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UK: Housing association refuse to relocate trans woman away from phobic neighbours and say it is ‘lifestyle choice’

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  1. same thing happened to me ipswich borough council told me to…. ‘give up my tenancy and go live somewhere where ‘people like me are accepted’
    and after 15 years of being a tenant with them i was dissapointed at the way i was treated by the council.
    sometimes i wonder if being transgendered is an invisible target

    1. Darling FIGHT it….you do not deserve this crap. xxx

      1. daniel the fight is all gone
        i spent 9 months with the new neibour spitting at me over the bannisters and making threats etc the housing officer from ipswich council even told them she would not be taking any action against them which made things 10 times worse police for a long time gave the excuse no witnesses so no action apart from a quiet word.
        i moved house and am now recusive
        however the harrassment didnt stop there the housing officer apparently didnt get my notice to quit and the council are now chasing me via debt collectors for a months rent even though they sent me a letter headed ‘acceptance of notice to quit’
        my housing officers main comments to me were move out and live where people like you are accepted……….she even told me the people harrassing me had more right to live in the flats than me
        but my complaints to ipswich coouncil fall on deaf ears and i cant get legal aid to fight the rent arrears they are trying to extort from me.

        1. thelostdot 1 Feb 2013, 1:20pm

          I think we all remeber Ipswich from the murdered prostitutes and the way even the police spoke of the women as though they weren’t human.

        2. Gabz. Can’t you go to the CAB and get some advice? No one deserves to be treated in this way. It’s appalling and it saddens me to think that you or anyone is forced to live like this.
          Ipswich council, the police and the disgusting neighbours should all hang their heads in shame.
          My best wishes to you and I hope you eventually get the peace you so richly deserve.

      2. Crista S. 1 Feb 2013, 8:34pm

        Gabz First let me you have my utmost sympathy love.
        And Daniel you know we get SO much crap thrown on us that it becomes impossible to to fight every wrong.
        And here stateside lawyers want money just to look at you.
        So the bigots can pretty much do whatever as they know we are economically and socially Greenlit.
        Its getting better but still I fear we are tha last in line. Nevermind the fact that we were the FIRST to fight . Comptons Cafeteria then Stonewall. And thanks to gays and straight pathologizing our very existence we are now seen as a disease, and a joke. Smdh.
        Oh well I suppose. ;(

  2. Why try to call it “bad wording”? That seems to be excuse du jour and it’s clearly a lie. How better can you word “being transgender is a lifestyle choice”? The excuse is basically a lie and therefore is about as insincere an apology as you’re ever likely to get.

    1. casparthegood 1 Feb 2013, 11:08am

      my first thought as well – sounds like their “big book of excuses” needs reviewed as well

  3. Disgraceful. Firstly the lack of understanding of the staff to consider being trans a “lifestyle choice”. Second, so what if it was. What if the person had decided to become Muslim, or Jewish, or Hari Krishna and was being persecuted by neighbours. Would the answer have been the same? I doubt it.

    1. From the housing group’s website:

      -> Fabrick Housing Group has received the
      -> Middlesbrough LGBT inclusion award for its way of
      -> working and a range of ongoing initiatives.
      ->
      -> LGBT inclusion officer Lesley Duggan from
      -> Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency carried out
      -> the assessment and highlighted efforts including:
      ->
      -> • Training for all staff members regarding the needs
      -> of the LGBT community
      ->
      -> • Reviewing policies and procedures to ensure they are
      -> inclusive of LGBT issues
      ->
      -> • Networking with local LGBT organisations and the
      -> LGBT community
      ->
      -> • Communicating equality and diversity issues relating
      -> to LGBT inclusion
      ->
      -> She said: “I would like to congratulate Fabrick
      -> Housing Group on its enthusiasm and diligence in the
      -> achievement of the outcomes in such a short space of
      -> time.

      So, once again, “LGBT” training that doesn’t actually include vital T issues, like right to a safe home, and freedom from harassment.

  4. Disgusting! I hope she fights this legally for redress (no puns intended). When will it sink in that issues of sexuality and gender identity are not choices! When they are dragged through the courts, that’s when (again, no puns intended). I hope she does just that!!

  5. Cardinal Capone 1 Feb 2013, 10:46am

    “Lifestyle choice” is a false meme created by the religious right in America, that has spread to some extremists here.

  6. This crap happens ALL the time & in Council Housing too.

    WHY is the victim moved BUT the perpetrator always allowed to stay?

    The victim should be moved if they choose & the perpetrator slung out!

  7. Oh & that wanker member of staff told to clear their desk!

  8. Changing gender is a personal choice, no one tells you to do it, but you should receive abuse.

    1. I hope that was a typo and you meant to say “shouldn’t recieve abuse”.

    2. carol uren 1 Feb 2013, 7:13pm

      Having gender dysphoria is not a choice, it is something you are born with – it is like saying that being deaf is a lifestyle choice, you are born with it (or predisposed to it). If it could be rectified by an operation would you say that it a lifestyle choice or a necessity to live a better life.

