Cruel and Usual

[Trigger warning for transphobia, self-harm, and prisoner abuse]

I've been spending a good deal of time thinking about the intersection of trans*ness, gender, class, race, and healthcare lately. It's an occupational requirement, I suppose.

Anyhow, I came across [TW] this story about a woman incarcerated in a Virginia men's correctional facility who is suing the state over her right to sexual reassignment surgery (or whatever one chooses to call it). All I can say is that I was utterly unsurprised. Hey look, it's Tuesday!

That's pretty much the most damning indictment of this country's treatment of trans* people that I can think of.

1) A trans* woman of color does not have access to adequate healthcare.
2) At a very young age she begins stealing, in hopes of securing healthcare.
3) She is subsequently arrested, and locked up in a men's prison for a long, long time.
4) She is not allowed to grow her hair out.
5) She is not allowed to have SRS/GRS.

And we have:
Republican Virginia Del. Todd Gilbert says he would seek state legislation if De'lonta's lawsuit is successful.

"The notion that taxpayers are going to fund a sex change is just ridiculous," says Gilbert.
No. You sir, are ridiculous.

Harold Clarke, who became Virginia's corrections director last year, says it would be a security risk to allow the surgeries because Virginia's inmates are housed according to their gender at birth, not anatomy.
Oh! If only there were a solution to this dilemma. (I have a solution to this dilemma.)

The article itself is pretty sorry. I definitely award bonus points for framing Ms. De'lonta's cutting as central to the issue. If there's one thing I've seen over and over and over again, it's people (trans and cis alike) framing self-harm as a central reason why trans* people should have access to medical care. False. Our shared humanity is reason enough.


[Commenting Note: Comments will not be open on this post. Given the principles of this space, the story should be considered self-evidently awful, and given the nature of transphobic trolls, we're disinclined to open up this particular story to their bullshit commentary. On rare occasions, we share something because of its newsworthiness that we do not feel needs public comment.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus