Ashlee Inscoe, an incarcerated intersex, trans woman finally to receive life-saving gender-affirming care surgery

After more than a year of advocacy efforts, a North Carolina intersex, trans woman has finally received the health care to which she’s entitled.

As Reckon reported last year, Ashlee Inscoe is an intersex, trans woman who has spent three years fighting not only to be moved from a men’s prison facility but also for life-saving gender-affirming care surgery.

When Inscoe started experiencing severe pain from undeveloped reproductive tissue in her abdomen, the Transgender Accommodations Request Committee, an NC group of experts responsible for determining accommodations for trans people in prison granted approval for Inscoe to receive surgery on Sept. 7, in Hillsborough, NC.

“It’s important because for me it is something I have been needing and I knew with time it would cause even more pain, discomfort and anguish, but now I can move on with my life and be who I am,” Inscoe told advocates from the House of Kanautica, an organization supporting trans and queer folks in prison facilities throughout North Carolina.

Currently, North Carolina prison facilities house more than 103 transgender and five intersex incarcerated people, according to John ball, a prison system spokesperson.

Despite the Prison Rape Elimination Act, North Carolina operates on a gender binary where prison officials, not physicians decide where to place incarcerated people depending on their assigned sex at birth.

Legal and gender justice advocacy groups TGI Justice Project, interACT, House of Kanautica and Emancipate NC vow to continue working to have Inscoe transferred to a women’s prison facility to protect her safety.

“Unfortunately, North Carolina incarcerates far too many people in its state prisons and it has not provided adequate resources to take care of all their medical needs. Unconstitutional and inhumane medical treatment is the rule in our North Carolina prisons,” said Elizabeth Simpson, Emancipate NC strategic director and Inscoe’s attorney.

“In particular, transgender incarcerated people are suffering without necessary medical care and without respectful and humane conditions of confinement.”

While Inscoe remains in a men’s prison facility she mentioned how her surgeon, Dr. Figler believes she is the first NC trans or intersex inmate allowed to receive gender-affirming care surgery.

“For everyone who is trans, intersex and nonconforming — whoever you are — believe in yourself and believe that people love you and care about you,” Inscoe said.

Read more about Ashlee Inscoe’s story here.

Alexis Wray

Alexis Wray |

I report on HBCUs and Blackness, working to introduce voices and perspectives of students, alumni and community members that amplify the experiences of Black life on and off campus.

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