The use of anti-transgender stickers bearing the words “women don’t have penises” has spread to Canada.
Canada’s national broadcaster CBC reports that stickers similar to the ones used in the UK recently are being used to target the gender-neutral toilet facilities at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The university recently opened a number of single-stall gender-neutral toilets in addition to the men’s and women’s facilities, to cater for trans and non-binary people who may not feel comfortable in gender-segregated toilets.
The trans-inclusive toilets are now being plastered with “women don’t have penises” stickers and others that claim “transitioning worsens dysphoria.”
Andrew Kenney, MUN student union’s trans rep, told CBC: “It makes me uneasy.
“Putting the gender-neutral washrooms in place was a huge step for trans people on campus feeling safe, and now that those areas have been targeted it’s disheartening, and it’s kind of scary.
“Being a trans person I know that transphobia exists. I’ve seen it before, [but] it’s disappointing to see it in my university where I’m supposed to feel safe.”
A statement from student union president Gary Kachonoski said: “Recently we were made aware that material carrying transphobic messages has been posted on doors and walls around the St. John’s campus, including in gender-inclusive washrooms.
“Memorial is committed to providing a safe, respectful environment for all members of the campus community and these messages do not align with our values.
“We strongly condemn and will not tolerate hateful speech directed towards members of our community.
“Campus Enforcement and Patrol (CEP) and Facilities Management staff are in the process of removing these materials and investigating their source. If you have any information relevant to their creation and dissemination, please contact CEP at 864-8561.”
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Anti-transgender feminist activist groups across the UK have recently adopted the tactic of using packs of stickers to display their messages in prominent public places.
Stickers used by the Liverpool ReSisters group bear the slogan “women don’t have penises,” while another anti-trans pressure group, Transgender Trend, produced a set that reads: “Is Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria the new anorexia?”
Similar stickers were previously used to target London-based LGBT+ charity Stonewall, which has several transgender employees.
Transgender Trend previously apologised for producing a sticker set after the group’s suggestion that it was a “good idea” for children to put the stickers on their school notebooks was met with hostility.
Transgender Trend said: “Although we obviously never intended our stickers to be used in schools, we understand people’s concerns that they could be used to create conflict between students.
“This is the last thing we want, so we have withdrawn the stickers from our site. We are sorry, we made a mistake.”
Several other anti-transgender sticker sets are still available to download from other sources. Several have been shared by users of online forum Mumsnet, which has become a hotbed of anti-transgender activism.