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gender identity

Gender identity is linked to a person’s sense of self, and the sense of being male or female. A person’s gender identity is different from their sexual orientation, which is also protected under the Code. People’s gender identity may be different from their birth-assigned sex.

Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression

April 2014 - People who are transgender, or gender non-conforming, come from all walks of life. Yet they are one of the most disadvantaged groups in society. Trans people routinely experience discrimination, harassment and even violence because their gender identity or gender expression is different from their birth-assigned sex. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) people are protected from discrimination and harassment because of gender identity and gender expression in employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations.

Restrictions of facilities by sex

From: Guide to your rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code

This section allows separate washrooms, examination areas, change rooms and other services that are men-only or women-only. Trans people should be provided access to facilities that are consistent with their lived gender identity.[34]


[34] For more information, see the OHRC’s Policy on discrimination and harassment because of gender identity (2000).

Consultation survey: Revised Policy on discrimination and harassment because of gender identity and gender expression

Introduction

In 2000, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released a policy on gender identity and human rights, taking the position that the ground of sex could be used to protect transgender people from discrimination and harassment. The OHRC also called for an amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) to add “gender identity” as a prohibited ground of discrimination and harassment.

Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment

May 2013 - Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex. The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sex, and includes provisions that focus on sexual harassment. The principles set out in this policy will, depending on the circumstances, apply to instances of sexual harassment in any of the social areas covered by the Code. However, to reflect the most important recent developments in the law and in social science research, this policy will focus on the areas of employment, housing and education.

9.4. Intersections with gender identity

From: Minds that matter: Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions

Transgender people told us about the major impacts on their mental health from daily discrimination, lack of societal acceptance, poverty, unaffordable housing and alienation from family, based on gender identity. A focus group co-facilitated by Rainbow Health Ontario, identified poverty as a consequence of discrimination, but also a contributing factor to poor mental health. In a study of 433 trans Ontarians, half “seriously considered” suicide because they were trans. Trans youth (up to age 24) were more than twice as likely to seriously consider suicide than trans people over age 25.

Re: Consultation document – revised criteria for change of sex designation on an Ontario birth registration

July 25, 2012 - We are pleased to note that a key objective of the consultation is to develop revised criteria that are in accordance with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s decision dated April 11, 2012 in XY v. Ontario (Government and Consumer Services). We trust that this submission is of assistance in your development of revised criteria. We address the questions set out in your Consultation Document, and make additional observations.

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