A transgender woman who suffered years of discrimination and abuse in the UK has been granted residency in New Zealand on exceptional humanitarian grounds.
The 57-year-old woman was granted New Zealand residency by the immigration and protection tribunal in Auckland, who decided the woman was safer to remain in her adopted country where she had experienced no abuse or discrimination since arriving in 2009.
The tribunal deemed it would be “unduly harsh” for the woman to be forced to return to the UK, where she suffered years of “persecution” due to her gender identity disorder.
The woman, who works as an IT specialist and has a degree in engineering, was described as a vulnerable but “highly intelligent and skilled” individual by a psychologist who assessed her. The woman declined to be interviewed by the Guardian.
In 2005, whilst living in the UK, the woman transitioned from a male to a female, after decades of escalating confusion and mental health problems arising from her undiagnosed gender identity disorder.
Although the woman felt like a female from the age of seven, her single-sex grammar school in the UK was an unending experience of violence, abuse and trauma that caused her to suppress her true identity and conceal it from friends, family and colleagues for most of her life. Read more via the Guardian