In a recent letter received today that was dated on 9/8/2016, Vanessa details the emotional roller coaster the court is putting her through.
“I NEED A HUG! TODAY THE COURT DISMISSED MY LAW SUIT! THE COURT RULED THAT THERE IS NO LAW IN TEXAS THAT GIVES TRANSGENDER INMATES THE RIGHT TO MEDICAL CARE AND FOR THIS REASON I CAN’T STATE CLAIM! I SWEAR, I HATE THESE PEOPLE! I HAVE READIED MYSELF FOR THIS POSSIBILITY SO I’M NOT COMPLETELY BLOWED AWAY BUT THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION IS EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATING AND I WON’T LIE I WAS SO MAD I COULDN’T STOP CRYING! BUT I’M NOT GOING TO GIVE IN OR GIVE UP! TONIGHT I’M FILING MY NOTICE OF APPEAL AND BEGINNING MY APPELLANT BRIEF.
I STILL BELIEVE WE ARE GOING TO WIN BECAUSE THE COURT SEEMS TO THINK THAT TRANSGENDER INMATES ARE NOT PROTECTED UNDER ESTELLE V. GAMBLE! THE SUPREME COURT RULED THAT IT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL TO DENY INMATES MEDICAL CARE OF SERIOUS MEDICAL NEEDS. SURELY THE COURT DIDN’T RULE THAT ONLY WHITE INMATES COULD GET MEDICAL CARE, ETC.! I’M TRYING TO CREATE MY ARGUMENT IN A WAY THAT WILL GET THE COURT TO SEE THAT THERE SHOULDN’T BE A RULE THAT DISTINGUISHES WHO CAN GET MEDICAL CARE OR MAKE IT HARDER FOR TRANSGENDER INMATES TO GET TREATMENT WHEN ESTELLE V. GAMBLE APPLIES TO ALL INMATES REGARDLESS OF THEIR RACE OR GENDER. THE COURT IS RELYING ON THE 5TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULING IN PRAYLOR V. TDCJ TO SAY WE DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO GENDER TREATMENT!!! THIS IS A CRYING SHAME BECAUSE IT ALLOWS TDCJ TO ABUSE US BY IGNORING OUR MEDICAL NEEDS!!
I KNOW IT DON’T DO ANY GOOD – BUT DON’T OVER WORRY ABOUT ME! I’M OK! I KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND I DON’T PLAN TO GIVE UP ON MYSELF OR THE REST OF THE TRANSGENDER PRISONERS!!”
Her court dismissal documents can be found here:
Now, more than ever, Vanessa needs help amplifying her voice and drawing attention to this case. I am going to visit her this upcoming weekend to help strategize a more concrete plan. For those reading this, if you are aware of any organizations that might be able to help, especially those offering legal aid to trans inmates, please be in touch! Vanessa is bravely representing herself, but ideally she would have an attorney pro bono that would help bring this case to justice not only for Vanessa, but for all trans incarcerated people.
Please consider writing Vanessa a postcard or a letter to let her know that she is not alone in this fight. Info can be found on the “Write to Vanessa” page.