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Vancouver’s Roller Girl claims traffic ticket result of intersex discrimination

"It's unfair to judge me because I'm an intersex woman — for me and for other intersex women out there."
Angela Dawson, also known as 'Roller Girl' in Vancouver.

Vancouver street icon Roller Girl told a Vancouver courtroom Tuesday that police discriminated against her when they issued her a traffic ticket.

“There are people who are born with both genders,” Angela Dawson told Judicial Justice Zahid Makhdoom at Robson Square provincial court. “It’s unfair to judge me because I’m an intersex woman — for me and for other intersex women out there.”

“I am targeted by police,” Dawson said. “I want to get this over.”

Dawson claims Vancouver police put her in danger when they stopped her at Main and Keefer on April 20, 2021 while rollerblading behind a truck. She was charged with unlawfully coasting/sliding with apparatus on a street. 

Earlier, Dawson told the justice of the peace the ticket was a violation of her human rights, of her right to freedom of expression.

“I’m a rollerblader,” she said.

“I can’t even rollerblade on the sidewalk,” she told Makhdoom. “The officers took me down and handcuffed me.”

That’s when the court asked if Dawson wanted to pursue a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge on the ticket. Dawson agreed, but that option was not pursued.

Makhdoom told Dawson the next step is to plead guilty or go to trial. The court heard Dawson has found a lawyer.

Dawson was critical of an earlier court appearance where there were several male sheriffs in the courtroom but no female, as she believes she is legally entitled to have.

There were no sheriffs in the room on Nov. 15.

“We’re very confident that you’ll behave yourself,” Makhdoom said.

Dawson rollerblading in the area of Main and Hastings has been a common sight for almost two decades. She directs traffic while on wheels in her trademark bright pink attire. She's also known to direct traffic at Commercial and Broadway and Main and 14th.

"I love it," she said earlier. "I love preventing death. I like to enhance society."

Makhdoom said the 19-month-old case would return to court on Dec. 13 to determine if a plea will be entered or if Dawson wants to go to trial.

Dawson ran unsuccessfully for a Vancouver Park Board seat in the Oct. 15 election.

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