British citizen and comedian Avery Edison, a transgender woman was stopped at Pearson International Airport on Monday because she overstayed her visa during an earlier visit.
The 25-year-old Londoner, who came to Canada in 2010 on a student visa to attend Humber College’s comedy writing program, was handcuffed and taken to the Maplehurst Correctional Centre, a detention facility for men. Her passport identifies Edison as female.
“Even if I should be put in prison, I’m a woman and I should be in a women’s prison,” a physically and emotionally drained Edison told the Toronto Star through a glass barrier in an enclosed visiting room.
Edison tweeted throughout the entire ordeal. Her tweets below describe her detention at Pearson before being transported to the prison.
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 15:34:54@McCormCorp I am being detained. I am going to be deemed inadmissable. But first they’re making me wait, and going through all my stuff.
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 17:00:46In addition to being merely inconvenient, this is a humiliating experience that makes me feel like a criminal. Very dark thoughts ATM.
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 17:36:58For those asking - I overstayed my student visa last time I was here. Which is why I came today with a non-refundable return flight (1/2)
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 17:38:17and the lease for my place in the UK. I wanted to be here for three weeks to see g/f, cars, friends, and pick up things I left behind.
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 18:05:21This is a very large immigration waiting/processing room. Others have come and gone. I have lasted longest. In many ways, I am a queen.
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 20:11:52My case is being referred to a hearing. I am being taken to an immigration detention centre. Just been read rights. In washroom crying.
- Edison received word that she would be kept in solitary because she is pre-operative MTF (male to female).
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 20:42:57Honestly surprised they haven’t stopped me tweeting. Still in the airport, where there is free wifi. Typing in full view. Credit to them?
- — Avery Edison (@aedison)Mon, Feb 10 2014 22:18:44Change of plan AGAIN. Will be moved, soon, to Maplehurst correctional facility and assessed by a nurse before placed in male or female cell.