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Transgender hockey teen wins locker-room access

Jesse Thomspon's human-rights complaint several years ago has finally opened hockey locker rooms to transgender teens.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Transgender Canadian teenager Jesse Thompson, who plays hockey, will finally be allowed to change in the boys locker room.

Several years ago Thompson, of Oshawa, Ontario, filed a human rights complaint against Hockey Canada for a policy that forced him to use the locker room of his birth-assigned gender.

The Toronto Star explains the adverse impact the exclusionary policy had on Thompson:

"Hockey for me was a way to escape what was actually going on — school, personal stuff," Thompson, now 19, told the Star in an interview Wednesday. "Then that started causing me more problems, too."

What began as his amateur hockey league's staunch refusal to let Thompson change in the boys' room prompted a complaint to Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal to challenge long-held dressing-room policies within Ontario's minor hockey league — rules Thompson says ultimately outed him to his teammates and exposed him to harassment.

It's taken three years, but a policy has finally been implemented in Ontario, even if the other Canadian provinces are still trying to figure it out.

"I'm really happy that moving forward, trans kids will be able to fully participate with their hockey teams," Thompson said to Metro News in a statement. "For me, when I was on the ice with my team, nothing else mattered. Hockey Canada is iconic and globally known and I hope other organizations will follow their example."

While it may be hard to understand why it would take over two years to work out a policy of respect... Oh hell, there's no reasoning that -- It's hard to understand!