Prisons, a transwoman… and The Sun

A quiet week for blogging, but I have been sent one item of interest by a reader that I think people may find interesting as it concerns prisons and trans people. In this case, the prison service get it right, but facing are a bit of a backlash via the Scottish Sun in this story, titled “Sex-swap fella in women’s nick”.

In short, The Sun claims there is a pre-op transwoman in prison up in HMP Cornton Vale, Stirling and it’s causing a “storm”.

Exactly what sort of storm isn’t clear, because there are just a couple of comments from “sources” at the jail which don’t quite ring true, stating “We have not been trained to handle this. How are we supposed to search her?” Umm, well, you could try one of the draft Prison Service Orders that we’re told governors have access to. There’s no indication that staff are particularly stormy about this, nor that other inmates even know she’s a transwoman.

In fact, the only attributed source for the story is her brother. If they have a “source” in the jail, I suspect it’s not a prison warder but ancillary staff.

Oddly, they only have a pixellated photo of someone who is presumably the woman, Nichola. I don’t quite understand why they could publish her name but obscure her face. Instead, the largest photo for the story is her brother – I don’t quite see the relevance of that. It’s also not been picked up by any other news outlet, so I have no idea how true any of this is.

Kudos to Stonewall Scotland for some positive comments on the issue. (Unlike Stonewall in England, they do cover Trans issues)

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