An Update by Jennifer Gann
September 4, 2014
Dear Family & Friends,
Sisters, comrades & allies, greetings! I welcome you all with great love and respect! I hope that all is as well as can be expected, and that this letter finds you in good health and spirits!
2014 WPATH SYMPOSIUM
February 14-18 2014, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) held its 23rd Biennial Symposium in Bangkok, Thialand. Norwegian author and photojournalist, Kristin Lyseggen, presented my story of transgender women's struggle in the California state prison men's facilities (see attached flier).
ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN FOR TRANS-WOMEN (ACT!)
In October 2013, after four years as an active member of the Black & Pink - Leadership Circle (LC), I started the B & P California prison chapter here at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), along with two other Queens. As statewide coordinator, I saw an immediate priority to improve prison conditions for transgender inmates, particularly trans-women in the men's facilities who face serious housing/safety issues - such as rape and homophobic violence. I have experienced these problems first hand and have always fought back in self-defense, thus our current project, the "ACT! initiative", was started. (see attached flier).
I have received comments from comrades, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP),and Gender Anarky, that our name and purpose should be more inclusive of female-to-male (FTM) trans-inmates, and I agree. Therefore, our name will be modified from "Trans-women" to gender-neutral "Trans-Prisoners." Done deal! :-)
I'm sad to report the lss of three of our sisters who were killed by their cellmates, including the transphobic murder of Carmen Guerrero, K-06560, here on November 1, 2013 at KVSP. She was a sweet girl, and was killed with the foreknowledge and tacit approval of Correctional Officer Chapa! The inmate suspect is facing the death penalty, but the c/o ahs suffered no consequences for his part in the murder!
PROPOSITION 36 - THREE STRIKES REFORM
I am currently awaiting an evidentiary hearing in my criminal case, to be give a sentence reduction on non-serious felonies - possession of an inmate-manufactured weapon and battery on a peace officer. Instead of 25 years-to-life on each of these charges, I should only be sentenced to double the mid-term, which is several years on each crime.
Support letters mentioning anything positive, such as the impact of my LGBTQ community activism with Black & Pink, should be sent to my attorney:
Assistant Public Defender
700 H St., Suite 0270
Sacramento, CA 95814
I also welcome everyone to post comments on the blog, or write to me directly at:
Jennifer Gann, E-23852
Kern Valley State Prison
P.O. Box 5103
Delano, CA 93216
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