Peace and Greetings to the Sisterhood!
I wanted to talk a little about things here in the California prisons with the queens, to bring everyone out there onto the yards and behind the scenes for a look-see, as a lot of you are our supporters and we do want to account to you. I can’t say I know it all, because no one has that kind of knowledge in an expansive , complex prison system as this one, with 33 prisons today, 21 of which I’ve been through in my 32 years straight of imprisonment. The situation is always changing back here, from day to day, even hour to hour. I say this especially about the girls overall, because at times things with us move faster than with others. I am sure that many out in society do not have a clue to the hard reality for us in these prisons, among ourselves as opposed to how things are going for us opposite the cops, etc. A lot of you out there have never been to prison, and not one like the California system, which has in the area of 300 transsexual females in the men’s yards, more than ever before in the history of this system and about the largest population of girls than in other prison systems. And the girls keep coming, as young as 19, first time in prison. And so this will at least give you an idea.
Anyway, it is also a new day in that many of the girls are aware of the need for unity among ourselves for our survival and well-being on the yards. , and have taken steps to actually unite and identify as girls who will stand up for ours and throw it down however we have in order to get our message across that in simple terms we are not to be fucked with. Not all of the girls who are active like this have political motives and agendas. Rather, it is a more gut-survival consciousness in the dog-eat-dog world of prison, no different than life on the street. The girls are raw, crude, straight up from the gutter (slums, ghettos, inner cities, reservations, rural poverty, barrios, etc.) and care nothing for politics, only the minute to minute reality we live in. They are hard girls and can be extremely violent. They know only survival, whatever it takes, and it takes many forms in prison.
These is an assortment of girl associations on the maximum security wards, which are the most volatile yards. They are dedicated to our safety and security and defense from being beaten, raped, robbed, scapegoated, and other kinds of abuse by prisoners and cops. They all come from the same social category, the class of socially disinherited, though the cities may be different, and they are multiracial in composition. For example, there are the Gender Anarky girls, who are among the most violent, going to the hole for stabbing, slashing, and fighting cops. You have the Crazy Bitch Club, which is equally militant and is integrating with Gender Anarky. There are the Gangster Girls, who are widely fanned out and are street active and have done mutual defense work with Gender Anarky. Then there’s the Lonely Queen Riders, a highly organized group that has done sensational acts of bloody violence on the yards. All do vigorous recruiting. All have an elaborate communication network for prison-to-prison contact. All are armed. Among the gayboys there is the Gay Boy Gangsters, a relatively large group that is very active on the yards. The group has been around for a while, before some of the girl crews came up, and so there are some girls in it. But as the girls began to organize, some of the girls stepped back from the group and joined them, as in the case of Gender Anarky and the Gangster Girls. This is critique that Gender Anarky is competitive in its policy of recruiting girls from other crews. There are boy crews that have some girl members, usually because their husbands or lovers are in the crew, and there is some static that Gender Anarky tries to recruit these girls. Or these girls spinoff on their own, as with the Loyal Queen Riders.
The girl crews associate with each other. There have been times of disagreements and static between some, problems resolved at the table and not taken to the yard. Some of the girls are lesbians, in fact most are, and have had cross-group affairs and marriages, living as cellmates, and this strengthens ties, creating alliances. Some girls have bumped shoulders with the gayboys, and there exists an unease between them. But it understood that it is best such problems don’t end up on the yard, because we essentially have the same cause and enough people to deal with it as it is, and the more united we all are, the more powerful and respected.
The cops can be a problem everywhere. Some give the girls a hard time just because we’re girls and they hate that. Some are neutral to us. Some sympathize with us and treat us right and do us favors, give us slack if we’re in a spot. You get a mix at each place. If it’s not something they’re doing to us, then it’s just their negative attitude, a big deal in these places, psychological: it messes with our mind, especially as they control everything we do. Some girls, including myself, have physically fought them, went to the hole and court for ‘assault on staff’ and some were given more time in prison for it, on top of the standard two years in the hole for that kind of thing. These are always occasions where cops provoked the girls, since we are perceived as weak and/or lacking in what it takes to be respected off the top, compared to the way they treat the men, dogging us or unnecessarily mishandling us– grabbing, gripping, shoving, slamming– and the defensive reaction is only natural in such moments, especially if you are concerned for your dignity as a human being. Big consequences, yeah, but it’s just another day for us back here, and if we worried about consequences, we’d have trouble making it from day to day, no peace of mind. It is also that some cops are attracted to the girls– both male and female cops flirt, get silly. It get this more from the female cops on the occasions in which it has happened to me, which was quite brazen and went far beyond the norm.
