Friday, March 6, 2009

Identity Crisis

(can you tell I struggled with that title?)

There's a man in St. Catherines, named John Fulton, who's in a really sticky situation right now. He owns the Exclusively Women's Fitness Centre in Guelph, and a couple of years ago was approached by a pre-op transsexual, who wanted to join. After some consultation, which I'll elaborate in a minute, Fulton refused, and has found himself before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

Personally, I'm very unsure about how to treat this. On the one hand, if someone does genuinely identify themself as the opposite sex, and they're not allowed to live as such, then it begs the question of which change room, bathroom, etc. he or she is supposed to use. However, if we are to loosen the gender requirements to a matter of personal identity, it doesn't take a genius to see that this can be abused by any predator willing to cross dress, and get a fake ID. The line has to be made clear, for the sakes of all concerned.

That leads me to the specific cause of the uproar here. Mr. Fulton was told by the Human Rights board, that he had to admit the transsexual client. However, they would not tell him, if the other women in his gym could sue him for that. That's ridiculous and completely unfair, in my mind. If the government is going to force someone into a position, they should be firm and clear about that. Otherwise, they shouldn't bother taking a stand in the first place.

So now, Mr. Fulton has been dragged through the mud, for trying to protect himself and his clientele. The transsexual who instigated this, has since gone through the sex change operation to become a woman. And no surprise, the government isn't allowing anyone to discuss the proceedings. It's easy to make a cheap joke here, but this situation is far too serious for that. Everyone needs to be a lot more accountable and honest than they have been. Period. That's it for me.

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