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Stiletto Since our founding in 2004, it has been a

December 2012
Transitions at TGI central goal of TGI Justice to be led by
members from our base—transgender
Volume 6, Issue 1
Justice women of color who have been impacted by
prisons and police. Today we are walking that
Letter from Beck Witt, Program
Inside this Issue Director
walk and it is with incredible joy, excitement,
and confidence that I announce TGI Justice’s
newest staff members—women that have

Transitions at TGI Justice been participants and leaders in the
organization for the past 4-8 years.
Janetta Louise Johnson, Program

Editor’s Note / Miss TGI
Member Leadership Development,
Prisoner Support, and the Formerly
Stiletto Submissions Incarcerated and Convicted People's

Grace’s Story
Dear Friends and Supporters,

Suggestion Box I am writing to you with the news that
after 6 months of planning, I will be
transitioning out of Transgender,
Empowerment Retreat Gender Variant & Intersex Justice
2012 Project on August 10th. TGI Justice,
(and it’s precursor—the Trans and
gender variant In Prison (TIP)

From The Inside Committee) has been my political home
Janetta Louise Johnson is an Afro-
and chosen family for almost 9 years. I
American Transsexual from Tampa,
could never put into words all that I
Florida. She moved to San Francisco in

Q&A have learned and grown in my time with
1997, where she has worked in various
the organization and am grateful to you
capacities at non-profits and social
all—our members in and out of prison,
service agencies. She recently survived
partners at allied organizations,

Transgender Community 3 years in federal prison and is
supporters of TGI Justice, current and
News committed to developing strategies and
past staff members—for all that you’ve
interventions to reduce the recidivism
taught me. While I will miss being a
rate of the transgender community.

Team and Program part of the everyday goings-on of the
Janetta has been involved with TGI
organization, I trust that the profound
Justice since 2006. She served as
personal relationships that I’ve
Interim Organizing Director in
cultivated during my time here will
San Francisco Resources November/December ‘08, planned
continue after I transition out. I am
vibrant grassroots fundraisers, and later
excited to learn some new skills and
put her skills as a community organizer,
embark on new adventures and am
trainer, and activist to use inside as she
deeply thrilled to be able to pass on the
fiercely and tirelessly advocated for her
rights as a transgender person in jail and

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Melenie Mahinamalamalama have written. Till our next time, hang in

Eleneke, Program Coordinator Editor’s Note there, hold on.
Empowerment Retreats, Prisoner
Support, Stiletto prison newsletter, Melenie M. Eleneke, LT Member & My best & love to you all,
Leadership Team, and the Formerly Program Coordinator
Incarcerated and Convicted People's
Movement Aloha!

It seems like we’re always in transition

but the important thing is that we’re still
here for the long haul with our new
“Glamour Gurls” team.

We want to wish you a safe holiday

season and pray that you continue in
your efforts to STAY STRONG!

On the heels of a successful retreat for Miss Major

your sisters who were formerly xoxoxoxoxo
Melenie is a Native Hawaiian incarcerated, we all wish to express to
Mahuwahine and has been working with you our undying support, as you will
TGIJP since 2004 and as a member of see in upcoming pages of this edition of
the Leadership Team since 2007. She’s Stiletto. Stiletto Submissions
been the editor of our prison newsletter,
Stiletto, since 2008 and served as Know that we are always here for you Thank you for all of your submissions.
Director of Development & and continue to work on your behalf in We are working on including these
Administration from 2008-2009. In solidarity and community. submissions in the next issue of Stiletto.
2008, Melenie served on behalf of TGI
Justice as a delegate speaking about the Mahalo . . . Melenie Please note that if you would like us to
multiple layers of cultural include your submission in Stiletto, we
discrimination to the United Nations will need you to sign the enclosed
release of information along with your
Committee on the CERD (Convention
on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Miss TGI submission.
Discrimination) at the United Nations in
Geneva, Switzerland. Miss Major, Executive Director If you lose the release form, please feel
free to call us from 11am to 4pm
TGI Justice’s exciting staff team will be Dear TG and non-conforming folks, Monday through Thursday and we’ll be
implementing our 2012-2013 programs. happy to send it to you.
Some program highlights include: Well here we go with the next
newsletter for TGIJP. There is more
information about our community
• Empowerment retreats for trans
people who are coming home from around the globe and in the USA. If Grace’s Story
prison there are any suggestions you may have
• Stiletto prison newsletters about us and our objectives please send Grace is an active member of TGIJP
• Updated resources and self-advocacy them. We will take all into and does speaking engagements on
tools for people inside through our consideration to have us be of benefit to human rights of and immigration
prison mail program you. issues faced by transgender women on
• Political education—trainings, behalf of TGIJP.
speeches, and workshops Also send any questions, comments or
• Involvement in the Formerly concerns to : Transgender immigrant
Incarcerated and Convicted People’s detainees face isolation in
Movement. Miss TGI, 342-9th Street, Suite 202B,
San Francisco, CA 94103
By Nancy Lopez
Together with our Executive Director, Miss
Major and our Administrative Director, If you have an article or poem send it
The issue of prison rape is often
StormMiguel Florez, I believe we’re and we will try to get it in the newsletter
belittled by standup comedians, but it’s
watching history in the making with this so others can see and feel what your
really no laughing matter – especially if
unstoppable team. you’re a transgender woman locked up

