Now that Wikileaks leaker Chelsea Manning is out as transgender, she's fair game for porno slash-fic about all the dick she can look forward to receiving in prison — or so suggests an essay that ran earlier today on the Daily Beast titled "How Will Chelsea Manning Be Treated in Prison?" Its author, Mansfield Frazier, served five federal prison terms for counterfeiting and fraud, so he knows all about gay and trans sex amongst inmates.
"Who knows how the former Bradley Manning will fare at Fort Leavenworth? When I was locked up, I didn’t see transgender inmates treated badly. Some were royalty," is Frazier's dek. Prison rape, prison schmape, is Frazier's sentiment.
...Life in prison is more complex than many statistics suggest. When I was in the joint, rape wasn’t just something you could let happen to you. In fact, you’d better get another set of eyes in the back of your head if you want to force yourself on someone and make them an unwilling participant in a sex act. You see, the victim can slip up behind you on any given day and stick a shank in your ribs—or pay someone else to do it. And this potential for retribution serves as the best deterrent against unwanted sexual advances, and keeps the general order in prisons as well.
Now, don't get him wrong, inmates have sex. Lots of it. But you can't rape the consenting, Frazier says:
Indeed, the vast majority of experienced convicts know that “true” rape is not a common occurrence in prison. That doesn’t mean that homosexual sex doesn’t occur—it certainly does. But it’s really not that unusual for a new prisoner to show up on the compound and begin walking around the yard in pants far too tight. Before long they drop the soap in the shower, get a little close to another naked man, and then— simply because they’ve never been able to come to terms with their own sexuality—tell anyone who will listen (but, interestingly enough, they usually never complain to the guards) that they were “raped.” And a week or two later it could happen again, and then again.
In fact, the promise of socially accepted good dick is what keeps dudes coming back to prison again and again:
Quiet as it’s kept, this is one reason for high recidivism rates. In prison, closeted homosexuals can receive what they desire but are able to maintain to the world they really find such behavior disgusting; in this manner they don’t have to take responsibility for what happened to them.
Frazier cites statistics that would seem to invalidate his entirely too excited forecast of Manning's future sex life ("a third of transgender former inmates were sexually assaulted in prison...transgender woman are 13 times more likely to be assaulted than other inmates..."). Keep in mind, too, that these figures almost always skew low because of embarrassment and aversion to snitching. Alternate scenarios for Manning, according to Frazier, include marrying a "Bubba," prostitution, and/or sexual reassignment surgery that would move her to a women's prison.
Rounding out this feel-good-don't-worry-about-Chelsea-she's-gonna-have-a-great-time piece is this final bit of sunshine:
One thing is almost a certainty: celibacy probably won’t be an option for Chelsea Manning, but she will have choices in regard to how she wants to spend her years behind bars. With that said, we need to keep in mind that one person’s prison is another person’s palace. Chelsea Manning could become the queen bee.
Update: The Daily Beast has updated Frazier's original piece. It now runs without the second and third paragraphs above (those that begin, "Indeed, the vast majority of experienced convicts know that 'true' rape is not a common occurrence in prison," and, "Quiet as it’s kept, this is one reason for high recidivism rates"). Additionally, the essay now opens with an editor's note that reads in full:
This article is an opinion piece written by a former convict and based on his perceptions of life in federal prison. In its original version, it suggested that prison rape is rare. In fact, according to the advocacy group Just Detention International, 200,000 adults and children are sexually abused in American detention facilities every year. This trauma can carry serious emotional and physical consequences, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections.