A petition has been launched to “free” a transgender woman from all-male Preston Prison after she went on hunger strike.
Marie Dean says she is refusing to eat and drink in protest at the Ministry of Justice’s refusal to recognise her chosen gender.
In a letter reportedley sent from her cell in Preston she has told friends she is prepared to die over the issue.
And her protest comes in the wake of the suicides of at least three trans women in all-male jails during the past year.
Now, a petition demanding Marie is moved to a female prison has now been sent to the Government and to the governor of HMP Preston.
The petition says: “We call upon the British judicial system to immediately pull Her Majesties Prison and Probation Service in line with our society’s equalities law regarding the rights of transgender people.
“We also specifically request that Ms Marie Dean has her identity as a woman immediately returned to her and that it is respected by all staff, to be given back her clothes and her make-up to allow her to maintain her dignity and to be moved into the female estate as quickly as possible.
“During the past year or so at least three transgender women have taken their lives due to the terrible treatment they receive during their incarceration in her majesties male prisons.
“In Marie Dean’s case her harrowing ordeal has been both long and traumatising, she has now given up and wants to die and it’s not surprising.
“Things need to change and quickly before more of these vulnerable people die from the trauma of their ordeal. This may come to late for Marie, but we are desperate to save her.”
Marie, 50, from Burnley, has gender dysmorphia, has claimed her life inside Preston Prison is a “nightmare” and she feels “dehumanised.”
She is serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) after being convicted of more than 30 offences including repeated burglary and voyeurism.
Her crimes included breaking into several homes and filming herself wearing underwear belonging to teenage girls.
The judge at her trial said she engaged in “behaviour that anyone is bound to find chilling.”
A spokesperson at the Ministry of Justice told the media: “The welfare of those in our custody is a top priority.
“There are stringent procedures in place to ensure transgender prisoners are managed safely and in accordance with the law.
“We have robust safeguards in place to ensure that the system is not abused.”