny for the first time ever. However, trans activists had already been aware of the now notorious “born female” pageant rule since long before that. The (apparently ubiquitous) anti-trans regulation is hardly limited to the Miss Universe […]

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Surgery No Longer Required to Change Sex on Ontario Birth Certificate; Tribunal Ruling Epic Win for Trans Ontarians

Today the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal issued a ruling, declaring that the portion of the Vital Statistics Act requiring “proof of transsexual surgery” as a pre-requisite to changing the sex designation on an Ontario Birth Certificate is a human rights violation. As first reported by Andrea Houston at XTRA, The Ontario provincial government has been […]

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Miss Universe Ditching Anti-Trans Rule a Sign of Change in Public Attitudes

Note: This article was published in XTRA (slightly edited) as Donald’s pageant trumps our legislators on trans rights on April 12th 2012. This has been a big year so far for the advancement of trans people, and I’m not just referring to legislative efforts like C-279 and Toby’s Act. Take a look in the media. In […]

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C-309—Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identity during Riots and Unlawful Assemblies Act

Summary: Bill C-309 seeks to place limits on how we can and cannot express while exercising our freedoms of assembly and association. Decision: Christin Milloy would vote NAY on C-309. (41st Parliament, 1st Session) Explanation: If you show up at some protest in a mask, I might think you’re a hooligan. Then again, I might very well be the […]

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Results of Toronto-Danforth By-Election Are In!

The results of today’s Toronto-Danforth by-election have come in and, perhaps unsurprisingly, NDP Candidate Craig Scott has won the coveted seat in Canada’s Parliament in the riding of his predecessor, the well-loved late leader of the NDPs, Jack Layton. Watching the results stream in with my friend and colleague, Toronto-Danforth Libertarian Party candidate John Christopher Recker, […]

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C-10—Safe Streets and Communities Act

Summary: Bill C-10 is the wasteful, dangerous and costly “omnibus crime bill,” introduced by the Conservatives. Decision: Christin Milloy would vote NAY on C-10. (41st Parliament, 1st Session) Explanation: C-10 is a monster amalgamation of 9 separate bills, mostly old bills which the Conservatives were unable to pass in the previous minority parliament. Simply put, this bill is an […]

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C-279—An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression)

Summary: Bill C-279 seeks to add protections to the Canadian Human Rights Act for “Gender Identity” and “Gender Expression,” and into the Criminal Code to prosecute crimes motivated by transphobia as hate crimes. Decision: Christin Milloy would vote YES on C-279. (41st Parliament, 1st Session) Explanation: Some fundamental Libertarians take a steadfast position against Human Rights legislation of all […]

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C-11—An Act to amend the Copyright Act

Summary: Bill C-11 seeks to “modernize” Canada’s copyright act. Decision: Christin Milloy would vote NAY on C-11. (41st Parliament, 1st Session) Explanation: This bill does nothing but install limitations and restrictions on how Canadians use the Internet, and media which they’ve purchased and own. C-11 has provisions which could destroy the remix culture, limit free expression in other ways, and […]

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C-304—An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom)

Summary: Bill C-304 seeks to repeal sections 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Decision: Christin Milloy would vote YEA on C-304. (41st Parliament, 1st Session) Explanation: The Canadian Human Rights Act (“the Act”) protects equal opportunities for individuals who might otherwise become victims of discriminatory practices, based on a set prohibited grounds such as gender, disability, or religion. […]

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Toby’s Act is More Than Just Symbolic

Bill Would Give a Clear Guarantee of ‘Trans Rights’ Note: This article was published in XTRA (slightly edited) as Toby’s Act is More Than Symbolic on February 24th 2012. In a February 22nd editorial, Rob Salerno asks “Does insisting on enumeration actually reduce trans peoples’ civil rights?” Since “gender identity” and “gender expression” are already covered implicitly by the […]

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Toby’s Act is Back—New Ontario Parliamentary Bill Will Enshrine Trans Human Rights Protections into Law

Today in Ontario’s Provincial Parliament, at Queen’s Park in Toronto, MPP Cheri DiNovo has once again introduced Toby’s Act (Right to be Free from Discrimination and Harassment because of Gender Identity or Gender Expression). It was my privilege to be present at this historic event. This bill will enshrine into the Ontario Human Rights Code protections for trans people […]

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Human Rights Commission Agrees to Hear Trans ID Discrimination Complaint Against Social Insurance Registration

On January 9th, after months of prep work, I filed a human rights complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against Social Insurance Registration, because they refused to update the Gender designation on my SIN record. Three days ago, I received notification that the Commission has agreed to hear my complaint. The Ministry of Human Resources and Skills […]

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If No Trans Person Has Been Stopped at the Gate, Why is This Such a Big Deal? Here’s Why

Since the Trans Flight Ban story broke, the question has been asked repeatedly. “Has anyone actually been stopped?” Transport Canada’s response to this question hasn’t wavered. Spokespeople have echoed Minister Lebel’s earlier statements in the House, which were later repeated on February 7th by MP Pierre Polievre in the Tansport Committee Meeting: Transport Canada is not […]

