06/01/2014 02:56 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Open Letter To Jane Doe Transgender Teen In Connecticut Prison

Michael Kelley via Getty Images

Dear Jane Doe*,
I’ve known about you ever since you wrote that moving letter to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, pleading for your release. It marked your one-month anniversary being forcefully held in an adult prison by Commissioner Joette Katz without a crime committed or charges filed. Since then, 22 more days have passed and you — a 16-year-old trans girl of color– are still in prison.
I want you to know that anniversaries are not supposed to be marked in this way, with a teenage girl pleading for her own freedom. You’re supposed to celebrate anniversaries with your beloveds sharing cake and laughs. Not behind bars spending 22 hours a day by yourself, with the screams and cries of adult prisoners as your only soundtrack. But, from what I’ve tearfully read in your unflinchingly raw affidavit, all you’ve known is strife, struggle and trauma — reflective of the unyielding paths marginalized girls like us have journeyed on. Our lives have always been full of highs and lows.

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