Elsewhere. Sex-change surgery for girls in prison. I apologize for not having hard facts on this one, but circumstances are what they are. The system still does not allow us to have surgery, either through it or at our own cost, and the hormone therapy program does not address it. (We all get hormones, whoever wants them.) My current information is that one of the girls won her lawsuit for surgery (several girls have such lawsuits in the federal courts here) and that the prison is also obligated to pay for it. So the department appealed the ruling and now it’s in review court. No telling when a decision will be out. If the appeal court rules against the prison department, there will most likely be a Supreme Court showdown. Meanwhile, a high rate of girls are mutilating their genitals these days for want of surgery. I’ve been doing it since the 1980s, periodically through the decades and twice the last year. I’ve assured my psych team here in the Department of Mental Health that if I don’t eventually get surgery after all my efforts, I’ll do it myself, “absolutely.” They have recommended surgery for me after reviewing my long medical/psychological history of genital self-mutilation and suicide attempts due to gender conflict that almost left me dead, the real thing, not a cry for help; I was far beyond that point. But the DMH and prison dept. are separate entities, and although the rules provide for outside diagnosis of prisoners for treatment recommendations, they also provide that the department does not have to go by the recommendation. For me, this is the sticking point today. Why in the world send us for diagnosis in the first place, then? It is beyond ridiculous, it is silly. And it is just one more tragic illustration of the idiot reasoning of the prison complex that is designed to make us suffer endlessly and inhumanely by every legal loophole. It is a not so subtle tyranny.
Among other things, the prison dept. may think that if they give surgery, there will be a run on the medical dept for it by a long line of girls, but I wouldn’t be so sure. In my experience of talking to girls about surgery, 3 of 5 don’t want it. There’s different feelings about it among the girls. For example, one girl told me she wants it, but not in prison, because assuming she goes to a women’s prison post-surgery, which would most likely happen, she won’t be able to have sex with men. She asked me what I was going to do for penetration if I have surgery and go to a women’s prison. Logically, you do what the women there do– have sex with each other, make a dildo. But I said that surgery means more to me than having sex with anyone does. You have to want it that much. I remember when I got castrated (testicles surgically removed– I always spell it out since most think castration means testicles, penis, the whole package) in 2009. An ultrasound revealed a mass on a testicle, the result of repeated mutilation. I immediately jumped on this, expressing a dread it could be cancer, and sued for the removal of both, which the prison caved to before the judge could decide (it had initially refused). Before it was done, and before the case was even filed, I reviewed the medical and anatomical material on the aftermath of orchiectomy, and it said there will be no more sex drive or desire or ability. We all love sex. I value my orgasms. And this made me think, because I was long decided that whatever it took, I was going to have it, that is, the surgery. So it was done at a local hospital. I guess it was about my third day after surgery that I woke up with an erection. I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking, “this is not supposed to happen.” I immediately went back to the material, read the highlight all over again, and said, “This is bullshit!” and threw it away.
Well, having an erection without testicles was one thing. Could I have an orgasm? The literature source had already proved itself unworthy. I still had sensations and erected, everything it said I wouldn’t be able to have again. (It also said I wouldn’t have any more facial hair growth, another myth- I still had it, though a lot less.) Did this mean that I could still achieve orgasm? Needless to say, this was all new to me. What did I know? I decided that as soon as I fully healed, I would find out. On D-Day, I masturbated. I got a full erection. As I went on, it crossed my mind that maybe at the point where there was supposed to be orgasm there would be excruciating pain instead. I really did. I don’t understand what made me think this. Trust me, by this time, all kinds of things were going through my head. The surgeon hadn’t counseled me about it. But everything occurred as it always had, the sensations and intensity building to a peak, and then the explosion– fireworks, stars, volcanoes going off, the Earth shaking. All of it. Full, pleasurable orgasm, satisfying. There was no difference in that regard. The only difference was that there was no ejaculation, nothing. It was like a biological woman having an orgasm. And so, I was left thinking, “Well, I had been willing to give up my ability to have sexual pleasure for my surgery, and yet I came out with it. Keeping in mind that this was immediately after my surgery. Today, four years later, I have less ability to erect, but maintain sensation and orgasm ability.
All this brought me to square-two. Genital reconstruction surgery (my way of referring to ‘sex-reassignment surgery’ and all of its variations) removed the penis entirely. A clitoris can be constructed from the nerves of the penis, which are preserved for that reason. According to the *real* literature, the Standards of Care (I had now doctored up), some outcomes are positive for orgasm, some are not. The surgical techniques in transsexual surgery, and skill, are always improving as medicine and medical technology improve in the area. For my own reasons, I don’t prefer a surgical vagina. Penectomy and a clitoris will do for me.
I will be back with more updates as they occur. do this is Sister Amazon signing off with up to the minute T, and up to the minute, that’s all the T.
Love in Sisterhood,