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North Carolina Denies Post-Op Transgender Inmate’s Request To Transfer To Women’s Prison

A transgender inmate convicted of insurance fraud is serving time at a men’s prison in North Carolina despite repeated requests to transfer to women’s housing.

The News and Observer reports 37-year-old Kanautica Zayre-Brown is believed to be the state’s only post-operative transgender prisoner. The state recognizes Zayre-Brown as a man and by birth name, which was legally changed.

Imprisoned as a habitual felon in 2017 after completing a surgical transition, Zayre-Brown is serving up to 9 years and 11 months. Zayre-Brown showers and changes in front of other biologically male inmates, despite having breasts and sex-reassignment surgery. Zayre-Brown said being assaulted is a constant fear.

The state Department of Public Safety adopted a policy last year entitling transgender inmates to possible services including gender-appropriate housing. Department spokesman Jerry Higgins says the case is under review.

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