My three year HRT anniversary is June 14. This past year has been a hellava ride. I found John, my first best friend in gods know how long (sorry Brooks, haven’t heard from you in a decade so you’ve officially lost the title). I built Alliances, a queer space in a men’s prison. I moved to TRU where I’ve met more trans and gender nonconforming folx than I’ve ever met previously in my life. I’ve finally bought makeup for the first time in my life (The keyword in that sentence being “bought” as opposed to “shoplifted”). I did a podcast and spoke publicly about my crime for the first time ever. I had a mental health crisis and passed the personal test of demanding help instead of acting out.
There are some things for which I feel like I’m on hold. There is no space here at TRU for me to do anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-violence, anti-oppression work. I do the best I can to call things out and surrounding myself with people who are on a similar wavelength, but that’s difficult when you’re living in a cultural distillation of American empire’s toxicity.
My medical transition is on hold as well. I’m going through a series of interviews with mental health which will hopefully lead to me getting bottom surgery. This is thanks to the wonderful meddling of the Trans In Prison Project that this is even an option in the first place. However, bottom surgery is so new a thing in the WA DOC that nobody (including the medical department) knows how its going to be handled. So I’m waiting for there to actually be a policy for it, next year at best. Same goes for possibly getting transferred to a women’s facility, I recently submitted a request to be transferred, but there is no policy for it, neither allowing nor disallowing a transfer and not defining any sort of rubric for when such a transfer should take place. Because of this they said no. Of course, they said no in an extremely messed up and transphobic way, but still no. On the up side they are finally giving due consideration for what such a transfer might look like which means next year I may actually have a shot. Hopefully.
Other things I’m hoping for in the next year is to find a lawyer who can help me get something resembling a release date. There’s a bunch of case law built on a wonderful little neuroscience factoid which states the human brain, specifically the part which controls a person’s decision making processes, is not done developing until after the age of 26. Because of this anyone who committed their crime under this age has a chance at a resentencing if they have a lot of time to do. This won’t get me out of prison anytime this decade, but it may make it so I don’t die in here. I really don’t want to spend 40 to 50 years in here only to be confronted with a choice between death by medical neglect or suicide.
So if anyone has any ideas about a lawyer that can help me (or otherwise just want to say hello) go to jpay.com, select Washington state, and look up DOC #315649 to send me a message. Like seriously, please help.
In closing, for me this year has been a strange mix of hope and despair and I see that same strange mix mirrored in the world. 2020 was touted as the “year of perfect vision” and that cheeky statement has come to be prophetic in the strangest way. I hope that the second half of this year brings good news.