Victoria transgender woman takes segregated bathroom fight online

WATCH ABOVE: A 23-year-old Victoria woman is using men’s washrooms to protest a proposed federal law that is supposed to protect transgendered people. She says it does the opposite. Kylie Stanton has more.

Notice anything unusual about these pictures?

They’re part of a Victoria transgender woman’s social media campaign to challenge a proposed law she says is discriminatory.

The 23 year-old has been taking photos in men’s washrooms and posting them online.

“I started my campaign on Facebook and I just put my pictures up there and I said please share if you think I look out of place,” says Brae Carnes.

She says it’s to highlight how it would look like if she was forced to use men’s washrooms.

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That’s what could happen if an amendment to Bill C-279, proposed by Conservative senator Don Plett, is passed.

The changes would let operators of single sex spaces, like bathrooms and shelters, ban trans people from using facilities matching their expressed genders.

“I don’t use these urinals, it’s ridiculous. I’m proving a point by giving them what they want,” says Carnes.

READ MORE: Transgender students demand inclusive washrooms

And she’s been asking the public to help her prove that point by sharing the photos.

Her posts on Facebook have been shared hundreds of times.

Dr. Aaron Devor, founder of the University of Victoria’s Transgender Archives, says he believes Plett’s legislation is misguided.

“He’s afraid that predator males will make use of the rights to transgender people to dress themselves up as women so that they can enter a women’s washroom, spy on or attack females in a women’s washroom. There are absolutely no recorded cases anywhere of this ever happening.”

In contrast, research has shown the majority of attacks on transgender people do happen in public washrooms.

That’s something that has led several institutions in B.C. like the Vancouver Park Board and University of Victoria to designate gender inclusive washrooms.


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