by Miss Frances Anne Spisak
I am not a man! I reiterate: I am a girl and I want to be recognized as one!! The state of Ohio is FORCING me, against my will, to remain transsexual. Prison officials refuse to provide me with the medical treatment I need to become a woman! Ohio is withholding female hormornes from me, and denying me the surgery needed to correct my disorder. Ohio is forcing me to be masculine in appearance and gender. I am being deprived of autonomy and my rights as a United States citizen! I have first amendment rights to be a woman!
I am one of society’s forgotten misfits, thrown into one of the largest successful businesses in America today: the prison system. As I understand it, when persons are sent to prison, that’s the punishment. We are not sent here to be abused, but many of us are, daily. Oppression of any kind is a mockery of our most fundamental American beliefs, and values about freedom and the dignity of other human beings. I am in a continual battle for my rights to be a woman, and for my rights and dignity as a human being. Things are rough here since I am the only transsexual out of almost 200 prisoners on the all male death row in Ohio. I may be the only transsexual incarcerated in any Ohio prison.
The prison system in Ohio is almost totally unprepared to deal with me. I stick out because I’m soft and effeminate. The male/female relationship in prison isn’t similar to the way it is on the outside. Here, if you are feminine–i.e., don’t resist a male’s sexual advances–you become his slave(wife, punk) and are stripped naked. Everything you own belongs to him, from the clothes you wear to who you hang around with, if he chooses to make an issue of it. Is is commonly believed, by male convicts, that a “woman” is supposed to act a certain way: like a slave. For instance, she must be submissive to all MEN, and stay out of controversies between two MEN. If you disobey a MAN, you may be physically brutalized. Women are called “bitches” or “whores.” To a certain extent the prison system supports and encourages these attitudes because it helps prison officials maintain authority and savage control. It also excites some.
The savage irony underlying my convictions and punishment is that the court which sentenced me to death, and the rest of society do not know the “real me” and retain only the false impression of a die-hard savage neo-Nazi gunman, generated at my trial in 1983. Because of my active mental illness at that time(and the great conflict I was experiencing over my transsexuality) I was unable to reveal to others that I am a woman trapped inside a man’s body(i.e., at my trial I wore a moustache!).
I was also unable to establish that I have a psychiatric disorder, and was insane at the time of the crimes. I do not state all this because I believe my mental illness entitles me to a “good citizenship award” for killing three people for no reason. On the contrary, mental illness is not a license to kill or an excuse to commit murder, but rather it is a reason to afford the afflicted person with the medical treatment for the illness, rather than criminal punishment for the acts. At the very least, my citizenship in a civilized state should entitle me to a trip to the hospital so the state can operate on me, and surgically correct me. In 1983 I was so mentally ill that being branded publicly as a racist neo-Nazi seemed wonderful in comparison with the humiliations and treatment I imagined I might have received if I openly admitted transsexuality! (note: my ancestry is Semitic).
Incarceration, for the past 16 years, in the brutal and sadistic all male prison invironment into which I’ve been unwillingly thrust, has cured me of all delusions! I’ve gained mental health and attained competency and am now putting together a lawsuit against prison officials in Ohio because I wish to obtain female sex hormones and a penectomy(surgical removal of the penis, testicles, and castration), which I NEED to become female and are medically nesessary in my case! The ACLU has informed me they cannot help me in a lawsuit because of the amount of work they are already doing in a suit against the prison(i.e., fighting for death row inmates’ rights to say their last words aloud before being executed). The state of Ohio wants to take away that right by making the condemned record his or her last words on a small 3×5 index card prior to being executed, and then give the warden the discretion to read all, part, or none of it to the press after the inmate’s death.
Because I’m still under sentence of death, this letter represents, in a sense, my last words. I may not get other opportunities to speak before I die.
Perhaps there is someone out there who would care to correspond with me, who can offer help, advice and maybe even friendship or affection, if they are not extinct commodities. Hell, I’ll even settle for postcards with dirty jokes!
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I need contacts with lawyers, organizations, or people who are concerned enough to help. I am one desolate, desperate, and oppressed transsexual in bondage – seeking freedom and release! I am seeking assistance from anyone who will help me fight for dignity and my right to live and be a WOMAN.
