In a very frank interview, a transgender woman by the name of Ashley Diamond spoke about the mistreatment she was victim to while being held in Georgia prisons.
She was serving her time for the crimes of burglary, theft by receiving, and escaping police custody in Floyd County. During that time, Ashley was victim to rape as well as ridicule and torment from both inmates and staff at five different Georgia prisons.
Ashley spoke about these events to 11Alive’s Jeremy Campbell following her release from prison.
“I really didn’t know what to expect. As soon as I got there, I was immediately told to strip in front of other men. Of course, there were stares and hollers. It was one of the most humiliating moments of my life.”
Apparently, the assaults on Ashley began pretty much straight away, as she said she was “targeted immediately”.
“It was an every night thing. [The staff] turned a blind-eye to it all. I think that the gangs run the prisons. I think that I was extorted and used.”
The torment didn’t stop there, though. Ashley was also denied her hormone therapy, which she had been taking for almost 20 years to aid in her transition.
“My body began to morph, which was very painful. I literally thought I was going to die. I was very vocal from the beginning about needing my therapy.”
Ashley has of course been released from prison, but unfortunately her return home hasn’t been an entirely warm one.
“Not everyone [in Rome, Ga] has warmly received me. But I definitely am fighting for a change in the prison system.”
This fight includes a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections, which was filed back in April.
Ashley finished up by saying: “People need to realize transgender people are just like anyone else. We have the same dreams as everyone else — we are just like every one else, it just so happens we were born in the wrong body. This is about transgender people being accepted, period. There are so many people there counting on me and it’s a role I gladly assume.”
You can watch the full interview below.