The Biden administration has filed a federal charge of discrimination against a Florida Trailer park and its owner for allegedly requiring a transgender woman to dress “as a man” in order to avoid eviction.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development alleges the owner of the 21 Palms RV Resort in Davenport, Florida sent a threatening letter to the woman after she came out, which is in direct violation of the Fair Housing Act.
“No one should have to change how they express their gender identity to maintain their housing,” HUD official Demetria L. McCain said in a statement. “Setting restrictions like these is not only unacceptable, it is illegal.”
Only nine days after coming out publicly on January 4, 2021, the unnamed resident, who had been living in her mobile home for several years with her child and fiance, received a handwritten letter from the park’s owner and manager, Nathan Dykgraaf.
“I have been informed of your actions to have your sex changed to a female, I am told you have started taking the necessary medication and that after a period of time your change will be completed,” Dykgraaf allegedly wrote. “To avoid problems you must: 1. Act as a man 2. Talk as a man 3. Dress as a man 4. Avoid tight clothing that is revealing sexual organs. If you follow the above steps trouble will be avoided. Sincerely, Nathan D.”
In fear of losing her home, the woman started presenting as a man, avoided her neighbors, and stopped using the park’s amenities. In February, she filed a complaint with the HUD, citing the Fair Housing Act. Dygraaf responded a month later, stating the resident is “not free to engage with other tenants about her clothing and transition” and claimed her transition is “disruptive to the community.”
The woman eventually moved out of the trailer park last August and is now seeking damages for emotional distress, lost housing opportunity and out-of-pocket costs.