January 22, 2016 marked the first annual Trans Prisoner Day of Action: an international day of action in solidarity with trans prisoners.
To coincide with this day, Austin ABC released a zine titled “Holding My Own” for and by LGBTQ prisoners in Texas, featuring artwork, poems and essays. Our aim is to create a platform for creativity, and an opportunity to forge connections between people inside and outside of prisons while promoting non-criminalized identities and personal expressions.
“This is a call to action against the system which seeks to erase our very existence. The survival of trans and other sex and gender minority people is not a quaint conversation about awareness, but a struggle for us to live in a world so determined to marginalize, dehumanise, and criminalise us – especially trans women, and especially Black, brown, and indigenous trans people.
We are discriminated against in every area of society including housing, healthcare, employment. Our survival is often precarious and many of us survive by work which is also criminalised – making us even more of a target for police harassment and the crime of “Walking While Trans’’.
Once incarcerated, trans people face humiliation, physical and sexual abuse, denial of medical needs, and legal reprisals. Many transgender people are placed in solitary confinement for months or years, simply for being trans. Trans women are usually placed in men’s prisons, where there is a massive increased risk of experiencing sexual violence.
Just as our lives are violently repressed on the outside, trans people experience extreme suffering and death within the walls of jails, prisons, youth facilities, and immigrant detention centers.
Trans Prisoner Day of Action on January 22nd is a day to acknowledge the experiences of trans and other sex and gender-minority prisoners. It’s about collaboration. It is about forging new relationships and dismantling the isolation of prison. It’s about resistance to state violence. It’s about solidarity between those who experience the violence of the system first hand and those for whom the state hasn’t come yet.”
We would love to distribute our zine as widely as possible to prisoners, infoshops, community spaces, and other prison abolition projects. If you are able to make a donation to cover cost of printing & shipping, please send via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org (suggested $5-7) – please shoot us an email with your address! An online version will be available soon.
Love & Solidarity!