TORONTO — A British comedian and transgender woman who was being held in a men’s prison in Milton for an immigration infraction has been transferred to a neighbouring jail for women.
Avery Edison, who has legally been a woman since 2009, was detained Monday at Pearson International Airport when she tried to enter the country to see her girlfriend, Romy Sugden, of Toronto.
After holding her for nearly 12 hours, Canada Border Services officers transferred Edison to Maplehurst Correctional Facility for men, Sugden said.
“Speaking with the officials at the prison was a very upsetting and fruitless experience,” she said. “They refused to refer to Avery as anything but ‘he’ or ‘him.’ They told me because ‘his’ genitals were male, ‘he’ would be in a men’s prison. That was Ontario law.”
Sugden said Edison overstayed her student visa on her last visit. She decided to go back to the U.K., where she lives, in September but wanted to return Monday for a visit. She was then detained by border guards.