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  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

Years ago I dated a man who turned out to be very narcissistic and entitled. I broke up with him because over time I realized these things, and he became more rude and started asking for sexual acts I was not comfortable doing.

We live in a small Canadian town with 1 women’s shelter. I know several women who have used the home over the years. They have a confidentiality agreement, but of course when something happens that they need to talk about, there’s no stopping it.

I found out from 2 separate women that my ex-boyfriend now identies as a woman and lived in the women’s shelter for months. He made so many women uncomfortable by being loud with his deep voice, constantly talking about himself and his planned transition (he was still entirely, obviously, male), and talking about how “nowhere in town would do a bikini wax on male genitals.” One of the women said that his story didn’t sound like he even needed the women’s shelter; it sounded like he was there for the convenience of not paying rent and using their resources. There were likely other behaviours I never heard about.

Any women who complained would be called problematic and kicked out of the “women’s” shelter for transphobia. No woman could refuse to share a bedroom with him.

There was zero support from staff because they had to side with the 1 male over all the women. To do otherwise meant they would lose their job. They never asked any of the women how this impacted their experience at the shelter. Some women were worried their abusive ex-boyfriends would start identifying as women to get access to them; there was no safeguarding policy against this, and anyone using the shelter did not have to provide ID.

I, and many other women who heard about this, decided to never use our women’s shelter. It’s no longer safe for women.


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