Transgender women, and trans sex workers in particular, know what it means to be marginalized, overpoliced, and underprotected. In season two of The Village, host Justin Ling investigates the stories of two women, Alloura Wells and Cassandra Do, whose deaths remain unexplained, and whose cases expose the systems that failed them. More episodes are available at: smarturl.it/thevillagecbc
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Ready for a job that gets you more. You p S is hiring now as a warehouse worker you'll be part of an industry leading team that delivers what matters you'll learn up to twenty four dollars per hour after bonuses in a job you'll take pride in and you might even be eligible for a programme that helps you with thousands of dollars for college and Julian active job with big time. Growth opportunities at you, p S, search and apply now a gps jobs, dotcom, Slash, Philadelphia! That's U Ps jobs, Dotcom, Slash Philadelphia, This is a CBC podcast by the nineteen nineties, Toronto Gay community already had its coming out the rest. a violent unsolved killings of the nineteen, seventeen and nineteen eighties were fading from the headlines, but for transgender women who knew what it meant to be over policed, yet under protected a history. Violence was repeating itself. Sex workers,
particular found themselves vulnerable and ignored the village. Turns with a new season to explore the stories of two women. Louvre Wells and Cassandra Dough, whose deaths remain unexplained and unsolved. Much like the award winning first season see then too, with host Justin Ling investigates what happened to them and asked the question: have we learnt nothing? Now? Here's First episode of the new season. it's Saturday? In August, twenty seventeen I heatwave had just come and gone to. Friends had been out grabbing some pizza and they decided to cap off their afternoon with a hike. the pair head down into Toronto rose Dale Ravine passed a dog park in did the shaded pass, the twisted the green space
just beyond the edges of the ravine sit some of the nicest homes in the city, a mix of modern looking. recently renovated houses and heritage red brick estates rose. Deal has always been and affluent green upper class neighbourhood. But these days, homes around here, usually start at two million dollars. Part of the appeal of the neighborhood is that the expansive ravine offers a bit of shelter from the city. Down below in the ravine itself, there's a reminder of the star class divides in Toronto. It's not uncommon to see encampment hidden, just a little bit off the path. Many of the city's homeless have preferred the canopy of trees to the streets of downtown. The pair of hikers leave the beaten path and go in. What would it area
They arrive on the top of a small hill at the bottom. There is, lonely, blue tint and sticking up I the to are wide at first glance appear to be mannequin legs, but they climbed down to get close enough to confirm that the body is very real. It's a woman, she's lying face down: she's Wang, skinny genes, runners and a blonde wig there's a broken cell phone purse nearby, but no idea she had been there for some time and she's badly decomposed. When police arrive it's impossible to make any identification, the hikers. That afternoon shaken, but be the end of the story for them
Mine It is just in late and for years I investigated the mysterious disappearances of men from Toronto. Stay village disappearance is that were ultimately tied to serial killer, Bruce Macarthur. Last season we went back and looked at those cases and slew of unsolved homicides dating back to the nineteen seventies murder. That remain unsolved this day and a system that let their killers get away with. It. but there's one story: you didn't hear the store Ray of a woman who disappeared from the clear community, but who is not connected to those missing men, a disappearance but has never been fully explained. while the community demanded answers, the city, the media and the police.
Have never given this case the attention it deserves, its time it dies, and it's time we talk about the system, the failed, her and failed the whole queer community too. I'm just M Ling This is the village season. Two. A law was always very creative living in a fantasy world, but a very vibrant thought she was obsessed with can up, like all. Sixty cannot girls and what their silent everything about them. The big lashes and takes recalled that the ways in the hair she was beautiful, smiled at which still your your life. While people make us forget every
forget their name and we became where they live. Alley. Jackson has been thinking a lot recently about her friend, Laura Wells. Like I ran away from home. She ran away from home and we wonder together. We just randomly run into each other, took alike into each other and became press. There was a coffee shop at wildly parliament. It was felt that they could seven. I don't think, there's any more and would attract a lot of hard work. A lot at stake is the motto everything I mean. It were twenty four hours right and, if you needed somewhere taped to plead with light, whether people around she could go and knock out in there for a few hours, while the coffee without eat. Something.
