Trans woman Jennifer Gale's death 'reignited the flame' of homeless transgender issues

Posted on 07 Apr 2009 at 7:24am

The legacy of Jennifer Gale, a homeless transgender woman who died on the streets of Austin in December, lives on. In response to the deaths of Gale and others, the Associated Press reports that homeless shelters around the country are adapting to meet the needs of transgender people. If you’ll remember, in the wake of Gale’s death, we reported that she slept on the streets because no shelter in the city would properly accommodate her as a trans woman. In other words, if she went to the only shelter in town, operated by the Salvation Army, she would’ve been forced to sleep and shower with men. But according to the AP story, this is gradually changing in Austin and throughout the country. Here’s an excerpt from the story, which you can read in its entirety by going here.

Police found former political candidate Jennifer Gale, who was born male and fell into homelessness, dead outside a church in December. Gay and lesbian activists blamed a lack of space for the transgendered in Austin’s shelters.
“When Jennifer Gale passed away, that definitely reignited the flame that we needed to start working on this more,” said Dawn Perkins, community relations manager for Front Steps, which coordinates shelters citywide.

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