Transgender Training Mandatory For Ontario Hockey Coaches

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Transgender training is now mandatory for Ontario minor hockey league coaches, trainers and managers — all because of one complaint filed with the province’s human rights tribunal by a transgendered teen in 2013.

As the Canadian Press reports, those affected must complete two education modules online by Sunday if they are already assigned to a team. For those not yet paired with a hockey team, they will have a month to complete the training after receiving their assignment.

The various minor hockey leagues in the Canadian province have all voluntarily worked together to produce an extended training video that purportedly shows people how to comprehend and identify transgender discrimination. There is even an appendix dealing with any confusion over the locker rooms.

Coaches interviewed by Canadian Press tried to view the challenge in a positive light. “It’s something new in our society we’re just not used to and it’s good information to have if that situation were to arise,” Mitchell, Ontario bantam coach Tyler Tolton said.

The transgender youth ultimately responsible for the training is Jesse Thompson, from Oshawa, Ontario. He complained to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario when he was 17, saying he was forcibly “outed” when he was told to change in a separate locker room, resulting in what he says was discrimination from the other players.

The league policy at the time, as it was almost everywhere, defined male and female players on the basis of their birth at sex and not their preferred gender identity.

By 2016, the policy had changed to reflect new gender identity politics and players were then allowed to change in the dressing room that corresponded to their gender preference.

That apparently didn’t go far enough for some, who advocated for mandatory training.

“It provides information on gender itself, explaining what gender identity is and what makes up gender identity and expression,” according to Ontario Hockey Federation executive director Phillip McKee. “It provides information on how to provide an inclusive environment. There also an implementation guide that’s been provided on our website as far as dressing room implementation and what you can do in that situation.”

So far, only Ontario minor hockey has decided to accommodate the transgender demands but the issue is up for discussion when Hockey hockey branches outside Ontario have yet to adopt transgender policies. The issue has yet to be tabled for discussion at Hockey Canada meets for its annual general meeting, a spokeswoman told Canadian Press.

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