TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Jesse Thompson can't wait until hockey
season starts again, facing only his on-ice opponents. Hockey Canada
has agreed to make changes to protect young players in Ontario from
discrimination and harassment based on a player's transgender status.
These changes resolve a human rights application Jesse filed after
facing difficulties at his local arena.
Hockey Canada will:
Provide training to all its Ontario-based trainers and coaches on gender
identity and gender expression, including training on discrimination
Amend its Ontario Co-Ed Dressing Room Policy, which will be publicly posted on the websites of the Ontario branches of
Hockey Canada, to include that:
A player has a right to use a dressing room that corresponds with the
player's self-identified gender identity;
A player shall be addressed by the player's preferred name and referred
to by pronouns corresponding to the player's self-identified gender
A player is entitled to privacy and confidentiality with respect to the
player's trans status
Provide information about the amended policy to staff, volunteers,
parents/guardians and players in Ontario.
"I was scared, but I didn't want to give up the game I love or the
person I am. I just want to be that guy who's really good at hockey
and hope my actions mean other kids don't go through the same pain,"
said Jesse Thompson.
After learning about the changes, Patrick Burke of You Can Play commented "We are grateful to Hockey Canada for stepping up to the
plate on these issues, and look forward to working with everyone to put
these plans into action. All of us at You Can Play are thrilled for
and awed by Jesse. His courage will allow transgender hockey players
to feel welcome and supported in their locker rooms. Hockey is a game
meant for everyone, and we are excited for the day when all LGBT
athletes feel secure in their ability to live their lives openly,"
"Hockey Canada's decision to embrace a new era of inclusivity sends a
strong message - not only in the sports world but throughout
communities small and large across Canada," said Brenda Culbert,
Jesse's co-counsel with the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. "We are also grateful to You Can Play for their leadership role in
this struggle," continued Culbert.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission intervened in the human rights application and Chief Commissioner
Barbara Hall saluted the changes as "another great milestone in our
search for an inclusive society rooted in respect for our diverse lives
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides legal assistance to
people in communities across Ontario who have experienced
discrimination contrary to Ontario's Human Rights Code.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission works to promote, protect and
advance human rights through research, education, targeted legal
action and policy development.
SOURCE: Human Rights Legal Support Centre
For further information:
For further information or to arrange interviews:
Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre (416) 597-4958 or mobile: (416) 522-5931
Afroze Edwards, Ontario Human Rights Commission (416) 314-4528