I later found out that actually like. While we were all hopeless shriek it she actually hold. You know she had a whole that you didn't want to go home like he would see that she would basic abuse there. They didn't really accept, therefore, who she was or an alley both for their own reasons. Left home when they were really young. They ran the streets in the east end of Toronto, downtown just a few blocks away from the village. A Laura's family didn't have a lot of money. They moved from place to place for a while. They stayed in the hotel, but, more importantly, she do feel comfortable at home. We have a baby travel girls. I she was living as they was her first six months living day today, as a girl was saved, his life On the streets of autumn at Leyla, who is going through exactly the same thing, she was Leyla was just a couple years older,
It was easier just to be away from home, unlike in the street, was tide of scary till I come out a second time about being chancellor, we felt more comfortable, seeing other Mcdonald's washroom. Then, like you know at home, because we didn't know our pants would react. He had the same child. Who is where You know we were bullied and school people couldn't tell our gender. We play with dolls. We were scolded forward forbade and their parents got over it and you know, grew up like tat alluring. from a very young age that she was transgender. Her mom seem to accepted readily her father. Well, he didn't He wasn't supportive of it at all. Actually, he would take us Tie the lake Tell us it out like that. He didn't want us to do
be dressing, asserted a way round the other kids, or that we would be right down God. Thou TAT were only asking for difficult life. Her mother, with refer to her ass, her. She, I then her father would say his head. This was the early two thousands to be openly gay in a high school was rare and but mean almost without exception, being subject to some pretty intense bullying to come out as true and was on another level. It was incredibly brave, but it also wouldn't be easy not by a long shot. Public schools were doing it for us because we were more than just homosexual or whatever ugly for a lower and Leyla Toronto, had an alternative to those public schools. So we ended up into a school that was algae. Bt
only it was called the purple triangle and both of us went through the same programme. She went to the Triangle programme was a pretty extraordinary opportunity. It's a high school that was designed to support We are youth, it's the only dedicated eligibility Q High School in Canada, even if a lorry dad was uncomfortable with her gender identity. A psychologist told her parents. This wasn't just some phase at our has were basically told that, as we go over most likely, we would probably lean towards identifying. As the office agenda we are born of aura had a tough time, no, its, not surprising a difficult home life living these part time on the streets. It's not exactly conducive to doing well in high school, even if it's a particularly supportive one
Amidst all this Laura was a teenager, she was still figuring out who she was honestly. He had already name by care. Robot Alura stick when she grew up in a kind of blossom, didn't hurt herself it was. There was a Laura. Honestly, she was drop dead gorgeous, and anybody will tell you that she had a naturally feminine body. She was tall. She had a stunning face. Shadow walk like you knew it was her from the silhouette down way down the street and she showed up to that corner and everybody else would just call it a night. She just
have no fear kind of with it. She just jump right in the eye, would kind of profile or evaluate or look around the car see if I see anything like in the passenger seed or you try to get a few work at them to talk about it just so I kid kind of get a feel for them, and then you know their picking up a sex workers. The street they don't please stop for too long so alive. It would just be like out how have you life totally changed, stepping around to acquire from what I was going through in society? To that is crazy, Leyla was around eighteen years old but a Laura was two years younger, that's pretty young yap, and then we decided to like to kind of like a buddy system other. Why did you feel the need to have a sort of body? Well.
You know it's downtown Toronto. After May day, you're jumping into strangers car As we saw her and I were pretty new together. Sometimes they picked on like a lot of girls in one. Has to be out there, especially her because she had these legs today so you know it'll be cutting their grass if they seen us around. They'd run us off the block and stuff like that. Beat us up. Bravas you don't buy, had a mother who cares and so does she? You weren't kicked out, we weren't abandon. You know we were problematic, trouble girls, so. You know it wasn't, like our paths, we're looking for us. They heard there was many times when that both our patent for her dad, my mom came right onto that law could have pulled up right on the sidewalk called. To some degree this was economic necessity, Laura and Leyla couldn't just walk into the gap and get a job handing over your driver's license,
its or filling out unemployment information sheet. That meant outing yourselves. but although era and Leyla they wanted to be there, this was freedom. Five hesitant understand that, like that's where we were queen, you know, In normal society, too, didn't feel that way we get It looks all day long and people addressing can I go either our way, people like laughing people pointing people being in shock, and then you go out there and you have cars almost driving over curves. Like looking try to look back at you. I, like you know it fell good, so also being transit. You go from being you know, a minority and awkward to a goddess and a princess, Firstly why she now pop star Laura and Leyla. They were known on the street as the brats dolls.
