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Trans Prisoners in BC Can’t Get their Day in Court

Drawing of prisoners vertically divided by blue left and pink right by Bug Cru
Illustration by Bug Cru

One woman’s story shows how BC Corrections discriminates against trans people.

By Tessa Vikander for Asparagus, Summer/Fall 2020

It’s a late May evening at Surrey Pretrial Services Centre—a men’s jail in the suburbs of Vancouver, BC—and Haedyn-Khris Beaumann has had enough. A fellow inmate has spent the past week taunting her with bigoted remarks, and she’s ready to fight back.

“I’m sick and tired of what you’re saying,” she tells him.

The man had been “dropping the F-bomb” (f*g) and insisting that racial and sexual minorities shouldn’t get “special privileges.” He also told her he doesn’t think it’s “right” to be gay.

Beaumann, a pansexual trans woman, had been at Surrey Pretrial since August 2019. She was involuntarily transferred there from the nearby Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, in Maple Ridge. She has filed a human rights complaint against BC Corrections, saying the system discriminated against her as a trans woman by keeping her in a men’s jail.

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