A Nashville drag queen who was convicted of felony theft in 2011 is suing for $20 million dollars after prison officials sent him to two women’s prisons. Carla Brenner, who was born a man but dresses in women’s clothing, claims he was sexually assaulted in the showers by female prisoners when they discovered he had male genitalia.
“The big hair, the makeup, I am an entertainer — a drag queen,” said Brenner. “That basically means a man who enjoys dressing as a woman. It’s not a woman. I have no intention on being a woman… never, ever have.”
Brenner’s attorney argues that Tennessee prison officials should have known he was a man. Brenner was examined by a doctor from the Nashville Metro Health Department and again at Corrections Corporation of America after he was arrested for shoplifting in 2011.
Brenner says the doctors determined he was a female. “How can you not tell a vagina from a penis? They had me get on the table and examined me and everything,” said Brenner.
But prison officials told WSMV-TV that Brenner ticked the box identifying himself as a female on the prison admissions forms. Officials say they deal with the sensitive issue of housing transgender prisoners by placing them with the sex that they identify as.
“Our goal is always to house inmates in the safest environment possible. This includes a professional, individual assessment of both the risk factors of their own unique circumstances and the safety needs of those around them,” Corrections Corporation of America said in a statement.
But Brenner and his attorney disagree.
“My life was hell,” said Brenner. “I was strip searched completely naked with the women. I was sexually assaulted on two separate occasions in the showers by women, said Brenner.
Brenner’s lawyer, Jim Roberts, claims prison officials deliberately said his client was a woman to “do it the easy way.”
They said ‘We will lie to everybody and say she is a female,’ even though they knew she was a male the entire time,” said Roberts.
“When Metro takes shortcuts like that people get hurt, people get killed and people’s rights get violated,” he added.
Brenner said his experience almost drove him to kill himself.
“I survived it through the grace of God, because it was hell. I had contemplated suicide. It was horrible,” Brenner said.
I guess he thinks his life would have been easier if they sent him to a men’s prison?
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