The City of Hamilton has apologized that a security guard insisted a person who looked like a male use, first, the men’s, and then the family washroom at the MacNab Bus Terminal last year, despite his insistence he self-identified as female.
But the man in question, identified as “A.B.” in the subsequent flurry of communications amongst the city, its bus system named the Hamilton Street Railway, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission, wasn’t happy to be denied the women’s washroom, and was reportedly “left in tears.”
Although the city immediately apologized, as did the guard, and committed to the principle that people can use the washroom appropriate to their “self-identity,” A.B. complained to the OHRC, which took the last 12 months to work out just how the city would prevent a reoccurrence.
As part of the settlement just reached with A.B. the city has committed to the policy that transgender people can use whatever washroom they want regardless of what or who they look like and regardless of “the preferences or negative attitudes of others.” They also committed to “codify” this in policy and “train its employees” in it.
The initial incident arose because A.B. did not look anything like the woman he claimed he wished he were. The guard, reportedly to “balance the rights of all,” therefore stopped him at the door of the women’s washroom. When A.B. informed the guard of his rights, the guard then steered the trans person towards the “accessible” or family washroom provided to allow parents to manage their children’s toilet activities in private.