Woman remanded in men’s prison

The key to this one is in the title of the post.  Of course, the woman in question happens to be trans, so the whole female/male prison division comes into play differently, because transphobia is endemic within our criminal justice system in the same way that it’s endemic in every other part of public life.

It’s quite normal for trans women to be sent to men’s prisons, despite the massive risks they face when this happens.  Within the UK, this goes to show how little the Gender Recognition Act and Equality Act count for under particular circumstances.  Nina Kanagasingham is being punished heavily before her trial even begins.  Once you also factor in the obscene attitude of the media towards Kanagasingham and her alleged victim it’s easy to see “the ease with which our lives and identities can be stripped from us and used as a public plaything“.

This particular case is complicated by the fact that Kanagasingham has been accessed of the murder of Sonia Burgess, a greatly respected lawyer and human rights activist who also happens to be trans.  I’ve already seen the inevitable nasty comments written by trans people who argue that Kanagasingham deserves every horrible thing that might happen to her because of her alleged deed.  However, there’s an important principle of justice at stake here.  It’s never suddenly become okay to be transphobic, and it’s never suddenly okay to strip someone of their identity and their gender.  It’s also particularly sick that an individual is effectively being punished by the criminal justice and the media before she’s convicted of anything.  She’s not being punished for murder: she’s being punished for being trans.

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