Thursday, 17 June 2010

Classes of Human

Here's one metric, in use by at least one Catholic Homeless Youth Shelter.

First Class : Straight, cis-sexual. Gets to sleep in a bed, and can be open about their sexuality.

Second Class : Gay, cis-sexual. Gets to sleep in a bed, but must be closeted.

Third Class : Trans-sexual. Must sleep on the floor. Not permitted to use the usual shower facilities.

Fourth Class : Intersexed. Expelled. There's no room at the Inn.

I was told when I arrived that I could only be there if I stayed with the girls, because I was legally female. I agreed because I had no other option, it was there or the street.

They roomed me with a female who said she felt uncomfortable being in the same room as me... the shelter's response was to pull me out of the room and insist that I sleep on the floor of the girls wing in front of the night staff.

I was constantly harassed by others in the shelter as well as the staff themselves. I was discovered to be physically intersexed by another shelter recipient who walked into the individual shower section I was in with the intent to start a fight.

When I was later told that even though I agreed to be there as a female that I could not use the female restrooms or showers, I was instructed to use a single person bathroom and shower on the first floor of the building. I was happy about that because I was obviously not comfortable using the multi-person restrooms and showers anyway.

When the girl who discovered I was intersexed told the staff, they made me get a "physical" at the little medical place attached next door. When it was confirmed I was indeed intersexed, I was told I had to leave the shelter because they had no place for me.

I was kicked out 2 days before my 16th birthday.
They've lost their way.


Nicole said...

This may not have happened anywhere near us Zoe, but I have to thank you very much for posting this.

As you know I have been writing my own life story and have very recently completed it and I'm almost about to show it to my mother.

But she called this morning oblivious to everything, and now I feel extremely guilty for writing the things that I have (the truth) about my own life and am starting to wonder whether I should go disrupting her world, and those of others in my family that have contributed to treating me poorly.

Reading this account of a 15yo intersex person treated like they have been has made me more determined however that I have to inform these ignorant people at least as much as I can.

They have no idea that this shit is happening out there in the big wide world, the real world, and they also have no idea that trans and intersex people of all ages live with a constant fear that the tables could be completely turned on us, completely unfairly at any point in time.

Thanks for posting this. It's given me the determination that I needed at this point in time.

Zoe Brain said...

Hi Nicole

Just remember - the task is never ending. It's mainly ignorance, not malice, that we fight.

But we can take a break now and then. It's as important to just live, as it is to make the world better. One is part of the other. By just living, we provide proof for others to use.

It's not as if the task won't still be there when we come back rested and refreshed.

Hugs and Best Wishes,

Anonymous said...

Somebody once said "By their fruits shall ye know them". Seems to me that this somebody is someone the Church claims to respect a great deal.

I wonder why their actions are exactly opposite to that somebody's words?