you don't remember them. They were these fashion. These decades toys the dulls had glossy full lamps and glam make up. They worked to twos and Jean shorts and Sky high boots plenty of young girls wanted to look just like that. We add me you we have like a little tiny fan. Club going on there. Besides underground anyways edgy was dangerous, it was glamorize. She was mostly intellectual at that time were every girl that was living in the Jake was into girl, wrapper hers. Little can how many Lex the no shame to your game kind of their. Like everybody, honey. She was all about that.
She was so like shy and ass. Soon ass, the sun went down the lashes when I like, when I cease then people littered leads type we go like like. I just be an of her. That's obviously how she felt more comfortable yeah. What's so frustrating of all the normal choices that teens their age face to stay at home, or leave. Do I find a job? Do I apply for university? Laura and Leyla really felt like their best choice. Maybe Our only choice with sex work? Listening to her, I do forget how young they were.
Where we are living everywhere. You couldn't getting meals and basically way like with a rascal. So we will spend my two three nights out and usually just sneak back or have either to my place. Her place a penny. I like our parents, work schedules. We knew that we would have to face we take a little break and go home and get grounded and not be left of the house and told not to see hang out with that. Percent anymore and have our wigs and make up and skirts has taken away and then you'll meet back up again in a week or two and be gone again or we would stay with clients or sometimes is sleeping Mcdonald's, bathroom, mixed in with the glamour and well sleeping and Mcdonald's bathrooms. There were risks inherent in this job.
Laura and Leyla. They knew that sex workers were often targeted, girls go missing, froze and updated. Girls and addictive girls end up traffic kidnapped, Sake, we knew about it all year. We were aware, but it was kind of late. You think about it and legally there was no one else pretty much in the world that we get that type of attention. We went to seven hours high, keep yourself say. Sometimes Maybe never shut the door all the way when you're driving with a trick in the car. So if you need to jump out, never fasten your seatbelt, never turn your back to them. Never let them get. On top of you never be in a hotel room with things beside the bed, such as lamps alarm, clock devices with cords eulogists
many sex workers preferred listing ads in the local old weekly newspapers. There was safer. You got to screen your clients and set up dates in predetermine locations. but a Laura and Leyla didn't have that luxury. Where else are we gonna goads child sex work under age? No one's gonna house that that be like that's child trafficking, so the advent of the internet, specifically the digital back pages, made advertising possible for girls like a Laura and Leyla Craigs there came out, so we didn't have to be on the street anymore and I wouldn't, only after ten o clock at night. So then he started running twenty four seven we didn't have to, like. You know pay out three crackheads at night to be able to work and listen. I know what you're thinking it is not good. Their websites like Craigslist, made it possible for under it,
Each sex workers to find clients, but that wasn't a Laura and Leyla concern. They were just out to make some money we got to like you, laugh professional furnishes. The rates are higher, we got to work with You know people that wouldn't be driving around a sketchy corner like that and we started to meet people there actually would like you to take care of us and fund our life. one summer, the pair cobbled together enough money to get their own apartment, but the home quickly turned Your place for other girls to work out of Leyla said The lifestyle was getting out of control, we started a leg. Either rose come over. We started to have dates there, all the time that apartment was also a grim reminder of the violence that base their community the apartment directly. Above us, she still a cold case. Her name was Cassandra and she was strangled to death and left in our bathtub Cassandra Dough she was
also a transgender sex work. Her she killed in our home in two thousand and three. there was always a scare a story for me. I didn't ever meet her in person and they hadn't, copper guy. You did it. stay, those who still called case failure. I wanted a fresh start. And I want to go somewhere where you know I could focus and work on my transition and get it over with. So I can move on in life and I just went to virtually all what they re doing her back for four years. Without me, Our went back to her parents place, but things weren't great there
and she started learning that the canadian government didn't think very highly of sex workers, especially in those years I get a hold of her court records. Her first criminal charges and adult was for communicating for the purposes of engaging in prostitution. She was eighteen years old, analogue kept coming after her in the next few years. She faced some petty south charges and when I say Petty, I mean Hetty. She was arrested and twenty eleven for stealing a t, shirt and then again in the same year for stealing a box of ice cream. So now she, the tramp, woman with a rap sheet, even if it for some pretty minor crimes that would make getting up would job a lot more difficult than something else happens. Her mom gets sick, its lung cancer. Learn my mama very, very close, close
Therefore my mom, you know, while she was doing our treatment in all that this is a will, resist her Michel Wheeler. He didn't leave. He state They thought time and down definitely affected him. That's for sure, there's Iraq to fall back on you. I should note here that sometimes Michel uses he to refer to a Laura Michel explained to me that some time she's still uses male pronouns. It's not malicious and there's no intent behind it. It's just a habit, but it is exclusive to their relationship.
