A South Australian transgender public housing tenant says she has been waiting for Housing SA to relocate her and her children for nearly a year, after her home was repeatedly graffitied with transphobic death threats as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment against her.
Saoirse Ewart told the Star Observer that in December last year, mail was stolen from her home in Murray Bridge that revealed private information about her, including her intersex birth status and information pertaining to her transitioning to female.
In the weeks following the mail theft, her home began to be targeted with anti-LGBTQI hate graffiti, which outed her to her neighbours and passers-by as intersex and transgender.
Ewart’s car was also vandalised, resulting in a $10,000 repair bill.
As she is a public housing tenant, Ewart was required to report the vandalism to Housing SA, who advised her to maintain a diary in case any further incidents happened.
Ewart continued to document the ongoing vandalism, and ten months ago Housing SA agreed that she should be transferred to safer accommodation but she is still waiting for that to happen.
She has also reported the harassment to police, but they have been unable to identify the perpetrator.
Since then, her home has continued to be targeted with hate messages threatening to kill her or telling her to commit suicide, with the latest incident occurring as recently as 25 October.
“My car and home are targeted including having bottles, eggs and on a recent occasion rotten organs, meat and blood thrown over the car, doorstep and walls,” Ewart told the Star Observer.
“I have returned from shopping to find my car tyres deflated or condoms on my window wipers as well as urine on my door handles.”
Ewart said the public discourse that is happening around transgender issues in Australia has only added her sense of being exposed.
“I feel trapped and unable to escape the barrage of hate in my own small community, which has only gotten worse the past few months with more hate directed at trans people in the media,” she said.
“I live in constant fear for my life and should I go outside I wear beanies, large jackets and oversized clothing to disguise my appearance.
“I have been forced to sleep with outside lights on, to hide my car in the backyard and I have placed mesh over all the windows to stop rocks from hitting the glass.
“When I do sleep, I have my dog in the house with me.”
The Star Observer directed questions to Housing SA as to how much longer Ewart would have to wait before she was relocated to a safer property but did not receive a response at time of writing.