CA Prison to Provide Surgery to Trans Woman
State prison officials have reached a groundbreaking settlement with a transgender woman held in a men's prison and will provide gender-affirming surgery for her, while another imprisoned transgender woman who's been seeking surgery from the state was paroled this week.
The Oakland-based Transgender Law Center announced August 7 that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will provide surgery and other medical care for Shiloh Quine, 56.
"After so many years of almost giving up on myself, I will finally be liberated from the prison within a prison I felt trapped in, and feel whole, both as a woman and as a human being," Quine said in a Friday news release from TLC. "I'm just overwhelmed, especially knowing that this will help so many other people. I know I can never truly make amends for what I've done in the past, but I am committed to making myself a better person, and to helping others so they don't have to struggle the way I have."
Quine has been serving a term of life without the possibility of parole since 1981 after being convicted in Los Angeles County for first-degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery. She's being held in Mule Creek State Prison, a men's facility in Ione, California.
Quine is one of several people profiled in "The Women of San Quentin: Soul Murder of Transgender Women in Male Prisons," a book by Kristin Schreier Lyseggen that's set to be released in September.
According to an unproofed galley of the book, Quine wrote to Lyseggen that she'd told police in 1980 "that the gun used to murder someone was hers, even though it wasn't. She was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a murder she said she did not commit."
TLC officials called last week's settlement "historic."
"This historic settlement is a tremendous victory, not just for Shiloh and transgender people in prison, but for all transgender people who have ever been denied medical care or basic recognition of our humanity just because of who we are," TLC Executive Director Kris Hayashi said in a statement. "After years of unnecessary suffering, Shiloh will finally get the care she desperately needs - and transgender people nationwide will hear a state government affirm that our identities and medical needs are as valid as anyone else's."
In an email, CDCR spokesman Jeffrey Callison said officials treat situations like Quine's on a "case-by-case basis."