So to you and me, a Laura was and will always be sheep. With all the troubles at home, Michel laughed at sixteen, a Laura was still a kid. They didn't actually spend a lot of their childhoods together when the war was just twenty to her. Mom died. It was devastating, but it brought her and Michel sure together he was there for me. The whole like we became so close, and this was after he had told me, was translated in mind. I didn't care at all. We were Really, even that close before I had kids and after my mom passed away, pages became like my right. He held me so much like is I loved him so much socially. My son as retract she brings up pictures of a law on her phone. This this they change. Like anything, she looks beautiful
she's, got long light brown hair framing her face with her bangs. Swooping down over one eye. She's wearing a leather coat she's got glossy lipstick. Guy shadow and dramatic eyebrows. One thing I've heard from everybody who knows a Laura. She was a whiz with make up. Here is very confident. She was such a good driver and ache, I know she could really lying do anything with her face. You can probably be a really good make apart as if she wanted to be. I look at the photo, and then I look at Michel, who is sitting across from me down a long dining room table it striking just how much they look alike, restricting the photo their scene of her later, you bet you're, like a real family resemblance near for their interesting. I think that she can pick make up that ended up current resembling you frankly
I think that she did look up to me. I never really know that No, I wasn't always that covered. I try maybe the best I could regain their stuff listen. Aurettes, that's richer and new things that could have been could have went differently life's funny. After her mom died, a Laura got her own place, nothing fancy of roominghouse in Scarborough on the eastern edge of the city now far from normal. HAL was living with her kids. You gonna sounds like Even this having that room, even within roaming I was going to more stable. Then yeah I was the mobility. A hundred percent was a boy would often lend a hand to Michel around the house. I see a facebook post from Michelle Laura for watching the kids so that she can have a night out there a picture of the family on a trip. Niagara falls, but its telling
me that a didn't feel entirely comfortable being herself outside of her community outside of downtown. Rumour and Scarborough. She would only dress like boy went downtown, she will. As a girl, I mean she had been in Scarborough a few times dressed ass, a girl only what you had to be yeah. Basically, when she was doing or thing over those years or went back to school one day, the blue. She message alley about it. He can get like. Another way, but I'm trying to get my easy, Bitch around that time. She wrote on Facebook got accepted into the security guard. Training course can't wait to start making that green sitting
Have a security guard course she did and she was so proud of resolve or doing that. I was so proud of her for doing that but it never really went anywhere. She did Laura clearly how this drive to look after herself. Make yourself financially independent, but there were things working against her. Dad could not hold it up I don't feel like she was like that, but until it. Maybe she felt like no motive motivation, because she never got motivation for mother, her Fino family Also, I think that she is where she had a little bit easier. Eventually, Laura was back to being on the streets when she had nowhere else to go, she would make it back to Michel's. So I was goin out as the house and down we're like a patio,
I just looked over there and my Laura was slang, they're sleeping, Don't worry doing, and I guess she had a pretty rough Daiichi, like law all the way from downtown to me in Scarborough vat. is about three and a half hour. Walk and so I let her in and she slept for the whole entire day. I better to the shower. she didn't know it then, but that would be the last time. Michel would see her sister how is she looking realise our wishy citizen, roughly I didn't feel pretty rough and she took a shower and she fixed herself up a little bit and there must be heard. She told me that she had abandoned Ellison job on or something
