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Transgender Worker Told to Get Off Premises of 'Family Friendly' Farmer's Market in Ontario, Canada

A transgender worker for True2You, a candle and incense vendor at Trail's End Farmer's Market in London, Ontario, was disturbing the "family friendly atmosphere" there according to the market's owner and would not be allowed back on the premises.

Trailsend True2You owner Karen Clarke tells AM890 she got a call from one of the market's managers:

"Everything was fine when I left and it wasn't until five to 8 on Saturday night that I got a call from the management at Trails End. Basically they said if I was going to have those people there anymore I'm invited to take my business elsewhere....He said it made everyone uncomfortable and it just wasn't right. This is a family place, a family market and this just isn't right. I just kept insisting what happened that was wrong and he said you walk up to the person and they're dressed like a woman and they've got big hands, a deep voice and tattoos and it's just not right. It's just not a family place he kept repeating that over and over again. And I kept trying to get from him what was wrong, what was so not right, what was it that people were complaining about and there was no details forthcoming that way. He called them 'those people' several times."

Said the market's owner Ed Kikkert: "Why would I be discriminating? I'm not discriminating at all. I'm just asking which washroom would they use? How can you go into a men's washroom dressed as a lady, how can you go into ladies washroom when you're a man. That's the difficulty I have. It's not discriminating at all. The issue is at hand."

A complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission has been filed.

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  1. London Ontario is a university town that is "one of those cities" - it's really nice and long as you're white and straight and Christian.

    "white trash with some money" is how many Ontarians describe it.

    this is an unfortunate thing that happened. the good new? the bully will on the whupping-end of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    It's a lovely document :-)

    He was a bigot, and he'll be reprimanded. CANADA!

    That said, aint it time we just built more fuckin' single-stall gender-neutral restrooms?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Sep 23, 2011 1:01:15 PM

  2. It's cheaper to just have an attitude change than build single-stall gender-neutral restrooms. There just aren't enough trans folks out there to justify the expense.

    But I have to say, having been to London Ontario many times, that it is a welcoming, friendly city and I've never heard descriptions such as yours from Ontarians I know.

    Also, this will get resolved in the courts. It's illegal as far as I know to discriminate against a trans person in such a fashion. This is Canada after all, the land of LGBT full equality. =)

    Posted by: Dan | Sep 23, 2011 1:19:40 PM

  3. Not to give his bigotry any credit at all, but who hasn't been in a bathroom with someone of another gender? Even though that's not the case here -- I'm sure this woman is not going to the men's room -- people who grew up in same-gender househoulds sooner or later share a bathroom with someone of another gender, eventually. Who cares?

    Again, he has no point whatsoever -- and what a ridiculous length to go to in order to justify plain old stupid hate.

    Posted by: justme | Sep 23, 2011 1:21:26 PM

  4. That is some delicious old-timey bigotry, right there. Like Grandma Slave Owner use to make. Whoooweee! Worried about which bathroom someone needs to use? Makes me feel like I'm in Alabama, circa 1800s - 2010.

    If you can't give a valid reason as stated by the law, then you can't do this to people. Get this duoche bag a time machine to 2011, please.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Sep 23, 2011 1:27:32 PM

  5. I was on a subway train in Boston a couple of weeks ago. VERY crowded. Very diverse crowd. LOTS of little kids and their parents [it was a Saturday afternoon]. A gay [I'm presuming they were gay/lesbian/transgendered] couple with their [I'm assuming it was their infant] got on. Description as follows:

    1 Butch lesbian [no offense to lesbians]

    1 skinny Dude, with very hairy legs, female breasts, thick, dark, 3 day stubble/beard

    1 infant

    The partially transgendered dude was holding/comforting the infant. He/she proceeded to spend 12-15 minutes walking up and down [not easy to do because the train was packed] the car, with the infant. IMHO he/she was simply trying to show-off [provoke?] his/her fellow subway riders. Everyone was polite, nothing happened. Boston is a pretty tolerant place, people mind their own business. But the parents of the little kids [ALL, white, Hispanic, one old Asian woman with her grand kid I presume] were all mortified. The kids couldn't stop staring.

    I'm gay. I'm tolerant [by nature, and would be regardless if I was gay or not], but this kind of sh*t infuriates me. The VAST majority of gays and lesbians are [for lack of a better term] normal. But our colorful [for lack of a better/more PC term] brothers and sisters really give us all a reputation for being all unstable freaks.