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How-To: Apply For “Sex-Unspecified” Canadian Passport in Protest

Author’s note from the future: Please keep in mind that some of the information in this article is out-of-date. Please share this around Canadian civil liberty, and LGBT groups. I have chosen to apply to Passport Canada for a sex-unspecified passport. Here’s how you can too. Any Canadian may join in this protest. You should not need […]

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Motion To Repeal Trans Flight Ban is Defeated by Tories in Committee

Sadly, I must report that this morning’s vote did not go well in the meeting of Parliament’s Transport Committee. Olivia Chow’s motion to repeal article (c) of paragraph 5.2(1) (the transgender flight ban) was defeated in a vote of 6 to 5. Members voted along party lines. Here is the breakdown: NO – Adler – […]

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An Open Letter to Transport Committee and Concerned Members

As I covered in my blog yesterday, Transport Committee is currently debating a motion to repeal the air regulation. I decided to send the following urgent letter to the Conservative members of the committee, on behalf of the community, expressing concerns about the points raised in debate so far. TO: Lawrence Toet, Jeff Watson, Mark Adler, […]

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Trans Flight Ban is Heavily Debated by Transport Committee; MPs to Vote on Motion to Repeal

Yesterday morning, Parliament of Canada’s Transport Committee sat for a meeting. At 10:30AM, NDP MP Olivia Chow made a motion regarding everyone’s favourite Identity Screening regulation. From the meeting minutes: Olivia Chow moved, — That the Government repeals Section 5.2(1)c) of the Identity Screening Regulations under the Aeronautics Act which were introduced in August 2011 and which states that “An air carrier shall […]

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Detained at the Airport: One Trans Woman’s Horrifying Story

Several months before Transport Canada introduced their discriminatory ID regulation which, technically, completely bans almost all trans people from flying, one woman’s travel plans were turned into a terrible ordeal of nightmarish proportions—and all because the Canadian government denies trans people access to proper ID. Jennifer McCreath Meet Jennifer McCreath, from Newfoundland. She’s a marathon […]

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Transport Canada Caught in Misinformation — Response to Media Contained Embarrassing Error

Transport Canada responded on January 31st to inquiries made by XTRA reporter Andrea Houston regarding the Trans Flight Ban. In their response, Transport Canada attempted to justify the regulation by claiming it was part of the international standards set by ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation). The relevant portion of their response reads as follows: The security of passengers and […]

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Transgender People are Completely Banned From Boarding Airplanes in Canada

The shit hit the fan in the trans blogosphere last night, when it came to light that there is a disturbing new section in the Identity Screening Regulations used in airports throughout Canada. Simply put, Transgender People are Completely Banned From Boarding Airplanes in Canada. The offending section of the regulations reads: 5.2 (1) An air […]

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Human Rights Complaint Filed Against Canadian Government over Sex Discrimination in Social Insurance Registration Identification Practices

Six months ago, the Social Insurance Registration department at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada refused to update the gender designation on my SIN record. Since then, I’ve been fighting a pitched bureaucratic battle to correct that wrong. After 188 days, three requests filed under the Privacy Act, nine requests filed under the Access To […]

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PC Financial Issues New Training to Correct Discrimination Problem

I received an update on Friday (May 27), from my contact Vicki at CIBC on behalf of President’s Choice Financial services. With pleasure, I can now relate to you that CIBC/President’s Choice Financial has distributed new training messages to all front-line CSRs, intended to address the issue I first raised on May 14, that PC […]

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While PC Financial Fails Discrimination Test, TD Takes Active Steps to Support Trans Youth

TD Canada Trust just announced a brand new Trust Scholarship for Transgender Youth. (related post on Egale’s blog). While President’s Choice Financial fails spot-check tests for transgender discrimination, it’s nice to see another banking company step up, taking active steps to directly support trans youth. “The process started about a year ago,” said Jeffery White, […]

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PC Financial Takes Partial Steps to Correct Transgender Discrimination, More Is Needed

Today I spoke again with Vicki, my contact at PC Financial. Together we followed up on the issues I raised in my last post President’s Choice Responds, which continued the story from my original post President’s Choice Financial Discriminates Against Transgender People. First, she confirmed that she had received and processed my name change request […]

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President’s Choice Responds

Yesterday afternoon, I was contacted by a representative of PC Financial, in response to my previous blog post entitled President’s Choice Financial Discriminates against Transgender People. At 3:41, my mobile phone rang, the caller ID read as a 1-888 number associated with PC Financial (the same number I call when I do my telephone banking). […]

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President’s Choice Financial Discriminates Against Transgender People

UPDATE — TUESDAY MAY 17, 2011, 4:29PM I was contacted by phone today at 3:41PM by a very courteous representative of PC Financial. We spoke for about 30 minutes about potential strategies PC can apply to resolve this issue, and I made it clear we need to arrive at a solution which prevents anyone from […]

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Christin Milloy