She had to run away. So she told me a lot of stories, though it happened, while she was living illustrates sad stories. Tunisia is saving one time in abandoned house, and she will? up in some guy was trying to set on fire. she's been through some stuff and then I was going to issues with my family and I, ended up, leaving for a little while, because wasn't there? He stopping is rent and then he just went back doing what he used to do. So I always blame myself. Fur like
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option and some of this strategy is most notorious criminals unravelled. When data search for it, wherever you get your put cos, ready for a job. It gets you more. You PS is hiring now, as a warehouse worker you'll, be part of an industry leading team that delivers what matters you'll learn after twenty four dollars per hour after bonuses in a job you'll take pride in and you might even be eligible for a programme that helps you with thousands of dollars for college and Julian active job with big time growth opportunities at you, p S, search and apply now adieu, PS jobs, Dotcom, Slash, Philadelphia! That's U Ps jobs! Dotcom, Slash, Philadelphia! fact. Workers are community and we were very vibrant community. This is Monica Forest Monica knows everybody predict AIDS is she's organised for Maggie Sex Workers Action Project Maggie's is
one of Canada's most organised and influential sex work organizations for almost four decades they ve been defending sex workers in court advocated for laws to protect sex workers and to decriminalize the sector. They also run a drop in centre not far from the village. It's a place where sex workers can turn for a cup of coffee for some food support resources, or maybe just a sofa crash. That's where Monica Metal Laura my leg. I met her when she was seventeen sleeping in the buyers, shirt beautiful should attack. About to name from the naming immense That's Chevalier Indra, her yeah. Look. I gotta go to her and she had her personnel. Does Cuba the thinkers she should restore going and had so much ambition and that you know a future of head of her? She did actually do some shows and clubs like shit
I shall stop, but she was also entertain. Only communities like to put on a shelf Rostov Craig shit. There lie does shine like a dime room where a slippery other states at the five nineteen had they have this big scrounge circle stage at the Fundamental GB up the kind of. slight to let people laugh and ship. She really wanted to shine and make sure people knew TAT. She was the artistic gems and just found an outgoing amazing amazing being monitored. That was two decades older than a Laura, but she went through a really really similar thing. You know allowed with actually doing activism before evenly with activism miles you now coming from it
meaning that some arch lies make him out and eighty nine. I thought I was just the queer boy at the time and could I've always trust, stop growing up as a kid. My parents were very liberal. Allow me to express gender and whatever that, but I saw them when I met transcripts thing coming out of control, Fortunately, now be Monica glad my that girl in school, I resumed juniors garage repayments. Monica TAT ever was gonna, be a moment. I'd be her because she was everything that I wanted to be. You now stop at anyway. Monica came out, Franz enter Spirit, if not familiar to Spirit covers a range of spiritual, cultural actual and gender identities in indigenous cultures is a concept that was systematically erased by colonization. In recent decades, however, it has seen a renaissance when Monica came out it once in common to hear people talk about the Trans Community Trade, people were scarcely mentioned in the media. If they were
her they were often presented, is caricatures, sensations, punch lines, freaks and oddities on daytime tv. or as dead bodies on shows like lawn order with no real bad story of personality beyond just being transgender. Generally public visit, trans people were a rarity to come out. Is Trans was to be taught we did and harassed. There was so much stay clan discrimination towards tramps people like transport, in particular, color tat, whereby mostly homeless, your enemy. We lived in the shadow of the community, It really will never acknowledge star, like Augustine I was nineteen twenty, but to see my friends about the same age dying from the side or overdose or fabric HIV and AIDS right and the fear that they want. They didn't want to go to the hospital because of the stigma about being.
