Wednesday, April 08, 2015

John and Stipe come together for Ashley Diamond

Elton John and Michael Stipe have something important to say:

We applaud the US Department of Justice for supporting Ashley Diamond and the trans community in arguing that Georgia’s policy of denying transgender inmates their medically necessary hormone treatment is unconstitutional,' it read.

'But we must do more to end the culture of violence and discrimination surrounding gender identity and expression.

'We urge the state of Georgia to embrace desperately needed changes to their correctional system.'
The forced dehumanizing of Ashley Diamond was called "cruel and unusual punishment" by the DOJ last week; The New York Times wrote about her brutal treatment:
“During intake, I kept saying: ‘Hello? I’m trans? I’m a woman?’ ” Ms. Diamond recounted in a phone conversation from prison a few weeks ago. “But to them I was gay. I was what they called a ‘sissy.’ So finally I was like: ‘O.K., I’m a sissy. Do you have a place where sissies can go and be O.K.?’ ”

They did not provide one, she said. A first-time inmate at 33 whose major offense was burglary, Ms. Diamond was sent to a series of high-security lockups for violent male prisoners. She has been raped at least seven times by inmates, her lawsuit asserts, with a detailed accounting of each. She has been mocked by prison officials as a “he-she thing” and thrown into solitary confinement for “pretending to be a woman.” She has undergone drastic physical changes without hormones. And, in desperation, she has tried to castrate and to kill herself several times.
It's good that Stipe and John are working together for something more important than who controls the cents coming from music streaming; it's unconscionable that it should take pop stars to teach the state of Georgia how you treat people.