Target: Mr. Eric Holder, United States Attorney General
Goal: Thank the Department of Justice for intervening on behalf of transgender prison inmates.
The United States Department of Justice has just given transgender inmates many new rights and protections after a federal lawsuit was filed by a transgender woman who was repeatedly abused. The lawsuit was over the harsh and, more upsetting, institutionalized, abuse she has suffered as an inmate in several Georgia prisons. It is important to thank the Department of Justice for speaking out and making a world of difference in the lives of transgender inmates so that the department will continue to live up to their name.
The inmate who filed the lawsuit, Ms. Diamond, has said that she was raped at least seven times, verbally berated and mocked, put into solitary confinement for “pretending to be a woman,” and denied her hormones, causing huge and painful physical and mental changes. This treatment is nothing short of torture, but thankfully the powers that be have finally heard Ms. Diamond’s cries for justice. The Department of Justice has said that all prisons must treat gender dysphoria as they would treat any other health condition. This means that transgender inmates are now entitled to safer housing, the ability to express their true gender, and hormonal treatments as necessary.
This is a great victory, of that there can be no doubt, but it came at terrible cost. Ms. Diamond is beginning to despair that she will never win true justice or equality. In the past, she has attempted suicide and self-castration due to the conditions she has been placed in. For these reasons, it is extremely important to show her support and beg that she continue to fight against the terrible prison system in this country. Please sign here to give her hope.
Dear Attorney General Holder,
Being a prisoner is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Being a transgender prisoner is probably one of the only things worse. Transgender prisoners in this country suffer unthinkable amounts of abuse, including frequent rape, verbal assault, humiliation, coercion, violence, and isolation. All of this is no more apparent than in the case of Ms. Diamond, an inmate in Georgia’s prison system. She has been fighting, essentially for her life, for a long time and when all seemed lost, finally she received a break: the Department of Justice.
I cannot hope to understand what Ms. Diamond has suffered, but knowing that the Department of Justice has created new policies that prisons must follow to give transgender inmates some protection gives me great joy. I understand that we are talking about prisoners, but they are still people and to subject them to the treatment mentioned earlier is nothing short of torture. Thank you for forcing the hands of prison officials and please continue to fight for the rights of the oppressed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andrew Bardwell via Wikimedia Commons