dead name door, not being respected, as does the journal they were ever it's really hard stout dead name it. It's the continued use of a Trans persons, birth name even after they ve come out. calling a trans person by their chosen name is really the bare minimum you can do in terms of respect for Monica than stigma and discrimination made it clear that she wouldn't be hired in an office or a restaurant in history. I don't think I've ever be a factor of, but I personally that, because I was harmless, now needs a AIDS. I its transition. I mean the things that I need to do to survive. Tat was survival at first then deny start a transitional measure needed there is to be more line, looked who, I perhaps you know about it,
live in the place that would come to a. Why did I have to live off welfare where I can have to live in a room where I can live in a home and feel safe? Also, text work, work said Edward bloom me. I worked I'm still to incite for casually, but its work, our customers can be very demanding. get out? I mean when you get to the facts, industry, you don't need to have condemned children. Only tat work experience you can be your own boss and there's a lot of or tat goes into, like you have to advertise customer service in Portugal do the furthest. I've only got to negotiate that over the laws that restructure from doing a lot about stuff right out. It's like any other jobs from drug free love them some drugs. We hate them. I have time inside for granting aid to that, I can hated, I hate that I had to do it, but I did it now
I have opportunity. I can do a client when I want to do Claude. I don't have to do with light. Sometimes tax workers short term people go in and out of it, but sometimes it at a very lucrative business I made I should then I should. I had a million houses by now but Monica has one of those early adds framed on her mantle. She went I Alicia in those days the ad says: she's quote got: booty like jail, the more time she spent at the industry the more time she spent helping and educating her colleagues. I am from another coming into this thing or working the street at the time I was kind of educate them on safe. That's because you Now we were unmodulated group Britannic kept each other's safe. We capitalism, educated and protected In eighteen. Ninety six, an attack on the Trans community would underscore just how fragile their safety really was.
I'm Victoria day. Ninety ninety six, three members of our community were slaughtered vicious from a documentary produced later that year called Trans Info beneath the narration there's photos of three people: Junior Keegan Deanna Wilkinson, Brenda Ludgate. The documentary cuts to a shot of fireworks being cut off in our Gardens Park, white text flashes across the screen. The gunshots were masked by the sound of fireworks. It says on that fact everyday May twentieth. Nineteen. Ninety six Marcelo Parma picked up a revolver, got into his truck and went out with a plan to kill transgender sex workers. He would go down three women before being arrested. He kill junior or Indiana on this same stroll, where a Laura would work a decade later, even though Palmer was a job.
on a customer of these workers. He called them scum, he hated them. The coverage in the media made it pretty clear how someone could develop such a disgusting notion that these workers were less than human DNA. But was transgender it's hard to say how yourself identified, but their father You said they no longer wanted to be a man and Brenda. She was actually Sis gender, a casualty of Palmer's crusade against Trans women but in the papers these women were marked the papers exclusively. referred to Deanna by her birth name. They published the victims, HIV status. Hold them cause. I women one is rosy demand over a column suggesting that society isn't to blame at all for their debts. She wrote quote: it is grievous insult to suggest that the rest of us have
how contributed to these triple murders by not doing enough to embrace and to reinforce gay rights or prostitutes right where is the correlation between all of us and the madness of one person's killing rampage that column looks so similar to what ran in the papers. In the night in seventies, rushing off a culture that lead to Game being systematically killed, Palmer would ultimately be convicted on three counts are first degree murder. The killings, however, would not be prosecuted as a hate crime. How can we had become yet again the discrimination on a daily basis just like the gay community two decades before Franz people were coming out,
learning that society didn't always take kindly to people who were different more than ever activists like Monica, realize they needed their own spaces safe spaces. another big alarm bells. I point out that we need to really focused on Trans. People in our community is to define the five nineteen community centre a queer, focused habits. It's right in the heart of the village tried to fill that space. They posted a job or a Trans outreach coordinator though I applied, and I got a job. A happy affects worker, hey what a better position, but rather right to get a job yet our baby,
Monica and another Trans activist help create that dedicated space. They called it meal Trans. It was a place where any trans person could come and grab a bite to eat, but also where they could just be with other trans people, at the moment where community felt like people care about me and my life does matter, because we are giving them that spades two rooms and say tat you deserve to. Let me guess you deserve medication. Yes, you deserve the thing that other people have. We were allowed to be able to work, but in community, through our harm reduction approach, rights are making sure they had condoms them and stopped when they were doing
no word picture they have. The information that they can relate to gather was never resources for trans people. When we re thing doctors after rat community standards, we gravitated things that identify with that. It's impossible to list all the ways in which trans people were disadvantage, discriminated against and forgotten about by society I don't wanna make it sound like being trans with some miserable experience at the time for lots of trans people. It wasn't even for those who had a really rough time. It wasn't because they were trans. It's me as society found ways to make their lives difficult. Take the shelter system. When many p
we'll find themselves out of a job or out of their apartment and on the street. They can turn to shelters, they're, not perfect, but they can at least put a roof over. Your head For many trans people that wasn't even an option, but ass shouter systems were in allowing tramps women to go into the shutters that they felt safer identified with their gender thought. I were tied with the city to do or consultation with all the shelters to see how accessible they are for Trans women, tat. One of them was right about. It was not uncommon for trans women to be only welcomed into women shelters if they presented as quota quote female or what society thinks it means to be female over them workshops and is the result of many were mere wearing skirts. There was one woman wearing a skirt in our eyes.
