In a letter following her introduction posted a few weeks ago, Lennea gives us a a few updates from this past March. Topics include the nuances of obtaining transition-related materials and procedures in prison, and her difficulties with the administration around issues of sexual harassment and alleged sexual conduct.
Warning: The following letter includes topics of verbal, sexual and physical mistreatment or abuse. If you may be triggered by these topics, proceed with caution.
“Transitioning the Hard Way: March 2014,”
by Lennea Elizabeth Stevens.
Hello all, well, another month has passed and we are still going strong. It is now April of 2014 and I thought I would update you on what my March was like within the Federal System. This past month was stranger and harder than most months for several reasons. First, I have received some answers from the local administration on my Administrative Remedy Process which I filed to try to get transitional items such as skin care and hair care products, to get a bathrobe to cover myself up while walking to and from the shower area, requested to be able to get a legal name change, and to assist them in setting policy giving clear direction to prison officials on the transitional needs of incarcerated persons. In addition I have asked for a bilateral Orchiectomy and Laser Hair removal of the facial hair. As of today the local administration responded and said that they have put a request in to Region for approval for the Laser Hair Removal procedure. I was told that they have approved for me to purchase a bathrobe from the adjoining women’s facility but I could not purchase any skin or hair care products. The robe is $38.00 so that is out of the question to purchase at this point so I guess I will keep on fighting and appeal this to the Regional level. All other Remedy Requests are still out standing.
Then last Wednesday (March 27) I and my cellmate were called to the Lts. office and asked if we were having sexual relations—they said it was because someone dropped a note and said we were. There are so many “Haters” in this environment that just want to cause you trouble. The Lt. questioned us then actually had me strip down to my Bra and Panties so he could “Check me for bruising” and also to take pictures of me to verify there were none. Then the Lt. told me that if anyone tries anything sexually or even verbally that I should report it right away, he said they have only my safety in mind. I am the only Transgendered inmate at this institution. What a day, I was so glad it was over, I slept so good because I had been so stressed out. Then on Thursday morning it all started over again.
When I was working out at the end of the hall way near the showers in my unit, another inmate went into the shower, then opened the door and exposed himself to me and asked if I wanted to try it. I went and spoke to my cellmate and he agreed that after what the Lt. said the day before, that I should report it. Big mistake. I went and reported the incident and they wanted to put me in the SHU (For my protection) but did not do anything to the guy that exposed himself. They said it was his word against mine. They let me out after 5 hours and me begging and telling them that I don’t fear for my safety. Well, the guy is still in my unit, still making comments, but there is no way that I am going to report it.
So hey girls, if you think people are mean out there, remember, keep your head up and know that you can make it through the transitional process no matter how hard you think it is; it can be harder. Hopefully this month will bring more friends and easier times.
Please feel free to write me at: Lewis Stevens 16786-078, Federal Correction Institute, P.O. Box 7007, Marianna, Fl. 32447-7007.
Thought for the month: Sisters are everywhere, embrace yourself and be proud.