A trans woman says she was made to feel like she did something wrong for using a woman’s washroom at a casino in Prince Albert, Sask.
“It’s very hard on me, I feel like I did something wrong, which I shouldn’t feel,” Lexus Herman said.
She claims she was confronted by an employee at the Northern Lights Casino on Aug. 31 after using the women’s washroom and was publicly shamed when the gender listed on her ID and the gender she presents as didn’t match up.
She alleges this is the second time she’s been discriminated against at the casino, when she was also confronted outside a washroom.
She said the previous situation remains unresolved and added she didn’t pursue it at the time due to feeling scared.
“This is not right, this is something I have to live with and it’s very hurtful,” she said. “This is the new age, the new generation. No one should face this kind of discrimination anymore; this is sickening.”
Herman said she was unaware of the peaceful protest staged on Monday, but was thankful for the support in a difficult time.
She said she is currently in the process of filing a Human Rights Code violation and hopes for more education in Saskatchewan about trans rights after the incident.
“It really needs to get out there and this is something which should be addressed,” she said.
Northern Lights Casino general manager Richard Ahenakew apologized Herman was made to feel discriminated against during her time at the casino and said the incident is under review.
Rally in support of trans woman held at Prince Albert casino
A handful of gender and sexual diversity activists raised their flags as part of a peaceful protest to raise awareness of trans rights.
They gathered in front of the Northern Lights Casino on Monday, Sept. 5 to support Lexus Herman.
“It’s important to spread the awareness that gender is protected within the Saskatchewan Human Rights code and discrimination is wrong,” supporter Jennifer Brockman said.
As a Métis, two-spirited person herself, Brockman said it’s disappointing to see such a situation happen in Prince Albert.
Since the initial incident, she said others have come forward about “incidents where they felt harassed and publicly shamed for using the washrooms here at the casino.”
Supporter Michel Boutin said he wasn’t surprised at the news of the confrontation.
“We moved to the city 12 years ago and at that point I was quite shocked,” he said. “We’ve been here a while now and I’ve gotten used to it but it’s still no less shocking.”
He said incidents involving gender identity in the area stem from a loss of First Nations tradition about gender and sexuality.
In the past, Boutin said five genders were recognized: male, female, gay male, gay female and trans. Now he said only male and female are widely recognized.
“It’s not just P.A., Saskatchewan as a whole is backwards and awkward when it comes to inclusion,” he said of others coming forward with their stories of gender discrimination.