Florence House, Maine (USA)

Two women who stay at Florence House, a homeless shelter for women in Portland, Maine have complained that two men who dress as women have also been staying there for the past few months — using the same common bathrooms, showers and sleeping facilities.

Maine bans discrimination based on “gender identity” through its definition of “sexual orientation,” which includes a person’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression.  5 Me. Rev. Stat. § 4553(9-C).

The law bans discrimination in public accommodations. However, the prohibition does not require an entity to permit an individual to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations of that entity when the individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. “Direct threat” means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that can not be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services. 5 Me. Rev. Stat. § 4592.

One of the women said the shelter is supposed to be a safe haven for women, who in many cases are leaving domestic violence situations.

“If you’ve been abused for 10 years by your boyfriend, do you really want to see a guy in the bathroom with you?” she said. “What worries me is that it’s a way for them to gain access to a vulnerable group of women.”

The presence of men who think they are women in a women’s homeless shelter seems like a direct threat.

News Article.

Seamus Johnston (USA)

Seamus Johnston

Seamus Johnston, a woman who lives “as a man,” pleaded guilty to going into a men’s locker room. University of Pitt-Johnstown Police told her not to use the men’s locker room and asked her to use a private changing facility.  Johnston repeatedly did not and it eventually escalated into a disorderly conduct incident with police.

News Report.

Vancouver Rape Relief v. Nixon (Canada)

Recently, a friend forwarded me a link to this blog post by Katrina Rose, who teaches history at the University of Iowa.  Ms. Rose appears to believe that we owe her answers to questions she poses on her blog, despite the fact that answers to her questions readily appear on our own blog and elsewhere.

However, she raises an interesting real-life set of facts that illustrate the concerns raised in our submission to the United Nations and the objective definition of “gender identity” we believe responsible GLBT Organizations should advocate.

Ms. Rose asks: “Should this person have been allowed to volunteer as a rape crisis counselor at rape relief center that only allows women to be rape crisis counselors? Should this person be allowed to use women’s restrooms?”

First, who is this person? Kimberly Nixon is a post-operative transsexual woman who unsuccessfully pursued a case against Vancouver Rape Relief, a organization that provides direct service to females traumatized by sexual violence, over the organization’s unwillingness to allow Nixon to volunteer as a rape counselor.

So, should VRR have allowed Ms. Nixon to volunteer as a rape counselor?

Continue reading “Vancouver Rape Relief v. Nixon (Canada)”

Hannah Leith (Scotland)


Hannah Leith said he was stopped by a security guard when he tried to go into the women’s toilets at the Paisley Centre, Scotland.

“I visited the ladies as I left and I was approached by a security guard and informed a complaint had been made that I was using the ladies’ toilets.

“He proceeded to inform me that I was only to use either the men’s or disabled toilets unless I was post-operative.

“I informed him that I had the legal right to use appropriate toilets, and he responded by saying if I used them, I would be banned from the centre.”

“It was not made clear whether a staff member or a member of the public had made this complaint… I have lived full-time as a woman since last August and this disgusts me.”

He subsequently attempted to enter the ladies’ toilets but was stopped again by another guard, and attempted to reason with the first security guard he spoke to.

“This was useless as he said words to the effect that I was causing problems for everyone and that the majority was more important than just me.

“When I said it had never caused a problem before, and no-one has either noticed or cared I was trans, he replied that they noticed – implying that I do not pass as a woman, which I don’t believe is correct.”

News Report.

Transsexual Hannah was banned from ladies loos in shopping centre – Daily Record.

Transsexual banned from ladies’ loos – Daily Record.

Rohit Singh (Canada)


A Saskatoon man who identifies as a woman says a bridal shop in the city refused to let him try on dresses as he planned his wedding.

Rohit Singh says he was looking at outfits in Jenny’s Bridal Boutique but when he asked to try one on, he was refused.

Singh said he plans to file a formal complaint about his treatment with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

The shop owner thought Singh was a man and felt other people in the store were uncomfortable with Singh trying on dresses.

“She said, sorry we don’t allow men to wear dresses here,” Singh recalled. “I said I’m not a man, I’m transgender.”

Singh says he has started the process for a sex change.

When contacted Thursday by CBC News, the bridal shop owner, who declined to provide her surname, said she stands by her decision.

“To me it doesn’t matter,” the owner said. “He looked like a man. There was quite a few brides in the store. If you see a man trying on dresses, you’re going to feel uncomfortable.”

Rohit is a name typically given to males.