[Content note: misogynoir, violence]
I haven’t said much on Monica Jones, mostly because I don’t have anything new to say. I sure as hell hope the magnitude of the injustice isn’t up for debate.
If you haven’t read this post over at Prison Culture, I encourage you to do so.
Irrespective of the bigoted opinion of
Tea Party hardliner progressive darling Elizabeth Warren, a few days ago a federal appeals court ruled that a prison inmate has a constitutional right to sex reassignment surgery:
The 90-page ruling was written by U.S. Circuit Judge Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson, an Obama appointee, who asserted the Massachusetts Department of Corrections denied Kosilek essential medical care by withholding from her gender reassignment surgery.
“Those findings — that Kosilek has a serious medical need for the surgery, and that the DOC refuses to meet that need for pretextual reasons unsupported by legitimate penological considerations — mean that the DOC has violated Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment rights,” Thompson writes.
[Trigger warning for transphobia and prisoner abuse]
Back in 2006, the Wisconsin Legislature passed Act 105, the “Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act”. [Good thing we had a Democratic governor at the time. Whoops!]
The act banned the state from providing trans* prisoners hormone therapy or surgery.
This happened at the exact same time I was struggling to secure medical care for myself. It was nice to know that three blocks away from my house, my bosses at The State of Wisconsin were willing to spend their time demonizing folks like me.
I thought about this a lot as I drove down the Northwest Tollway to Chicago, where the Chicago Cubs were graciously paying for my tits*, and the State of Illinois was patiently holding my semen.
After I spent a substantial amount of time, money, and emotional energy getting things squared away, I recall writing** state legislators:
I’ve given my life to eating jello salad, protecting your crops, and teaching your children, and you fuckers are having the people of Illinois subsidize my medical bills? Nice work.
PS: To hell with the Packers.
Needless to say, I had a car, and a job, and a studio apartment that was not a prison cell. So, unlike three trans* women that sued the state when the Department of Corrections took away their hormones, I had options.
A while back, a court sided with the trans* women in ruling Act 105 unconstitutional. Because the State of Wisconsin would rather spend bazillions of dollars defending its bigotry than actually shelling out a few thousand bucks a year on life and money saving drugs, the state appealed.
Today the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the earlier ruling in favor of current and future trans* inmates. Snippets from [TW] the ruling are below. Read more…