Greetings. As I enter a post-website era, I am reminded, by my good comrade and friend, to keep comrades of candle updated. I will aim for 2 or 3 of these a month, depending on happenings. Obviously I have the time. I will include a general update at the bottom.
Let’s start with the heart of the matter first: I am actively seeking legal aid, a lawyer. Thee are 3 transgender specific matters I feel it is pertinent to address in civil court, and a separate issue with mail censure I would like to raise. I will surmise the issues, followed by the impact, then I will attempt fully detailing the situation, within my ability. I will refrain from attempting legal commentary, though Transgender Law Center has gifted me the Jailhouse Lawyer Manual and some additional case law — I am preparing to, at worst, go pro we and have, at most, a laypersons knowledge of law. Wish me luck, either way.
+ Starting around 1/15/22, I was denied a renewal of my HRT for close to 30 days. This terribly effected my body and psyche, irreversibly. During the denial, I was subjected to ridicule, blame, and lies from the medical personnel who continued the denial. I believe this violated the 8th amendment.
+ Our facility forbids any-and-all gender affirming surgeries (aside from bottom surgeries) to trans women, ‘feminizing’ procedures. Given ”Edmo v.” affirming WPATH standards of care apply to prison, and given these procedures are permitted for reasons unrelated to transgender patients with gender dysphoria, I believe this egregiously offends the 8th and 14th amendment.
+ I have been attempting to acquire vaginoplasty since the onset of my incarceration, as the ACLU advised. I am, currently, being denied it.
Lastly, my mail related issue.
+ My two comrades, blue and (herein) LP, have had all mail returned to them, with no notice to me, with no avenue to allow their appeal. It has cost both of them a lot of money, and isolated me from wholesome love. Beyond my right to due process being violated, the mail room is blatantly lying as to their censure reasoning and has retaliated against me for questioning the practice.
I am incredibly stressed first to speak to my dysphoria and treatment: my dysphoria is severe enough to be debilitating. Often, I am brought to a state of pure despair, anguish, at my inability to change anything about my body: it’s out of my control, yet the feelings never stop. I am otherwise high functioning, as much as one can be in prison, and the sheer emotional fatigue, mental fatigue, can only compare to the experience of my divorce, experiences of surviving abuse, and even then my dysphoria vastly overshadows these emotional tolls. It becomes debilitating, as I will go from writing a book or reading theory to being incapable of prying myself from where I reside, fetal on the cold-stone floor. I want an end to my dysphoria, more than I could ever hope to desire an end to my incarceration, freedom. It is an empty, hateful, resentful feeling, one that leaves me hopeless, helpless. I need it to end, desperately. I want the joyous experience of gender euphoria, that my body finally, truly, is mine, is how it always desired itself to be, is how it needs to be for my well-being, has needed to be since my earliest memories as a school[girl].
Though felt most strongly with regards to my genitals, I do experience these feelings quite strongly as well in relation to my face shape (cheek/brow/nose/jaw structure — a ‘masculine’ face), my breast size (the feeling is comparable to those who lose their breasts during cancer treatment), my voice (despite training on my part), my trachea (I have a large ‘Adams apple’), and my butt size (it makes my shoulders feel broader, aside from dysphoria over its size). I am sure my readers will know how dysphoria feels and I need not explain. To others, I pray those who know me better see humor in this, I am reminded of the statement I often made in preschool, while learning of the catholic God: God didn’t make me right. I am appalled cis women are permitted surgeries I am denied (mammoplasty-augmentation namely), at the disparity between affirming care afforded in sense of feminizing-vs-masculinizing procedures (3 forms of chest removal or reconstruction permitted, 0 forms of breast augmentation solely in the context of treating transgender patient’s dysphoria), and just overall disgusted with how our facility flagrantly defies treatment guidelines for gender dysphoria, despite Edmo v. affirming the validity of WPATH standards of care in a prison setting.
My stress at the struggle to achieve vaginoplasty, that it seems designed to be impossible sans lawyer, is extreme. I have a long sentence, which means a denial of care constitutes a long duration where I have no alternative to alleviate my suffering. It is all willful, cruel, wicked. I am approaching the limit of the abuse I can take.
My hormone denial was my low, the entire month was pure torture. I felt totally powerless, much of why I started hormones was undone before my very eyes. I began to hate my body again, a challenge surmounted prior in my 4 years of HRT. The ugly face of authority reared its head, it is vile and gross. I am still coping with the trauma of this needless exercise in power, this abuse. I have not yet entirely ‘undone’ the damage to my hormone levels, and can never undo what 1 month of heightened testosterone, a denial of HRT, did to me.
