A PETITION to stop a trans woman being sent to an all-male prison reached 7,000 signatures yesterday, less than a day after it started.
LGBT rights campaigners and politicians were among those trying to reverse Bath magistrates’ decision last Friday to send make-up artist Tara Hudson to HM Prison Bristol for a week after she admitted assault.
Despite having been medically declared a woman after undergoing six years of reassignment surgery, Ms Hudson’s passport still labels her as a man.
Bath Gender Equality Network founder Cerian Jenkins, who started the petition, told the Star that she was flabbergasted by the flood of support for Ms Hudson.
“Although I cannot even begin to comprehend what Tara and her family are going through, I thought that, as allies, we should all step up to the plate and help amplify the voice of someone whose own voice is being shut out,” Ms Jenkins explained. “I’ve been in tears of joy a couple of times today.”
According to Bath Gender Equality Network, transgender inmates are among the most at-risk in British prisons. And a US study into trans women in male prisons showed that 59 per cent had been sexually abused during their incarceration.
“I’m so glad we are showing the judiciary system that we won’t stand for them not moving with the times and wilfully endangering the life of an already vulnerable woman,” said Ms Jenkins.
Ms Hudson’s mother Jackie Brooklyn was extremely worried for her, calling the decision “totally outrageous.”
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is a signatory to the petition.“I was horrified to hear about the treatment of Tara Hudson,” she said.
“She is a woman who clearly should be serving her sentence in a female prison.
“Judicial and prison authorities should not be relying on every trans individual completing the expensive, long process required to obtain a gender recognition certificate, but should look at medical evidence and other expert testimony in determining where individuals should serve their sentences.”