British Transgender Woman Detained and Kept in Men’s Prison in Canada, Internet Uproar Influences Shift

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | February 13, 2014 11:31 AM EST

(Credit: YouTube/Avery Edison)

British comedian Avery Edison, a transgender woman, was detained due to a visa related issue in Canada. She was held in a male correctional facility in Ontario that resulted in a strong reaction on the World Wide Web. Edison's girlfriend revealed the case on Twitter, and people went expressed their sentiments on the Internet. Edison has been eventually shifted to a female facility on Tuesday.

Maplehurst Correctional Facility shift supervisor informed that Edison was "doing fine" after being shifted to the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton, The National Post reported. However, he did not comment further on the situation. On the other hand, Canadian Border Services was not e available for comment on Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old transgender woman had been, at first, detained at the Pearson International Airport for many hours before she was taken to Maplehurst Correctional Complex, typically meant for males who are 18 or older. Edison's UK passport clearly stated her gender as "female." She has been living as a woman for several years now. However, border services officers apparently had problems regarding Edison's gender identity, her Monday tweets revealed.

Edison reportedly came to the country to visit her Canadian girlfriend, Romy Sugden, who told Canada.com that she had been informed that Edison was put into the male prison since they were meant for people who had "male genitals." However, she was also informed that Edison would not be kept with other inmates for her own safety.

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, transsexuals are protected by law. In fact, anyone who suffers discrimination due to gender identity is protected likewise. These people may include transsexual, transgender as well as intersex people. They also mean cross-dressers and those whose gender identity happens to be different from the gender identified at the time of their birth. It is legal in Ontario for transgender people to change their gender. However, Edison was repeatedly called a "he" and was presumably refused legal rights.

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