The "washroom panic" line is a very successful, but ultimately mistaken method of derailing trans equality, and I hope that readers of Xtra will see through it. For those of us familiar with history, we may notice a similarity in it to arguments that "Queers shouldn't be around children."
That I am aware of, there are no laws in Canada at all about who can use what washroom. And this bill won't change that. But the Conservatives would like us to think otherwise. Because, under Harper, Cons have become more about panicked emotional distraction than sober judgement. First It was about legalizing spying to "protect children from online predators," now it's about preventing trans equality to "protect women from someone... peeing nearby?"
I think we're smarter than that.
Further, Nunavut, like many other jurisdictions around the world, already has protection for trans equality and that I am aware of, there has been no spike in washroom harassment of women. (I mean - seriously - who is going to try to commit a sex crime while in drag?)
This bill, and bills like it, which trans people and allies have been laboring on for years, if not decades will, however, make it possible for more trans people to find work and housing. It will make it harder to fire queers for being "too swishy" or "too butch." And it will set an example for human rights codes in Canada and around the world.