The first transgender woman to be housed in a women?s facility in Califor- nia is Nikki Lee Diamond. Nikki recounts her experience in her essay ?Behind These Mascaraed Eyes: Passing Time in Prison? recently published in Nobody Passes.
From the moment of my arrest in 1976, and then through my stay at the county jail and in California Institution for Women, I was pointed at and whispered about by both staff and inmates …I had already survived an abusive relationship and a lifetime of brutality …In prison, I was determined to earn respect the hard way. I looked people straight in the eye when they made comments about me.
This issue of The Fire Inside is dedicated to Ms. Diamond for her courage in struggling against gender oppression and her commitment to fighting for the people she left behind in prison