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

in an all-male facility. Grace Lawrence, would make being gay or transgender

43, is a transgender woman from illegal.
Liberia who was in the custody of Locked up and shut off
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Growing up, Lawrence kept quiet and
or ICE, for nearly three years. For all played the role of the eldest son. In her While awaiting deportation in Santa
but six months, she was kept in solitary teens, her family moved to the U.S. and Clara County jail, Lawrence was
confinement for 23 hours a day. Often, settled in Minnesota. Eventually, she immediately placed in solitary
transgender inmates are placed in got married to a woman and she had confinement for her protection. That is
protective custody – also known as two children. It was in her 30s when she the general policy for transgender
solitary confinement – for their own realized she could not continue living as detainees because they are more likely
protection. “It was hard. But that’s just a man. “I told my mom that I wasn't to be assaulted. She was let out for one
me, but the same thing was happening hour each day, and she says that hour
to other transgenders that was around went by fast.
me,” says Lawrence. Transgender
women are up to 13 times more likely to Lawrence says that if she was lucky, she
be sexually assaulted while would be let out before 5 pm so she
incarcerated, according to transgender could contact her lawyer. But more
rights groups. The government decided often than not, she says she was let out
to start gathering data on the issue with at night, after business hours. Lawrence
the passage of the Prison Rape says that when she got back to her cell,
Elimination Act in 2003. This year it she’d spend her time writing letters,
was updated to include specific frantically asking for help. “I would
measures to protect transgender, lesbian write letters to my friends, to my
and gay inmates from abuse. One lawyer. I would even write letters to the
measure in particular now limits the use judge screaming, please don’t deport
of solitary confinement as the only way me, this is what will happen …
to protect transgender inmates. This is Anybody who I could write I would
in response to advocates saying that the write. So I’d rather die than going over
practice isolates individuals and is only gay but I think that I was a woman to Liberia having kerosene or gasoline
inhumane. But this and all other and they said I was crazy and that they wasted on me and being burned alive.
protections of the new Act do not didn't want to have nothing to do with They do those things. I’ve seen it
extend to immigrants in ICE custody me. So I was kicked out of the family. happen to gay people,” says Lawrence.
who are held in detention centers or So I came to San Francisco and tried to We couldn’t find reports corroborating
county jails, like Grace Lawrence. This forget my former life,” says Lawrence. Lawrence’s claims, but Liberia’s current
is why lawyers and advocates argue that Lawrence is built like a football player – president, Nobel Peace Prize winner
continuing to keep immigrant she is muscular and over 6 feet tall. She Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, recently defended
transgender detainees in solitary has breasts, loves to wear neon green, the country’s current policies, which in
confinement actually creates barriers for and has her nails done. She was 37 essence make being lesbian, gay or
them, including limiting their access to years old when she first arrived to San transgender a criminal act. This is why
legal help. Francisco and began her transition from Grace Lawrence says she was so afraid
male to female. As an undocumented of returning to Liberia. She asked her
The road to detention immigrant who was now transgender, lawyer to help her seek asylum here in
Lawrence felt she had few options for the U.S. – but would communicate
Grace Lawrence was born Wellington making a living, especially considering mostly in writing. “It's harder to
Felix Lawrence in Monrovia, Liberia. the high costs of transitioning. She prepare a case for someone who is
“I'm the oldest of seven children and I quickly got caught up in drug dealing spending 23 hours of the day in
had to live a double life and I couldn't and using. Lawrence also depended on administrative segregation. It's harder
speak about me being a trans-woman prostitution to get by and could only for them to get out and call me. It's
not even to my mother or my best friend afford to live in a hotel room. “And if harder for them to get out and call
because I knew the penalty would be you don’t have rent by 6 in the evening whatever legal advocate might be
death,” says Lawrence. In Liberia the hotel manager will double lock the helping them,” says Cara Jobson, a
homosexuality is not legally punishable doors,” says Lawrence. In late 2006, lawyer in San Francisco who has
by death, but Lawrence was still fearful. police arrested Lawrence for possession handled hundreds of cases involving
Sodomy is considered a first-degree of crack cocaine. Drug possession and immigrant LGBT detainees. Jobson
misdemeanor and carries a year-long prostitution are deportable crimes for says cases like Lawrence’s drag on
prison sentence. Liberia’s immigrants like Lawrence, so after she longer because of their limited access.
predominantly Christian population is served her two-month sentence, she was Jobson said that many of her
pushing for even tougher legislation that turned over to ICE. transgender clients end up agreeing to

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Suggestion Box Stiletto

Justice Project in San Francisco, where

Send in your suggestions and stay tuned for upcoming details on this Stiletto she provides guidance to other
newsletter section! transgender immigrant women. There
may be hope for those who are still in
detention. President Obama has directed
the Department of Homeland Security
leave the country voluntarily. “Which life for me in Liberia if I was deported. I to draft its own standards for protecting
they accepted without fighting because said goodbye to my two children, you LGBT immigrant detainees from
the conditions were so bad in jail and know, in my heart. I was mad at my physical and sexual abuse. This would
because they had no access to family. I was mad at the world. I felt include alternatives to the use of solitary
information about asylum. And we see a useless, worthless, unwanted. I had confinement. DHS has until mid-
lot of times people don’t get their nothing left. I have no family member September to comply.
hormones. It’s very depressing. It’s very here in California and so it was the end,
physically traumatic for them. It’s it was the end for Grace Lawrence. So I
emotionally traumatic,” says Jobson. took my sheets, the bed sheets and rip
Lawyers say the negative treatment it,” says Lawrence. But a guard arrived Empowerment
transgender detainees receive is difficult just in time to stop her. Lawrence spent
to control from the outside, especially in the next six months in the psychiatric Retreat 2012
the Bay Area where there are no federal ward of an immigration hospital in San
immigration detention centers. Diego. She was prescribed medication “Sistahs DoingIt 4 Ourselves”, October
Detainees are farmed out to county jails and would attempt suicide again when 11-15, 2012, Concord, CA
such as Yuba, faced with another
Sacramento and possibility of What a fantastic journey!
Contra Costa, and deportation a year
each facility or so later. Just Girls traveled from all over California
operates at its own when Lawrence to join TGIJP on it’s 1st semiannual
discretion. had lost all hope, empowerment retreat, “Sistahs DoinIt 4
Lawrence says that she got some good Ourselves”, since Beck left and the
as a transgender news. In late 2009 Glamour Gurls team (Janetta and
woman in an all- she was called to Melenie) transitioned in and assumed
male facility, it was appear in court. the shared responsibilities of Beck’s
difficult to go She remembers the position as Program Director.
unnoticed. “So we Judge’s exact
were called names words. “This case Attending workshops on human rights,
you know, ‘faggots,’ you know, ‘sissy,’ is dismissed. I wish you luck Ms. basic advocacy, trans services offered
you know, different names. They call Lawrence, and that’s what the judge through San Francisco’s Department of
me ‘sexual issues’ – that mean we're said. When I went back in the holding Public Health, trans spirituality,
tranny … When we was taking showers cell and then I was on my way back to transformative healing, and Stiletto
for those of us who have breasts they Santa Clara, shackles as usual, but this newsletter, the girls were encouraged &
would look at us and comment about it time I was so happy, I was so happy empowered.
and stuff like that,” says Lawrence. The because I knew that when the
Department of Homeland Security paperwork go through I would be As Editor of Stiletto, within my Stiletto
declined to be interviewed, stating that coming downtown to San Francisco and workshop, I was able to share with and
the agency does not offer comments on they would release me,” says Lawrence. entrust to the girls, my personally sacred
specific allegations. But DHS did Lawrence’s lawyer, Cara Jobson, had Native Hawaiian cultural and spiritual
provide this statement: “ICE has a strict proven that if Lawrence were deported beliefs, and transformative healing
zero tolerance policy for any kind of to Liberia, she would be tortured and traditions. The sharing and cycling of
abusive or inappropriate behavior in its killed for being transgender. She was spiritual power plays an integral role in
facilities and takes any allegations of granted asylum under the United States any cultural healing process.
such mistreatment very seriously.” Convention Against Torture – one of
the more difficult types of asylum cases Giving a lei or as is the case for the
Mental breakdown to win. “Most people who live it and go purposes of my workshop, a corsage, or
through it the majority of them are any fresh adornment is a common
Lawrence suffered a mental breakdown deported and never make it back like me symbol of love, friendship, celebration,
during her three years in detention. The to be able to tell the story of what goes honor, or greeting. The custom of
first time an immigration judge ordered on in there,” says Lawrence. Lawrence giving these leis or adornments was
her to be deported, she attempted now has a driver’s license and a work introduced to Hawaii from the various
suicide. “Because I know there was no permit. She volunteers with the TGI surrounding Polynesian islands. In

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

ancient Hawaii, wearing a lei or other

adornments represented wealth, royalty, Valerie Nicole Witt
and rank. Leis were also heavily Don’t give up; don’t even lose hope. Never lose faith! We’re growing in
associated with hula, religion and There is a good life for people like us numbers and in strength. We’ll be here
geography. and you’re an inspiration. when you need us.

Spiritual energy is in everything living Angel Trisha

and non-living and cycles constantly Please don’t give up because there’s Be empowered. This weekend at the
throughout the universe. Therefore, the someone that hasn’t given up on you retreat it was empowering and spiritual.
making, giving, and receiving of these and loves you and knows your pain and Loving with one another, caring and
adornments provide a flow of spiritual struggles. Please keep in prayer as I’m loving together, we can be strong.
energy that progresses in intensity praying for you. I’ve been there and I
throughout the entire process and the am with you in spirit and I believe in Katheryne Stripling
cycle continues and repeats itself. you. Do it for yourself ‘cause nobody else
will! F*** the world! I am who I am,
Grace Lawrence I’m gonna be who I’m gonna be, and
I know what you all are going you should be who you are and who
through. Did five years in prison. Now you’re gonna be.
life is great outside, but I never forget
the inside. Patti
You are beautiful and I love you!
Remember, God loves you and never
lose faith and never give up on your From the Inside
dreams because anything is possible.
The following stories are a glimpse
Billie from the inside and is shared to give
Today is the first day of the rest of you support in your daily struggles.
So, my nephew made the corsages with
my life. No matter what, don’t give up
his spiritual energy, gave the corsages to La Bella Donna
or give in.
me to share in my spiritual energy, I By Bella Donna L.
gave it to the girls in pairs to affix to
each other’s wrist and to share in their So many things are going on in regards to
When everything and everyone turns
spiritual energy, and after, we all transgender prisoners these days. I have been
their backs on you, remember that, at
formed a circle placing all of our very busy benefiting from these changes and
the end of the road, there will always be
adorned hands into the inner circle to am now six months into my treatment
help for you.
share the spiritual energy with you. transition.
Bonding together in & through our
Miss Will
flowing circle of spiritual energy & I was pleasantly surprised by the new PREA
God is the only power in your life so
power to sough & reap the positive (Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003)
you are perfect, whole, and complete.
benefits of closing the retreat in a standards and I hope to report on how it is
spiritually uplifting & healing way for actually implemented at the federal level.
Ms. Jasmine
each and every one of us & as a
Dear sisters and brothers, I wish you We have the Lexis Nexis legal computer
cohesive collective of "Sistahs DoingIt
well. Just finished attending and library in the federal BOP and I am very up to
4 Ourselves”, we wish to share with you
participating in a transgender date on the case law related to GID (Gender
our feelings of empowerment and
empowerment retreat/conference. We Identity Disorder) and that is looking good,
send positive and supportive words and too.
thoughts to you. I, personally, feel a
Carla, Miss Gay SF 2012-13
small part of your isolation from the There is still a lot of work left to do especially
Your power has never had to play a
outside. I spent a few months in in regards to gender-affirming surgery,
role in any situation. If you lose your
juvenile hall for petty theft. God bless electrolysis, laser hair removal, clothing,
power, then you really will be lost.
you and, someday, hopefully you may cosmetics, housing, etc. But, the most
Don’t let anyone make you lose your
be released and able to transition back important first step is to get the GID diagnosis
power! You are not alone. If you feel
into society and life. You have my and move forward from there. I will be at
alone and you don’t let me know; how
support. appoint early next year where I will meet the
will I know? I am here for you . . .
requirements for surgery under the newer
standards of care, WPATH (World
Professional Association for Transgender

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Q&A Stiletto

mirror, nearly tearing my camisole open

Send in your questions and stay tuned for our answers and upcoming details on to see my chest. Turning my vanity
this Stiletto newsletter section! lights as high as they would go . . . yes!!
Without a doubt, my areolae were now
nearly twice the size they used to be . . .
(when was that, just yesterday?). And
Health) 7th version, and will most certainly what is consistent with the prison
oh yes, there was certainly some
ask for surgery as well as laser hair removal environment.
growth, not much, and probably not
or electrolysis and improved real-life therapy
My position will be, if female prisoners anything anyone else would notice, but I
prior to a transfer to a women’s prison.
can have it, I need to be able to get it, or sure did, yes!! They were finally
I expect to be transferred in the next month or else send me to a women’s prison for starting to come in. Over the next 6-8
two but will be sure to let TGI Justice Project my “real life experience”, pre-surgery. months, I was acting like what I thought
know my new address. Any mail sent here In the meantime, I have to earn a living a young girl who reaches puberty must
will be forwarded for about 30 days or so. and continue on with my other legal go through. And yes, they just kept
So, there should be no problem keeping in struggles and try and stay in good growing. God did they grow. I
touch. health. marveled at the graduating process; A-
cup, B-cup, and finally, a year later, I
Some things worry me like the upcoming had tapered off at a nice rounded 36C.
elections and the affect of any change in the
administration. I do really hope that things To Bra or Not to Bra Other things had happened to a lesser
stay the same, or at least don’t get rolled back. By Skylar D degree, but they were most welcomed
Most of the case law stuff won’t change, but too; I had developed hips and buttocks,
policy and rules can. Look for this story in our Spring 2013 loss of body hair, higher pitched voice,
issue of Stiletto. etc. Even emotionally, I felt more . . .
I will also try and send you all some more well feminine. But the greatest thing
information that may be of assistance to was having them. I remember the first
persons seeking treatment within the federal My Cup Runneth Over summer I took them out in a tube top
system for GID. By “Tsunami” Caryl-Averlyn halter. Yes!! I remember the first time
At this point, everything is so new that it’s a guy who was riding by as I strolled
proceeding on a very much trial and error I can clearly remember when they first slowed down and hollered out of his car
process. Also, there are some personal began. So many weeks had gone by window “nice rack”. I swear it’s a good
with absolutely nothing . . . zilch, no thing I was tucked, cause his small
privacy issues that need to be addressed. I
activity. Everyday I stood topless compliment aroused me and nearly
can say this though, most of the current
before the mirror . . . waiting, threw me off step in my stilettos.
treatment regimens or protocols are based on
work done by Dr. Anne Lawrence (SEE: anticipating, expecting I guess the and overnight miracle. It brought to mind Oh, and I remember all the nights and
Dr. Carl Bushong (SEE: the old ketchup commercial of the kid days, in front of the mirror, topless . . . waiting so patiently to coat his beloved lifting them, tweaking them, massaging
/tmf_program/default.asp) as well as the hamburger with the flavoring of his them, pinching them. Aren’t they just
choice. grand? I remember answering my
WPATH standards of care.
girlfriend’s dare, and flashing them to
The memos mentioned in TGI Justice truckers and other drivers, as we rode
Project’s “Still We Rise” are significant and I from Washington DC to Philly one
am seeking some clarification of the assorted weekend (and back).
terms used such as “the treatment plan” may
include elements or services that were or were I remember the first time a lover f****d
not provided prior to incarceration, including, them (what a great new sensation that
but not limited to: those elements of the real was). I remember when they finally got
life experience consistent with the prison big enough for me to suck them myself
environment, hormone therapy, and And so it was about 2a.m., rousing me (that was addictive). I remember going
counseling. from a deep sleep . . . First like a sharp topless on the beach and showing off
little pain, then a constant tingling the passion marks that were put on them
I won’t have an answer to the “real life sensation in both nipples. Wait, wasn’t the night before. I remember the first
experience” part till I get transferred this what my girlfriends had told me to surgical augmentation. In fact, the only
from the medical place I am at to the expect, some “nipple discomfort” first? thing I can’t remember is what it was
regular prison I am being sent to; and As the thought and realization of what like not to have them.
then, only after a lot of back and forth was happening to me came to mind, I
with the prison administrators as to sprang from my bed to my vanity

