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 carrier shall not transport a passenger if … (c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;
Although this obviously discriminatory smear of regulation did not come to significant public attention until very recently, it apparently came into effect on July 27th, 2011.
It is important to note that these regulations are not actually a piece of legislation, which would have had to pass through readings and votes in the House and Senate (which is probably why it went unnoticed until now). Rather, the Identity Screening Regulations are a set of rules implemented unilaterally by the Ministry of Transportation, as part of Canada’s so-called Passenger Protect, which is essentially the Canadian Federal Government’s equivalent to the U.S.’s “no-fly” list.
Minister of Transportation Denis Lebel is, of course, a federal Conservative MP appointed to the cabinet position by Stephen Harper.
In the eyes of the honourable Minister of Transportation, that makes trans people unfit to fly in Canada.
It is interesting to note that this regulatory adjustment occurred immediately following the federal election in 2011. In the previous parliament, Bill C-389, a bill to amend the Human Rights Code to explicitly enshrine protections against discrimination for transgender people, had successfully passed in the House of Commons, only to die on the Senate floor when Harper declared a Federal Election (thereby dissolving parliament).
Is the timing of this disturbing and blatantly discriminatory regulatory adjustment merely a coincidence? That is up to you to decide. However, the negative impact on trans people is crystal clear, and we need to take action now.
Not Canadian, but I think I may have to send a few angry emails…
discovery “who is that sex god and why haven’t i noticed him before”
research “i have to find out everything about him omg what is his full name what is his birthday do you think he has a wife does he have children does he like jam does he like cats i wonder what photos there are of him is he even real omg”
obsession “i love him so much omg what you like him too no you can’t have him he’s mine no i must collect everything relevant to him i need it all he’s mine MINE”
plotting “hello google can i have a recipe for the strongest love potion in the world thank you or can you just give me a list of ways to successfully seduce a man that’d be great”“
depression “i hate you you’ve ruined my entire life why are you so perfect why don’t you know me why does everything suck omg my life is over and it’s all your fault”
acceptance “i have accepted that i will never know you but i will continuously love you and i am okay with that”