There is no doubt or surprise to NJDOC that I am a woman who is transgender and approved for surgery. For more than a year now I have been waiting and waiting for DOC to send me to a surgeon. They have created delays that have only exacerbated my conditions. I am diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, which is recognized as a serious medical conditions that if left untreated does cause life threatening conditions. The department however does not comprehend the significance in this conditions, and as such I remain struggling to find peace.
THERE ARE SURGEONS IN NEW JERSEY
I was told that there was no surgeon in the state to provide gender affirming surgery, yet after months of my own research I discovered that here is several surgeons within the state who have board certifications to provide gender affirming surgery (Vaginoplasty, Orciectomy etc.). My advocates have even reached out to these surgeons to ensure they were active. They are recognized throughout the country as specialist.
FAILURE TO INFORM PATIENTS
Nevertheless, University Corrections Health Care along with New Jersey Department of Corrections has continued to push the idea that there was no one interested in doing this very important surgery. As such there has been no inmate to be evaluated by a surgeon, simply because the NJDOC won’t send anyone out. For some reason the department is only evaluating inmates who have mutilated their genitals, thusfore within the trans community those of us who are begging for surgery only see those who harm themselves qualifying individuals.
I don’t want to have to live my life feeling like I am half of a person, or hating characteristics of myself. The importance of this topic is simply ignored, and the staff within this department are too ignorant towards gender Dysphoria to understand how damaging these delays are. They don’t get it and can careless about the transgender woman who are willing to castrate themselves simply to hope they make it to surgery.
NJDOC OFFERS NO HOPE TO TRANSGENDER WOMEN SEEKING SURGERY
I am often trying to lie to myself and other transgender women, telling them that there is hope and that people care…Yes I lie to them because I don’t want to see none of them harming themselves, yet I get it, I know those thoughts and I refuse to lie anymore ….I don’t want to be just like the Directors and staff who lie to me telling me that these things are happening when in fact they are looking for ways to cut corners and give more delays.
For years, I knew nothing about surgery, the only person who I could listen to was a inmate who had castrated themselves which in turn forced DOC to provide her with surgery. Michelle Angelina was her name and the reality is that a person who multilates themselves should not be a positive influence for those of us seeking surgery. Self-harm is not suppose to be normal!!! When I finally did learn about surgery and realized the positive outcomes I was finally able to meaningfully weigh the risk and benefits which only than allowed me to say hell yes I do want go do this. Yet NJDOC fails to tell inmates the steps towards obtaining consideration for this.
BEING IGNORED BY WOMEN’S SERVICES
I have reached out to The Commissioner of Women’s Service and PREA unit, in which I have been dismissed and in over 17 jpay grievances I have been ignored (not provided a response). Regardless of staffs personal opinions policy does exist and DOC are suppose to be impartial yet the reality is that many of the staff are allowing their own personal beliefs regarding transgenders to control their decisions. Hence, yes when I say that we are being ignored I am speaking for many others who are not capable of communicating their cries for help. So their tears, frustration and self loath are carried with me each day.
Y’all ask why do I write these emails or yaw wonder why I do jpay massages because its the only hope that I left, its the only way some days that I can find the strength to push on, because the truth hurts, the truth is that yaw ignore many of us transgenders, the truth that we are often misgendered in yaw emails and conversations, the truth that yaw believe we are anything but women. The truth hurts but its a reality that I wake up too each day. And now as throughout the country as transgender rights are under attack, I can only cry more. My fears of being harmed seeing many of my trans sisters going through hell weighs heavily on me. Yet, the reality is that within New Jersey, NJDOC has rolled back numerous protections for transgender women and have carried out what to many are racist and transphobic views and practices.
Seeing Gender Dysphoria as the serious life threatening condition that it is,allows this department to immediately ensure that mental health care and medical care are comprehensive and effective. I am begging for this…Sending transgender women to under qualified nurses and doctors and mental health staff DOES NOT HELP. NOR HAS IT HELPED. While trainings are happening those trainings won’t change the culture of ignorance. This is why, I am struggling and I am asking for immediate intervention. Basic humanity is not a privilege.