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05 November 2012

Trans in Prison: Part II to Stonewall

Part I: to the conviction of Oscar Wilde
Part II: to Stonewall
Part III: to Farmer v. Brennan
Part IV: to the Synthia Kavanagh Human Rights Case
Part V: to the National Offender Management Service, New prison guidelines, 2011
Part VI: Comments & Bibliography

1897. Cicero, Illinois. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1899. Cedar Falls, Iowa. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1901. Bert Martin, in Nebraska Penitentiary for horse theft, was accused by his cell-mate of being a woman. He was redressed and transferred to the women's section. Early in 1902, the Governor of the state commuted the sentence and Bert was released. Bert is known to have fathered 3 children.
Mexico City. 41, 19 in female dress, were arrested at a private party. There were no formal charges, no trial. 19, probably not the same 19 who were in female dress, were unable to buy their liberty, and were inducted into the army and sent to do forced labour in the Yucatan as part of the war against the Mayans.
1903. HMP Holloway, a mixed prison since 1852, became women only.
San Francisco. Second municipal law against cross-dressing.
1904. Emma Becker, President Theodore Roosevelt's cook, was arrested for being drunk, and then discovered to be male-bodied. 4 months in jail.
1906. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1907. Orlando, Florida. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1909. Amy Bock/Percy Redwood, New Zealand, arrested 3 days after marrying his landlady's daughter. Because of a history of frauds, Amy was declared a habitual criminal.
1910. Alice Baker, teacher in Colorado, arrested on suspicion of being a man. However she was charged with deserting her husband. As 3 physicians testified that she was a man, charges were dismissed.
1911. Netherlands introduced an anti-homosexual law similar to Germany's.
1913. Wilmington, North Carolina & Charleston, West Virginia. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1914. Columbus, Georgia. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1911-20. Dörchen Richter of Berlin arrested several times for cross-dressing, and sent to male prison.
1916. Artie Baker, 14 years for bank robbery, San Francisco, was in San Quentin for some time before being discovered to be female-bodied. (Boag. Re-dressing America's Frontier Past: 211)
1917. The new Soviet Union effectively legalized no-fault divorce, abortion and homosexuality, when they abolished all the old Tsarist laws. However this held only in the Russian Republic.
1919. Sarasota, Florida. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1920. Harry Crawford, Sydney, NSW, was convicted of killing his wife, sentenced to death, but detained at the Governor's Pleasure, and released after 11 years in women's prisons.
Pensacola, Florida. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1923. Azerbaijan & the other Caucasian Soviet Republics criminalized homosexuality.
1924. Cleveland, Ohio. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1926. West Palm Beach, Florida. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
Uzbekistan criminalized homosexuality.
1927. Turkmenistan criminalized homosexuality.
1930. Italy. The Fascist Government's Rocco Penal Code does not mention homosexuality.
1931. João Francisco dos Santos, aka drag artist Madame Satã, Rio de Janeiro, sent to prison for 10 years for murder, likely self-defence.
Norma Jackson. St Helens, Lancashire, was convicted of procuring another to commit a gross indecency. She was sentenced to 18 months hard labour in a men's prison. The sex-reform movement adopted her case, and were able to get her transferred to HMP Wormwood Scrubs so that she could attend the Tavistock Clinic three times a week for psychotherapy.
1932. The anti-sodomy laws in Poland had not been enforced since independence in 1918. Now they were officially repealed.
1933. Germany. Malicious Practices Act enabled "preventative custody" of paupers, homosexuals and Jews.
Soviet Union. Article 121 which criminalized homosexuality, was added to the criminal code for the USSR. Abortion was also banned.
1936. David Petillo, New York, transvestite and gangster sent to Sing Sing prison on white slavery charges. He served 20 years.
1937-45. Many German gays and trans sent to concentration camps, and identified by a Pink Triangle.
1938. Michael Higgins, Los Angeles, was arrested on charges of grand theft and fraud, and found to be female-bodied. He had been previously arrested without his body-sex coming to light.
1940. Iceland, under UK occupation, decriminalized homosexuality.
A physician at San Quentin prison, California, discovered that one prisoner, born male, and living as male, had been surgically altered to female. (Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: 48).
1942. Switzerland decriminalized homosexuality.
Vichy France passes 1st proscription of homosexual acts since 1789: prison for sex with any man under 21. This law was retained after Liberation in 1945.
1944. Sweden & Surinam decriminalized homosexuality.
Charlotte von Mahlsdorf of Berlin was sentenced to 4 years for killing her Nazi father, but released with the fall of the Nazi regime.
1945. German gays and trans who survived the concentration camps were transferred to regular prisons to complete their sentences.
1945. Fascist Portugal decriminalized homosexuality.
1940s-60s. Los Angeles. From the late 1940s on, so many gays and trans were arrested, often as a result of entrapment, that an entire section of Lincoln Heights Jail was reserved. This was known at the 'fruit tank'.
1947.  John Herbert Brundage  was mugged, but he was the one arrested on charges of solicitation.  6 months in Guelph Reformatory. 
1948. Bill Allen, Lancashire, was convicted of murdering a neighbour. He was held at HMP Strangeways, and hanged a few months later.
Poland, now Communist, again decriminalized homosexuality.
1949. Newly independent India repealed the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871.
1950. Josephine Montgomery, California, was arrested and convicted of strong-arm robbery. After two months in the women’s wing of the Imperial county jail, and one night in the women’s prison at Tehachapi, a routine physical exam resulted in a transfer to a man’s cell at San Quentin.
John Herbert Brundage  was arrested for being a gay transvestite.   Several months in Mimico Reformatory.  
East Germany partially abrogated Nazi additions to Paragraph 175.
1951. Greece decriminalized homosexuality.
The future Gloria Hemingway was arrested en femme in the women’s restroom of a Los Angeles movie theater. Hemingway's mother, Pauline Pfeiffer flew down to be supportive, but was dead of a pheochromocytoma tumor on her adrenal gland two days later. Hemingway was then released.
1950s-1970. In California and other states, merely being gay, and trans was taken to be a symptom of being gay, could result in a life sentence. Many such in California were incarcerated in Atasceradero State Hospital, a maximum-security facility, which came to be known as the 'Dachau for queers'. Atasceradero was frequently visited by Dr Walter Freeman who specialized in ice-pick lobotomies. This was done through the eye socket. Of the 4,000 patients he treated this way, over 30% were diagnosed as homosexual.
1952. Miami, Florida. Municipal law against cross-dressing.
1954. Spain's Ley de Vagos y Maleantes, was amended by the Franco dictatorship to include homosexuals.
1956. Miami, Florida. Second municipal law against cross-dressing.
Thailand decriminalized homosexuality.
Jacquie Sarduy arrested for soliciting and spent three months in male prison  La Sante.
1957. West Germany increased the maximum penalty for homosexuality from 5 to 10 years.
Jacquie Sarduy arrested for soliciting during visit of English Queen and spent six months in male prison at Poissy


