Research-to-Action

Construction on the DTES is Endangering Trans Sex Workers

This article features Dr. Tara Lyons, a Research Scientist with the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative.

The Runner
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Recent construction on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside has endangered trans sex workers by forcing them into more dangerous and inhospitable locations.

Criminology Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Tara Lyons, contributed to a study published this month by the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS examining the impact of construction and gentrification on transsex workers. Interviews with 33 individuals—including those who identify as transsexual, genderqueer, and two-spirit—and ethnographic walks through their work environment were held as a part of the study, determining that, “within a criminalized context, construction and gentrification enhanced vulnerabilities to violence and harassment from police and residents,” as written in the study’s abstract.