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Protesters rally outside bridal shop for denying service to transgender woman

Sunday, May 5, 2013
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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — Dozens of transgender activists and allies gathered outside a Canadian bridal shop on Saturday to show support for a woman who said she was refused service at the store because she is transgender.

Rohit Singh (left) and Colin Peace outside Jenny’s Bridal Boutique in Saskatoon.
Photo: Liam Richards via The Canadian Press

Rohit Singh said she was looking for a bridal gown at Jenny’s Bridal Boutique in Saskatoon late last month, but said she was told that men weren’t allowed to try on the clothing.

Singh said she went to the store on April 21 with her fiancé and a friend and when they selected a dress, they asked to try it on, reported the Canadian Press.

Singh said the person working at the store assumed that it was for her female friend, but when they told her otherwise, the shop owner allegedly said, “Oh, I don’t allow men to wear dresses in my store.”

“I explained to her that I’m not a man, I’m a transgender and my sex-change procedure is going on,” Singh said. “She told me, ‘It doesn’t matter to me.’ And then she snatched that dress from my hand.”

Singh said she later found a dress at My Lynh Bridal, where she received excellent service; she said she intends to lodge a complaint against Jenny’s Bridal Boutique with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

“I’m damn sure it was discrimination,” Singh said. “She told me, ‘You look like a man and I don’t think men can wear dresses as females.’ ”

On Saturday, the crowd cheered when Singh and her husband attended the rally outside the bridal shop.

“I am damn happier than the day of my wedding,” said Singh. “I never thought this kind of crowd would come to support me here in Saskatoon,” she said.

Singh and her husband, Colin Peace, were married on April 29.

The protesters also circulated a petition to the provincial government that calls for more human rights protection for transgender people.

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