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

I love the weight of them; the way they United States Department of Justice subject of Trans Marriage and
jiggle or move just so. I love the since October 1986. In this capacity, she Parenting. Our panelists were
attention they command and the is responsible for the direction and Jennifer Levi (GLAD), Shannon Minter
constant reminder that I am wo-man. management of the Division's litigation (NCLR), and Denise Brogan-Kator
Indeed, my cup runneth over! program in the United States Courts of (Family Equality Council). We
Appeals and, under supervision of the discussed some of the intricacies of pre-
Solicitor General, in the Supreme Court. transition and post-transition marriages,
Prior to her appointment as Appellate and divorce, annulment and custody
Transgender Chief, Ms. Flynn served in the Division issues. This was followed by a
as counsel to the Assistant Attorney discussion with local activists Ruby
Community News General and as an appellate attorney. Corado and Jason Terry of the D.C.
Before that, she spent several years Trans Coalition. We heard about some
Katheryne Stripling, Member engaged in the private practice of law. of the good work the Coalition is doing,
She is a 1979 graduate of Yale Law and how we, as attorneys, can help the
Hello! School and a 1976 summa cum laude trans community more effectively.
graduate of the University of Rochester.
I hope you enjoy reading my column’s
She is incredibly insightful about civil Afterwards, we adjourned to the bar
news offerings in this edition of Stiletto.
rights litigation, and told her personal upstairs, and got a chance to catch up. I
The following are a list of transgender
story about transitioning on the job can't wait for the next one, and I hope
there several years ago during the you'll consider joining us.
previous administration. She is a How to become a contributor
community treasure.
Here is my list of the Fifty Top Trans
We also had a panel "Beyond Bullying: Law Developments since our last
Trans Youth and Education?”, with Trans Law Institute:
panelists Joseph Wardenski (U.S. DOJ,
Civil Rights Division) Sharon -1-
McGowan (U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights MA state non-discrimination law passed
law developments. Please let me know Division, Appellate Section), Elizabeth -2-
any specific TG news you’d like to read Gill (ACLU of Northern California) and Macy v. Holder ruling by the EEOC
and I’ll research it for you. Asaf Orr (California attorney who that sex discrimination includes gender
represents parents and kids in identity and expression
Thanks, Katheryne
educational matters). There was a great -3-
discussion about how to use legal means HUD housing rule prohibiting
Bilerico, USA
to educate school officials to discrimination based on gender identity
accommodate and include trans kids finalized
Third Annual Trans Law Institute, and
safely. -4-
the Fifty Top Trans Law Developments
Deportation of same sex partners (and
Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | August
Our afternoon panel was held jointly those who might otherwise be
29, 2012 3:30 PM
with the Family Law Institute, on the considered such) halted
The National LGBT Bar Association
again hosted the Transgender Law
Institute on Thursday, August 23, 2012,
our third annual. We had about 70
people in attendance. It was wonderful
to see old friends again, and make new
ones. It felt like community.

We started the day with my annual

"Fifty Top Developments in Trans
Law" talk. It is amazing how many
things happen in a year. The list is after
the jump.

Our keynote speaker was Diana K.

