Danville, Illinois, US – “I am a 39-year-old woman. … From a young age, I knew that I was a girl. I felt like a girl on the inside and expressed myself in a feminine way,” states Lydia Helena Vision in his declaration to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
“To have a male touch me makes me feel sick—my anxiety goes through the roof and I have no way to control it,” he explains. “When IDOC [Illinois Department of Corrections] searches me I get searched by a man. If I were in a women’s facility I believe that these kinds of searches would be performed by women.”
Mr. Vision is a male convict who is serving a 23-year sentence for the heinous, unprovoked stabbing of then-18-year-old Frenaz D. Lyles at the Kirkpatrick Homes apartments in Granite City. Named Eric D. Padilla at birth, Mr. Vision is also a registered sex offender.
His appeal to the district court comes as part of a federal class action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois on behalf of six transgender inmates who are seeking “IDOC evaluation or treatment for gender dysphoria.” Also represented by the lawsuit are Janiah Monroe, Marilyn Melendez, Ebony Stamps, Sora Kuykendall and Sasha Reed.
Mr. Monroe, who is among the six represented in what the ACLU calls a “healthcare lawsuit,” has since been transferred to a women’s prison. Mr. Monroe’s rap sheet includes convictions for second-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery and attempted aggravated arson. Mr. Kuykendall, who is also represented by the lawsuit, stabbed to death his teen former girlfriend when she ended their relationship due to years of his physical abuse. The ACLU of Illinois also fought successfully for the transfer of home burglar Strawberry Hampton, a male formerly named Deon, to a women’s prison.
Records show that Mr. Vision, who is Mexican, approached three black men as they walked by the Kirkpatrick Homes housing project on March 25, 2003 at around 9:30 p.m.
Mr. Vision bumped into one of the men, Mr. Lyles, and demanded an apology. Mr. Lyles, a resident at that housing project, offered none.
Mr. Vision pulled a knife out of his back pocket and gave Mr. Lyles a “karate kick in the knee” before stabbing him repeatedly. An operating physician later testified that each of the three wounds to the abdomen had been potentially fatal.
The three men, who were unarmed, say Mr. Vision’s attack was motivated by racial hatred.
Five witnesses testified against Mr. Vision. He showed no emotion when the verdict was read.
“When I was a child, I attempted to cut off my penis,” Mr. Vision’s current declaration to the court continues. “My family used to tell me that I needed to ‘man up’ and ‘act more masculine.’ Because of my family’s lack of support, I hid my femininity and transgender identity until years later.”
He insists, “I am trapped in a male prison where I do not feel safe.” The complaint notes how much it disgusts him to not only be touched by male guards, but to be forced to shower with other male inmates despite his demands for a “private shower arrangement.”
In addition to transfer to a women’s prison, Mr. Vision’s requests include “hormone therapy, female clothing such as a bra and female underwear, and gender-affirming grooming items.” He finds unfair the IDOC’s requirement that he attend counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder before receiving hormones, because the counselors refer to him as a man.
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JANIAH MONROE, MARILYN MELENDEZ, LYDIA HELÉNA VISION, SORA KUYKENDALL, and SASHA REED, Plaintiffs, v. JOHN BALDWIN, STEVE MEEKS, and MELVIN HINTON, Defendants.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
I, Lydia Heléna Vision, hereby state: 1. I am a 39-year-old woman. I was raised in Granite City, Illinois. From a young age, I knew that I was a girl.
The Edwardsville Intelligencer
Eric D. Padilla faces up to 30 years in prison after jurors convicted him Thursday of stabbing Frenaz D. Lyles in a fight last year at the Kirkpatrick Homes housing project in Granite City.
Windy City Times
Litigation continues in a federal lawsuit filed by five transgender Illinois prisoners who say that their healthcare is inadequate with Illinois Department of Corrections ( IDOC ) facilities.
The ACLU of Illinois filed a lawsuit on behalf of six women – Janiah Monroe, Marilyn Melendez, Ebony Stamps, Lydia Helena Vision, Sora Kuykendall, and Sasha Reed – and seeks class certification on behalf of all prisoners in the custody of Illinois Department of Corrections who have requested from IDOC evaluation or treatment for gender dysphoria.
State of Illinois | Department of Correction
K95929 – PADILLA, ERIC D.
Parent Institution: CENTRALIA CORRECTIONAL CENTER
Offender Status: IN CUSTODY
Sex Offender Registry Required