In Canada this week, a Kelowna homeless shelter for women kicked two female clients out and then permanently banned them. The problem? They were uncomfortable sharing a room with a man who identifies as a woman and is in the midst of transitioning.
“He wants to become a woman. I mean that is his choice, but when a man comes into a women’s shelter, who still has a penis and genitals, he has more rights than we do,” Tracey, one of the women who was thrown out, said.
After sharing their tale with the media, the two women were permanently banned.
“They told me sorry, if a person identifies themselves with female, then we have to go with that,” Tracey added.
The other woman, Blaine, was also staying at the shelter. As a victim of an abusive relationship with a man, she felt very uncomfortable sharing a room with a man, even if he is transgender. The shelter is described as a women’s only facility.
“Some women have had bad experiences with men so they are fleeing men and now we have a man living there,” Blaine explained.
NOW Canada Society, the organization that runs the shelter, said in a statement they cannot speak to “specific cases” and explained their view.
“It is against the law to discriminate against transgender individuals. NOW Canada and other shelters in Kelowna welcome people without regard to age, race, religion and gender identity.”
After speaking to the press, the pair was banned from the shelter for good for breaking a confidentiality agreement put in place by the organization for the safety of all the clients.
Yet the organization tossed out the two ladies, who have nowhere to go and will be facing new dangers on the streets without the shelter.
NOW Canada apparently does not have room for transgender clients to have their own space and there are no shelters in that part of Canada just for transgender people. While the two women kicked to the curb believe transgender people should also have the help they need, they don’t regret speaking up for themselves, even though it resulted in being banned from the shelter.
“We need to make a fine line between the distinction of male, female and transgender. I think it’s all three different groups,” Blaine said.