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Protesters rally outside bridal shop for denying service to transgender woman

Sunday, May 5, 2013

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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20 more reader comments:

  1. That’s sad I think if your paying costumer leave them alone !!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:34am
  2. More Jeebus people showing the true color of their religion!

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:36am
  3. When in doubt…blame it on Canada.

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:38am
  4. And the army of ignorance and intolerance marches on…

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:38am
  5. we can go here. i hope this lady goes and gets the best dress in the entire world! congrats!

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:40am
  6. keep us updated on the law suite

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:40am
  7. This might be my ignorant side showing when it comes to transgender but if she hasn’t had a surgery yet, she is not a legal she correct? So what grounds of discrimination would it be for a guy (still not legal sex to female). So really does the man( still not sex change) have any legal ground?

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:45am
  8. So sad that people discriminate! Congrats to the beautiful couple :)

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:45am
  9. I wanted to write a letter to the store but cannot find a website or facebook profile. I hope you get your dress and your day is perfect!

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:46am
  10. someone should bring cookies or something nice to the protesters :)

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:52am
  11. They found a dress at a different shop and married April 29. The other business violated Canada’s anti-discrimination law and deserves a fine.

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:52am
  12. She’s beautiful and I am glad she found a dress elsewhere and still got married.

    @Katie Charming, yes, that is definitely your ignorant side showing. Her genital configuration is completely irrelevant. She is ‘she’ because that’s just who she is. She may not be legally recognised as such just yet, but the foundation for a discrimination complaint is that she was discriminated against based on her perceived gender and then denied service because of it.

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 12:12pm
  13. how stupid.

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 12:33pm
  14. We are known here in Canada for our equal rights;this is shamefull behavior,that bridal store should understand the meaning of EQUALITY & HUMANITY!

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 12:41pm
  15. @Katie: first, it is not appropriate to be calling her a guy or a man. Secondly, yes, it is anti-trans bigotry whether she or not she has completed her transition. Gender identity still isn’t a protected status in all areas, but it is slowly improving.

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 1:06pm
  16. I am pretty sure there is probably another place that sells bridal stuff somewhere is driving distance. If they don’t want rainbow money, someone does.

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 2:47pm
  17. That’s why I said I might be showing my ignorant side. I was looking for someone to help me understand

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 6:18pm
  18. Katie you can be legally a female allthough you have not had gender conformation surgury that is a change you make before

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 6:24pm
  19. WTF do the shop owner(s) care about who the f*** wears or buys some of their goods???? WTF is wrong with people today??? I’d sue the bitches!

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 8:49pm
  20. I understand. Sorry if I seemed a bit short, but comments like that are hurtful. There are plenty of good information resources out there. It can be frustrating having to define and explain ourselves to people so frequently, whilst nobody has to explain what “I’m gay” means. Parents, schools, at-least our employers, somebody needs to pick up the slack on trans awareness because the media spends more time throwing out hurtful damaging stereotypes (or just outright mocking us) than depicting trans-women and trans-men as healthy functioning members of society.

    I also hadn’t noticed Lauren had already basically replied to you, so I apologize for bothering you about what she had already covered, too.

    Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 9:24pm