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Welcome!

Gender Freedom (GF) is Canada’s newest Transgender Support Group, located in Ottawa, Ontario.

We offer a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment
where individuals can feel free to express themselves and pursue
personal growth. We seek to empower our members through knowledge and educate the community in which we live
through outreach activities.

You are not alone!

~ Judy Anna Kearns, Founder

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Gender Freedom News

Bill C-279: When will there be protection for the Transgendered in Canada ?

October 4th, 2014

Bill C-279 will bring basic human rights to the Transgendered of Canada and perhaps the world.

While the same Bill has passed the House of Commons Twice, it is stalled by the Harper Government-controlled Senate. I wonder if there will ever be justice for transgendered people in this country under his ‘command’.

It has been dubbed the Bathroom Bill,a nickname which both cheapens the Bill and its intent and degrades it by making its content and import seem narrow and base. In comment on this current situation, I offer

the following article by Gender Freedom’s own Maggie James for your consideration.

~ Webmistress Judy Kearns

Thoughts on the Washroom Use issue

The issue of washroom access in public places for TG people is a classic illustration of the social and cultural mechanisms that conspire to thwart, or at least delay, the eventual acceptance of the TG community by mainstream society.

The problem boils down to the fact that the needs and desires of transitioning TSs and cross dressers conflict harshly with the rights, privileges and expectations currently enjoyed by mainstream, conventionally-gendered people.

There is also the overriding reality that owners and managers of restaurants, hotels, workplaces and other private premises have the right to set their own rules within the limits set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Act.

This, of course, brings us to the crucial difference between rights and privileges, a distinction very few people actually understand. Rights apply to all, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, creed or colour. No one can take them away. Privileges, on the other hand, are bestowed by those in power and authority in a given jurisdiction or social context and can be taken away if abused. In most cases, privileges are not just given freely; they must be earned. For example: All legal residents of Ontario have a right to OHIP health care coverage. But residents must earn the privilege of carrying a drivers license, and the license can be taken away if they abuse the privilege.

At this point in history, transgendered people must rely on the good will of the owners and managers of private venues to extend them privileges such as use of the washroom of their choice.

The principle of privilege also applies to the government workplaces. Washroom access for TGs in the Federal environment is a matter of government management policy, not a right. The policy is administered differently in different government venues. Some departments and agencies allow TSs to use the washroom that corresponds to their chosen gender role while others restrict pre-op TSs to the so-called gender-neutral (sometimes referred to as family, or accessible washrooms available at their locations. The policy simply states that TSs must be accommodated.

And, as was vividly illustrated by the case last year in which a transitioning pre-op TS was denied use of the ladies showers and change rooms at a Hamilton (ON) gym, social standards will prevail. Regardless of how supportive business owners may feel about accommodating TG people, they cannot be expected to throw their businesses down the drain by doing something that will alienate their mainstream clients. Neither will any government ever step up and do anything that might alienate a large block of voters. Legalizing use of public washrooms by TG people would be political suicide. Mainstream society is simply not ready for such a move.

So Much more education and outreach must be done before the general public will be ready to embrace and facilitate the self-expression activities of TG people. Protests, expressions of outrage and harsh demands by members of the TG Community for *privileges* (which they mistakenly call *rights*) will not help bring TGs and the mainstream closer together. In fact, that kind of confrontational approach will only drive the two groups farther apart and delay the eventual acceptance of TGs by the mainstream.

Bottom line: TGs will only get the privileges they want by earning them; not by trying to demand them or extort them from those who have the power to extend those privileges. The TG community must work in a low-key, non-confrontational manner from within (or at least in cooperation with) the mainstream to gradually achieve the privileges, status and respect that we all want and deserve.

As with so many other things in life, PATIENCE IS THE KEY. And a firm right hand held out in friendship is infinitely more effective than a slap in the face when you want to influence someone in your favour.

Sorry about that. Got carried away. But It frustrates the daylights out of me to see so many TG people acting like impatient, hyperactive children about so-called Trans Rights, oversimplifying the issue and proposing actions and policies which do nothing to advance the cause of TG acceptance  actions and policies which, in fact, help to build and reinforce the walls of suspicion, mistrust and misunderstanding that separate the TG community and the mainstream.

