Transgender issues: Quebec settles bathroom debate once and for all

Québec FlagBy Jillian Page
LGBT Perspectives editor

QUEBEC — Whether Quebec officials realize it or not — and they probably do — they seem to have settled the contentious issue of which bathroom non-op transgender people can use.

The province’s relaxed regulations, mentioned in the preceding post, allow trans people to change their sex designation on documentation with nothing more than the individual signing a declaration stating he or she will live in that gender role.

In other words, a person assigned male at birth who self-identifies as a female can now simply declare she is female, and her documentation will be changed to reflect that. She will be recognized as female, even if she retains her male bits and doesn’t take estrogen.

And, of course, that F designation on her documentation allows her to use female sex-segregated facilities.

And therein lies the genius behind Quebec’s relaxed regulation. No more debate on the bathroom and dressing room issues. If you say you are a woman and present as one, then all you need to do is officially change your designation, and you’re free to use those facilities.

But if you are a “cross-dresser” who doesn’t want to change your sex designation from M to F, then you use male facilities — though Quebec hasn’t exactly spelled that out. But it makes sense, yes? It is not illegal for men to wear dresses and still identify as men. There is no reason why they can’t use men’s facilities.

In other words, besides making life easier for trans people, Quebec seems to be telling them that if they want to use female sex-segregated facilities (and vice versa for FtM people), change your designation. They’ve made it easy to do.

Bathroom debate settled.

Incidentally, they have also made federal legislation, i.e. Bill C-279, irrelevant. If you have an F on your documentation, federal facilities must recognize you as a woman regardless of what is between your legs.

(Photo credit: Quebec flags, from Wikimedia Commons)


“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey


6 thoughts on “Transgender issues: Quebec settles bathroom debate once and for all”

  1. So my friend who works in a high security jail and presents male or female depending how they feel and has an ID badge for female and and ID badge for male. They use the badge that suits how they feel that day and they will never be one or the other forever. It works for them, and their employer, their co-workers and has been for years. They always have the same name, but the m/f changes. They use the woman’s washroom when presenting female, and the male washroom when presenting male. Ontario Human Rights protects them regardless of their current presentation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting situation, Michelle. I know that there is a lot of latitude with Toby’s Act.

      That said, there are some men who wear femme clothing who don’t identify as trans people, and they want to use men’s washrooms. I did a post here about that a while ago, and heard from some — and they were upset when it was suggested that because they wear a dress, they should have to use women’s facilities.


  2. You make an interesting point. This will help with the bathroom issues. But the most important part of Bill C-279 was the discrimination protections that it would have given to Trans People. Unfortunately, the bathroom issues totally overshadowed the real intent of the bill. The discrimination issues are still ongoing and will have to be addresses in the next Parliament.


    1. “The discrimination issues are still ongoing and will have to be addresses in the next Parliament.”

      If a conservative government is elected don’t count on the discrimination issues going anywhere.


      1. Teresa, if all the provinces allow trans people to change their sex designation the same way Quebec is doing it — and other provinces are doing it — the federal bill won’t be needed any longer. If a trans person’s designation is F, she will have the same rights all other females have. (The reverse obviously applies for FtM people.)

        Senator Plett’s objection to Bill C-279 was that some people were presenting as female but had no plans to gender transition. Now they don’t have to physically transition; they only need to do a paper change. It makes Mr. Plett’s concerns redundant.


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