On May 22nd, as Bresha goes to court to finalize a plea deal that may eventually free her, we come together to lift up the names of Black women, transgender, and gender non-conforming survivors who are criminalized for fighting back. Join us for a haiku open mic on twitter and celebrate the lives of Bresha Meadows, CeCe McDonald, Ky Peterson, GiGi Thomas and so many others, whose survival defies the state.
Yesterday GiGi Thomas was given a 30-year sentence and 10 years were suspended. The sentence is 20 years, however, she will not serve all of them.
GiGi Thomas is a transgender woman of color who has worked for more than 15 years supporting people in need in the D.C.-Baltimore area. She served as a client consultant with the sex-worker rights and human services organization HIPS and recently completed a Masters in Social Work from Howard University. Over the years, GiGi helped thousands of community members find shelter and sustenance, reunited families, cared for the injured, and spoke out about injustice especially regarding the treatment of the trans community. Gigi’s peers describe her as “one of those people who just gives and gives with all they have,” and an “amazing woman with a heart of gold.”
Since October 2015, GiGi has been held without bail in a men’s prison, often in solitary confinement. At her trial in February 2017, her attorney argued for involuntary manslaughter and a jury (obviously not of her peers) found her guilty of 2nd degree murder. The prosecuting attorney misgendered her and erased the context of her experiences as a trans woman of color, social worker, and community leader.
The ongoing support from the community to right this injustice has been amazing — you’ve written letters, shared stories, and appeared in the courtroom.
The judge reported that she examined the strong community support — and that GiGi’s support was “different from normal support.” Your letters and presence at the courtroom demonstrated that GiGi is appreciated in our community and her work is valuable.
GiGi will be at the jail for about two weeks, and will then be transferred to Baltimore to be placed. You can write to her in the meantime at GiGi Marie Thomas (A65386), PG County Correctional Center, 13400 Dille Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.
The work continues to #FreeGiGi, as well as other incarcerated Black trans women who fight this system daily.