Biden Wants to Fix Trump’s Trans Detention Policy. Advocates Say He Needs to End It.

Biden Wants to Fix Trump’s Trans Detention Policy. Advocates Say He Needs to End It.

Like many young people she knew, Barbara Boch-Sojo could list a dozen reasons why she wanted to leave Cuba. But it was being beaten and jailed for the crime of sitting in a public park while transgender that finally forced her hand.

“I was sitting in a public park with my friend, and the police came in to say that we needed to move from there, because we were not a good example for other people to see. And we didn’t want to,” Boch-Sojo, a 25-year-old trans woman, recalled.

After a brief argument with the officers, the police beat her and her friend with metal batons in the middle of the park before taking them away to a police station, where they were held for four days on charges of disturbing the public order.

“It was horrible,” Boch-Sojo said.

A few weeks later, Boch-Sojo fled her home, beginning a months-long journey to reach family and friends in the United States.

But at the conclusion of her journey to escape harassment and persecution at the hands of law enforcement—a journey through half a dozen counties where she nearly drowned and escaped deportation back to Cuba by the grace of a prison riot—Boch-Sojo was subjected to the same abuses that she’d fought so hard to leave behind, this time in an American detention center.

“The feeling is terrible sometimes,” Boch-Sojo told The Daily Beast, speaking through an interpreter from a public phone in the Jackson Parish Correctional Center in Jonesboro, Louisiana. “I need to take a shower at midnight or 12:30 because I cannot take a regular shower with the men, because sometimes the men will bully me… sometimes because it’s so late, I prefer not to even shower to avoid the situation.”

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