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19 September 2014

Trans women in the New York Correctional System

Daniel Genis recently finished a 10-year prison sentence.   He has written about his experience for The Concourse: "A Gentleman's Guide To Sex In Prison".    There are two references to trans women:

"There are many transsexuals (still called "shemales" in the system), especially in the maxes, for some reason. Some truly look like women, and as a consequence they are well taken care of by their admirers. Others just look like men with breast implants. There was one called Grandma who was quite a fright, but apparently had customers anyway, because his dentures came out. The old-timers call these guys 'lizards' and have nothing to do with them, but the younger guys who grew up with Will and Grace and so forth are more easygoing about it.

It was my understanding that if you declared yourself to be out upon arrival at the clearinghouse called Downstate, they'd send you somewhere safe (unless you yourself were not actually very safe, according to your record). I spent two years in a place like that, called Groveland Correctional Facility. It was a beautiful campus of a prison with a huge gay population. They had to cut the bushes down to discourage some of the activities taking place around them. There were even competing gay gangs. The most established one was led by Becky, who had been in for 35 years and who, it was said, had cut out his lover's heart back when he, Becky, was a teenage girl in a boy's body. "

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm the author of the piece above. There is much more, including material along these lines, on my site Prison society is as segregated as Dixieland was and never heard of Stonewall; 'faggot' was used without an inking of its potential to offend. However, many gay prisoners I met were much more sophisticated than the average convict, though about half were sex-offenders. Towards the end of my bid I could befriend anyone I wanted without losing status, and had two close friends who were gay. As a result, I can answer many questions you might have. But there's no sugar-coating with me; don't ask if you don't want to know the truth. Cheers!


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