Thursday, 9 June 2016

Trans Man Settles Case After Being Held in Women's Prison

A transgender man who was forced to wear female prison attire and out into a women's cell has settled his case with Toronto Police after the treatment he received at their hands.

Boyd Kodak was arrested in 2012 for harassment charges, which were soon dropped, but filed a lawsuit against Toronto Police in 2014 after the treatment he received led to him filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

After being arrested the 56 year-old man was stripped of his clothing and his prosthetic penis and forced to wear clothing usually assigned to female inmates, as well as being placed into a woman's holding cell.

Whilst in police custody Boyd Kodak says he was harassed and tormented by other prisoners because of his gender identity and the way he was treated by officers.  Having spoken out about the treatment, Mr Kodak condemned the fact that his prosthetic was removed, 'To me, that's my body part.  If someone, God forbid, loses a limb and they have a replacement  - that's their body part.  It's not an inanimate object.  I told them, you're stripping me of my identity.'

Since the incident Mr Kodak has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and PTSD.  He is reporting that sirens trigger anxiety attacks, resulting in him shaking uncontrollably when he hears them.

'The number of years it took me to discover myself, to have the strength to go ahead and make the change, for them to just change that by just wiping the slate.'  He said.  'It's an experience that's never going to leave me.'

Mr Kodak's legal team have petitioned for the better treatment of transgender people in the criminal justice system, and new policies have been brought into place as a result of this.  The police department who arrested Mr Kodak have up to 18 months to enforce new policies, including banning the withholding prostheses.


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