Northern Ireland

NI transgendered woman seeks refugee status in Canada

A 40-year-old transgendered woman has applied for refugee status in Canada.

Former Methody student Tanya Bloomfield said she would be afraid for her safety if she returned to Northern Ireland.

She told the Vancouver Sun:"There is well-documented evidence of homophobic attacks.

"I grew up there and it's just not a country I want to return to given that I'm transgendered because I'd be at risk."

Ms Bloomfield went to Canada in 2006 and lived there legally until her last residence application was rejected.

The Canadian authorities did not explain the reason for their decision and asked Ms Bloomfield to sign a voluntary departure order which would see her leaving the country before the end of August.

Speaking to CTV News, her lawyer, Lee Cohen said: "Tanya has refused to sign the voluntary departure order and has indicated her intentions to claim refugee status in Canada, primarily on the grounds of seeking protection as a transgendered person."

If Ms Bloomfield's application is rejected she could be deported in a matter of days.

Ms Bloomfield has found her place in Nova Scotia since arriving there four years ago.

As well as having family and friends in the area, she has also built up a successful computer company.

She is also well-known locally for having run barefoot in a marathon to raise money for a local charity.

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