Rape Relief trainer testifies at human rights hearing

A former trainer for the Vancouver Rape Relief Society says a transgendered woman threatened to go to the media over her rejection as a volunteer peer counsellor.

Danielle Cormier told a B.C. Human Rights tribunal that she quickly identified Kimberly Nixon as transgendered, and then confronted her.

Cormier says she tried to explain to Nixon the Society's policy of only accepting women volunteers. The organization maintains that in order to counsel victims of rape, volunteers need to have the life-long experience of being treated as a female.

She says she tried to explain to Nixon the issue wasn't personal, but rather was the political stance of the Society.

Cormier told the hearing Nixon then became angry, and threatened to take her case to the media. She says Nixon told her to expect to see her name and picture in the paper.

Nixon's own re-collection of the events is different. She says Cormier told her the Society didn't allow men or gay men to participate in the training sessions.

The tribunal is expected last for at least another week.