The Edna Mahan Correctional Facility (EMCF) administration has continued to deny women who are transgender housing in several units within EMCF which has caused other women to be uprooted from their cells. Transgender women are not permitted housing in about 30 wings of EMCF and 3-4 buildings, this is at the discretion of Administrator Stem and others within Central. Women here remain fearful of the transgenders primarily because the administration has failed to protect them.
Lack of Housing Security at Edna Mahan
Imates who are labeled female at birth (cisgender women) are often inconvenienced and uprooted from there because of transgender women. In addition to this transgender women are experiencing hostility from other women who are often being displaced in other units because of this discriminatory housing policy. I can’t blame other women for being upset given the fact that they are being inconvenienced and pushed aside for women who are transgender, aren’t we all equal?
This practice has gone too far, and has caused transgender woman to be ”outed” the moment they enter Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for women. Unlike other women who are labeled female at birth, and go directly to reception for housing transgender women are not allowed housing within reception.
What is perhaps the most blatant form of abuse is where some cisgender women who have been tormented and threatened by another trans woman Michelle Angelina are forced to endure such abuse simply because they fear being moved to another unit. This fear is re-enforced by the fact that transgender women are only permitted housing in two housing units, as a result when safety issues arise and it does involve a transgender women, it’s the cisgender women who are displaced and moved.
Separate Is Inherently Unequal
As a direct result of the sexual harassment from Angelina and her wife, I have gotten a ”keep seperate” order from both inmates, yet they are still allowed to enter my housing unit; they are still crossing paths with me; and its simply due of the fact that administration has failed to ensure my views of safety are considered. So being called ”he,” a ”faggot,” and harassed is something I deal with daily from these two inmates. I have asked about housing and Administration has declared ”No transgender women are allowed in two of the other units that consist of about 20 wings. Safety is compromised, and I was advised ”Something will have to happen before they realize the wrongness in their actions.”
This practice exacerbates gender dysphoria, its a blatant reminder that trans woman are somehow less equal than other women. I have watched officers tell inmates they needed to be moved to other units so that they could place transgender women in their bed This practice comes from ignorance, and here we are two years later since trans women have entered EMCF, and equality is still invisible.
Edna Mahan Needs Trans Education
There remains no education on who trans women are, but what the administration is doing is making this situation worst. Adam is highlighting the inequality, they are separating trans women, they are allowing inmate to misgender each other, for example, inmate L. Nelson said in front of the ombudsman ”this is bull shit ‘He’ should not work in here”; referring to me volunteering in the law library.
The inmate refuses to refer to me with my pronouns (she, her, Ms.) and has used all kinds of derogatory references to refer to all trans women. This was witnessed by the Ombudsman and a Correctional Lieutenant, what happened? Nothing!! I realized that it will take for more trans women to come here and for them to emotionally break, in order for people to see the wrongness in their actions.
These units are becoming hostile and with more trans women expected to come in the next weeks, I fear what lies ahead.
Sadly, EMCF wants all trans women to be housed on these units regardless of their behavior and concerns for safety this exact practice is how abuse has occurred and how we have gotten here. This blatant discrimination and disregard for trans women and their safety has to stop.