Flynn, Chief of the Appellate Section
of the Civil Rights Division of the

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

-5- -17- discriminating against transgender

The Social Security Administration's The Justice Department issued new people
"no match" policy of alerting employers rules to prevent sexual assault of -21-
when an employee's gender doesn't LGBT inmates Lambda Legal successfully won asylum
match SSA records ended as to private -18- in the case of Lopez Berera v. Holder,
employers The High Court of Australia in AB v. upholding an asylum claim for a
-6- Western Australia ruled that a man, for Mexican transwoman facing danger in
The Eleventh Circuit federal Court of the purposes of the Gender Mexico because of her gender identity
Appeals held in Glenn v. Brumby that Reassignment Act, is someone who -22-
discrimination based on gender identity appears to be a man, regardless of Doe v. Jindal, a Louisiana federal case
violates the Equal Protection clause of genitalia seeking overrule the use of "crimes
the U.S. Constitution, and suggested -19- against nature" against trans people, was
that it also violates the federal sex The FAA updated its medical permitted to go forward on 14th Am
discrimination statute. requirements, allowing trans pilots to claims. The use of the "crimes against
-7- fly with less hassling nature" statute requires sex offender
A number of cases found that -20- status and long prison terms.
discrimination based on sexual A memo came out from the federal -23-
orientation violates the Equal Protection government stating that federal health- A consent decree was entered into
clause of the U.S. Constitution, most care programs and those funded with between the New Orleans Police
notably in the same-sex marriage cases, federal dollars are barred from Department (NOPD) and the
and this bodes well for similar decisions
about gender identity.
-8- Team & Program Updates
California passed the Gender
Nondiscrimination Act and the Vital Leadership Team: The leadership team continues to keep TGIJP positively and
Statistics Modernization Act (allowing productively on track organizationally working on your behalf and to ensure that
change in birth certificates) members and volunteers are active and appreciated.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Prisoner Support Team: Currently, TGIJP rallies it’s members and community
st rd
Education Fund helped a New York allies/volunteers on the 1 and 3 Wednesdays of every month to respond to your
woman, Beth Scott, to receive insurance letters. We appreciate your patience in hearing from us as we have a limited
coverage for her mammograms
staffing capacity but we are trying to organize our efforts to efficiently respond to
Jennifer Braly, a student at the you in as timely a manner as possible.
University of Arkansas at Forth Smith, Empowerment Retreat “Sistahs DoingIt 4 Ourselves”: The first phase of the new
was able to gain appropriate bathroom
access after U.S. Department of Justice semi-annual retreats program is now complete. The second phase is now being
involvement created for March/April 2013. If you are being released in our area before then,
-11- contact us so we can assist you in attending the next retreat.
The federal court in Minnesota held in
Radtke v. Driver's Union that a trans Political Education: Last summer, TGI Justice members participated in a Prison
woman married to a man was entitled to Industrial Complex (PIC) training series. During the training, members learned
partner benefits about the politics of prisons in the U.S., honed their public speaking and leadership
skills, and shared their own personal thoughts and experiences about the Prison
The American Psychiatric Association
published a statement calling for legal Industrial Complex. As a key part of the training, members wrote, directed, and
rights of trans people filmed a mini-documentary in which they interviewed each other as first hand
-13- experts on the effects of the Prison Industrial Complex on trans women and their
WPATH came out with its 7th edition communities. Special thanks to James Tracy for his generosity and wisdom in
of the Standards of Care
leading the PIC training!
Alberta reinstated healthcare funding Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted Peoples Movement: Miss Major and Bobbie
for sex reassignment surgery
Jean Baker attended the annual convening of FICPM in Philadelphia, PA in
LAPD put new trans guidelines in place September 2012. The five days of the convening were filled with community
-16- events and community organizational site visits to assist formerly incarcerated and
NYPD put new trans guidelines in place convicted people to register to vote in the upcoming Presidential election.

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Department of Justice (DOJ), mandating court followed last year's First Circuit -36-
LGBT-specific policy and trainings, and ruling in Batista v. Clarke, which held The CA Dept of Insurance proposed
that sexual orientation or gender cannot that denial or delay of treatment for an regulations that may flesh out insurance
be used as probable cause for stop or inmate with gender identity disorder nondiscrimination law to say that
arrest, transgender people are referred to constituted an 8th Amendment exclusions for trans related care are
by preferred name and pronoun, violation. The court ordered the prison impermissible in certain circumstances.
transgender people will not be subjected to provide prescribed medical treatment -37-
to overly invasive searches due to for the inmate. And on this one, there's a diversity of
gender identity or to solely to determine -30- opinion in the trans community: Brown
anatomy or genitalia, same-gender Kaeo-Tomaselli v. Pi'ikoi Recovery University prohibited ROTC on campus
searches to be done in accordance with House For Women, D. Hawaii, involved because it is not trans inclusive. Some
gender identity. an inmate denied entry into a halfway say that organizations that are not trans-
-24- house allegedly because she was inclusive should not be on campuses.
Argentina passed a law allowing identified as a "sex change." Her claims Others note that ROTC, which now
identity cards to honor gender identity included constitutional equal protection, allows gay students to participate, will
-25- the federal Fair Housing Act and create a path to trans service because
US Customs and Immigration Service slander. The court held that her equal those students will be more favorable to
came out with a memo re adjudication protection and fair housing act claims trans service inclusion when they reach
of immigration benefits for transgender stated proper claims under Price- leadership roles.
people, no longer requiring evidence of Waterhouse and Schwenk.
SRS in all cases (though state law -31- Here are some not so good results:
might) The Veterans Administration issued two -38-
-26- pharmaceutical protocols with respect to Cece McDonald was forced to plead
In Soneeya v Spencer, the federal cross sex hormones for trans veterans guilty to manslaughter after she was
district court for Massachusetts held assaulted by a crowd of people, the
that a prison's gender identity man who was running after her
disorder policy was invalid insofar as shouting epithets and grabbing at her
it determined, without exception, that was killed, and court made several
certain accepted treatments for GID rulings about evidence in favor of the
were never medically necessary for prosecution.
inmates in GID custody. The court -39-
held that the plaintiff had to receive No ENDA Executive Order
treatment for her GID in accordance -40-
with community standards for Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran
adequate care. Church and School v. EEOC held
-27- that the federal anti-discrimination
In Clinton v. De La Cruz, a federal statutes are trumped by religious
district court in California found that doctrines, but only when involving
a prison had a duty of prison to make employees considered "ministerial
housing arrangements upon release for a -32- employees," such as a schoolteacher.
trans prisoner who was a victim of The labor union SEIU passed a -41-
prison rape, and needed assistance, and resolution that locals will bargain for "Gender identity" was stripped from a
failure to do so gave rise to an 8th trans health care proposed Jacksonville, Florida anti-
Amendment claim. -33- discrimination ordinance
-28- Caster Semenya, whose gender had -42-
In Norwood v. Tobiasz, a federal previously been questioned after Victoria Carmen White's accused
district court in Wisconsin followed last chromosome tests, ran in the Olympics murderer was acquitted
year's Seventh Circuit ruling in Fields v. and got silver in the 880s -43-
Smith, which had held that denial of -34- NY DOH rejected the advice of an
treatment for gender identity disorder In Alaska, an ACLU case on the state expert panel that advised NY Gov
was unconstitutional. The court found drivers license policy resulted in Cuomo that Medicaid should cover
that the plaintiff was entitled to be permitting change of gender without trans health care
evaluated, and that, if she were surgery -44-
diagnosed with the disorder, she would -35- A Swedish court cleared a man of
be entitled to treatment. Delaware, RI, VA and Maine changed attempted rape because his intended
-29- their drivers license policies in favor of victim was trans
In Alexander v. Weiner, in the federal trans people -45-
district court for Massachusetts, the In Guzman-Martinez v. Corrections

