This has been a very upsetting, shocking, painful, and frustrating event that haunts and torments, tortures me every day.
And then there is the psychological component of the box. In the general prison population, trans people may be able to talk regularly to people who affirm their gender identity, whether friends and family on the outside or fellow queer and trans prisoners on the inside. Being placed in solitary means losing access to this crucial emotional support, and also giving up the various personal items—like homemade makeup, clothes, or electric razors—that enable trans prisoners to feel a sense of autonomy and control over how they present.
Maintaining the fantasy of a gender binary is vital to the functioning of the prison industrial complex.
Meadows's straightforward and simple explanation of her behavior did little good. When asked for comment, the Nevada DOC told Broadly, "It is important to recognize we do not house women in Lovelock Correctional Center. It is strictly a male prison, and as such, we do not provide nor allow female attire unless deemed medically necessary by our physician." As a result, Meadows was charged with "possession of contraband"—an offense she had faced several times before under similar circumstances. For this May incident, Meadows was sentenced to 60 days in disciplinary segregation. But according to Meadows, the same prisoner (her cellmate) who attacked her in 2013 had since put her on his "enemy list"—often used to manage conflict between warring gang members in prisons—which meant that the two could not be housed together in the general population. As a result, her release from solitary was postponed. In July 2014, Meadows submitted a grievance protesting her treatment.
When in solitary, trans people are often cut off from the only types of support they have to affirm their basic humanity and the core of who they are.