For Students

Peel District School Board

1. I think I’m experiencing gender expression discrimination or gender identity discrimination. What do I do?

  • Learn more about gender expression and gender identity discrimination.
  • Locate your school board policies. A policy is a document that guides school board staff and administrators, including how to respond to discrimination in a school.
  • Your school board’s Safe Schools Policy includes gender expression and gender identity.
  • Talk to an adult in or out of school who you trust and share what you’ve learned from this website, including your school board’s policies.
  • If you’ve tried talking to an adult you know and it hasn’t worked, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can contact: Human Rights Commissioner’s Office,  P: 905-890-1010 Ext. 4726, E: hrco@peelsb.com  

2. Some schools have specific policies about gender diversity. Does mine have one?

3. Using the washroom at my school is a problem. What can I do?

First of all, you have the legal right to use a washroom that matches your gender identity. If you are a cis or trans boy, you get to use the boys’ washroom. If you are a cis or trans girl, you get to use the girls’ washroom. If you are nonbinary, you get to use the washroom you feel comfortable with, including if you only feel comfortable using an all-gender washroom. Many school buildings are old and don’t have all-gender student washrooms, but your school must accommodate you.

Let school staff know about your school board’s washroom policy:

  • Gender Identity and Gender Expression Guidelines:  “All students have a right to safe restroom facilities and the right to use a washroom that best corresponds to the student’s lived gender identity, regardless of the student’s sex assigned at birth. Schools will provide an easily accessible all‐gender single-stall washroom for use by anyone. Use of an all‐gender single-stall washroom should be an option students may choose, but should not be imposed upon a student by the school because of the student’s gender identity. Where such facilities are not available, schools will make efforts to explore mutually agreeable alternatives” (p. 9).

You can also share Gegi’s Tips for Gender-Accessible School Washrooms with your school principal and/or other staff. It was prepared by our research team, which includes experts in gender, education and law, and reflects the current state of human rights law and research-informed best practices.

 

4. I want to play on a school sports team, and I’m wondering how that will go because of my gender.

First of all, you have the legal right to play on a school sports team that matches your gender identity. If you’re a cis or trans boy, you get to play on the boys’ sports team. If you are a cis or trans girl, you get to play on the girls’ sports team. If you are nonbinary, things get more complicated because there aren’t yet nonbinary or all-gender school athletics. ‘Co-ed’ team sports sometimes require a certain number of boys or girls, meaning that they are not all-gender in principle. If you are nonbinary, you get to play on the team you feel most comfortable with.

Check out your school board’s athletics policy:

  •  Gender Identity and Gender Expression Guidelines: “Students have the right to a safe change‐room that corresponds to their gender identity. Trans students have the right to accommodation that best meets the individual student’s self-identified needs and should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Such accommodations can include: (a) access to the change‐room as would be afforded to any other student of that gender identity; (b) use of a private area within the public area (a bathroom stall with a door; an area separated by a curtain; a PE instructor’s office in the change‐room); (c) a separate changing schedule in the private area (either utilizing the changeroom before or after the other students); (d) use of a nearby private area (a nearby washroom; a health room); (e) access to the change room corresponding to the student’s assigned sex at birth; or(f) satisfaction of the PE requirement by independent study outside of gym class” (p. 9).

You can also share Gegi’s Tips for Gender-Accessible School Athletics with your school principal and/or other staff. It was prepared by our research team, which includes experts in gender, education and law, and reflects the current state of human rights law and research-informed best practices.

5. I am going on an overnight field trip, and I am wondering how that will go because of my gender.

First of all, you have the legal right to stay in gender-designated housing (rooms, dormitories, etc.) that matches your gender identity. If you’re a cis or trans boy and you feel safe there, you get to stay in the boys’ dorm. If you are a cis or trans girl and you feel safe there, you get to stay in the girls’ dorm. If you are nonbinary, you get stay in the dorm you feel most comfortable with or in a separate space. This is also true if you are a trans boy or trans girl but don’t feel safe in the dorm that matches your gender identity.

Check out your school board’s overnight field trips policy:

  • Gender Identity and Gender Expression Guidelines: “Activities that may involve overnight sleeping accommodations will be addressed on a case‐by‐case basis. In such circumstances, staff shall make every reasonable effort to provide an acceptable accommodation. If, for reasons of privacy or safety, trans students find standard gender‐separated sleeping accommodations or shared accommodations unacceptable, private accommodations should be made available to the student at no additional cost” (p. 9).

You can also share Gegi’s Tips for Gender-Accessible Overnight Field Trips with your school principal and/or other staff. It was prepared by our research team, which includes experts in gender, education, and law, and reflects the current state of human rights law and research-informed best practices.

