Transgender California inmates could have bras, cosmetics

By , on March 28, 2017


Transgender California prison inmates would be allowed to have bras, cosmetics and other personal items corresponding to their gender identities under proposed rules filed with state regulators on Tuesday. (Photo: Simon Brass/Flickr)
Transgender California prison inmates would be allowed to have bras, cosmetics and other personal items corresponding to their gender identities under proposed rules filed with state regulators on Tuesday. (Photo: Simon Brass/Flickr)

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Transgender California prison inmates would be allowed to have bras, cosmetics and other personal items corresponding to their gender identities under proposed rules filed with state regulators on Tuesday.

The state corrections department is seeking the changes in response to a federal lawsuit that earlier led California to become the first state to provide taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery to an inmate.

Transgender female inmates housed in men’s facilities could have feminine undergarments, lip gloss and mascara, for instance, while transgender male inmates in women’s prisons could wear aftershave and boxers.

A federal magistrate previously ordered the state to provide some of the items. However, attorneys for transgender inmate Shiloh Quine are still sparring with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation over the details, with another court hearing set for April 27.

The new regulations will have a public hearing and comment period before they can take effect.

Quine’s attorneys at the non-profit Transgender Law Center did not respond to requests for comment.

Quine, 57, had sex reassignment surgery in January and was transferred from a men’s facility to a women’s prison in Chowchilla last month.

She recently alleged in a federal court filing that prison officials had retaliated by denying her a razor and other personal belongings.

Quine said the resulting beard and moustache was making the transition to life as a woman more difficult, while she also was being denied her television and enough privacy to perform required intimate post-operative procedures.

Quine was recently moved into the general inmate population, said corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton. There she can have a razor and other property that routinely wasn’t allowed for nearly two months while she was being evaluated as a new inmate.

Thornton said the same rules apply to all female inmates.

Quine was known as Rodney James Quine when she and an accomplice kidnapped and fatally shot 33-year-old Shahid Ali Baig, a father of three, during a robbery in downtown Los Angeles in 1980.