Prison axes LGBT support group, claiming there are no lesbians in prison
A prison has axed its LGBT support group after claiming there are no lesbians in the prison.
The support group did exist to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans inmates, but has now had its definition changed.
The group now refers only to GBT inmates, as a review of the jail noted there are “no women” resident there.
However the decision has caused uproar – with other prisoners pointing out that, if they keep “trans” in the definition, they surely recognise there could be women in the prison.
The decision was taken at HMP Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, which has been nicknamed “Monster Mansion” for its high risk inmates.
Adam Mac, an inamte who is currently serving an indeterminate sentence, wrote that discrimination goes “unnoticed, unchallenged and unresolved” at the jail.
Mac exposed the decision in his blog, Blogging Behind Bars, writing: “HMP Wakefield has dropped an ‘L’ (and are) now holding regular ‘GBT’ forums.
“When asked why they did this the staff explained that, since there are no female prisoners here, there aren’t any lesbians, so there’s no need for an ‘L’.
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“Well, since they kept the ‘T’ I’m guessing that they acknowledge the presence of transgender prisoners here.
“I wonder how they feel about the claim that there are no female prisoners at this jail. I happen to know of at least one prisoner who self-identifies as female and openly states that they are attracted to women and are therefore a lesbian.”
He said that he didn’t believe the prison service had acted “out of malice”, but that they were “ignorant”.
He added: “I don’t believe for a second that any of this is malice. It is simply ignorance of the issues at hand and a distinct lack of thought.”
The news comes after two trans inmates took their own lives behind bars within just a few weeks, after being placed in inappropriate prisons.
Both were placed in male prisons, despite requesting to be in female prisons.