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Trans man settles case after being held in female prison

Meka Beresford June 8, 2016
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A trans man who was forced into female clothing and put in a female cell has settled his case with Toronto Police.

Boyd Kodak was arrested on harassment charges that were soon dropped in 2012. But his traumatic time led to him filing a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2014.


The 56 year old was stripped of his clothing and prosthetic penis then given female inmate garments and placed in a female holding cell.

Mr Kodak said: “To me, that’s me, that’s my body part. If someone, God forbid, loses a limb and they have a replacement — that’s their body part. It’s not an inanimate object. I told them, you’re stripping me of my identity.”

The musician and trans activist was harassed and tormented by other prisoners because of his identity.

Since the experience Kodak has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Sirens trigger anxiety attacks for the musician and he shakes uncontrollably when hearing them.

Mr Kodak said: “The number of years it took me to discover myself, to have the strength to go ahead and make the change, for them to just change that by just wiping the slate. It’s an experience that’s never going to leave me.”

Boyd Kodak’s legal team have petitioned for better treatment of trans people in the criminal justice team and new policies will be brought in as a result of their work.

The police department who arrested Boyd will have 12-18 months to enforce the new policies which include banning the withholding of prostheses.

The full terms which will examine how police are to change their training and policies will be released at the end of the month.

Aditi Agnihotri, My Boyd’s lawyer said: “This will bring about more transparency and accountability with respect to how they treat their transgender inmates from the moment of arrest to even detention. This is a vulnerable group and there needs to be more education so that this could be better dealt with the next time.”

Related topics: Americas, Canada, Canada, prison, Toronto, Trans

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