Broome County Agrees to ‘Transgender’ Settlement

“Transgender” activists and their left-wing allies are celebrating a settlement reached with Broome County in regard to a 2022 lawsuit filed by a former prisoner at the Broome County jail.

On August 25, 2023, the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin reported that Broome County has agreed to pay a $160,000 settlement to Makyyla Holland, a 25-year-old male who identifies as “transgender.” In addition, the County agreed to abide by a new set of policies for “transgender” prisoners.

In the lawsuit, Holland made a variety of allegations. Some of those allegations, if true, reflect instances of wrongdoing by jail personnel. For example, Holland alleged that he had been beaten, deprived of medical care that he needed following the beating, prevented from showering, and confined to his cell when other prisoners were allowed to leave their cells. This alleged conduct is unacceptable. No one, whether in custody or otherwise, should be treated violently or unfairly in the state of New York.

However, most of the allegations noted by the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin consist of complaints that the jail did not accommodate Holland’s “transgender” identity. Specifically, Holland—who had male anatomy at the time of his imprisonment—complained that he was housed in the men’s unit of the jail, was not allowed to wear a wig or press-on nails, was required to shower with other male prisoners, was deprived of “transgender” hormone treatments, and was denied “access to undergarments, hygiene products and commissary items routinely afforded to women in the Broome County jail.”

Under the settlement, the County reportedly agreed to do the following:

  • Allow “transgender” prisoners to decide whether to be housed in the men’s unit or the women’s unit;
  • Allow “transgender” prisoners to decide whether they will be searched by male or female jail personnel;
  • Require jail personnel to use “transgender” prisoners’ preferred pronouns;
  • Provide access to “transgender”-related health care; and
  • Give “transgender” prisoners opposite-sex clothing and toiletries, along with “gender-affirming items such as binders, wigs, and gaffs.” In case you’re wondering, a “binder” is an item used to flatten a woman’s chest to give it a more masculine appearance, while a “gaff” (according to Wikipedia) is “a piece of fabric, usually augmented by an elastic such as a rubber band, that is designed to hide a penile bulge.”

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is disappointed that Broome County agreed to this wrong-headed settlement. Prisoners who call themselves “transgender” should be treated humanely, but New York taxpayers are under no moral obligation to pay for their wigs or their opposite-sex hormones. Moreover, as a matter of dignity and safety, female inmates should never be housed with biological males.