Life for Transgender Inmates Just Got a Lot More Dangerous

  • by: Emily Zak
  • recipient: Trump Administration

When Lindsay Saunders-Velez was in a Colorado men's prison last year, she was threatened, harassed and later raped. The 20-year-old swallowed razor blades "to escape."

Saunders-Velez is one of the many transgender people to speak out about the violence they face in prison. Trans prisoners are 10 times more likely to face sexual abuse while incarcerated than the general prison population. Nearly half of them are victims.

Despite the danger, President Donald Trump just rolled back protections for transgender prisoners.

The Obama Administration had issued a guidance that required trans inmates go to prisons and jails that match their gender identity. It also outlined standards for life-saving medical care and pronoun use, noting the violence that these inmates too often face.

Trump has decided instead to make sure inmates are sorted by "biological sex"—meaning the gender trans people were incorrectly assigned at birth.

This move puts an already vulnerable population back in even more danger. Demand that Trump reinstate Obama's protections for transgender people.

Prison is a dangerous place for transgender and gender-nonconforming inmates, and Trump just recklessly rolled back the few protections the Obama Administration established for them.

Demand that Trump reinstate those protections and give transgender people the same rights to basic safety and humane treatment as everyone else.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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