    Sorry if I offended anyone, you'll have to deal with it. I'm not alone with this opinion.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 23, 2011 1:27:32 PM

  6. Umm yes ratbastard, you did offend people. I am sure more people will be more wordy in responding but how would you like being called he/she?

    Posted by: Kara | Sep 23, 2011 1:38:03 PM

  7. Eventually "business owners" will figure out that spending a few extra dollars either installing single stalled bathrooms and/or portible unisex restrooms will save them a fortune on legal expenses/bad press illegally discriminating against their fellow human beings.

    Posted by: SFShawn | Sep 23, 2011 1:38:47 PM

  8. @Ratbastard: If you're gay, you're not "normal", whatever you'd like to think. Are there are plenty of people out there who do not think of you as "normal" at all. So I'd advise you to stop drawing a line in the sand about what's acceptable appearance/behavior - because you really can't be sure which side of it you will find yourself on.

    Posted by: mike128 | Sep 23, 2011 1:41:16 PM

  9. i hope these poor fools never set foot in Quebec, a Province with a great number of unisex washrooms.

    yes, dudes. you'll be peeing at a urinal while women walk behind you into stalls.

    yes, ladies. you'll be walking past dudes peeing in urinals while going to your stalls.

    welcome to the european sensibilities that exist all over canada.

    there are more than two genders. gender and sex are not the same thing. it's 2011 - there' no reason to not know these facts.

    and yeah, im saying there should be a change of mindset rather than building new restrooms. i'm just saying that gender-neutral facilities work, too. and they usually have great full-length mirrors!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Sep 23, 2011 1:53:30 PM

  10. I went to university London, Ontario and it is a lovely city. Nice people. Friendly people. Bigots exist everywhere unfortunately. A trans friend of mine had something similar happen to her in Toronto when she tried to use the women's washroom at a ball game. A lady freaked out, the police were called and my friend ended up on the news. She was treated with respect and drew attention to something that most people don't encounter every day. That being said...public washrooms are horrible no matter who's in them with you.

    @RATBASTARD - All I will say is this: attention seekers exist all walks of life. This type of thing is not exclusive to the gay community. I was intrigued by your use of "him/her" and "he/she" and your assertion that the parents of the kids were "all mortified." Were they, or is this just your own projection? Good thing you let us know that you're gay and tolerant because you wouldn't know it by your post. Perhaps you just have an aversion to "unstable freaks."

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 23, 2011 1:54:04 PM

  11. "Sorry if I offended anyone, you'll have to deal with it."

    I dealt with it by skipping to your last paragraph as soon as you started sounding like an ass, which was, of course, only a few words in. Can't imagine what your latest rant was about, but then, I also don't care.

    Sorry if I offended you, you'll have to deal with it.

    Posted by: justme | Sep 23, 2011 2:11:33 PM

  12. Just a minor clarification on the first poster's comment: It's not the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects this transgender woman, it's the Ontario Human Rights Act. The Charter guards against discriminatory laws while the Human Rights Act covers discriminatory acts.

    Also, I don't understand the fuss about gender-specific bathrooms. If someone is taking a dump in the stall next to you, what difference is it if it's a man or a woman? Why even have urinals? (saves water maybe, I dunno...)

    Posted by: MikeMB | Sep 23, 2011 2:21:32 PM

  13. "I'm gay. I'm tolerant [by nature, and would be regardless if I was gay or not],"

    Why, certainly you are, Ratbastard. Yep, just as tolerant as Rick...and Dan Corn Cobb...and J Edgar Hoover. Sure--"Tolerant" ought to be your middle name.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 23, 2011 2:32:43 PM

  14. @MIKEMB - I agree with you. Most of these washroom cases are trans male-to-female people and the "offended" women can't get their heads around the fact that a woman who used to be a man might be in the public washroom with her. They're worried that the trans woman will try to "take a peek" or something 'cuz, you know, why wouldn't they? In many cases the women complaining are not really peek-worthy, but that's an entirely different subject. Perhaps another time.

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 23, 2011 2:34:47 PM

  15. "Also, I don't understand the fuss about gender-specific bathrooms"

    Some of you people really are so far out of the mainstream that I wonder how you survive everyday life.

    First of all, it is mainly women who want their own restrooms. For a lot of reasona. Just ask them. a) They don't want men "peeping" at them through the stall doors or by using mirrors in an adjacent stall b) they don't want men who would like to engage in indecent exposure being given an excuse to do so (for example, a guy coming away from a urinal could keep his penis out as he pulled away and jiggle it at a woman waiting for a stall), c) they don't want urine on the toilet seat, which many guys deposit when a urinal is unavailable, d) men are sloppier generally and women don't want to deal with that in a bathroom......and e) heterosexuals like to keep their bodily functions away from the opposite sex because it tends to be a turn-off sexually

    That is just a partial list.....