Keep up another looking very masculine and those group, while you police kind of criteria on Trans woman for the safety of our women and spaces womanlike our different ways, It doesn't mean less of a woman if their mouths gonna have animal whatever Monica and Laura came out two decades apart, but the Toronto. They knew wasn't all that different around twenty fifth teen, Laura was homeless, living in attendance comment with some other people. She was only twenty four should already been in an out of jail for years on her criminal record, most of her charges say and as a no fixed address That's bring one charge, listen address as a women shelter a couple months later. She left her home as Seton House Men's shelter that it's back to the women, Shelter Ben back, the in house.
We don't know why Laura moved back and forth between shelters that year, maybe the women shelters were full, as they often are or maybe she didn't want to face any transphobia she'd experienced there in the past or maybe- she was giving the shelter the dresses when she got arrested but was actually living with her new boyfriend I saw nor made up, but God I always knew boyfriend Augustine as balanced our talk from my own experience coming out. Very young relationships are really important, especially when you're trans cause. You fill, so isolated alone, so for her friends. Lorries new relationship seems at first like good news. The two of them get an apartment for a time Oh they move around a bit. Then it's back to no fixed address and more charges. The two of them seem totally entangled with the law
of every arrest, there's always more charges for failure to comply. I or for not showing up to a court date, those all sorts of things mixed up in this drug use, economic prosperity, homelessness, it's complicated one day, her childhood friend Alley gets a text, a Laura I just got out of jail. I why? Why are you here I'd even though that you and your what the crazy people they had a word? She felt were listening, quiet and thing you find me. But what did you do? She does? I thought from choppers benchmark alluring got caught stealing from
Pharmacy he's is now I'm buying my about trying to find my boyfriend. We have no phone and nobly an impact walking around looking for him does say, firstly, that there may be some worthwhile. You need a place to stay in the meantime to guide you play the part of my address for bill. I use mine to Zimbabwe, that bank There's one thing we keep hearing from a war as friends and family. The relationship with that was then was toxic. We can even see some of it. They had these sprawling fights that would pay on their facebook walls. Alura told her, for that balanced and beat her violently, while none of them told us they saw at first hand they believe. Inga Laura when she told them her friendly, it was, as you remember, seeing a Laura in rough shape every couple of months, I would see her in person. I could just really see the where terror just
up up a razor very were being by the Spanish is with we put these allegations to balanced, and but he has not responded. We did get his rap sheet. He was never charge for assaulting Laura, but on his criminal record, one charge does stick out. That seems just port for friends concerns in twenty sixteen he was charged with robbing sexually assaulted and threatening. Kill someone and a public housing complex near the village. He put guilty to making the death threats and spent two months in jail. So I understand how transforming gravitate two men or to partner them like a thing men in general, but two partners, first supported and stuff, like that,
even though that relationship was talk for so many levels. You know what I mean like. He was very happy to serve and stuff like that and endless circumstance wasn't the greatest. They were living under the bridge thing, but that circumstances, but they were using drugs, which is fine Thirdly, does she really looked out to coming to me? It is for that just for that kind of support them kind of escape to be at a space where shared sleep half the time there were, which was welcoming our ship runner, make up archer, think age with community and talk What's going on in her life alive quite clearly wanted to get off the streets, but she wanted to do it with Palestine. He asked me if he could stay with me. I said he could
but he said the only way that he would come as of August Siena's come so I said no, I have two kids here, I'm not having that. I'm sorry she reached out to AOI too, and she lake, I am hallway. I got kicked out of my place, the artist you lose all, but what were we written in place for Ebay here there and make wherever they with you all at that time? I was married rate, though my husband was uncomfortable and those like here. Like I'm. Sorry, though you know, I would love you. I just I just can't alura didn't have a phone, but would often tracker Facebook at a local internet. Cafe. That's, how should we get in touch with Leyla? She never had a contact over. It was kind of a little bit exhausting the tracker down to it. She was always running from me, like you know she was such a universe of herself, so it was an easy.
