Airport apologizes to Enza after harassment complaint
File photo: Enza Anderson, Toronto's best known drag queen, poses following a press conference in Toronto Thursday December 13, 2001. Anderson announced he will enter the Canadian Alliance leadership race. (Aaron Harris / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Joshua Freeman, cp24.com
Published Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:55PM EDT
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority has issued an apology to a well-known member of Toronto’s transgendered community after she complained that she was ridiculed by staff at Pearson International airport.
Enza Anderson, who once ran for mayor against Mel Lastman, told reporters back in May that as she came through the Canada Customs hall at Terminal 3 on April 28, an airport greeter pointed at her and audibly exclaimed to a colleague that she was really a man.
“As soon as I walked in the room one of these greeters started to motion to one of her colleagues and said ‘that’s a guy,’” Anderson told cp24.com Thursday. “From there on it just created a very uncomfortable situation. They were all staring and gawking.”
Anderson identifies as a female, but was labeled a male at birth and is marked as being male on her passport.
While she didn’t immediately confront the worker, Anderson filed a formal complaint through the airport’s website afterwards.
She told cp24.com Thursday that the customer service representative had emailed her the apology May 30, but she hadn’t seen the email until Thursday.
“It is the goal of the GTAA to ensure that the all users of Toronto Pearson receive the highest level of customer service and we apologize for the treatment that you encountered,” a customer service representative wrote to Enza Anderson in an email.
The email said the company that is contracted to provide greeters in the airport has looked into the incident.
“Our service provider for the OSR group has conducted an investigation with the employees that were on shift and in the area during the time you had indicated in your email,” the airport wrote to Anderson. “Our service provider has assured us that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”
The email said all the airport’s greeters are in the process of undergoing sensitivity training that has been “updated to address a larger community of individuals and not just guests with special needs.”
Anderson is a well-known figure in Toronto who frequently speaks out about transgender issues. She has run for political office several times, including in 2000 when she ran an unsuccessful bid to become mayor, finishing third.
An employees in financial services at the Bank of Montreal, Anderson is set to receive an award at the Chief of Police's Pride Reception Thursday evening for her efforts to encourage inclusiveness in the corporate sector.
As for her airport ordeal, Anderson said Thursday she’s happy the airport has apologized and considers the matter closed. She pointed out that with Toronto set to host World Pride festivities in 2014, it’s probably a good thing airport greeters will receive the updated training.
“I’m glad that they gave it the attention it deserves, to look into it and come back to me and say we’ll work toward making sure our employees follow certain guidelines,” Anderson said.
However she said she’ll keep the letter handy for the next time she travels, just in case she encounters any further issues.