  9. Hmm, but if you’re on the dole, sat on your backsides drinking all day, breeding like rabbits and have 10+ kids you’ll get a bigger house no problem.
    Erm, and THAT’S a lifestyle choice isn’t it?

    1. Crista S. 1 Feb 2013, 8:36pm

      A frickin men. Its a choice to be a breeding junkie bigot. Its NOT a choice to be hated. Nor lgbtiqq.

  10. Erimus should be thanking Ms Lowther profusely for:

    1) apparently not suing them despite a clear breach of the law, and
    2) helping Erimus with their diversity training – I hope she will be paid appropriately.

    I find it shocking that a major housing provider (along with many others, to judge by comments) blithely disregards the law.

    Trans activist groups do excellent work but they don’t have the resources to hold these agencies systematically to account.

    Stonewall has resources, but refuses to campaign on trans issues.

    LGB&T issues are closely related for many reasons (many Ts are LGB; many cis-LGBs are gender-nonconforming; many straight Ts have spent time in the LGB community; it’s often the same bigots and the same bigotry hurting LGBs & Ts, etc.)

    Stonewall’s policy is an embarrassment. They need to start using their (our) cash to help out people like Ms Lowther.

    1. i couldnt afford to get legal help with my problems which were the same as ms lowthers
      yes what the councils and housing assc do is wrong but theres no legal help unless you can afford to sue them from your own pocket

      1. And they know damned well that people in that situation can’t afford to sue them. I lived in council housing for a few years, and my neighbours had a great time badmouthing me to everyone for the crime of being Jewish, including blaming me every time someone else slammed the main door (I’m severely disabled and wasn’t getting out of the flat). Of course, they also ran around spreading rumours about the Pakistani family who ran the local corner shop. I dread to think what they’d have said about me if they’d worked out that I was LGBT. I didn’t bother complaining at the time, I knew it would just make things worse.

    2. As my comment above, quoting the housing group’s website, shows, all staff have already had “LGBT” training, and been checked out and given an award for it. If Stonewall did that sort of stuff it would probably be no better. My own landlord has Stonewall’s own award, and advertises it as if it covers “T”, which Stonewall says is no business of theirs. But they are lousy of L issues too.

      I had a neighbour call me a “a lesbian bitch” in a very threatening way, keep hanging around under my windows, smoking, and set up his own CCTV to watch all coming and going, which freaked everyone out but is apparently quite legal. The housing manager just told me to “not make things worse”. Eventually, 4 years on, the culprit did a midnight flit.

      A big part of the problem is that such landlords pride themselves in giving homes to people leaving asylums, but of course cannot advise , warn, or protect neighbours from them until things have gone really bad.

  11. Wim Lammers 1 Feb 2013, 11:30am

    Why should the victims have to move and hope that the neighbours at the new place will accept them. In the Netherlands the following tactic worked.
    In several cases, familiies who were seriously disturbing the living-pleasure of neighbours and continued to do so, were forced to move in a livingcontainer with no neighbours.

    1. I love that idea.

  12. thelostdot 1 Feb 2013, 2:03pm

    Typical of the ignorance you encounter, where so-called equality has even been considered properly. Usual lack of rights for trans people, I’ve had it myself and they wouldn’t even report it in the Pink News. Even the rest of the trans community don’t seem to care much what happens to TSs. It has shaped my attitude – I tend to keep away from all LGBT groups, and though i have family who rent out properties because when I needed I was left entirely without, I get them to do what is best for us and forget the trans. community. Because the trans community is very selective about who it cares about – only those in a cliche.

  13. Sister Mary Clarence 1 Feb 2013, 2:31pm

    “This was a genuine mix-up by a member of staff who immediately recognised she had not worded things correctly and apologised.”

    That being the case then, did they clarify why they wouldn’t actually re-house her?

    Clearly there must have been some other justification, were they excuses for their actions to be true.

  14. take them to court dear

  15. Beyond stupid. This woman clearly hadn”t made a ‘lifestyle choice’ but even if somebody else had regarding something that you *could* choose then do they deserve to receive abuse? No – warn the abusers and, if they persist, evict them.

  16. alliphant 1 Feb 2013, 5:32pm

    Good for her for trying to change things! She’s done all the right things. Go Stephanie!! :)

  17. Mister Fister 1 Feb 2013, 7:40pm

    What utter bast*ards.

  18. join the socialist party….fight this garbage

  19. Sarah Noble 3 Feb 2013, 2:41am

    Just a reminder that this is perfectly legal, and was made so in the dying days of the Labour government:

    http://www.complicity.co.uk/blog/2010/10/no-longer-a-woman/

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