A 65-year old transgender woman has been taken in by her local LGBT-friendly bar after she was left homeless when she lost her job.
Gail Birmingham became unable to pay bills when she lost her job as a taxi driver and was soon evicted from her home in Maidstone, England.
Birmingham claims that when she turned to her local council for help, she was told that she was not a “priority” and was left with nowhere to live.
Speaking to Kent Online, the pensioner explained that she was shocked by the response because she had reportedly been told she would be given help.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it, I went to it months ago when I got the court order and staff said they’d help me when I was evicted, but now they won’t.”
Maidstone Council have explained that they are waiting for key paperwork until they can begin to find the trans woman a place to live.
A spokesperson said: “Our housing team has been in touch with Ms Birmingham since January and we are awaiting a number of key documents in order to assist her further.
“She was reminded of what was required on June 30.
“We hope to receive her paperwork shortly.”
Birmingham does not have many close family members as both of her parents have died and she does not have any siblings, meaning that she did not have anyone or anywhere to turn to.
However, she found comfort and a temporary solution after the landlords of her local LGBT-friendly pub, The Queen Anne, said that she could sleep there until something more permanent was arranged.
Birming explained: “I’m currently sleeping on a bench seat in the bar and, while it’s not ideal, I’m so grateful to Craig and Leon.”
The landlords, Craig and Leon Burns, said that while they were happy to help those in need in the LGBT community they felt that the council should be doing more.
Craig said: “We pride ourselves on being a community pub for LGBT people, but it shouldn’t be our place to have to take people in.
“We’re not going to leave a pensioner to live on the streets, and we’re trying to help her as much as can, but the council should help.
“If a 65-year-old woman isn’t a priority, I don’t know who is.”
A trans woman in the US recently started an important conversation about the extent of the homelessness issues that transgender people face.
Heather Snow took to Twitter to vent her frustrations about a Salvation Army shelter she had been living at in Oregon for the past few months, which she says treated her badly because of her gender identity.