Do inmates have the right to wear undergarments and make up of their choice based on their preferred gender and not their sex? Transgender groups are fighting for it, it might become a possibility soon, at least in California prisons.
If the proposed rules are approved, transgender prison inmates in California will soon have the freedom to wear bras, use cosmetics and other personal items that they want based on their gender identities.
The proposed rules were filed with state regulators on Tuesday. The changes are still part of the responses of the state corrections department to an earlier federal lawsuit that led California to become the first state to give taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery to an inmate.
Once approved, this would mean that transgender female inmates staying in men's facilities could use feminine undergarments such as bras, put on make-up like lip gloss and mascara. Transgender male inmates in women's cells, on the other side, could use boxers and use aftershave.
In fact, a federal magistrate earlier ordered the state to provide such items. There are still details that are being contested and worked on regarding the proposed rules as brought about by the lawyers of transgender Shiloh Quine with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Another court hearing is set for April 27.
The new regulations will also be open for public hearing and comments from the public would be welcome.
Inmate Shiloh Quine, 57, became controversial when she had sex reassignment surgery in January. She was transferred from a men's facility to a women's prison last month in Chowchilla. She accused prison officials of trying to get back at her by denying her the use of a razor and other personal items. She said that growing a beard and mustache made her transition to becoming a woman harder. She also said that she was also denied the use of television and enough privacy to perform required intimate post-operations procedures. She filed a case in the federal court against the prison.
Quine was moved to a general inmate population. She can now have a razor and other items she would need there. Other female inmates can also enjoy the same privilege.
Quine known as Rodney James Quine kidnapped and fatally shot Shahid Ali Baig, 33, and a father of three during a robbery in Los Angeles in 1980.