Transgender policies for Ontario hockey dressing rooms launch this season

Jesse Thompson, 17, poses for a photograph in his room in Oshawa, Ont., on Monday, September, 15 2014. Thompson is a transgender hockey player who fought for his rights against Hockey Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO — Transgender inclusiveness in Ontario minor hockey dressing rooms will go into wide effect this season.

Hockey Canada’s Ontario branches agreed to change its policies after Jesse Thompson, a transgendered teenage boy from Oshawa, Ont., filed a human rights complaint in Ontario against Hockey Canada in 2013.

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Thompson said he was denied access to the boys’ locker-room during the 2012-2013 season. He said the exclusion “outed” him and exposed him to harassment and bullying.

A settlement was reached in 2014, but it has taken until this year for new policies to be developed and implemented.

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Hockey Canada’s Ontario members committed to educate its more than 30,000 coaches and trainers by 2017 on transgender inclusiveness, according to an Ontario Human Rights Commission statement Wednesday.

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The new policy states that “players who identify as trans can use the dressing room corresponding to their gender identity, be addressed by their preferred name and pronoun, and have the privacy and confidentiality of their transgender status respected.”

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