This woman is shedding light on trans abuse in immigration detention centres
A transgender woman has set up a campaign to tackle abuse against trans people who have been placed into immigration detention centres.
Nina Chaubal was crossing the border through Arizona while on her way to San Diego from Chicago with her wife, Greta Martela.
Chaubal, who is an Indian national, did not have a valid work visa and so fell into the hands of the Border Patrol.
Despite not being worried about deportation, the 23-year-old quickly became anxious when she thought about her gender identity and the impact that might have on her time in custody.
The couple, who are both transgender, had hear numerous stories about trans women who had been kept in isolation or in units for men.
The whole experience sparked the two to create Trans Lifeline – a crisis hotline for trans people.
The campaign helps trans people to deal with immigration authorities in times of need.
Supporters of the hotline helped raise over $10,000 to help pay for Chaubal’s legal defence, and now help others who fall into a similar situation.
Karyna Jaramillo spoke about her experience to the Globe and Mail. She considered suicide after fearing for her safety when she was placed among male detainees.
“The men whistled, screamed obscenities at me,” the 46-year-old said.
“They’d touch their genitals and say, ‘Here comes fresh meat’.” No one abused her “but the emotional trauma, I’ll never forget.”