The Department of Housing and Urban Development is preparing to impose a mandate next month that will require homeless shelters to provide admittance based only on gender identity.
As reported by The Hill, this effort is being made in favor of ending protections for sex-segregated group shelters for the homeless:
“Transgender women are women regardless of whether they were born male … We, obviously, need to protect women who have been sexually abused,” David Stacy, government affairs director at the Human Rights Campaign said. “But if we don’t treat people consistently with their gender identity, then a woman who was abused by her boyfriend could be housed with a transgender man who looks like a man and has a beard.”
Here are several extreme assumptions you must accept for this statement to make sense:
- That transgender people usually “pass” as the opposite sex.
- That there exist no biological women with facial hair or “masculine” appearances except for women (trans men) who’ve been on hormone therapy.
- That housing transgender women with biological females is somehow safe for women.
- That housing transgender men with biological males is somehow safer for transgender men, who are biologically female.
These assumptions, however, are generally invalid. Here’s why.
First, most people who transition as adults don’t pass. Even if your friends are being nice to you. If you have time to kill, you can read about “passing privilege,” which is a supposed privilege a transgender person gets when they are assumed by others to be the opposite biological sex. For a trans woman, this means no one realizes they’re male. Not only don’t most transgender people pass as the opposite sex, it’s considered transphobic and bigoted to assume that they should.
Whatever you may have been told, transgender advocates don’t believe that transgender people should have to try and look like the opposite sex in order to be accepted as that sex in every way. In the words of their supporters, they want women and girls to get over the discomfort of seeing male genitalia in our locker rooms, so much so that they’ve reclassified our complaints about their presence as hate speech. They want us to accept the nudity of a “range of bodies that might not fit the cisgender ideal” wherever same-sex nudity is accepted.
In other words, what the transgender movement really wants is for males not to have to bother imitating women when they want to walk into a women’s facility.
Second, there are a lot of women who don’t look stereotypically feminine. Maybe they’re tall, don’t wear makeup, wear heavy farm or work clothes, have short hair, or have a medical condition that causes excess facial hair. It didn’t used to be a public policy issue when they got hassled, though they did. Transgender activists bring them up as if the point of these policies was concern for women. Unfortunately, the relentless focus on expanding male access to women has only raised suspicions against women who don’t look stereotypically feminine.
Third, all transgender women are biologically male. It’s as safe to force women into shared housing with them as it is to force women into shared housing with any other male. Resistance to this isn’t an overblown fear of transgender people. It’s a sensible fear of common male violence and voyeurism. Every parent who’s sent their daughter to prom, every woman or girl who’s had a man stare down her shirt in public, understands.
A gender identity shelter policy in Canada already allowed a male sex predator, Christopher Hambrook, to sexually assault women at two different shelters after two prior convictions for sexually assaulting a woman and a girl. Canada’s policies allowed 53-year-old Stefonknee Wolscht (formerly Paul), to take his sick age-play fetish (Warning: offensive content) into a women’s homeless shelter after he fell on hard times (after leaving and threatening his former wife and seven children).
The transgender activism community is well aware of all of it. They have stacked the political and media deck by labeling negative examples like this as hate speech against trans people, not an accurate report of male violence against women that was a foreseeable consequence of their policies.
But you don’t have to cross the border for worrying stories.
Just this July, in Oregon, Isabel Rosa Araujo claims to have gotten a “transmisogynist” homeless woman “banhammered” from a women’s shelter for objecting to Araujo’s presence. Araujo, name aside, is neither a woman nor Latino. A white man, formerly known as Phillip Vincent Haskins-Delici, Araujo has previously admitted to hitting his own mother while living with her and has recently written on Facebook about assaulting two different homeless men in recent months.
Araujo has posted recent photos of himself wearing a dog collar with long, metal spikes, posing with guns and knives, and sporting a “Die Cis Scum” tattoo. This June, he posted a rant about “cis gay scumbags,” talking about gay male politicians, and a line drawing of a girl reading a book titled, “HOW TO KILL TRANS-PHOBIC F***ERS.”
