It’s been a while since I last posted an update on Ky, primarily because there really hasn’t been much to report on my end. Most of my leads for support have turned up empty. That just means that his story hasn’t reached enough people and I have a lot more work to do. Even though it’s good to post lots of things to keep people engaged and talking about Ky, it’s even better that I’m not having to write about daily torment by the officers. So it is literally a relief to report that there is nothing bad to report.
As for Ky, our last update mentioned that the Medical Director at Pulaski was under investigation, and no longer practicing medicine.
July 23rd, 2015 – Ky tells me that he had gotten sick. He had a sore throat and was feeling pretty bad. Ky sent in a request to see someone in medical and 2 days later he was called for an appointment. The new Dr. did a real medical exam and prescribed him ACTUAL antibiotics. He says that was the 1st time he can ever remember being given antibiotics in the years that he’s been there. According to Ky, the other inmates are pretty happy with the new change in medical staff.
July 27th, 2015 – Ky is called to the mental health department in response to the psychological consult he requested on July 12th. It was his first consult with Dr. Weinstein:
I was waiting in the mental health office, when an older guy came out, looked at me and said “Mister Peterson?” I looked around for a second trying to figure out who he was talking to, but I was the only one there. Then he said, “You did request to be called Kyle Peterson? I don’t think I read it wrong.” I stood up, shook his hand and said he was right. I’m pretty sure the Office at the desk was choking when I walked back with the Dr. When I sit at his desk, he shows me a big stack of papers. I recognized them right away. He says, “I’m retired, and I work here mostly to kill time so I won’t die of boredom. Tell your girlfriend I still have my license. (I said ok,and we both smile). I have to be honest, I don’t have any experience with Gender Dysphoria. You’re girlfriends package was a good start, but I needed more if I’m going to be doing your evaluation, so you and I are going to have to walk this walk together. Are you OK with that, Mr. Peterson?” Yeah, I’m a grown ass man, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was crying like a baby by the end of that meeting. There are no words to describe how good it felt for someone to respect me as a human being. Babe, I can’t stop smiling right now. ~ Excerpt from July 27th letter
July 31, 2015 – Ky tells me that he’s gotten a lot of letters of support and he’s so thankful to everyone.
For the blog – Well it’s early in the morning and I haven’t done much yet… just getting ready for the daily inspection. Prison is not like the movies and sometimes it gets rough in here. I try to avoid trouble at all cost and it’s not always easy because trouble finds you. I have gained so much strength in areas that I thought were already strong. I must say if it wasn’t for all of the supporting word, letters, emails, love, and encouragement I would have gave up a long time ago. I just want to thank everyone for being here for me. Most days it seem like I am going up against the world and everyone is fighting against me but now I can see that I do have people in my corner. Thanks for not turning your back and pretending this is not real and it doesn’t happen. My dreams are to stop the violence and injustices against trans people. The first words in the U.S. Constitution say “We The People…” not “We the White Men in Power.” We are The People and we deserve to be treated equally without being judged and discriminated against.
Words of Ky
Aug. 3, 2015 – Ky had a disagreement with his dorm officer this morning. She tried to lock him down, but one of the CERT team officers decided to ask Ky what the problem was. He explained that no one was able to clean the dorm for inspection because the officer had locked them in the hall and locked the cleaning supplies in the closet. Everyone was upset because they didn’t want to get in trouble for not being inspection ready. The CERT officer asked Ky to calm down and sent him to his room. He wasn’t expecting that, he was actually mentally preparing himself for another trip to lock-down. Is it possible that KNOWING you are being watched might change how you respond to a situation? We hoped that would be case with police dash board and body cameras.
Ky also had his second visit with Dr.Weinstein. He said it went really well and the Dr. is getting a better understanding of what it means to be trans. He even admitted that Ky was not the only person in Pulaski who suffered from Gender Dysphoria.
For the blog – Today was just like every other day. I don’t like the drama and crazy stuff that I see going on so I try my best to avoid it. Prison is all about the hustle and about getting what you need without drawing a lot of attention. This is just crazy but when I think about it; it’s like that in the free-world too. Most people just want to get by, living a Normal life, and ignore things that may disturb their idea of a peaceful reality. The prison tried to say that I do not need hormones or gender therapy, because there are no trans other people in prison. The Warden tries to ignore 10 % of this prison because it disturbs her peaceful reality. I am not afraid to be different and express myself. I can ONLY be myself and I know that trying to make other people happy by not being myself only adds to my problems. Being told that I do not matter…. that trans does not exist, does NOT make it truth, no matter who says it. I am not an “It” or a“Thing”. I am a person; I know real pain, loss, anger, hate, fears, desire, love, and I feel it everyday.,. It does a lot to me mentally but I am blessed to have followers who give me their love and support. Thank for listening.
Words of Ky
Aug.6, 2015 – Most days, Ky is happy to get letters of support from anyone. Not today. He was pretty upset about a letter he received from someone who claimed to be a “fellow advocate”, who made comments about my race. I tried to tell Ky that it’s no big deal, I just brush this kind of stuff off. But the finding out that people say things like this to me directly, only made him more defensive. Usually, I just ignore negative comments, but I print every blog that is posted and mail it to him. I know he would be upset if this didn’t get posted.
For the blog- ” Here’s a thought: Maybe we should stop alienating our Allies. if someone is supporting you and they are not of the same race, gender, religion, orientation, class, whatever…. don’t tell them that they don’t have the right to stand next to you and fight. You don’t know where they came from or why they are fighting. A lot of people fight as a member of the human race, because it’s the right fucking thing to do.
For the guy who sent me that letter of “support” saying “You are such an inspiration to so many people. I’m sure you’ll be a great activist someday. Too bad you have a white girlfriend, some folks might not like that.” My little white girlfriend is the one who provided you with the address that you sent that letter to. It’s awesome that you wrote me… what else have you done? Who are you standing next to or fighting for?
My girl is a different race than me. No one has fought harder or done more for me than she has. She supports everyone in here. She sends more letters to inmates here than any damn civil rights or prisoner support group out there. She uses her privilege to our advantage. A dangerous man was removed from this prison because SHE wouldn’t stay silent about Dr. Nazaire and his record. I am currently being reviewed for gender therapy because SHE refused to accept excuses from the prison. The Advocate did an entire series on issues that affect trans men because SHE pushed me SHE spoke to the journalists, SHE arranged the interviews. SHE is my greatest ALLY. When I’m marching in protest, or giving a speech, you can bet your ass that she will be there with me.”
– Ky Peterson
Aug. 9, 2015 – As of right now, Ky is doing really well. Tomorrow he goes for his final session with Dr. Weinstein. From there, Dr. W has will write an evaluation and send it, along with Ky’s original diagnosis to the state medical board for approval. If he is approved, Ky will be starting HRT. I am so thankful to everyone who provided me with all the resources we needed to get Ky to this point.