Mr BTPS works in a council run homeless night shelter in the Netherlands for people with drug, alcohol and psychiatric problems, where the dormitories and showers are divided along male/female lines. However, the shelter has a new client who is on the first stages of transitioning from MTF, and there is much discussion about where to house her. Basically, it would be unsafe to go with the male wing due to transphobia and the fact that she has a female gender-expression, thus wanting to be treated as a woman. But, occupants of the female wing are not happy for her to sleep, shower and change clothes with them either – most of them have very bad histories of being abused by men and unfortunately see the trans woman as ‘really a man’ who still has the physical capability to rape and abuse them. Further, there isn’t room to provide a trans-wing. So, Mr BTPS would like to ask: any advice on how they should proceed at the shelter? The option of explaining and discussing the situation with the other occupants (both female and male) at the shelter, as well as the option of making an exception for the transitioning client, are being pursued. But these have not proved to be very successful due to general transphobia and differences in religious/cultural backgrounds of the non-trans occupants.
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