6. What are some places I can go for support and information about gender expression and gender identity?

Here are resources in your area designed to support you or your loved one:

 

For youth: 

  • Youth Beyond Barriers (YBB) 

               Phone: 1-800-762-8377 Ext. 460 

               Email: ybb@aysp.ca 

 

  • Supporting Our Youth 

              Phone: 416-324-5077 

              Email: soy@sherbourne.on.ca  

 

 

For any age: 

 

  • Queer Minds 

              Contact: Brett McIsaac (CMHA) 

              Phone: 905-451-1718 Ext. 329 

              Email: mcisaacb@cmhapeel.ca 

 

  • Rainbow Sauga Alliance 

              Phone: 289-643-8800 

              Email: info@rainbowsauga.ca 

              Website: https://www.facebook.com/rainbowsauga/  

 

  • Rainbow Salad 

            Email: rainbowsalad@phan.ca  

            Website: https://www.rainbowsalad.ca  

 

  • Moyo health and community services 

            Phone: 1-866-896-8700 (Toll-free) 

            Website: https://moyohcs.ca/   

  

  • LGBTTIQQ2S 

            Phone: 905-602-4082 Ext. 455 

            Email: mississauga@lampchc.org   

            Website: http://eastmississaugachc.org/programs-services/community-social-support-programs/lgbttiqq2s  

  

 

Closer to Hamilton:  

 

  • PFLAG Hamilton 

            Phone: 1-888-530-6777 Ext. 564 

            Website: http://pflaghamiltonwentworth.ca/    

  

  • The Well, Trans* Peer Support Group 

            Email: transgroup@thewellhamilton.ca   

            Website: http://www.thewellhamilton.ca/what-we-do/     

  

  • Kyle’s Place 

            Email: transpeersupport@gmail.com  

            Website: https://www.facebook.com/Kyles.place19/ 

 

 

Closer to Toronto: 

 

For youth:  

  

  • Queer Asian Youth – Asian Community AIDS Services (14-29)  

            Phone: 416-963-4300 Ext. 229  

 

  • Queer Youth Arts Program – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (30 and under)   

            Phone: 416-975-9130  

  

  • Stars @ The Studio – Deslile Youth Services (13-21)  

            Phone: 416-482-0081  

  

  • Supporting Our Youth (SOY) – Sherbourne Health Centre (29 and under)  

            Phone: 416-324-5077  

  

  • The Triangle Program – Oasis Alternative Secondary School (21 and under)  

            Phone: 416-393-8443  

  

  • YAAHA! – Youth Link (13-24)  

            Phone: 416-967-1773 Ext. 229 

 

 

 

For any age: 

 

  • The 519  

            Phone: 416-355-6786  

            Website: https://www.the519.org/programs/queer-trans-family-events  

 

  • Rainbow Space  

            Phone: 416-606-4200  

            Phone: 416-938-4458  

            Email: rainbowspace@cayrcc.org    

            Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowUmbrellaYorkRegion/about/  

   

  • St. James the apostle  

            Phone: 905-478-1959  

            Email: stjames1959@gmail.com   

            Website: https://www.stjamessharon.com/youth    

  

  • FYSR (Family Services York Region) Transgender Support Group  

           Phone: 1-866-415-9723  

           Website: https://www.fsyr.ca/event/transgender-support-group-2/       

  

  • Families in TRANSition – 10-week group for parents of trans youth (13–24)  

            Phone: 416-924-2100 Ext. 278  

  

  • Out & Proud Program – Children’s Aid Society of Toronto  

            Phone: 416-924-4640  

  

  • PFLAG Toronto 

            Phone: 416-406-6378 (support) or 416-406-1727 (general inquiries)  

  

  • Transceptance – (Drop-in, parent-run, peer-support group for parents of trans children)  

            Phone: 416-924-2100 Ext. 242  

  

  • Trans Partner Network – Sherbourne Health Centre (8-week social education series)  

            Phone: 416-324-4180 

  

  • Adult Gender Identity Clinic  

            Address: Queen Street Site – 60 White Squirrel Way, 4th floor  

            Phone: 416 535-8501 Ext. 2  

 

  • York Region GSA North  

            Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/YorkRegionGSANorth/    

   

  • PFLAG Hamilton  

            Phone: 1-888-530-6777 Ext. 564  

            Website: http://pflaghamiltonwentworth.ca/  

 

  • PFLAG York   

            10909 Yonge St Unit 203  

            Phone: 1-866-977-3524   

            Website: https://pflagyork.ca/  

 

Here are online or general resources you or your loved one can access from anywhere: 

  • Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7, national support service. It offers professional counseling, information and referrals, and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French. This service is completely confidential. Call: 1-800-668-6868 or Text: 686868 
  • LGBT Youth Line is a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit* youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario. It does this by providing anonymous peer support and referrals; training youth to provide support to other youth; and providing resources so youth can make informed decisions. Call: 1-800-268-9688 or Text: 647-694-4275 
  • Native Youth Sexual Health Network is an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada. Email: info@nativeyouthsexualhealth.com Website: https://www.nativeyouthsexualhealth.com/   
  • PFLAG Canada is Canada’s only national organization that helps all Canadians with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. PFLAG Canada supports, educates, and provides resources to all individuals with questions or concerns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 1-888-530-6777 
  • The Trevor Project is a 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ2S+ people under 25. Call: 1-866-488-7386 
  • Trans Lifeline Canada is a trans-led organization that responds to the critical needs of the community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Call: 1-877-330-6366  Website: www.translifeline.org