Interestingly enough, this is pretty much exactly what Jeremy suggested to me last fall. His idea was that schools should have a hallway with private single stall washrooms along one side (with full length doors) and common sinks on the other.
I posted on a forum I frequent and asked for comebacks on the “he looks like a half girl” comment. Quite a few were not suitable to say to a teenager but I got a couple of good ones. My favourites were…
“Why is that a bad thing?”
“Your shitty, archaic preconceived notions of gender roles [sic] make the baby Jesus cry.”
“Is there something wrong with girls?”
“How do you mean?” Then stare at her while she tries to explain.
My favourite comment from there didn’t come from that thread and (of course) I completely forgot to use it yesterday. “I’m surprised you feel comfortable saying that.”
By this time, Jeremy’s two nights into his youth gathering and I haven’t heard a word from him, which is good. That means he’s been too busy to text. One more night and then he’ll be on his way home. I’m curious to find out what they did and if he wore the only pair of pyjamas he packed or if he simply crashed in clothes for three nights. I’m hoping for pjs, I didn’t pack much in the way of clothes.
Also, here’s an article (and video) from CBC: Transgender blood donor turned away in Vancouver.
I’d hope this gets sorted out soon but, honestly, donating blood can be a crap shoot for anyone; their criteria is much too vague. I got turned away once because I admitted to taking vitamin B12 when asked about medication. Not injections, just the plain vitamin tablets sold in the drug store. They hadn’t been prescribed, I wasn’t anaemic, I simply started taking them on my own because I’m vegan. It floored the nurse, she’d never heard of anyone taking vitamin B12 before without it being injected by a doctor (I’ve seen the shelves at every drug store and find this hard to believe). No matter how many times I told her it wasn’t a prescription, it wasn’t injected, and I wasn’t anaemic, she kept insisting it was all three. I got sent away “just this once” as long as I talked to my doctor and got his permission. Verbal permission was fine too so theoretically I could have just shown up in another month and lied. I did talk to my doctor, who was confused why it would be an issue, and it wasn’t even brought up at the next donation. I’m taking B12 and D now and there’s no way in hell I’m letting the nurses know this at Canadian Blood Services.
Canadian Blood Services routinely turn away all men who have sex with another male, although they’ve relaxed their rules now. It used to be if they’ve had sex at any time, even once, since 1977 and now it’s in the past five years. Jeremy simply snorted when I told him this and said, “So they’re pretty much still banning every adult gay male.”
I personally think they should look more at promiscuity than gender, a woman who sleeps with someone whose sexual background is unknown can donate again within a year while a gay man who’s been in a monogamous relationship for the past twenty years can’t donate at all. But they didn’t ask me my opinion.
The picture links to an article titled Gendered symbols should be removed from Vancouver community centres, report says. This list is included in the article:
- All community centres should have at least one universal and accessible single-stall washroom for each activity area.
- The number of private stalls in men’s washrooms should be increased.
- Multiple single-stall universal washrooms should be created “when possible”.
- When new change rooms are developed at swimming pools, there should be separate men’s, women’s, and universal facilities.
- “Gendered symbols of bodies” should be removed “as much as possible” from signage.
- Men’s and women’s washrooms should indicate that trans and gender-variant users are welcome.
- Trans-inclusive stickers should be placed at entrances to facilities.
- A public education campaign, which would explain the use of the term “universal”, should be carried out before signage changes.
- There should be mandatory training on trans and gender-variant awareness and sensitivity for staff.
- Staff should be trained to have an increased ability to resolve conflicts relating to gendered spaces and to do so in manner that respects trans and gender-variant people and upholds their rights.
- Job postings should explicitly state that trans and gender-variant people are encouraged to apply.
- New drop-in programming times should be introduced for trans and gender-variant people and allies, with windows and viewing areas covered for attendees’ safety.
- Instructors should avoid using gendered language (“ladies and gentlemen”) as well as dividing people into groups based on perceived gender in class.
So far it’s just a report, it hasn’t happened yet, but hopefully they’ll use these recommendations soon. And even more hopefully, the rest of Canada will take note.