Gender Incongruent Prisons are Dangerous for Trans Women

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

For all the fear about trans women invading women’s prisons, over 40% of transgender people face sexual assault in prisons, and are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted by prison staff than cisgender inmates are. 

transgender woman in Colorado was placed in a disciplinary pod along with 4 men who had previously threatened to rape her. She had requested to not be placed in that pod due to the hostilities those men showed, but she was denied by a federal judge and wound up being raped and needing hospitalization after. A Brooklyn trans woman was raped repeatedly over the course of months while locked up with men. A trans woman was raped over 2,000 times in a men’s prison over the course of four years. A Florida Transgender woman right here in Century was strip searched in front of men, who all gawked at her body, with one Corrections Officer exclaiming, “what the hell, he has tits.”

And yes, even if you get your gender marker updated, you might still be housed with the wrong population. Two trans women in Miami were held with men after taking part in a peaceful protest and were told by Corrections Officers that their documents – which had already been changed to female – would be “corrected” to read Male. All the while, these two ladies were strip searched by male guards who repeatedly mocked them about their bodies.

So how exactly are we the threats here?

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