Friends campaign to raise money for Merci Chrisette who is currently being held in a male facility despite the life-threatening danger that poses
Despite last year’s news being filled with the tragic stories of black trans women murdered by white men over in the states and trans women fearing for their lives in all-male jails here in the UK, the danger they are facing as a minority hasn’t yet ceased. And mistakes such as the latter are still being made by authorities. Now, Merci Chrisette, a black trans woman from Brooklyn, is being held in an all-male facility in New York despite not being male. A funding page has been set up asking for donations towards the things she needs while inside and to support her immediately after her release.
On December 18 Chrisette threatened someone with a knife on the subway and the altercation was recorded, uploaded online and then shared widely with the intention of tracking her down. She turned herself in to local authorities a week later. According to her petition page, she was allegedly harassed which led to this incident.
She later apologised posting this message on her Facebook page:
Irrespective of what Chrissette did on the subway – which was extremely threatening and unacceptable as captured on video – her punishment should be the jail time and nothing more. Trans women should not be put under a unique danger because they are trans. Tara Hudson, a trans woman in the UK, raised the same issue after she was also put in an all-male prison. Fortunately, she was eventually transferred after a lengthy and well-publicised campaign. Not everyone has been so lucky. Last November, 21-year-old Vicky Thompson, was sadly found dead in her all-male facility. She had told friends and family she’d rather die than get sent there to spend her 12-month sentence.
Without correct reform on where trans people are sent, the cycle seems destined to repeat itself throughout 2016.