Last month, Elton John and musician, activist, and Elton John AIDS Foundation ally Michael Stipe, published an op-ed in the The Guardian about the horrific conditions faced by transgender people both inside and outside of prison, connecting their struggles with the larger effort to achieve equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
“There is a troubling lack of awareness in correctional facilities about the nuances of gender identity and the well-being of trans women inmates in male prisons,” they wrote. "All too often, transgender people are stripped of their dignity before they even step foot in prison. They are subject to discrimination, harassment and violence – leaving many in poverty, homelessness and without access to adequate healthcare. If we are going to raise awareness about issues facing transgender women inside prison, we must work in parallel by addressing these issues in our communities. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
“The cruelty and violence facing transgender people in our prisons is directly connected to the larger fight for equality for the LGBT community everywhere in America. To be sure, the despicably violent and discriminatory treatment of transgender prisoners must end. But so too must the broader violations of human dignity – behind bars and beyond them.”
To read the full op-ed, click here.