Statement from Amazon, transgender prisoner on hungerstrike (USA)

Amazon, a transfemale from Gender Anarky in prison in California, began
a hunger strike the morning of October 7, 2015 for transfer to a women’s
prison. Amazon is legally a female. In January 2015, Amazon’s birth
certificate was amended by the Office of Vital Records in Sacramento to
record her sex as “female.” Under a new law signed by the governor,
transexuals no longer need full sex-reassignment surgery to amend their
vital records, but instead a doctor’s declaration of transition to
reflect their current gender. Amazon accomplished this. She then applied
for a transfer to a women’s prison. The prison required Amazon to
present her new birth certificate. However, prison rules prohibit
inmates from possessing birth certificates and Amazon asked the prison
to verify the document with the Office of Vital Records. The prison
refused to do so. Amazon then attempted to file a grievance over the
issue, but she was again required to produce her birth certificate to
pursue a grievance. This is an example of the notorious mind games that
prison officials play on inmates to suppress legitimate issues and
prevent them from seeking an administrative resolution of the problem.

Without other speedy recourse and thoroughly frustrated with the system,
Amazon began a hunger strike. She has been trying since January to
transfer and has been prevented unrealistically every step of the way by
prison officials out of plain cruelty. She is under tremendous pressure,
has anguished and cried. Almost daily she is mistreated by prison guards
and inmates because of her female presentation, including sexual
mistreatment. She remains determined and steadfast and will not stop her
efforts and resistance, whatever it takes. Amazon is now 61 years of age
and the stress and strain of hunger strike will be on her more than
during her previous strike years ago. However, the last straw has given
way and she is determined to stick it out and not begin eating again
until she is issued paperwork for a transfer to a women’s prison. She
will endure force-feeding if necessary, but this is her position.

Contact the warden of Kern Valley State Prison, Martin Biter, to inquire
why he is keeping a legal female in a men’s prison against her will and
why he won’t verify her legal gender on her birth certificate with the
Office of Vital Records in Sacramento, and demand that Amazon be
transferred to a women’s prison immediately. The phone number for Kern
Valley State Prison is (661) 721-6300.

Send the same message to the Secretary of the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation, Jeffrey Beard, at department
headquarters in Sacramento. He can be contacted at (916) 323-6001.

Contact Amazon at:
Eva Contreraz #C45857
P.O. Box 5103
Delano, CA 93216

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 7:27 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.