26 Feb 06
In Bon Voyage Balls, Xena described how a transsexual inmate cut off his testes with a razor blade. Since writing that blog, guards and inmates have told me about more cases of it. As far as I know, there has only been one case of an inmate reducing his breasts. Xena arranged for me to interview the inmate.
“Why did you want to cut off your breasts?” I asked Tommy Smock.
“I’m gonna tell you my whole story. When I was a kid, I worked out and did martial arts. I started takin’ steroids when I was a teenager, and my body ripped up, but I quit everythin’ when I was twenty-one, and I was left with large womanly breasts," Tommy said, cupping his hands over his chest. "When I came to prison I kept them covered up, or I taped them up, so people wouldn’t notice. I managed to hide them for years, but one mornin’ my celly caught me tapin’ 'em up. He told the whole pod, and people called me names for two years."
"That's real tough," I said.
"Then I got a new celly, and had him commit to help me out when the time came for me to do somethin’, but I didn’t tell him what it was I wanted him to do. When the time did come, I showed them to him and he said, ‘Oh my God! We could milk them bad boys, baby doll.’
I told him, ‘Look at 'em. Admire 'em. Picture 'em. They’re comin’ off. Here’s the razor blades, start cuttin’.’
He started cuttin’ my left breast, and so much blood came out I threw up, and almost passed out. He said, ‘I can’t do this.You’re gonna die.’ And he left me with a big chink of flesh hangin’ out.
I was upset, angry, and very sore. But I taped it up, hopin’ it would heal. On the yard I was at, I was patted down every day, which aggravated the wound and made it bleed. A week later, I noticed it was turnin’ green, and I knew I had to finish the job.
When my celly went to a visit, I got out four razor blades and started hackin’ away. First blood came out, then somethin’ that looked like butter. Then I cut deeper, through veins and nerves – the nerves hurt the most. Blood was squirtin’ everywhere – up and sideways and on my face. Soon I cut out a chunk as big as my hand off, and I threw in the toilet.”
“Did you use painkillers?” I asked.
After cuttin’ one off, I said to myself, I can’t leave the other one on, so, I went to cuttin’ again. The same thing happened: blood and butter came out. After throwing that in the toilet, I looked at my chest, at all the veins I’d cut, and decided not to sew myself up as I couldn’t put the veins back together.
I asked my neighbour to call ‘Man down’ to the guards, but he thought I was kiddin’ and refused, so I pushed the guard-call button. A CO came and asked if I was all right. I said, ‘Just open the fuckin’ door.’ He saw my chest, and next thing the whole pod was full of guards – some with cameras – so I was embarrassed on top of the agony. I refused to cuff up because of the pain. I put a smock on, and was taken to medical, and told there was nothin’ they could do, so I was rushed to hospital.
At the hospital they didn’t fix my veins, they just stapled my chest up. The doctor asked why I’d done it and I told him, ‘I’m not gay, so I didn’t like 'em.' He said ‘I’ve seen people do many drastic things, but you take the cake on this one.’
After that I was put on suicide watch for one week, then returned to the yard.
Everybody knew what I’d done, and COs came from other yards just to see me, and they said I was famous.”
“Did people stop callin’ you names?”
“At the chow hall, some dude was callin’ me stupid names like "nipples", so I went up to him and said, ‘Check this out: I went through a lotta bullshit 'cause of people like you. Don’t call me any stupid names no more or I’ll get your ass.’ Nobody ever called me nothin’ ever again.”
“Are you glad you did it?”
“Yeah. I feel free: I was in a prison within a prison.”
“Do you mind if I see the scars?”
“Here you go.”
I was shown two of the thickest scars I have ever seen, each over three-inches long, horizontal with his nipples.
Tommy Smock, a pleasant and friendly young Chicano, seems content with the results of his breast reduction. He said he is looking forward to reading your comments about what he did.
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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood