A Montreal woman has filed a complaint with the Administrative Judicial Council against a Rental Board judge she says repeatedly referred to her as a man.
While in court with a witness, a friend who was also a former tenant of the same building, Sojourner said in a news conference late Wednesday morning that the presiding judge, Luce De Palma, consistently referred to her with male pronouns.
“I was referred to as ‘monsieur,’ ‘il,’ ‘lui,’ and ‘mr.’ over twelve times” said Sojourner, “and each time she referred to me, I corrected her. Including the landlord, I was there over a landlord case, and the landlord’s representative would, every time he was spoken to in French, would correct the judge and say ‘madame Sojourner.'”
Sojourner, who is not transgender, identifies herself as a black lesbian woman, and says the experience left her dignity “in tatters.”
You can hear Tomee describe what happened and how it affected her on this CBC radio program: Human rights complaint – Homerun – CBC Player. Fo Niemi, of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations, joins the discussion. You need to hear the story to understand more about how race may figure in. Hot tip: Hair. Here’s the TV story.
Along with all the other emotions, I felt relieved to see that the landlord’s representative also engaged in an effort to correct the judge. What would you have done?
h/t to Osgoode’s Njeri Damali Campbell who sent me info on this case.