Cruel and Unusual | Chicago Reader

Cruel and Unusual

Documentarian Dan Hunt profiles five preoperative male-to-female transsexuals who are incarcerated in men's correctional facilities, victims of a penal culture that ignores the medically recognized phenomenon of gender identity disorder. Unlike the subjects of other recent documentaries, none of these people can afford sex-reassignment surgery, and the video reveals how their incarceration is largely a result of their class. Most poignant is Linda, an Idaho inmate who was repeatedly denied hormone therapy and ultimately castrated himself, an act that prompted the state to legislate treatment for all transgender prisoners.

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