One of the problems we have had when trans women have been incarcerated for law violations is that far too many prisons operate based on the genitalia you possess and not gender presentation
For trans women, that is a problem that leads to them being mistreated by guards and inmates alike and walking targets for sexual assault. Combine that with a documentation issue, and you have a recipe for disaster
26 year old British trans woman Tara Hudson was harshly sentenced by magistrates in Bath to 12 weeks in the all male Bristol prison after admitting to headbutting a bar manager. Never mind the fact that she has been on hormones, lived as Tara for six years, had reconstructive surgery, and been declared by her medical doctor as a woman. But because she doesn't have a Gender Recognition Certificate, a document that confers legal recognition of her gender and it time consuming and expensive to get, she is facing having to do time in a prison in which according to an inspection report, levels of violence have risen since the last inspection and not enough was done to protect vulnerable prisoners.
And we can visualize the hell that would ensure for her if she was thrown into that situation.
After 122,000 people around the world signed a Change.org petition asking for Hudson to be moved to a women's prison, that request is not only being considered, but her case is being reviewed.
Her mother is hoping that the sentence will be reduced so that she can spend it at home on an electronic monitoring tag.
But Hudson should have never been put in this dangerous situation in the first place. It's time for Britain to listen to its trans citizens and consider changes in the 2004 Gender Recognition Act hat would allow self declaration of gender identity without the bureaucratic hoops and fiscal burdens that come with the current policy.
TransGriot Update: Hudson will be transferred to a women's prison to serve her sentence.