“Izzy Hell Araujo,” formerly Ahuviya Harel (Warning: offensive content), formerly Phillip Vincent Haskins-Delici, is a “woman,” as far as the Obama administration is concerned. Araujo has the legal right to get women kicked out of women’s shelters if they complain that he makes them uncomfortable because he’s obviously a man. Look at some of what else I found posted on his social media profile and tell me how little you’d have to care about homeless women to make them share a shower with him.
What will it take before liberals prioritize women’s safety? I wonder.
Fourth, transgender men are female and it’s as safe to put them into shared housing with lots of men as it is to put any other women into shared housing with men.
The transgender rights movement has known that women who live as men are in danger in all-male homeless shelters since at least 2003, as shared in the report, “Transitioning Our Shelters,” by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute:
“Although a female-to-male trans person (trans man) might identify themselves as a man… the reality for many is that surgery and hormones are expensive, passing is out of reach, and men’s services are not safe for a trans man who may not pass. If an FtM (female-to-male) has not been approved for testosterone, or had a mastectomy, (and even if he has…) then he is at risk for physical, verbal, and sexual assault in men’s dorms/ bathrooms/ and showers. There have been incidents of gang rape toward FtM’s in men’s shelters. Some FtM’s may choose to face these risks in a shelter that validates their identity… but they should not have to. … FtM’s need women’s services to open their doors and their policies.”
Yet the transgender policy community continues to tell transitioning women that they are protected by “male privilege” from being treated like any other woman.
That’s not true. Transitioned women won’t be in danger because of transphobia in men’s shelters, but rather misogyny. They’ll be in danger because men will see them as sexual objects in ways that they won’t see other males. Hormone treatments can’t fix that and the transgender movement doesn’t care enough about their safety to be honest with them.
The transgender activists’ response to this problem so far has been that women’s shelters should let in everyone who says they should be there. Now they’re talking as if transgender men, who are female, should be required to stay in men’s shelters. Either way, homeless women’s safety and privacy are at risk.
All the cost and burden of this policy is shouldered by destitute women who need a safe place to sleep, and women’s charities that rarely have enough resources to meet the need.
All the rewards go to Democrats who support these policies, along with liberal advocates like the ACLU or the Human Rights Campaign. They get praise for standing at the leading edge of social justice policy. Big business uses this banner to cheaply and hypocritically blunt public criticism from the left. Fading celebrities use boycotts over transgender inclusion to gain popularity. They can be celebrated for pushing to end single-sex facilities without having to donate to improve or expand shelter for the homeless, or making men’s shelters safer for males who don’t conform to sex stereotypes.
How did this happen? Why do so many news stories claim that these policies have been in place for years with no problems, when it they were hardly discussed before the last two years? If I’m telling the truth, why aren’t the women’s shelters up in arms about this? Why aren’t the women’s organizations speaking out?
The answers are related. It seems to be about money.
The 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) contained a little-discussed provision requiring all organizations and local governments accepting some of its hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to offer access to services based on gender identity. Policies were very quietly put in place across the nation — and at organizations that take VAWA money, like the YMCA — requiring access to sex-segregated facilities to be based on gender identity.
After seeing the Obama administration threaten school districts and state governments with losses of federal funding, witnessing the silencing that goes on, women’s secular anti-violence and shelter networks fully surrendered. Now they can sign as many letters as they want to saying yes to these policies, but they can’t say no to them, either.
If the women’s shelters have to pick between helping some women and occasionally letting in a violent man like Phillip Vincent Haskins-Delici, or having to close their doors and help no one, who can blame them? They’re acting under duress. As are the women’s nonprofits, who now face a philanthropic community fully committed to spending big money on transgender politics.
Think on this: When a person can’t say no, she can’t mean yes.
Homeless women can’t say no to this. The shelters that serve them can’t say no to it. The women’s groups who usually advocate for them can’t say no to their funders and political allies.
Please, stop making us say yes.
Note from the Author:
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