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Tara Hudson
Tara Hudsonvia Twitter

Tara Hudson talks about life in an all-male prison

‘There was this tense, violent atmosphere – always. It was just so full of testosterone and anger. I really felt like I didn't belong’

Tara Hudson – the transgender woman who was sent to an all-male prison earlier this year – has given her first interview since being released.

In a candid new conversation with the Western Daily Pressthe make-up artist and model has revealed the horrific details of her week long incarceration at HMP Bristol; where she was apparently forced to “flash” fellow inmates to avoid being raped and beaten.

“When I walked into the prison, it was like a cat with five legs had entered the building,” she told the paper. “They were like animals in a zoo – shouting and banging on the doors... Everyone thought I was an ordinary woman and they hadn't seen one in a long time.”

“Even the guards were confused as to why I was there. When they greeted me at reception there was a look of panic in their eyes about how they were supposed to treat me.”

Hudson, who has lived her entire adult life as a female, was reportedly kept separate from the 600-plus male inmates as guards began to worry for her safety. As a result, she spend 23 hours a day locked in her six by eight cell; taking meals inside it and showering privately. “One whole side of the wing – about ten men – was shouting at me on my first night,” she remembered. “It was intense, aggressive and extremely uncomfortable... Within hours of being there, I was bullied into showing my breasts through the hatch in my door.”

“I thought if I didn't do what they said, they would keep hassling me or do something worse. It was pretty scary. I just wanted them to stop. There was this tense, violent atmosphere – always. It was just so full of testosterone and anger. I really felt like I didn't belong there.”

It was only after heavy public campaigning and a 150,000-strong petition that her experience was cut short – with the model eventually being moved to a smaller woman’s prison in Gloucestershire. “It was very depressing, and I even felt suicidal at points,” she explained. “When we were allowed out for that one hour a day, I felt even more unsafe. No one touched me physically, but I was constantly on edge. I just wanted to get out of there. I felt so isolated. They treated me differently because I was a female in a male prison. It's as simple as that.”

These disturbing details come just weeks after two other trans prisoners ended their lives after being forced to live in similar situations. Hudson is now hoping to carry on the campaign to avoid this happening again. “I'm so grateful to the people who signed the petition to get me moved. It was incredibly humbling," she added. “(But) more people will kill themselves if changes aren't made.”

“I will do whatever I can to get this law changed. I can't not.”