Shagasyia “Shea” Diamond is a man who identifies as “a Black Trans Woman with experience in the sex trades.” In 1999 he committed an armed robbery and was sentenced to 5 to 20 years in prison. He served ten years in various men’s prisons in Michigan and was released in 2009.
According to Diamond, “My crime was to get funds for gender-conforming surgery … I was criminalized because I couldn’t endure living in a gender that wasn’t my own.” He conveniently minimizes the fact that he was actually sentenced to prison not because of his gender identity, but because he committed a violent crime.
He additionally claims, “I was suffering from gender identity disorder and gender dysphoria, so I committed a crime,” again minimizing the fact that armed robbery is a violent crime. “I acted out of duress and desperation to live my truth as the female I am,” he states, attempting to use his gender identity crisis in defense of his actions.
In 2014 he was arrested at his Bronx apartment following “a dispute” with his ex-husband and placed in a men’s holding cell.
In 2017 Diamond is a men’s rights activist, who believes female correctional officers should be forced to strip-search male inmates and that male inmates should be housed in women’s prisons if they identify as women. He’s also involved with The Women’s Building, a former women’s prison that’s “being turned into an inclusive place where all women can find support,” and claims it’s “a space for women and girls like me and all women everywhere.”
Activists say police abuse of transgender people persists despite reforms — New York Times