As previously described, the 519 used to be the lesbian and gay community centre here and is still a City of Toronto agency. The 519 now has a rich kook, who may or may not be its éminence grise/shadowy grande dame Salah Bachir, offering to put up $10 million for an “LGBT sports and recreation centre.” (Bachir ignored my request for comment.)
Nobody wants this “LGBT sports and recreation centre.” Its claimed justification is that “LGBT” sports teams don’t have enough practice space. That may come as a surprise to them. But to make this project happen will require capital funding from government and operating funding from the City of Toronto forever. That rich kook is attempting to put Toronto on the hook for millions of dollars in perpetuity.
A justification for this “LGBT sports and recreation centre” is the 519’s feverish claim that Toronto gay and lesbian sports teams are male-dominated. That may come as a surprise to lesbo softballers, but in any event it’s the sort of thing that needs to be stopped.
I wrote the 519’s executive directrix Maura Lawless a letter, which she ignored until I pushed her.
I am writing to inform you of the fervent objections of gay men and lesbians to the 519’s focus on transgenders and transgenderism. I lodge objections and a complaint about the so-called LGBT sports and recreation centre, a shadowy project the 519 is trying to force on a gay and lesbian community that doesn’t want it and a city that doesn’t need it and can’t afford it.
Take this as notice that I – like many lesbians and gay men in this city, and particularly middle-aged members of those communities – strongly and unequivocally object to the 519’s obsession with the constellation of real and imagined populations and issues variously described as transgenders, transgenderism, transsexuals, trans people, trans* people, transwomen, transmen, transmisogyny, and cissexism.
The 519 Church St. Community Centre used to be a city-run gay and lesbian community centre that also welcomed other groups. Even when it was a bit run-down, it was home to the gay and lesbian community, which, I will perhaps be the first to tell you, is and was a real thing. But ever since the 519 adopted a shadowy grande dame in the person(a) of Salah Bachir, and certainly since you took over, the now-renamed 519 has exercised an ungodly obsession with a population numbering at most 433 in the entire province. (The Trans Pulse Report could locate only that many self-identified transgenders in Ontario.)
In the process, you and your cohorts have turned the 519 into a hostile and unwelcoming environment for gay men and especially lesbians. 519 management’s unsupportable (borderline paraphilic and coprophagic) obsession with washrooms, bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms has resulted in an environment at the 519 where women cannot take a leak anywhere in this government facility with the assurance of being safe from males in their presence. (Transwomen and MTFs are male.) Men cannot use a washroom in the facility with the assurance that no women are present.
The 519 is utterly obsessed with where transgenders can go to the bathroom. You won’t stop talking about it, which in turn forces real gay men and real lesbians to push back and continue that discussion. (We’d rather not.) You publish endless postings on Tumblr, and mount posters in the facility, about transgender urination “rights.” Worst of all, your staff and a contractor lied by omission in the notorious report ironically entitled “Creating Authentic Spaces.” There, the 519 and its contracted writer counterfactually purported that there is an actual legal right in Ontario for transgenders to use any and all washrooms, bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms they feel like. There isn’t.
Really, now. If you took an oath in a proceeding (say a complaint at the Human Rights Tribunal or, less formally, under city policies banning discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and political belief) and were obliged to speak only the truth, would you be able to state without equivocation that you believe some women have penises – and you are personally utterly untroubled by, and welcoming of, a male in the stall next to you at a 519 washroom?
The 519 perpetuates transgenders’ obsession with controlling other people’s thoughts, beliefs, language, and word choices. (Misgender a tranny on the property and what happens?) In that vein, I’d suggest you get used to a phrase you may be hearing a lot in the near future, namely Transgender Occupied Territory. (Hyphenate it if you wish.) You’re sitting in that territory now, because Transgender Occupied Territory is another name for the 519.
Poor choice of employees
Toronto is home to the most corrosive transgender activism in North America. While most of that seems to be domiciled at York University, the 519 has unclean hands in this regard given that the 519 has previously hired or allowed as volunteers or in some way has been associated with some of the most vicious transgender attackers of women, men, lesbians, and gays. I speak particularly of Mr. Morgan M. Page, who coined or at least popularized the lesbian-rape scenario known as the cotton ceiling, and kiddie paraphiliac Mr. Paul “Stefonknee” Wolscht, who, according to the 519’s ideology, isn’t a deadbeat dad of seven who once told a radio interviewer he was getting a hard-on right that minute but is a girl of age six. You are known by the company you keep.
So-called LGBT sports and recreation centre
I’m coming around to the idea that shadowy grande dame Salah Bachir is not the materfamilias who has offered to ante up 10 million bucks for this failed enterprise. (If it were him, he’d want his name over the entrance, though maybe one instance of that has sated his ample appetite.) Still, you’ve got some rich kook offering to put up money for a facility nobody actually wants or asked for, one that will require massive public funding in perpetuity.
