Crossposted on Pam's House Blend
(I have just sent this to my district's Member of Parliament, Sukh Dhaliwal. I encourage all my fellow Canadians to do the same with their local MP's. As Mercedes on Pam's said, you can find the contact info for your local MP by typing in your Postal Code here.)
As a member of your constituency here in Surrey, a voter, and a member of the trans community, I implore you to vote to pass Bill C-389. This bill, despite the lies and fearmongering that members of the religious right are engaging in, is not going to let "men put on dresses so they can rape women in bathrooms and claim they're really trans women". That is utterly reprehensible fearmongering invented by religious bigots who distort faith to justify inequality. What it will do is provide protection and dignity to a very beleaguered class. As you are a person of color, I KNOW you understand how bigotry for something you cannot change, in your case race, feels when the ignorant paint you with assumptions and broadstrokes. Trans women cannot change who they are. They do not go into bathrooms to harass women. We go into bathrooms to use the bathroom, same as everyone else. And Crossdressers are NOT trans women and do not use opposite sex bathrooms. Predators who would harm women tend to be very sexist insecure men, and are EXTREMELY unlikely to sacrifice their masculinity by dressing as women just to access women's spaces.
I was arrested and spent a night in jail this past January in PoCo because a security guard decided I didn't look womanly enough, called me a perverted faggot, and called the police. I was violently raped in juvey as a teenager and the entire night in jail I was wracked by flashbacks. The incident, despite being sorted out the next day when I showed the judge the F on my BCID, left me traumatized and afraid to so much as pee when out in public for months. I gave myself a goddamned kidney stone from holding my bladder til I got home rather than just use a restroom. The passage of Bill C-389 would ensure that women like me who are guilty of absolutely nothing except being born with our brains wired differently, (and yes, science HAS proven that MTF Transsexuals do in fact have the biological brain construction of a natal female), from having to risk this kind of humiliation at the hansds of bullies and bigots who mock and ridicule us just for having the courage to be ourselves.
Last weekend was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual day to remember trans women murdered the world over every year. Google Angie Zapata for an example of what women like me risk happening to us every single time we leave the house because we aren't protected under the law.
Imagine if your son or daughter came to you and told you this was who they really were, knowing the danger they will face just by being honest about that. And then remember that all of us, every trans woman, we too are someone's child. And like you, your family, like everyone else, we have the right to be protected by law, and to live with dignity, and to be free from bigotry and harassment just for being who we are.
I am asking you, not as a voter, or a trans woman, but simply as a human being.
Do the right thing. Ignore the fearmongering of religious bigots who bastardize their own faith to make excuses for hatred.
Vote yes on Bill C-389.
Penny Sautereau-Fife, Surrey BC.