Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 9, 2013: Transgender Incarceration and the Need for Critical Trans Politics

The recent coming out of Chelsea Manning has sparked the first national discussion about how transpeople, are criminalized and brutalized by the prison industrial complex. On today's show, we talk to Sasha Buchert from the Transgender Law Center about the high rate of sexual assault and incarceration of trans people of color and the laws governing medical help for transpeople in prisons.

Then we talk to Miss Major, executive director of the Transgender Variant and Intersex Justice Project, about the struggles of trans people to survive sexual assault and imprisonment.  Janetta Johnson, Program Coordinator at TGI, shares her own experiences being locked up in federal prison for 3 years and forced to live in a men's prison and face harassment and threats.

In the second half of the show, we talk to  attorney and trans activist Dean Spade about his new book "Normal Life: Administrative Justice, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law."  Spade argues that both the left and the mainstream gay movement have focused too much on legal changes that fail to promote real structural change, and elaborates on what a critical trans politics would look like.

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