1959.  Mobster Vito Genovese, owner of the 82 Club and other gay bars, was convicted of heroin trafficking, and sentenced to 15 years in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.
1960. Carmen de Mairena imprisoned under Ley de Vagos y Maleantes.
Florencio Pla Meseguer of the anti-Fascist Spanish Maquis was captured, convicted of atrocities that he had nothing to do with, and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted, and he was included in the 1977 amnesty.
France strengthened the 1942 proscription with increased penalties.
1961. Czechoslovakia & Hungary decriminalized homosexuality. Kurt Freund was one of those who argued for it in Czechoslovakia.
Leslie Elaine Perez and girlfriend were sentenced to the electric chair for killing a john. After a last-minute reprieve, a retrial, incarceration in a mental institution, an escape and five years on a prison farm, Leslie was released in 1971.
Max Perkins, North Carolina, sentenced to 20 years under the 1533 Buggery Act for consensual sex while partner released after 17 months. After 3 years got a retrial and found not guilty partly partly because she dressed as a man this time.
David Van Rippey, in Monroe County Jail for bigamy, was found to be female-bodied after refusing a medical exam. This led to both his marriages being deemed to be void, and he was paroled.
New Zealand Crimes Act abolished all common law offences and all offences against Acts of the British Parliament, and defined what are crimes in the country. Part 7 criminalized crimes against religion, morality, and public welfare, which included homosexuality, blasphemy and incest, although it did reduce penalties.
1962. Up to this year sodomy was a felony in every US state, punishable by lengthy imprisonment, sometimes with hard labor. That year the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code removed consensual sodomy while retaining solicitation for sodomy. Illinois adopted this change. The decriminalization would not be adopted nation-wide until 2003. See here for state-by-state details.
Toronto. After a car accident which killed her best friend, Dianna Boileau was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving. She was read by the prison matron, and transferred to men's facilities. She spent 4 days in the Don Jail for men, until her boss raised the bail amount. At the trial, after 10 minutes the all-male jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
1963. Israel decriminalized homosexuality.
HMP Strangeways, Manchester, became male-only.
1966. Charlotte Bach did three months for obtaining credit under false pretences, and trading as a psychologist without disclosing that he was an undischarged bankrupt under another name.
1965-8. Zazu Nova, New York, was in prison several times.
1967. A Montréal woman explained to a judge that she was dressed as female because she intended to get the operation, and he sent her to prison for a year for that alone. (Namaste, Sex-Change, Social Change: 13)
England & Wales. The Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age in private. This was followed by a surge in the number of arrests for 'indecency between males'.
John Herbert Brundage's Fortune and Men's Eyes, based on his two terms in prison for being gay and trans, a theatre event of the year.  Released as a film in 1971.
Chad decriminalized homosexuality.
1968. East Germany & Bulgaria decriminalized homosexual acts over the age of 18.
Valerie Solanis, butch lesbian, shot Andy Warhol. She was indicted on charges of attempted murder, assault, and illegal possession of a gun., but was found incompetent. The next year she was deemed fit and she pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to three years the New York State Prison for Women.
1969. Rae Bourbon, aged 75 and in ill-health, was convicted in Texas of being an accomplice to murder. He was sentenced to 99 years and died 2 years later.
Mobster Vito Genovese, owner of the 82 Club and other gay bars, died in USP Springfield, Missouri.
Canada. Criminal Law Amendment Act decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults.
West Germany decriminalized homosexual acts over the age of 18.
While many were arrested at the raid on the Stonewall Bar in New York, many also escaped from arrest, in particular Ed Murphy who was running the blackmail ring that was the nominal excuse for the raid. Apparently nobody went to prison as a result of the raid.

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