TORONTO — Transgender hockey players in Ontario will be able to use dressing rooms “corresponding to their gender identity” under a policy that takes effect this season.
The policy comes after Jesse Thompson, a transgendered teenage boy from Oshawa, filed a human rights complaint in Ontario against Hockey Canada in 2013. Thompson said he was denied access to the boys’ locker-room during the 2012-2013 season, effecting outing him and exposing him to harassment and bullying. A settlement was reached in 2014.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission said Wednesday that Hockey Canada’s Ontario members committed to educate its more than 30,000 coaches and trainers by 2017 on transgender inclusiveness. 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.”
“I’m really happy that moving forward, trans kids will be able to fully participate with their hockey teams,” Thompson said in the statement. “For me, when I was on the ice with my team, nothing else mattered. Hockey Canada is iconic and globally known and I hope other organizations will follow their example.”
The policies have not yet been adopted by Hockey Canada’s other provincial branches.