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Corporation of America, a federal court suit and lost on this claim in 2009. In
in Arizona held that the officers and the
city were not liable in a case involving a
that case, her claim was denied both
because time-barred, since she had first
San Francisco
suspected undocumented transwoman, requested hormone therapy upon Resources
who was detained and then subjected to incarceration in 2007 (was she too
constant verbal abuse, multiple pat- diligent?), and because denial of For persons coming out of the
downs by male officers for amusement hormone replacement therapy for system
purposes, and an officer was convicted transsexual inmates is not a
of illegal sexual contact with her. They constitutional violation (unlike courts in
were found to have "qualified the 1st and 7th federal circuits).
immunity" because there is "no clear -50- Tom Waddell Health Center
consensus" that trans women should be DeLonta v. Johnson, W.D. Va., in 50 Lech Walesa (50 Ivy) Street
provided housing separate from males, which the Court denied an Eighth 415-554-2727
even though the court cited research that Amendment claim based on failure to
such housing is known to be dangerous evaluate her for sex reassignment
-46- surgery. It also denied an equal Tenderloin Health
In Sears v. Newcomer, a Louisiana protection claim based on housing of
federal court denied medical treatment transsexual women in male prison 187 Golden Gate Avenue
for gender identity disorder for a trans facilities. 415-437-2900
inmate who requested appropriate -51-
treatment, because the request was too Bradley Manning's lawyers suggested in
"vague" a court hearing that gender identity Tenderloin Self Help
-47- disorder could be a defense to the 290 Turk Street
In Eastman v. Swanson, in the federal charges, though many observers
district court of Montana, the court held wondered whether such a defense made
that verbal sexual harassment and sense and expressed concern about
threats of violence against a trans damage to the trans community as result
prisoner are not cognizable. The of such an idea. St. James Infirmary
original opinion denied all claims, but a 1372 Mission Street
later substituted opinion found that 415-554-8494
parading the inmate around in
underwear, after which suicide was
attempted, stated a claim.
Jamison v. Davue, E.D. Cal, 730 Polk Street, 4 Floor
transwoman inmate brought claim for 415-409-4101
verbal sexual harassment based on trans
status, inter alia. The court said
"Plaintiff is cautioned, however, that The Ark of Refuge, Inc.
transgender individuals do not
constitute a "suspect" class, so Transcending Program
allegations that defendants 1025 Howard Street
discriminated against him based on his 415-861-1060
transgender status are subject to a mere
rational basis review.
Young v. University of Texas
We will continue to live, HealthRIGHT 360
1735 Mission Street
Correctional Health Care, E.D. Texas, love, & laugh together 415-762-3700
the court upheld the state prison policy
for provision of hormone replacement as sisters & brothers
therapy for transgender prisoners. Under
the policy, inmates must have a forever joined in the
confirmed release date within 180 days,
and have a letter from a surgeon stating struggle! Remember:
that they will receive sex reassignment
surgery immediately upon release. The together, we can change
court found that the claim was barred as
res judicata, since the plaintiff had filed the world!

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TGI Justice Project (TGIJP) BULK RATE

342 9 Street, Suite 202B US POSTAGE PAID
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