Sir Elton John and REM frontman Michael Stipe have called on Georgia’s department of corrections to provide hormone therapy and safety to transgender women housed in male prisons.
The openly gay singer and the bisexual Georgia native issued a joint statement Sunday (7 April), a few days after the US Justice Department called the state’s denial of hormone therapy to trans inmates a ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’
‘We applaud the US Department of Justice for supporting Ashley Diamond and the trans community in arguing that Georgia’s policy of denying transgender inmates their medically necessary hormone treatment is unconstitutional,’ it read.
‘But we must do more to end the culture of violence and discrimination surrounding gender identity and expression.
‘We urge the state of Georgia to embrace desperately needed changes to their correctional system.’
Diamond claims that her body changed drastically after she was denied the female hormones she had taken for 17 years.
She also alleges that she was raped at least seven times during her three years in prison and accuses the state of disregarding her safety.
Diamond was moved her from one high-security prison to another, despite the non-violent nature of her offenses. She is in prison for burglary, theft by receiving and escaping police custody.
In a separate lawsuit, another trans woman, Zahara Green, alleges that she was raped multiple times by her cellmate, despite begging the state to be placed in protective custody.