[Repost, from a personal blog.]


There is a new Gender Therapist in town!

June 22nd, 2014

This is a note which may be of special interest to Transgender people living in the province of Quebec.

Therapist Diane Blanchet recently introduced herself to Gender Freedom.

She is located in Gatineau and is fully fluent in both English and French.

For more information and a link to her website, see our Resources page!

~Maggie James


Dr. Barwin is retiring!

June 22nd, 2014

Dr. B. Norman Barwin, one of the Ottawa trans community’s most cherished medical resource people, is retiring officially this summer. His office will close forever at the end of the regular practice day on August 29, 2014.

Dr. Barwin has guided hundreds of Ottawa and area transsexuals through their biochemical transitions over the past several decades and has received the highest awards for service our community can bestow. He retires after 50 years of medical practice as a Gynecologist and Endocrinologist.

All of us at Gender Freedom wish Dr. Barwin all the best in a long, happy and active retirement. We look forward to seeing him on the bike paths and the cross country ski trails!

~ Maggie James


There at it again – That Vicious Gender Mosaic group just won’t stop…

March 2nd, 2014

Removing my Life Membership that was not enough for them.

Now, for the second time, they have published a YouTube video with my name and photos trying to out me.

The first time I sent them a Cease and Desist order, they pulled the video.

Now they have put it back up under a different name in the hopes I would not fined it.

You Tube is now reviewing this matter and will decide if the account will be cancelled.

I have had YouTube.com removed this video for Privacy Violation http://youtube.com/watch?v=apvWXKF3gbY

I am seeking legal counsel and will use any means at my disposal to shut down this destructive group.

Be forewarned: If they are willing to do this to the founder, what will they do to you

It seems that all they want is their $113,000.00 dollars per year from their Spring Event, and nothing more.

I feel sorry for them if this is all that makes their lives complete. I could never live like that.

– Judy K.

Founder Gender Mosaic

 


Now we know What kind of EXEC the GM group has.

February 6th, 2014
 
Well it has been 60 days since I asked the Gender Mosaic group to provide the charges and specifications of the removal of my life membership in the group. The fact that they have failed to provide that information clearly indicates that there are no specifications or charges on the record.
 
In fact, they have not responded officially at all. Only one member of the Executive that approved the removal has responded on their personal behalf as has said only “The GM Executive is an un-paid group of volunteers”.
 
We need to look closer at that.
 
The Senior Executives of GM Amanda and Sophia do not get paid by GM as far as I’m told, but there is more to their involvement in both the group and the Fling than meets the eye.
 
They also run an enterprise called the Gal’s Spring Fling, a seven-day event in Gananoque in the Thousand Islands. A single day will cost you $300.00. The full 7 day package is more in the $1300.00 range. Some of the attendees are closeted and not so open there; many pay in cash.
 
The organizers bragged that they had 87 attendees last year. A fast bit of math will show that’s $113,100.00 – not bad for a non-profit, tax-free arrangement.
 
The former President, Kelly Ann, told me there is a Kickback to GM based on the number of GM members in attendance, however she was not clear if this went to some of the Executive, all the Executive members, or if any of the money reached the group’s bank account.   
 
The Gal’s Spring Fling organizers (and apparently members of the GM Executive) use their positions, GM’s name (for what it’s worth theses days) and GM’s Website to line their pockets and have convinced the members that they are the good guys.
 
I think they are a bunch of men-in-dresses fleecing the sheep in the fold.
 
At the very least, the Gal’s Spring Fling organizers are in a serious conflict of interest position, and I will seek a full accounting of GM and The Spring Filing with Revenue Canada. Be sure to wear your best, girls. As an incorporated not-for-profit entity, GM must be held to a higher standard of accountability than it was in the past, when it was simply an informal gathering of like-minded people working in support of their shared goals.
 
I will report the results when they are issued. And remember: Gender Freedom is here to help.
 
Judy K.