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Since we’re on the subject, I’m going to ask my readers who may be more rehearsed in these matters a question: Apart from Babeland, there’s another sex toy shop I am interested in visiting, one that’s located back in Victoria.

I saw the advertisement for it in the magazine on the ferry, and it sounded like a great place, but one particular tidbit about it caught my eye: It described itself as “Local, woman owned and operated”. That’s a nice, celebratory statement, and I was gung-ho about visiting and supporting it, because I love supporting local, independent businesses that are Victoria/Canada owned and operated.

I started thinking about the phrase “woman owned” though, and I am wondering: Are there any cases where that wording could be considered an alarm bell indicating transphobia? I want to bring Jaime with me when I go shopping there, after all, and I wouldn’t want to run into a bit of ugliness. I know it may seem silly to read into that little sentence, but I’ve seen enough crap where different groups exclude transwomen and tout their status as “woman spaces” (The initials WBW, for “Woman Born Woman” are the biggest alarm bell of all) that it’s my second nature to be suspicious, unfortunately.

I think I may be safe; it could be a perfectly benign, awesome feminist statement that’s not meant as a dog-whistle for transphobics. Trans readers, what’s your experience with “woman owned” spaces and businesses, and were you welcomed there and treated with respect, and had your identity respected? I just want to make sure before I go, because I love sex toy shops, and would be happy to have one I could patronize in Victoria.

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