A transgender murderer serving a 15-year prison sentence is going to court to demand the right to express her gender through her hairstyle‚ dress and make-up.
Jade September‚ who was jailed in 2013 after pleading guilty to killing 65-year-old Graham Flax in Cape Town while under the influence of drugs‚ will argue her case later this month in the Equality Court.
She wants to compel the head of Malmesbury prison and the department of correctional services to stop forcing her to conform to a male identity just because she has been incarcerated in a prison for men.
Sanja Bornman of Lawyers for Human Rights said the prison system had singled out‚ harassed and unfairly discriminated against September for expressing her gender identity‚ contrary to the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.
“As is often the case for transgender people in South Africa‚ she never had an opportunity to change the gender marker in her ID‚ nor has she ever had access to gender-affirming healthcare. For these reasons‚ she is incarcerated as a man‚” said Bornman.