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Irish trans woman applies for refugee status in Canada

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  1. I really see no reason why she should not be allowed, if she has done what she said and is contributing then that’s probably better than some of their native residents.

  2. Come on… I mean, I’m sure she contributes to Canadian society and all but if she’s from Northern Ireland, she’s British (I’m not sure i understand why all the references to the Republic of Ireland) and I don’t think Britain is a country you need to escape because at risk of persecution for being a transexual.

    I think this makes a mockery of people who are genuinely at risk of persecution in their native countries for being LGBT. (usually people come to Britain to escape persecution!)

    It reminds me of the case of two Italian gay men who applied for asylum in Spain because Italy would not allow them to get married.

    I still hope she can stay in Canada because it’s sad to have to leave the life you have made for yourself but I fail to see how the Canadian government could justify accepting the claim that she’s at risk if returned to the UK. I think it would border on being a diplomatic incident for the two countries.

  3. Knowing Tanya, I know that going to the media was her last resort. This is also a case of transphobia on behalf of Canadian Immigration, who refuse to acknowledge her as Tanya, and refer in correspondence with her as He/Him. Back in 1988 her family was a target of the IRA, she has real fears of persecution if deported, and most of all she is a huge asset to our LGBTQ community and youth. The Canadian government is currently looking at a bill to include Transgender in our Bill of Human Rights… this is very timely that she is brave enough to stand forward with her story in front of the media. A decision I know she did not make lightly.

  4. So she was targeted by the IRA? Was this due to her transgender status? I doubt it. Saying Ireland is homophobic and worthy if seeking assylum from is a sickeningly wrong portrayal of this country.

    I have never once in my life been subjected to any type of homophobic anything and neither has my husband. Does this mean homophobia does jot exist here? No, it does. But its simply insane to suggest its a level where assylum is needed. There is more to this story then is being said.

  5. Well, I for one hope she makes it in. Canada is a beautiful place, full of moose, maple syrup and gay marriage!

  6. It appears to me that Tanya is trying it on with the immigration system. As a person living in Belfast, which despite its past, is probably one of the safest cities to live in throughout the UK. She is no more likely and probably a lot less likely to be the target of a hate crime here as opposed to anywhere else. Also the reference to the IRA is simply, in my opinion, is pathetic. The IRA didn’t target member of the gay community and indeed if a member of the gay community wanted political support within Northern Ireland they would receive no great support than that from the political representative of the IRA, Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein was calling for gay rights long before any other political party in Ireland, north or south of the border. Okay, Tanya wants to stay in Canada. That’s very understandable. However, it saddens me that in doing so she is trying the blacken the reputation of Northern Ireland; a state-let that has come a long long way in terms of tolerant, inclusion and equality.

  7. This does not ring true. Despite the fact that I regard Sinn Fein/IRA as a bunch of nasty traitors I am constrained to acknowledge that they are (as Stephen states) the most gay-friendly of the four parties in NI (except perhaps the Alliance, who would have my vote as the only non-sectarian party, but that is another issue). NI has a long way to go in eradicating religion and bigotry from its people, but to say that she is in clear and present danger justifying asylum. This lady slurs the good name of the UK.

  8. The last sentence of the post above was meant to say:-

    NI has a long way to go in eradicating religion and bigotry from its people, but to say that she is in clear and present danger justifying asylum is frankly absurd. This lady slurs the good name of the UK.

  9. There’s always someone who abuses the system to ruin it for those who really need it. Applying for residency because you like it there is one thing, saying you are in danger if you return home, when you are not is just wrong. Crying wolf.

  10. Below is the unedited quotation of what she said. I wonder why did Pink News insert the text “in Ireland” before “and I grew up there”. No such clarification was required – it’s clear her accusations were directed at that part of the island that’s ruled by the UK.

    “There is well-documented evidence of homophobic attacks and I grew up there and it’s just not a country I want to return to given that I’m transgendered because I’d be at risk,”

    Given her non-Irish sounding surname, I’d she’s from the pro-British Unionist community and would very much object to being called Irish.

