“A lot of these guys don’t understand the difference between transgenderism and homosexuality and that’s my biggest struggle right there. Trying to let these guys know I’m not homosexual but because I’m in prison, that’s the only thing they know.”
Twenty-seven years ago “Lady J” was sent to prison to serve a life sentence. On May 25th, “Lady J” (also known as Jarvis JuVan Clark) and Life of the Law’s Executive Producer sat on a wall inside San Quentin State Prison and talked about her life as a transgender woman locked up in a prison with more than 4,000 men.
While North Carolina sorts out whether children who identify as transgendered should be able to use the bathroom of their choice, shots were fired inside a gay dance club in Orlando, Florida. Fifty innocent people were killed and dozens of others were seriously injured.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are more likely to be targeted for hate crimes than people who are part of any other minority group.
The Human Rights Campaign reports more transgender people were killed in 2015 than during any other year on record.
And the National Coalition of Anti-Violence programs reports that black transgender women are the most at risk for attacks of extreme violence and murder.
At Life of the Law, we want to acknowledge the formidable challenges faced by LGBTQA individuals with this bonus episode, “Life as Lady J”.
This Bonus Episode of Life of the Law was produced by Nancy Mullane and Jonathan Hirsch with production assistance from Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle. Music by David Jassy. This production was funded by grants from the Open Society Foundation, the Law and Society Association, the Proteus Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
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