I just feel like no matter what, prisons are bad for everybody. They aren’t just bad for trans people—they’re bad for all people. It wouldn’t be fair for me to make it seem like it was so hard for me, just as a trans women, because I’ve been around a lot of people who don’t deserve to be in prison at all. Prison is hard for everybody. We’ve all got our personal issues and have to do what we need to do to survive in there and be strong.
It’s not the right approach for people to sensationalize this story and say: You were a trans woman in a men’s prison. Because at the end of the day, all prisons are bad for all people—trans, cys, gay, straight, Black, white, Asian, brown, purple, polka-dotted, striped, zebra, alien or whatever.
Yes, I had my issues. I dealt with extra discrimination and extra scrutiny. I had to deal with things that other people wouldn’t have had to deal with in prison because I was a trans woman in a men’s prison. Of course, it was upsetting, and it was hard.
But I was blessed to have the support of a team that was willing to support me in this fight against the system. Not everyone in there had that—not everyone had support or someone to help them or be there for them, to protect them or understand them or get them in touch with the right resources. I was blessed to have that.
So yes, I can say how hard it was for me, but what about the people in prison who are there wrongfully or for petty charges or because of the criminalization of everything? There are men and women who have been in there for days, years, even decades—what about them?
You mean the generation that paid three times as much for college to enter a job market with triple the unemployment isn’t interested in purchasing the assets of the generation who just blew an enormous housing bubble and kept it from popping through quantitative easing and out-and-out federal support? Curious.
—When comments are better than the article, Atlantic edition (“The Cheapest Generation: Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses, and what that means for the economy”)
Even as a snapshot of the industry, however, the numbers tell a clear story about who gets the keys to the fanciest car, culturally speaking. At the outlets responsible for many top programs, women and people of color are enormously under-represented as creators. If one focuses only on the last dozen years at AMC, FX, Showtime, Netflix and HBO, around 12 percent of the creators and narrative architects in the dramatic realm were women.
According to theWomen’s Media Center, “Shows with no women creators had casts that were 41 percent female. Shows with at least one female creator had casts that were 47 percent female.” Given how few women and people of color are present at a show’s creation, is it any wonder we can’t escape this debate?
And so we find ourselves in one of those closed loops that “True Detective’s” Rust Cohle described in one of his most memorable philosophical digressions. We go around and around, talking about individual characters and the missteps of particular shows. We wonder why women are too often depicted as nags, flunkies or side salads. We wonder why women often get less to do, have less to say and so often feel the impulse to take off their shirts. We wonder why people of color aren’t often depicted with compelling emotional lives or as complicated characters. We wonder why non-white men and women are hardly ever the protagonists.
Getting ready to call it. 8 years. 8 years, and I’m dropping out.