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Transgender Prison Guard Suing California Over Discrimination

Getty Images, JOELLE BASSOUL

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Grace Carr Reporter

Meghan Frederick, a transgender officer at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is suing the state of California, alleging that he has faced continued discrimination since his transition in 2012.

It’s been five years since Frederick decided to become a transgender woman, but he alleges that he’s still facing severe discrimination, a hostile work environment, and retaliation for both his decision to change gender, and the complaints that he’s filed about other officers.

“Back in the day we would never let someone like that work in the prison, we would have run them out of here,” Frederick said an officer remarked, according to the Sacramento Bee.

He alleged that his car was vandalized three times in 2016 and said that his fellow officers failed to tell him that an inmate had threatened to kill him in 2014.

“My transition is half a decade old now. It’s part of who I am and part of who I am as an officer. The fact that these things are still going on, it makes me feel helpless in this environment,” Frederick said.

Frederick’s lawsuit follows the state’s considering letting transgender inmates have earrings and other cosmetics to make them feel feminine, as well as looking at proposals to house transgender inmates separately. His lawsuit also comes after California adopted a policy in 2015 requiring state prisons — via taxpayer dollars — to pay for sex reassignment surgery for transgender inmates.

The California correctional facility has declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.

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