Vanessa’s Story

Vanessa Gibson is a trans woman who is currently incarcerated at the Hughes Unit in Gatesville, Texas. She has brought to attention the horrific and unethical policies that Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) imposes on trans prisoners, especially trans women.  Vanessa has been incarcerated since she was 17 years old, most of which has been in isolation (administrative segregation).  She has devoted her life to learning the legal system to gain advances in better treatment for trans people who are incarcerated.

Currently, she has a lawsuit pending in federal court to challenge a blanket ban on sex changes for trans prisoners.  This will be a long battle, therefore she needs your support.

Along with her lawsuit, Vanessa has compiled a list of demands to change TDCJ policies that will be more inclusive and safe for trans prisoners.

List of demands:
“-appropriate mental health care by gender specialists
-training of medical staff to deal with trans inmates
-allowing transgender inmates to have appropriate gender items
– creating a new grooming policy for transgender inmates that prevents them from being forced to cut their hair
– creating a strip search policy that follows the PREA standards
– making a motion towards trans inmates being able to transfer to the their identified gender’s unit.
-creating an oversight committee outside the current grievance system so trans inmates can have a fair case”