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North Carolina’s anti-discrimination bill, House Bill 2, was repealed in 2017. The bill was labeled the state’s “bathroom bill,”  but it covered larger ground. House Bill 2 banned discrimination regarding gender identity and orientation in public places. Since the removal of the bill, this left wiggle room for lawmakers to enforce their anti-LGBTQ regime.

Now, North Carolina’s government places individuals only based on the gender on their birth certificates. This means transgender folks will need to be housed in correctional facilities that, potentially, do not correspond to their gender identities.

Such is the case for Kanautica Zayre-Brown. A 37-year-old trans women who is convicted of insurance fraud is being held in a men’s prison, despite the multiple attempts to be transferred to a a facility correctly matching her identity. Zayre-Brown confessed to her crimes and is asking for equitable treatment. She changed her name legally and has undergone gender-conforming procedures. Zayre-Brown told The News and Observer she is harassed daily and is forced to dress and share space with 38 men. 

The state also denies her basic amenities such as clothing and personal hygiene products, which violates one of NC’s transgender policies. Policy TX I-13 states: “Transgender offenders may request behavioral health or medical services if their gender identity is causing dysphoria or if any other medical or mental health concern is present.”

I married her, and she’s considered herself a female the entire time. I don’t feel safe for her. She doesn’t feel safe,” said her husband Dionne Brown.