With all that said, I’ll touch briefly on the mail issue. Blue is my staunchest and fiercest advocate, my best friend. I love her dearly. LP has quickly become something of another mom of mine, another staunch advocate. Both are frequently senders of loving, wholesome letters. If my mom were somehow less supporting, these two would be my mom. Given what I am experiencing, you may imagine the impact it has on my mental health. Both are excessively aware of mail protocols there has been nothing offending sent and we have deduced this to be flagrant censorship of supportive mail.
I am now going to attempt a timeline of my written records, with the caveat a lawyer can, in the future, acquire more info from the facility. There is a lot, I share mostly to support my claims as fact, truth.
Let’s surmise one thing: largely I am summarizing and dating written communications (herein: kytes), not speaking full to my particular wordage.
Hormone denial: 1/23/22 (reply on 27th) first documented refill request 1/31 (reply on 2/01) further requests for HRT, first snarky-blamey reply 2/1 (reply on 2/4) I affirm my prison issued diagnosis, am told I have an appointment 2/2 (reply on 2/8) more refill requests, told I have an appointment that day. 2/4 (reply on 2/5) dated as 17 days w/o, I get a cold, uncaring reply on this coffee stained form about how I am, somehow through denial, being prepared for my release, that the denial imparts a lifeskill, not trauma. 2/5 (reply on 2/8) more requests for refill, I highlight their inconsistent narratives am told a new appointment has been scheduled 2/6 (reply on 2/8) I am frustrated at the moving goalpost, told my appointment is that day. 2/7 (reply 2/8) I wrote a sonnet, about the denial, which was returned with a generic reply. 2/8 (reply 2/14) I file a grievance, and a separate discrimination complaint. Both are denied, as I ”provide no evidence” and ”can not file both for the same issue.”
There’s that timeline, the contents of the kytes capture my anguish and, if desired, I’ll publish them here. I need help moving from here, I am a bit overwhelmed.
Oh god, the task I gave myself. I have around 30clytes just addressing vaginoplasty, my dysphoria. They date from 12/28/21 until just last week, 7/17/22. I document my specific feelings, graphically, as to my facial, voice, breast, and especially genital dysphoria. I also share my past experiences struggling with self-castration attempts, and self-harm that has arisen due to dysphoria. I can release
These if desired but there’s too much to breakdown like above. I’m not afraid to publicize my experience, it may be necessary, and will make plans to safely mail out this stack of kytes.
Last, our mail room references OARD 291-131-0037 (5)(a)(7)(d) and (5)… And OARD 291-131-0035 (5)(H)… As of 6/24. They allege my moms are using a foreign substance on all of their letters, which has changed from their prior allegation of improperly labeled or addressed mail’. My comrade LP has fort n mail to me with an alias, ‘X Johnson’. Otherwise, my received mail is never delivered, returned to sender with no notice to me. None of the mail, in actuality, offends these, by prison standards, lax requirements. I have cited, in correspondence to our mail room, Procunier v. Martinez (due process) and Bonner v. Outlaw (avenue to challenge censure) to no effect. This clearly targeted censure has been ongoing several months, easily 4-5, exclusively towards comrade Blue, later also LP, and possibly more — I’d never know! It it difficult to have dialogue with the mailroom, as they have disciplined me for ‘offending them’ in prior kytes signed as ‘the queen of antifa’, alleging I was ‘telling them how to do their job’. So, I’d love to tell them how to do their job in a court room. I need all the love and support I can get, fuck political censure. Anyone concerned to content: read any of my zines as to what is permitted, I would rate LP and Blue’s letters as a 1, maybe a 2, if my zines were to be a 10.
Finally, a personal update from the heart:
Hi. I am stressed. As I even copied this, a fight broke out 5 feet in front of me. ‘Bitch got her face beat in’. I am dealing with the perpetrator of my recent experience with sexual assault spreading rumors I am a child molester, a rapist, which has several women threatening to fight me. I share a housing unit with her and her clique, currently, and just today she waited outside my cell as I left to type this. Still, I have claimed the basketball court, and no one yet fucks with me beyond shallow threats— maybe this can symbolize something, too? Or there is more to come, far worse. I stay strong in spite of the aversion, threats, and cliques working to put me down — I am superior. I feel oddly out of place in prison as an intellectual, more so than as a trans woman, and even odder as ‘the representative for the anarchist cause’. All the controversy makes for good conversation, I have a strong group of friends — we’re all independent.
And yet it isn’t enough, sheer force of will cannot surmount the car cereal (lol) system politicizing medical treatment. I am holding out someone will hear my cry for help, or that I somehow prove more powerful than I thought myself to be. I just want my fucking surgery.
I see with my QMHP, a term those familiar with WPATH (7th ed) will know), on the 27th — her boss will be present, so I prepare for bad news as usual.
Good luck in abolishing prison comrades, and remember to stay safe (especially you, Jane’s revenge).
And to you, comrade phoenix, who I serve with, separated by these walls.