Based on observation, the 519’s management is the least sportif one could imagine – about on a par with typical gay men who hate men, manhood, manliness, and strength. Yet you all pretend to be wildly excited about this white elephant. I submit that 519 management’s true aims are twofold:
Taking a donor’s money, and putting government on the hook, to pay for a facility with one and only one non-negotiable characteristic: Washrooms, bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms that transgenders can use without restriction. This means males, especially autogynephilic perverts calling themselves women, transwomen, or “trans lesbians,” wandering around with their erections exposed in what should be an all-female environment.
Answer the following question. Imagine everyone supported this facility and all the needed funding were provided. But imagine that were so if and only if its washrooms, bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms were explicitly segregated by sex with an outright statement that MTFs are male and FTMs are female. (All those are true facts.) Would the 519 suddenly oppose the construction of the facility?
Undermining and ultimately destroying single-sex teams, especially teams “dominated by gay men,” as the 519 put it. I suspect you and your staff fulminate with rage at Muddy York – a popular rugby team made up of gay men and other men who manfully play rugby, a team that the 519 would like to see disbanded or “integrated” with females. But what is more likely to happen is that hulking 6′4″ “women” will join – and tower over – teammates in women’s leagues like volleyball and dodgeball. (It’s actually happened in the latter case.)
I submit that 519 management did not give a shit about sports until that mystery donor came along with bagfuls of loot. I submit further that this unwanted and unnecessary boondoggle is driven by the 519’s desire to put male-bodied transwomen in women’s midst and destroy single-sex teams.
Squelching of dissent
You are receiving this letter so that you will never be able to honestly state that you are unaware of sincere, considered, well-articulated objections to the 519 and its policies and its unwelcoming and hostile environment. Nor will you be able to honestly claim you are unaware of objections to the so-called LGBT sports and recreation centre.
The 519 has done everything in its power to squelch dissent and indeed pretend there is none. Just as an example, one of your transgender apologists – that surely describes your entire staff, so I’d better narrow it down: John R. Farrell – sent the following message to me on Facebook, where it sat unread in some distant folder until I stumbled across it.
Please be advised that we have blocked you from making further posts on the 519’s Facebook page as your comments violate our Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Policy. For a discussion on reinstating your access to our Facebook page, please contact me at 416-355-6790. Also, if you have a complaint about the decision we have made to pursue the redevelopment of Moss Park, you are welcome to go through an appropriate complaints process which is available to all community members.
You are to consider this a complaint – not just about the LGBT sports and recreation centre but about Ms Farrell, who attempts to enforce so-called policy outside her purview of the 519 or the City of Toronto.
Also, when directly asked to comment for publication on the 519’s dishonest “Creating Authentic Spaces” report, your staff refused.
One more thing
The fact that the 519 supported the desecration of Cawthra Square Park, home to a memorial valourizing hundreds of gay men who died of AIDS (and some others), by renaming it after a still-living heterosexualist female was proof positive to us that the 519 holds the real lesbian and gay community, and men and gay men, in contempt.
I then stated that her response was for attribution and essentially dared her to bar me from the premises.
Mr. Lawless’s response? (Some legalese elided.)
This letter is in response to you January 21, 2016 correspondence addressed to me regarding your concerns that the 519 works to advance trans human rights and that it is taking active steps to advance inclusion for all LGBTQ identified people in Toronto.
How Orwellian. Next she’ll be telling me how much I enjoy steak tartare.
Please be advised that the 519, including our staff and our Board, will continue our leadership in advancing human rights and inclusion, including our work to advance trans human rights. In terms of the Moss Park redevelopment, we are working in partnership with the City and a number of key community stakeholders and partners to examine the feasibility of redeveloping the John Innes Recreation Centre, the Arena and the surrounding parklands. Over the next number of months we will be conducting a number of consultation sessions to seek community feedback on the design and programming priorities….
I have attached a copy of our Human Rights and Anti-Harassment Discrimination Policy and would like to draw your attention to the following paragraph: “The City and the 519… condemns harassment, denigration, discriminatory actions and the promotion of hatred. The 519 will not tolerate, ignore, or condone discrimination or harassment and is committed to promoting respectful conduct, tolerance and diversity at all times.”
I believe that the statements you have made in your January 21, 2016 correspondence constitute transphobia and hatred towards trans people and are a violation of this policy and as such I will not respond to the content beyond what I have stated here. Should you have a complaint regarding our services in relation to your correspondence, please contact the City of Toronto’s Human Rights Office
You’re on, sir.