The Human Rights Commission

PHOTO: Kristine Ablinger

Kristine Ablinger was kicked out of her flat because she is trans. The Human Rights Commission says her landlord acted within the law.

Warning: This article contains discussion of suicide and other content that may be distressing.

“Final Notice” was the subject line of the email sent to Kristine Ablinger just before 1pm on a Monday afternoon.

It was from her flatmate who owned a three-bedroom house in Auckland’s Birkenhead. Kristine rented a small room with a little balcony and a sliver of a sea view. The room felt perfect – cosy and private. A space of Kristine’s own, where she would be safe when she began taking hormones.

However, there was no greeting in the body of the message from her flatmate.

“I think you need to know that William told me that you felt that you had found a safe place to transition and I have to say that this is a BIG issue,” it began. “So without being offensive … I need to honestly let you know that although I don’t have issues with transexual transgender etc, in general, I don’t want any part of that in my house [sic].”

Kristine was at work when she read the email. As her eyes moved down the screen, prickles of anxiety began to spread down the back of her neck like little pulses of electricity.

It said she had 24 hours to move out.

“I am not your mother and I do not need to be involved in this kind of thing, which is not something I believe in at all”, it continued. “I have tried to tolerate it and be supportive because I realise that this is you and who you are. Unfortunately, I don’t like it at all. I find it extremely offensive.”