Irish trans woman applies for refugee status in Canada
An Northern Ireland-born trans woman is fighting to get refugee status in Canada because she says she could be at risk of attack if returned to her native country.
Tanya Bloomfield, 40, has lived and worked in Nova Scotia since 2006 and has family and friends in the area.
She has been denied temporary work and residency applications in the last year and her lawyer Lee Cohen said she could be deported immediately if her refugee claim is rejected.
Ms Bloomfield owns a computer company in Chester, Nova Scotia, and says she contributes to Canadian society.
She has raised thousands of dollars as sponsorship director for Halifax Pride and ran a charity marathon barefoot in May.
She told the Vancouver Sun: “There is well-documented evidence of homophobic attacks [in Ireland] 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.”
She added that she would “keep pushing on” with her case.
“I just have to hope that at some point Canada immigration can see that I do nothing but contribute to Canadian society, Canadian culture, to the economy, to the employment market,” she said.
Ms Bloomfield will know by the end of next week if she will be permitted to stay in Canada.
If she wins refugee status, she will be eligible for permanent residency.