February 4, 2012

When Canada’s Department of Transport became transphobic

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Cancon, Government, Liberty — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:48

Tabatha Southey has an interesting article in the Globe & Mail. I was unaware that the Canadian Forces now support transitioning transgendered soldiers (and have done for more than a decade), but that another branch of the government headed in quite the opposite direction last year:

While I think we should take the transgender community’s word for it — that transitioning works to transform often excruciatingly unhappy gender-dysphoric people into contented people — there are lots of studies that back them up as well.

It’s hardly something that anyone would do for kicks. Transitioning isn’t for sissies, which is why it’s heart-warming that our military made a practical and humane decision to accommodate transgender soldiers. And it’s also why it’s unfortunate that since July, 2011, a Department of Transport rule has been on the books that could prevent those same transitioning soldiers from flying home for Christmas.

The existence of this rule was brought to light this week by blogger Jennifer McCreath. It states that if “a passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents,” that person is not allowed to fly.

I’m prepared to believe those who say transgender and inter-sex people aren’t the demographic the rule aims to catch, but that leaves me wondering who it is the authorities are trying to nab.


  1. I cannot use my military ID because it does not have my gender on it. I point out the the nice people that it has my picture on it, my face is there, the name matches the name on the boarding pass… what is the problem? No gender they say… I say that it is rather apparent what my gender is, my full mustache is a dead give away. See where the silliness is in this? What I want to watch is the TSA try and determine who gets to do the full body patdown of Julie (ex-Joe) who is transitioning and still sports a full “package”.

    Comment by Dwayne — February 4, 2012 @ 23:12

  2. Back in my day, we didn’t have particularly useful military ID: no bar in the Toronto area would accept it as proof of identity (including the places that would serve anyone as long as they were tall enough to wave a dollar bill over the top of the bar).

    Comment by Nicholas — February 5, 2012 @ 01:09

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