Leyla was still living in Montreal. She was learning first hand. While there was still plenty of discrimination against Trans people in society, things were improving, there were opportunities. Healthcare for Trans people was expanding. Workplaces couldn't just fired you any more social acceptance was growing lad, made a life that she offer myself and I was happy so I wasn't gonna- go back to the streets in one hundred hundred ninety thousand allies in plastic surgery. I changed my day by change way: sex hesitation of efforts to be legally eat. I was going to school books. We all I have to do better this year I was, I was feeling really good about myself. I didn't need drugs anywhere it I as is a girl. They live transition for complete. I add success. I'd like everything their eyes about that. I wanted to do and everything that she ever wanted to do. I did ass. She was just ass. She was ashamed of
yourself, an embarrassed every once in a while, a Laura and Leyla would video trap. Obviously I thought she was gonna be superstar. Lila wanted to help Laura get on your feet. So in the summer of twenty seventeen. She asked a Lord Cumnor. Montreal lay was birthday was coming up and she was finishing. beauty school. She wanted a Laura to be her hair model for the final exam I loved her to death. By The only thing I could do for her was tailored cut by wave ache Leyla sent her the money for a bus tickets Laura. Never came she later confess to spending the money on drugs Rondeau, as she admitted it. She was sorry she apologized it was finally, that's it I'm not judging area. What could I do? She didn't? Keep it,
for me, she said like I was hurting. I just I needed some dope I'd centre, a ticket and extra money, so I bought a ticket and the drugs, so the Sabbath, although she was actually coming into Montreal, JIB God, three, the ticket from gray how but a Laura, never arrived, but I just figured. Maybe she changed her mind and that this guy was holding her back because she was in love and what business was it of me? I was doing by saying you know I figured she didn't have her parents anymore. She has no family, pretty much, that's close to her. So if she's in love and she's expiry, Weiler. Having Alura kept saying she wanted to come visit so well She didn't give up on July. Eighteen to twenty seventeen they talked again July July. Eighteen is,
Last time I just watch her. Do you remember what you talked about a meeting? She was gonna, try again to have a cell phone and she was living under a bridge. a bridge in the Rose Dale Ravine, the coming up. This and on the village I was worth the level of talking about it? But no one? You know no one knew where she ran. She was never go down there alone. We're gonna be lacking any again wrapper terrain and we're gonna go right. The rose del value, they say it. too soon to know if there is a link to the murder of another prostitute Cassandra Dough this summer last time it sooner she was terrified birthday, walking in fear, knowing that person still out there.
The village is written and produced by me, just in Lange and Jennifer Fowler sound design was by Julia WHIP meant with help from ever Kelly. Our associates This is Yunus came at our digital producer is Babby Allah, Melendez Car Letty. Thank you to boycott ACT for the use of Trans Inflow, Alex green faith from Doll and Chris Oak are our story. Editors are Senor producer is sessile Fernandez and the executive produce. of CDC. Podcast is already dorani If you haven't listen, dad, please go back and listen to the village season, one by investigation into serial killer. Bruce Macarthur, endless spate of unsolved murders from the village dating back to the seventies. All night, besides are available. Now on the CBC was an app or wherever you get your podcast you ve been,
Listening to season two of the village. You can two more episodes on the CBC, Listen app and everywhere you get your pod casts. For more CBC podcast go to sea BC, dossier, slash podcast!
Transcript generated on 2021-08-08.