We Just Need to Pee
by lizzfowler on March 16, 2015 - 8:33pm
In October 2014, the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-279, which added gender identity as a basis for hate crimes under the criminal code under the Canadian Human Rights Act. This is very progressive of us, and I was proud to be a Canadian in a time where we were becoming closer to equality for everyone. Senator Donald Plett changed my mind. Plett, of the Conservative Party, proposed an amendment that would exempt Bill C-279 from applying in gendered public facilities, such as washrooms or changing rooms.
In response to the proposed amendment, many members of the trans community in Canada and the USA are standing up for the fact they have as much right to use public facilities comfortably as cis-gender individuals.
Many trans people across North America have taken to social media to express how ridiculous Plett's amendment is. Many, Including Brae Carnes, have posted pictures of themselves in facilities that match only their biological sex given at birth. The photo of Brae Carnes standing in front of a wall of urinals while holding a sign reading: "Plett put me here" is one that is disturbing and sad to look at.
As transgender citizens in certain US states are facing a similar issue and have taken to social media in a similar way but with the hashtag #WeJustNeedToPee.
To read more about Bill C-279 and Donald Plett: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lanesainty/trans-people-are-protesting-discriminatory-bathroom-laws?bffb&utm_term=4ldqphm#.aibodM0ZX
An organization working to improve the conditions of trans people in Montreal is ASTTEQ (Action Santé Transvesti(e)s & Transsexuel(le)s du Québec) who look to protect trans rights and prevent violence while also understanding the social problems that trans people face on a daily basis. Their website is here: http://www.astteq.org/index.html