Woman kicked out of her home with just three hours notice for being trans
A woman in New Zealand was kicked out of her home, which she described as a “safe haven”, with three hours notice because she is trans.
Kristine Ablinger told RNZ that she had made friends with her landlord when they were both lived at a Buddhist monastery in Auckland, New Zealand.
They had become friends, and the woman had offered Ablinger a room to rent in her house. When she came out as trans, her friend and landlord was supportive, even offering to give her make-up lessons, and said she was welcome as long as she wanted.
But days later, everything changed.
She received an email from the landlord which said someone had informed her that Ablinger felt she had found a “safe place to transition” and begin hormone therapy.
The landlord wrote: “I have to say that this is a BIG issue. So without being offensive… I need to honestly let you know that although I don’t have issues with transexual transgender etc, in general, I don’t want any part of that in my house.”
The email continued: “I am not your mother and I do not need to be involved in this kind of thing, which is not something I believe in at all.
“I have tried to tolerate it and be supportive because I realise that this is you and who you are. Unfortunately, I don’t like it at all. I find it extremely offensive.”
It added that she was being given 24 hours to move out. When Ablinger explained that she would need at least 48 hours to move her belongings, she was then told that a man would arrive in three hours and five minutes to “ensure you move”.
In New Zealand, discrimination in housing is illegal, on the basis of sex, marital status, religion, disability and ethnicity, and the country’s Human Rights Commission has stated that the prohibition of discrimination based on sex also includes trans people.
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But when Ablinger filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, she found that her horrific experience was completely legal. If the accommodation is shared with the landlord, then these discrimination laws do not apply.
“I could have lost my job,” said Ablinger. “I could have literally become homeless… No one should have any right or exception to discriminate against anyone.”
Recalling the three hours and five minutes she was given to move, in which time a friend managed to help her, she said: “I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think straight… The brain just goes in a storm.
“Everything moves away. Everything’s kind of blurry. I can’t focus on anything… I thought I’m [worthless]. I don’t want to live here. Everybody hates me.”
Ablinger, who has long suffered with depression, even began to feel suicidal.
Since being evicted, she has moved into a boarding house where she is able to be “anonymous”. She said she would love to live in a more social environment, but is too fearful of moving in case she ends up with a transphobic landlord.