  11. Stephen: There is more to Northern Ireland than Belfast. Outside the city, while not always ‘rural’, may not have the support services that make Belfast a ‘safe place to live’. While Northern Ireland is not as small-minded as many make it seem, it’s hardly fantastic for transgender people. (Yes, from personal experience, thanks.)

    I don’t agree with her being a ‘refugee’ necessarily, but I understand the reason why she is attempting this. Best of luck, Tanya.

  12. Seems to me the shinner brigade are out again. It is well known that in the past the I.R.A used to deliver punishment beatings to gay men. While the sinn fein party has pro gay policies its support base is mainly conservative catholic who vote for it on one issue , a unified Ireland.
    My demographic in Ireland fled because of severe stigma , harassment and violence and found refuge in England, a far more reasonable and tolerant country. Do not let the nationalistic fanaticism and cultural fascism of the Irish fool you , Ireland still has a nasty undercurrent of intolerance and “acceptable” anti british xenophobia. Though I would suggest that London would be a great place for any persecuted minority from Ireland to settle. I will be now attacked by the bile of my countrymen. Just because Ireland welcomes tourists , as long as they go back.
    DONT BELIEVE THE BLARNEY!

  13. Hi Victim. Could we have your real name as opposed to that of your complex, please? Anyone with even the most basic knowledge of the country will see your comment for what it is – nonsense. I don’t deny there is some residual anti-Britishness here but it’s no worse than anti-Irishness in the UK. To be honest, it’s just your usual inter-neighbour bitchiness.

    As I said before, I’m openly gay and living in a small Irish town in the Republic called Cavan. I’ve helped organise LGBT events in some of the local hotels and we’ve never had any problems. As long as we spend lots of money and cause no trouble, they always want us back. Cavan is not in any way unusual in that way. There is an active gay scene and it’s certainly not confined to the major cities. Type the name of any rural Irish county followed by the word ‘gay’ in Google and you’ll find some organisation, something going on.

    I can only recall one incident when I felt threatened for being gay and that was not in Ireland. It was at Europride in Manchester several years ago.

    Need it be pointed out once again that the woman in question is from Northern Ireland? I can’t comment about attitudes there.

    I don’t know what your issue is and I’m not that interested. You’re wrong and that is your problem and no-one else’s.

  14. OrtharRrith 3 Aug 2010, 2:46pm

    One thing to remember here is that everyone’s experiances are going to be slightly different, and being gay in Ireland be that north or south of the border may be different then being trans. That said, as someone who lives in Britian – of which Northern Ireland is a part remember – should the town or city I lived in prove hostile to me then I’d be inclined to leave that location and go somewhere else within the UK. That said though, if I’d also been a target of a terrorist group in the past due to my trans nature, then maybe I’d not feel safe anywhere within the UK. Maybe THAT’s where Tanya is coming from. It’s a difficult one I guess, as unless you are really lucky then being trans can make you a very obvious target, and it really only takes one person to be hostile to make you feel very unsafe. If that happened, would you feel safe being sent back there?

  15. Timothy (TRiG) 13 Aug 2010, 6:36pm

    Northern Ireland is part of the UK, but not part of Britain. This is merely a pedantic point, not a political one.

    I live in Ireland (Offaly, in the Republic) with an English accent, and am not aware of anti-British xenophobia. I’m not sure what world “Victim” lives in, but it’s not mine. I’m not aware of much anti-gay or anti-trans bigotry either, though I’m not trans myself so it may well exist and pass me by.

    I don’t know what part of NI Tanya comes from, or how dangerous it may be for trans people, but the fact that there are trans people living openly in NI and other parts of the UK does rather undercut her asylum claims, I’d think.

    TRiG.

  16. If you want a true example of how pathetic our Justice and Immigration system is in Canada, my ex partner, with my help, stupid me at the time, was caught by immigration, claimed Refugee Status from Belgium yes Belgium and after many trials and meetings was allowed to stay!!! First day her papers came in our mail…she left me…oh in her luggage to visit, she arrived with 8 towels from her Mom’s nice daughter eh!!! nor Partner !

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