22 October 2014

A Prison Within A Prison

A 16-year-old is imprisoned as a form of therapy.

Sounds good so far, right?  Well, it gets even better.

The teenager in question has been a ward of the state since the age of five.   During the next decade, this teen was beaten, raped, denied food and trafficked for sex--and endured homelessness. 

Oh, wait, there's more:  This kid is in a boys' detention center.  But she's a girl.

Yes, she's transgender.  Joette Katz, the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, recommended the detention of the teenager, who is identified only as Jane Doe.  Ms. Katz's reasoning--impeccable, as she used to be a judge, right?---is that Ms. Doe was "too violent" for the juvenile facilities in which she had been housed.

Forget that, according to some, the charges against Ms. Doe were overstated.  Even if they weren't, staffers at such facilities are accustomed to much worse than Ms. Doe dished out.  Besides, how is locking up someone--in solitary confinement, no less--going to make someone whose anger issues are probably linked to PTSD and having to deal with her gender identity less volatile?

Ms. Katz hasn't said.  So, Ms. Doe's lawyers are filing an amended suit in which Ms. Doe's Constitutional rights are being violated when prison staffers and officials refer to her by her birth name and male pronouns, force her to wear boys' uniforms and don't allow her to wear wigs and makeup.  These charges were added to the one that said that her Constitutional rights were being violated when she was kept in solitary confinement.

Whoaa...Solitary confinement?  In a boys' detention facility?  Even though she was never charged with any indictable offense before the incaluculably wise Ms. Katz put her in prison?

Such a gem of jurisprudence, coming from a former judge.  And people wonder why there are so many lawsuits--including the one on behalf of Jane Doe.

21 October 2014

Speaking Of Allies...

Speaking of alliesCaryn Kunkle is certainly one.

Two of her friends were brutally attacked by a group of fifteen (!) boys and girls in Center City, Philadelphia.  After asking whether the two men were a couple, the young thugs assaulted and robbed them while yelling, "Dirty faggots!"

One of the men was so badly beaten that police thought he was dead from a gunshot wound.  Now he and his boyfriend want to make sure no one else has to experience what they did.  So does Ms. Kunkle.

She is working with them, and others to change Pennsylvania's hate crime laws, which don't include crimes committed against people primarily because of their sexual orientation.   I, of course, have signed the petition.  I urge you to do the same.

Of course, there needs to be language to protect people attacked for their actual or perceived gender identity.  That's the next step after Kunkle and her friends see the change they're seeking.

20 October 2014

From The Homeless Hub: How To Be An Ally To The Trans Community

I found this in "The Homeless Hub":

How To Be An Ally To The Transgender Community

Certainly Do...

get to know me!
educate yourself!
use preferred pronouns!

Please Don't...

out me as trans without my permission.
ask what my name was "before".
make assumptions about my sexual orientation.
ask me about my genitals.
and learn my "real" name!