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Creating Authentic Spaces: A Gender Identity and Gender Expression Toolkit


Executive summary

This toolkit provides constructive and tangible steps on how to implement anti-discrimination policies around gender identity and gender expression, 1 as well as strategies and suggestions on creating affirming spaces for people who identify as trans and gender non-conforming. This toolkit was created with input from the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and through extensive feedback from the Toronto trans communities. The project is intended to update the Trans Inclusion Policy and Procedure Toolkit created by The 519 in 2011. It should be read alongside the OHRC’s Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression.

The toolkit outlines the OHRC’s definition of gender identity and expression; it also explains different forms of harassment and discrimination and breaks down the various steps your organization can take to comply with Ontario’s Human Rights Code, such as,

  • creating trans-positive washrooms and change rooms
  • addressing issues around name and pronoun changes
  • supporting an employee who is transitioning while working
  • supporting equal access and fair hiring practices

We’ve included organizational scorecards to help you better understand where your organization is succeeding and where it might need a little help. There are also pullout job aids that can be used to support these changes, including “Being an effective ally” and “Gender-specific and gender-neutral pronouns.”

While this toolkit provides practical information for preventing discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression as well as steps to implement structural change, there is no single route to creating and sustaining this change. The steps suggested in this toolkit provide an outline of how to do this work, but they are most valuable when used in conjunction with the input of members of your organization and feedback from your agency’s broader community.


Download the full toolkit (PDF)

More about The 519

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