Featured Expert:

Addison Rose Vincent (they/them) Founder & Lead Consultant Break The Binary LLC. Addison is a 27-year-old educator, LGBTQ+ advocate, and community organizer in Los Angeles. Born in Canada and raised in Michigan, they moved to California in 2010 to attend college and come out as their more authentic self. After coming out as gay then transgender and non-binary, Addison pushed for more LGBTQ+ visibility on campus and in Orange County, became a featured blogger for Huffington Post’s Queer Voices, and later graduated in 2015 from Chapman University with a BA in Peace Studies and minors in Women’s Studies and Business Administration.

In honor of Pride Month 2020, we are highlighting a previously recorded interview with Addison Rose Vincent dated back to May 2018.

LGBTQ health and Human rights

Many people in the transgender community are arrested, criminalized, and incarcerated at high rates. In incarceration and when we’re detained we experience high rates of violence in those settings. Many times, transwomen of color or transwomen, in general, are put into men’s facilities where we’re susceptible to higher rates of violence in those facilities. We endure assault, physical violence, harassment, and invalidation, not just by other people there, the inmates but prison guards, the staff that is meant to protect us. We know that transgender people are not safe in these settings. We know that people, in general, are not safe in prisons or detention centers.

Liberation looks like having no prisons, no detention centers. And, instead of approaching trauma and violence, not by creating more violence but by healing it, restoring what was there before. Transforming the situation so that people can live and be free rather than experience more violence hence creating cycles of violence.

We must support our sisters behind bars because when they are behind bars and they are experiencing so much violence they become isolated and they forget who they are. They forget who their community is.

In addition, to the violence transgender people experience, they also face access barriers to care in imprisonment settings. The Physicians for Human Rights have shared instances of the withholding of medication needed by people in detention centers. Human Rights Watch has documented statements from transgendered women who were unable to access their HIV medication for long periods of time.

Below are some articles citing inadequate care for transgendered people in detention centers:

  1. https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/03/24/do-you-see-how-much-im-suffering-here/abuse-against-transgender-women-us

  2. https://psmag.com/social-justice/why-are-trans-women-dying-in-ice-detention

  3. https://phr.org/our-work/resources/detention-facilities-display-dangerous-trend-of-delayed-and-inadequate-care/