Masculinity as Prison: Sexual Identity, Race, and Incarceration
| Cataloged on:
Feb. 22, 2013
ANNOTATION: “The Los Angeles County Men’s Jail segregates gay and transgender inmates and says that it does so to protect them from sexual assault. But not all gay and transgender inmates qualify for admission to the K6G unit. Transgender inmates must appear transgender to staff that inspect them. Gay men must identify as gay in a public space and then satisfactorily answer a series of cultural questions designed to determine whether they really are gay” (p. 1309). The author argues that the policy governing placement in the K6G Unit is flawed and provides an analysis regarding its inherent problems. The article is divided into six parts: the K6G Unit—origin, intake process, screening test, and exclusion of bisexual inmates; masculinity and gay identity; harms of inclusion in K6G—casting gay and transgender people as inherent victims, disrupting sexual relationships and sexual orientation and denying sexual autonomy, and exposing gay and trans inmates to heightened HIV risk; deciding whether or not to come out; the constitutional implications of coming out; and solutions.