ASTT(e)Q urges Québec shelters to change discriminatory practices
25 January, 2013 - As temperatures drop to extreme lows, transsexual and transgender women in Montréal continue to be turned away from many homeless women’s shelters. Over the past week of bitter cold, ASTT(e)Q, a local trans health project of CACTUS Montréal, has witnessed several of our members be denied shelter on the grounds of being trans. While such refusals are frequently justified by administrative regulations, members of ASTT(e)Q believe that these exclusive practices are rooted in discriminatory attitudes towards trans people.
A majority of women’s shelters throughout Québec require trans people to have undergone sex reassignment surgery, and/or to have changed their legal sex. “Such requirements are unattainable for most homeless trans people, due to prohibitive costs, and extensive administrative requirements,” says Mirha-Soleil Ross, staff of ASTT(e)Q. “Trans women are left with no alternatives, as men’s shelters are clearly not an option. With no place to turn, homeless trans women find themselves on the streets, which in -30 below temperatures is nothing short of deadly.”
“Just this week, a trans woman who had her surgery months ago was refused access to a woman’s shelter because she didn’t have an ‘F’ on her identity documents! While we believe trans people should have access to shelter and housing regardless of surgical status, this is a clear case of discrimination disguised as administrative regulations,” continues Ross.
“We are currently seeing many important legal and social advances for trans people, including in neighbouring Ontario where one can change their legal sex regardless of surgical status,” says Nora Butler Burke, coordinator of ASTT(e)Q. “In Québec, trans people have been relentlessly educating intervention workers and calling for shelters to address the exclusion of homeless trans people for decades. Yet shelters continue to refuse trans people based on the outdated policies of the Québec Department of Civil Status.”
In the context of life threatening temperatures, ASTT(e)Q urges all shelters to immediately remove barriers to admission for trans people based on the legal documentation in their possession and/or their surgical status. More broadly, we advocate for access to shelters, as well as other gender specific services, to be available according to one’s social identity rather than according to their legal or surgical status. We encourage organizations across Québec to work in collaboration with trans community groups to ensure that trans people are no longer denied access.
About ASTT(e)Q (Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec)
ASTT(e)Q aims to promote the health and well-being of trans people through peer support and advocacy, education and outreach, and community empowerment and mobilization. We understand the health of trans people and our communities to be interrelated to economic and social inequalities, which have resulted in trans people experiencing disproportionate rates of poverty, un(der)employment, precarious housing, criminalization and violence. We believe in the right to self-determine our gender identity and gender expression free from coercion, violence and discrimination. We advocate for access to health care that will meet the many needs of our diverse communities, while working collectively to build supportive, healthy and resilient communities.
For interviews: Nora Butler Burke at 514-347-9462
For terms, definitions and additional information about trans people:www.santetranshealth.org
This is your reminder that private insurance companies often refuse trans* people not only medically necessary transition care (which is seen by the insurance companies as “cosmetic” even though the medical community agrees it’s medically necessary), but also care which even the insurance companies consider medically necessary, on the grounds that transition is causing whatever the problem is and if you’d just stop transitioning, everything would be okay.
This is also your reminder that we have a feminist to thank for that.
…..that radfems on tumblr have been known to “innocently” drop anon questions in ask boxes, inquiring as to what exactly “radscum” means. Their intent is to get you engaging with them, or post & dissect your guard-down responses on radscum tumblrs, or otherwise troll you.
Some people don’t mind dealing with them or don’t really care. For me, on a bad day, it can seriously fuck with my mental health. To me they’re people who aren’t going to listen and only want to spew toxic waste and want people like me dead or at least “detransitioned.”
If you get an ask like this & you feel like answering (it could be a totally innocent query, after all) your best bet would probably be to keep your response concise and perhaps provide a link. If the person keeps sending you asks, stay alert to what direction the conversation is going in.
what not to do when someone asks you to use certain pronouns
- ask them why
- ask them whats between their legs
- tell them theyre wrong
- hammer them with personal questions
what to do when someone asks you to use certain pronouns:
- call them by those pronouns
- have a snack if you want w/e youre pretty much done here
What not to do:
- Tell them that’s not a “real” pronoun
What to do:
- Ask them how to use it if you’re not sure
The fact is that transgender people—in particular, transgender people of color—have simply not experienced the same strides forward as their lesbian, gay and bisexual brothers and sisters. A landmark new report, ‘Injustice at Every Turn,’ presents undeniable proof. This report, released on Friday, is based on a comprehensive survey of over 6,000 transgender people and the findings are too shocking to ignore, especially when it comes to African-American transgender people.
Our transgender brothers and sisters are far more likely to lack proper medical care, to be unemployed, to live in extreme poverty, and to be HIV-positive—and that’s when compared to their white transgender counterparts, not just the general population. The survey’s respondents were four times more likely than the general population to live in extreme poverty. One in five reported having been refused a home or apartment, another one in five report having been refused health care. More than one in five, 22 percent, reported having been harassed by law enforcement, and nearly half reported fear of seeking assistance from police. African American respondents reported all of this in even higher numbers."
Mandy Carter, Still No Freedom Rainbow for Transgender People of Color (COLORLINES)
If you haven’t already, I recommend taking a look at that report. The race statistics are sobering, and too important to ignore.