    Oh, and good luck with getting some "T-room" action when there are a bunch of women around--they would go tell on you, in all likelihood and destroy all the fun.....and even if they did not, their presence alone would spoil the "atmosphere"....

    Next idiotic question

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 23, 2011 2:42:17 PM

  16. Hi Everyone,

    Be sure to take a minute to sign this petition in support of the transgender workers. I'm going to be faxing the market later this afternoon and I want the numbers to keep getting higher!

    Posted by: Jennifer | Sep 23, 2011 2:55:07 PM

  17. "Next idiotic question"

    OK. Is Ratbastard really more tolerant than you?

    Look, why not have individual little rest rooms with a toilet and urinal in each room? Gender neutral. Something like you have at a doctor's office. And a LOCK on each door. Maybe 4 of such rooms on each floor of a large establishment. All you need is four. Everybody shouldn't have to pee at the same time.

    And if you have to sh.t...take your azz on home.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 23, 2011 2:58:09 PM

  18. @Derrick Almost every public building in the country now has handicapped restrooms where any individual can go in and have the entire restroom to himself or herself by locking the door.

    Use those.

    The 99.99% of the population who are neither gender-confused nor transsexual are not going to bend over backwards to accommodate the 0.01% who are. Nor should they have to.

    Deal with it.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 23, 2011 3:15:28 PM

  19. London, ON, is cashing in on all the racist/transphobic news today (lead story on CBC Newsworld). From right-wing National Post: [Wayne] "Simmonds, who is black, was in the middle of a shootout attempt against the Detroit Red Wings when someone at the John Labatt Centre tossed a banana peel on the ice."

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Sep 23, 2011 4:28:41 PM

  20. Fortunately, I do not live in Canada, insofar as I'm uncertain in regards to anti-discrimination laws there, but, as a transgender person, I am irate and disgusted that this BIGOT Ed Kikkert uses "family friendly" as his lame excuse considering transgender persons also have families of their own and for this prejudiced transphobic twit to automatically equate transgender to sexual deviance and/or perversion, etc is just wrong and outright disgusting.

    As a consequence, I hope his business suffers the legal consequences, along with a boycott and public demonstration.

    Posted by: Lita Kelley | Sep 23, 2011 4:32:54 PM

  21. I went to Western, in London, and guess what? For two years, in my residence, my room was nearer the co-ed bathroom, so I used that. This guy's a moron.

    Posted by: DN | Sep 23, 2011 7:38:54 PM

  22. RatBastard

    Your assumptions 'attentionseeker' is a case of projection, that is affirmed by the fact that the post itself is nothing more than a bid for (negative) attention.

    When Scientific America has you on it's cover as the first confirmed psychic, your guess about the motives of the "partially transgendered dude" will a slim, all but imperceptible chance of validity, but until then, it is just derogatory nonsense arising out of sadism and prejudice.

    Posted by: Cassandra | Sep 23, 2011 7:47:01 PM

  23. Oh LITA, don't you know? Transgendered people can neither be part of or raise families! How would they know what bathroom to use?

    Actually, at my son's school there's a first grade kid who's currently displaying T characteristics and is uncomfortable using the "bio" bathroom. The District won't allow switching, so the kid uses the nurse's and all is well. But maybe a school's not a family place like the Farmer's Market.

    Posted by: David R. | Sep 23, 2011 10:16:50 PM

  24. @Rick,

    I'll admit you pretty much nailed it on the head. Haha I made a punny.

    Anyway, honestly...I don't like sharing a bathroom at all with anyone. Not even other women. I MUCH prefer to find the "family" bathroom and use that.

    I don't like public restrooms at all. They're filthy usually. They never have enough paper towels.

    --I do want to say that people's bodies are their own. Just because some people like to have more privacy doesn't make it wrong.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 23, 2011 10:58:13 PM

  25. Walking around soothing a baby is provoking people?!? Seriously, you need your head checked. You can tell you never had children cause your are an mentally stunted immature little man. I like how you have already figured everything out, like your opinion matters or that you are the be all end all of social decorum. Pfft, l8r h8r.

    Posted by: canadianGirl | Sep 24, 2011 1:09:23 AM

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