According to a new ruling from a federal appeals court, transgender people are not protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The lawsuit ruled on began in 2020 and it focused on Kesha Williams. She/He is a biologically male transgender woman with gender dysphoria who was being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center in Virginia for six months.
Williams was first sent to a women’s housing unit but was later moved to men’s housing. This came after deputies learned that Williams was transgender.
When Williams first came into the prison, deputies searched her and assigned her housing on the women’s side of the prison and gave her the uniform for female inmates including brans and women’s underwear.
Later that day, Williams was seen by a nurse for a preliminary medical evaluation. She told the nurse she was transgender, but she had not undergone transfeminine bottom surgery.
Because she had male genitalia, the nurse labeled her as “male,” and changed her prison records.
The prison’s policy says that “male inmates shall be classified as such if they have male genitals” and “female inmates shall be classified as such if they have female genitals.”
The deputies then required Williams to live on the men’s side of the facility.
The court ruling said that Williams experienced “delays in medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, harassment by other inmates, and persistent and intentional misgendering and harassment by prison deputies,” in violation of the ADA and other laws.
There was a similar story about a biologically male transgender prisoner in New Jersey named Demi Minor. He/She was moved to a men’s prison after two female inmates were impregnated by her/him.
Minor’s mother said, “I think all this about him being transgender is a ploy. He’s manipulating people to get a better situation for himself and to get attention. He’s learned the language to use. He’s dangerous and he’s a psychopath.”
Kara Dansky, a women’s rights activist, said that the incident at the women’s prison in New Jersey “shoots a hole right through the trope that ‘trans women are women.'”