Monday, January 08, 2018

Don't Zipper Your Lips

There are some brave non-trans people who speak up for us and sometimes they pay the price for speaking out.
Psychologist at Vacaville state prison says transgender advocacy led to demotion
Daily Republic
By Ryan McCarthy
January 6, 2018

FAIRFIELD — A psychologist at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville contends a “homophobic and transphobic environment” exists at the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and that her advocacy for transgender prisoners led to her demotion.

Lori Jespersen, in the Thursday filing in Solano County Superior Court, said she faced retaliation for filing complaints about unlawful human rights violations involving transgender and gay prisoners.

“CDCR and its employees have actively degraded and dehumanized its LGBTQ community by jeopardizing their privacy and safety, verbally assaulting and endangering gay and transgender patients and interacting with LGBTQ patients and employees in blatantly discriminatory and hostile ways,” according to the lawsuit.

Jespersen brought violations to the attention of the state corrections department leadership, the suit adds.
So what did her bosses do after she complained?
The suit contends Jespersen was relegated to a secretarial role in which she cannot clinically treat patients.
When the staff was given diversity training, there were some typical responses from the attendees…
During a May 2015 training, several Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff sighed and rolled their eyes when told to use neutral or respectful pronouns to refer to transgender prisoners, the suit states.

The officer leading the training replied to the effect: “I know you don’t like it but you want to get paid, don’t you,” according to the court filing.
[…]
At an Aug. 21, 2016, meeting, staff members referred to a new transgender patient as “shim,” a derogatory term for a transgender person, the suit said.

During a Dec. 20, 2017, training a staff member called the desire of transgender inmates to be referred to by their preferred pronoun as “silly,” the court fling contends.
During one on my trainings, this time for a sports medicine class, the all-male class of athletes sat there and didn’t ask one question and the kept their arms folded and with their legs “Manspreading.” I got their message loud and clear… we don’t want to hear this… we don’t want you here… we have to be here so that we can play sports.

However, I have to say when I taught a class at a maximum security prison the correctional officers were attentive and asked good questions but then the class was voluntary and the bosses were there (the wardens and the commissioner).

Workplace culture begins at the top.

If there is no support from management then the policies fall by the wayside like it sounded like at the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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