A bar in Medicine Hat, Alberta, is facing backlash after it told a transgender woman she could not use the female washrooms and later posted a controversial sign that some say is discriminatory.
Two Saturdays ago, 21-year-old River Rising was told by management at the Corona Tavern that she could not use the female washrooms because it might make other women uncomfortable.
“She basically was saying things along the lines of trans women are not women,” said Rising.
“And she threw in that if the owner had been in, he would’ve thrown me out of the bar for using that bathroom.”
Management later posted a sign outside the bathroom which read, “You must use the bathroom of your birth gender.”
“We have to look after our female patrons in this way,” explained manager Lorraine Schmaltz.
She said since the passage of Bill 7, “guys wanna be sneaky, so they say they’re transgender, and they’re in the women’s washroom,” and this has caused some female patrons to feel unsafe and threatened.
Rising said a male bouncer at the bar that night asked her highly personal questions about her transition and whether she had undergone surgery.
“I was angry. I felt hurt,” said Rising, who has identified as female since age 16.
“Nobody has the right to ask what I have between my legs. It’s messed up.”
Rising said the bouncer told her she could not use the women’s washroom, but offered to escort her into the men’s bathroom — a facility she hasn’t used since she was 17.
“I told him, ‘I would rather pee myself than use a men’s washroom. That’s not gonna happen tonight,’” she said.
In 2009, Medicine Hat launched an ambitious five-year plan to eliminate homelessness based on the “housing first” principle.
Instead of just managing the homeless population, the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society, which oversees the plan, vowed to focus on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent homes. Once vulnerable people were in a place of their own, the underlying factors that led to homelessness would be addressed, and additional supports would be provided as needed.
The municipality of 61,000, located 300 kilometres southeast of Calgary, set March 2015 as its deadline to end homelessness.
Today, Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston says he’s not quite “ready or prepared” to declare an official end to homelessness, but he expects the major accomplishment will be announced by the end of 2015.
Spirit And Blood by Mary Via Flickr: I was born by myself but carry the spirit and blood of my father, mother and my ancestors. So I am really never alone. My identity is through that line.
I just put my hair up have a cup of tea and work on my budget which is miraculously going to make it through the month! I cried a lot this month over fiances. I have been too poor to buy food. I’m not going to lie or even exaggerate. I have been so broke. It started with me arriving at my new place and having to pay for rent (expected) and then the “last months rent” (un-expected) So that means when I decided to leave I wont run away without paying them… But this was not what I had planned for. This is the norm for Alberta I guess, they didn’t do a “damage deposit”. So that was a whole lot of money gone I wasn’t expecting to lose. I haven’t even paid for tuition or all my textbooks yet. I have my tuition money. (THANK GOD!) That’ll be 2200.00 mostly in cash… Have you smelled the new hundreds?! THEY SMELL LIKE MAPLE!! So yes, I have been feeling like a gangster when I take out my stack of cash to count it :) Cory my dearest boyfriend, paid for my most expensive textbook which I needed right away which was a fricking high school math book which cost 200 dollars! I got myself a job pretty much right away, and have since worked 18 hours. Only get around 4 hours a shift. But it’s at Michael’s the craft store which is where I shop mostly anyways! I guess last week I called my Mum and Grandma to ask for money. Money which I was owed from my mother plus I was given an extra hundred. So I have enough money to pay for stuff now.
I went to the foodbank at the school last week because days of not having food in my house and going to Tim Hortons every time I was hungry because I had gift cards for there, was not a fun existence. Cory was feeding me everyday, he still does it seems, but I can get by now with the help of the foodbank food. Also my grandma sent a care-package which had mostly food in it as well. I was so happy I could have cried. Things have been really tough.
On a happier note, it was my birthday two days ago and today is Cory and my 4 month anniversary. My mum was surprised because she thought it was Shambhala 2010 that I met him at and we had known each other for a year… But nope! Its been just six months. It feels like much longer.