The law is set up to deny support to transgender women in Australia. The law states that shelters may only house women who are biologically defined. This can allow post-operation transgender women – but not all transgender women can acess the expensive health services of gender reassignment surgery, and not all transgender women want this operation.
One Alice Springs shelter in the Northern Territory has made a change to support transgender Indigenous women, who are culturally referred to as sistergirls. This service recognises that several confounding variables affect homelessness, and that cultural understanding and social support make a positve change: “People think being transgender is the primary issue why someone is homeless and has mental health issues. But it’s actually nothing to do with their identity.”