P.S. I am permitted to receive one embossed envelope, per letter, for return postage purposes to write back to persons outside(NO STAMPS permitted!) All persons writing to me and seeking replies should kindly enclose an embossed envelope for postage(I am very poor).
Miss Frances Anne files lawsuit, and seeks $250,000
Contrary to what some of my critics say, the lawsuit I’ve filed, especially regarding my “serious medical condition” and NEED for treatment, is not a frivolous lawsuit! It has been clearly established by Federal law in four U.S. circuits since 1992(including the 6th Circuit in Ohio) and the District of Columbia, that transsexualism is a serious medical condition for which a transsexual prisoner is entitled to receive treatment while incarcerated. No Circuit Court anywhere in the United States has reached a contrary conclusion. Because transsexualism is a serious medical condition for which a transsexual prisoner is entitled to receive medical treatment while incarcerated in a prison, deliberate indifference by prison officials to a transsexual prisoner’s need for treatment violates the 8th amendment – prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment – pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in a previous case. Ohio prison officials have been deliberately indifferent to my serious medical needs. I have repeatedly asked the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction officials to allow me to have an operation to make me into a woman, or to give me treatments with female hormones. All my requests have been denied.
In my lawsuit, I assert that I have a fundamental(and absolute) First Amendment U.S. Constitutional right to become and be a WOMAN. (i.e., the right of AUTOMONY: right of autonomous control over the development and expression of one’s personality, intellect, interests and tastes). Right of autonomy is “absolute, permitting no exceptions,” and one of the chief distinctions which sets the United States of America apart from totalitarian regimes.
I also raise legal claim that I have a First Amendment U.S. Constitutional right to estrogen and a sex-change operation, because such medical treatment is medically necessary for me to become a woman: a transsexual, like myself, cannot exercise her First Amendment rights to be a woman, nor become a woman, without these medical necessities!
My lawsuit also states that I’ve been PHYSICALLY INJURED by prison official’s refusal to provide me with male hormones and sex-conversion surgery in prison. Furthermore, I declare that I am suffering intense psychological PAIN daily because of the extreme discomfort I feel with the male anatomy and the inappropriateness of the masculine identity and role I’ve been forced to assume, and am expected to conform to by placement in the repressive and hostile all male prison environment into which I have been unwillingly thrust, and where I’m not free to express my soul and human spirit, nor free to end my quest for self-realization and attain self-respect and peace of soul by becoming a woman.
I am seeking a declaratory judgment that the acts, policies and practices of prison officials by denying me medical treatment necessary to become a woman violates my right under the United States Constitution, and I am requesting a preliminary and permanent injunction which will require them to change my name on their records and identify me as MISS FRANCES ANNE SPISAK, and require them to provide hormone therapy(estrogen) to me and hospitalization so that I can get surgery(castration and penectomy, etc.) to become a WOMAN while incarcerated. I am also seeking over $250,000 in damages(for pain, suffering, and mental cruelty to me).
I have always believed that my crimes were more the result of my psychiatric disorder than anything else and, if provided the medical and surgical treatment I NEED to become a woman, that I can be rehabilitated sufficiently in a woman’s role and that I will pose no future danger to society if ever released at a later date. This type of medical treatment and rehabilitation is more scientific and more humane that the fate I’ve been facing for the past 17 years on death row: execution by electric chair or lethal injection. We need to leave these barbaric methods of punishment behind us, along with the 20th Century that is expiring and going into the ashcan of world history along with its historical legacies of two World Wars, racism, genocide, inequality, and the persecution of sexual minorities.
MISS FRANCES ANNE SPISAK
on death row in Ohio/U.S.A.
[Frank Spisak is a 59 year-old Neo-Nazi Serial Murderer who in 1982, over a period of six months, murdered three Black men in cold blood, shot another 7 times (who survived), tried to shoot a woman in the back after she fought off his assault and attempted rape in a women’s bathroom on a college campus, and tried to kill a man whom he thought to be Jewish. He is scheduled to be executed at 10am Thursday February 17, 2011 by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility . BUH BYE FRANK!