Nova Scotia

Capital Health adds transgender bathroom signs

Capital Health has added transgender signs to its single-use bathrooms.
The health authority said it is using the symbol because it is recognized in the transgender community. (CBC)

The Capital District Health Authority has added transgender signs to its single-use bathrooms.  

The signs are up at the Mumford Professional Centre and the Dalhousie Medical Clinic and could soon be seen at the IWK.    

Deidre Taylor, a spokesperson for Capital Health, said the decision happened after a community consultation back in April found there was a need to represent transgendered people in its facilities.  

"The reason it doesn't just say 'washroom' is because people might have literacy challenges or if English isn't their first language, they might not understand,"Taylor said.

"Also the symbol of toilet is different in every country, and because Halifax is such a multicultural city, it was decided this symbol is very commonplace in the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community, this symbol would (be) best."

However Quin Smith, a member of the transgender community in Halfiax, said Captial Health should have just left the signs alone.

"If these single-use bathrooms have a sign that just has the male symbol and the female symbol on the same sign, on the same door, for the same bathroom, that's perfect," Smith said.

"I understand they were trying to do the right thing and make people feel included, but for myself at least personally, it represents a 'he/she' to me and that's not, as a transgender person, what I am. That's not what I want to be seen as."

"I find the symbol offensive and uncomfortable," Smith said.