Hello, my name is Taryn-Michelle Hislop. I am currently incarcerated at Acacia Prison in Western Australia and I am 7 years into an 11 year sentence. For five of those years I have been struggling to present an appeal before the Supreme Court. A year ago I was successful in lodging an appeal which is still being deliberated. In the end I had to self represent myself as the majority of lawyers I approached declined to represent me even though I have solid ground of a miscarriage of justice. Sadly, in Western Australia, an accusation is seen as definitive evidence of haing committed a crime. Furthermore, most lawyers here are hesitant if not down right unwilling to challenge instances of confession derived through the use of criminal practices that contravene treaties that have been in place since 1911.

I am an untraditional male-to-female transgender woman detained in a male prison due to still having a male body. I have always been transgener though I did not always know the term. For a long time I mistook myself as being gay, transvestite or transsexual. However the terms didn't fit. This was largely due to being sexually abused by my grandfather, uncles and tertiary caregivers over a 12 year period from the age of 4. What confused me even more was I have always been attracted to females. It wasn't until 2009 when I met my girlfriend's sister-in-law who is transgender that the penny began to drop. Though in some kind of Einstein example of relativity it would take a further six years before the 'penny' fell female side up.

It has been a journey worthy of capturing in a tome (I have plans for a novel) and encapsulates many facets of my life which if you like you can discover in time through the links provided. My goal at this stage of my life is to learn through psychiatric counselling if transitioning should and is an option for me or if I am able to continue my life with the new acceptance of whom I am. I often joke with my friends that my future partner will be the luckiest woman in the world because though I may be an untransitioned transgender woman I am essentially both sexes in one!

It took me about two to three years to adjust to life in prison. It was a turbulent time which eroded my naivety and taught me lessons through difficult and sometimes painful experiences. This was largely due to myself being on the lower end of the ASD Spectrum or Asperger's Syndrome in conjuction with PTSD as a result from childhood trauma. People often mistake me for gullible and an easy target, however I learned some very hard lessons growing up and I tend to keep to myself a lot.

As with many people with Asperger's I often persist at what holds my attention until I have perfected or mastered it. A trait that has been both a boon and a bane throughout my life. It is also why I have difficulty with relationships as I find it difficult to grasp emotional signals. I can be the perfect partner in all ways one moment and then a terrible one the next. It is my dream that I one day find a woman who understands me and more to the point can adjust to the personality traits indicative to someone such as myself. Moving along however.

 The pivotal turning point for me was when I volunteered for the Christian based Sycamore Tree Program which is essentially a 6 to 12 week process of open mediation with victims of crime who volunteer to help prisoners face the reality of their crimes. It truly changed my life and inspired me to carry out a stocktake and spring cleaning of mhy life with the aim of becoming a better person. Someone who my daughter, Bohdana, and my son, Lucas, can look up to and say 'That's my parent! I'm so proud to be her child.' Since that life-changing program I have completed other Christian based programs such as 'Soul Detox' and 'People Caring for People'.

I am a Christian. I was born and raised into the Anglican faith yet turned away from it when I became disgruntled that an all powerful God could not or would not save me from the years of sexual and physical abuse I endured. It wasn't until being incarcerated that I received Jesus as my Saviour once again, however this time I avoid denomications and choose to follow 'the way' as preached by jesus and then his Disciples after His resurrection and ascension. I feel there has been too much war, misery and suffering as a result of human-based religious dogma and we need to get back to the source of belief as it was in Jesus's time. I do not force Christianity upon others, though I am most happy to discuss the wonders of the Word that is the Bible.

During my time in prison I have developed new skills in trades such as Leatherwork before redirecting my energies towards improving my education and the qualifications achieved prior to incarceration. Education achievements such as: Certificate 3 in Accounting; Certificate 4 in Business; Certificate 4 in Work, Health and Safety; Certificate 4 in Leadership and management; and 30% into a Bachelor Degree in Business - Major in Management. In 2014 I received the CYO'Conner Student of the Year Award for 2014 in recognition of academic excellence. I work as Peer Tutor under Acacia for the Registered Training Organisation - Trainwest. I teach ad guide new students to realising their potential without the need for crime. It is an altruistic experience that I enjoy and look forward to each day. In 2018 I plan to continue my degree in business focusing on management.

I am also an Inmate Facilitator for Alternative to Violence Program or AVP, which is a global organisation that started in America and was brought to Australia after the Australian founder was invited to an awareness workshop in America.

My hobbies include reading, writing short stories, writing poetry, art in many mediums, drawing and writing comics, researching and writing novels, IT, Gaming, hiking, rebuilding motorcycles, volunteering and studying. I love learning new things and we are never too old to learn. I also love swimming, gardening, inventing, building, woodwork, metalwork and sewing.

Being transgender in prison is often difficult, though I have found great peace and solace in many organisations that support the LGBTIQ community such as Inside Out, Transfolk of WA and Stepping Out Services - Outreach.

Inside Out is a newsletter organisation that operates out of Victoria for all incarcerated and ex-incarcerated prisoners of the LGBTIQ community as well as those who are supportive to the cause. It is a two woman team essentially run by Amanda and Miranda. If you are a member of the LGBTIQ community or know a prisoner who is then give them an email or write to them, they would love to hear from you!

When I was incarcerated my son, Lucas was only 9 months old and my daughter, Bohdana, was only 7 years old. I have not heard from them or seen them since the day of my arrest due to my ex-partners having a stigma against people who are in jail merely on principle regardless of their crime. It has been a painful time to go so long without knowing even the smallest details such as how they are getting by, or whether they know I miss and love them dearly.

My goals for the future are to right the injustice that has befallen me and taken me from my children, my friends and my family. Furthermore I wish to help other in the journey towards justice by not only being an example that it is never too late, but also by providing the tools ad the solidarity in their pursuit.

It is fair to say that I am not the same person I was when I was incarcerated. I have grown in spirit, character and determination. I draw strength from striving to be the person that my children can be proud of. Someone who acts selflessly to help others, who is willing to see the person behind the crime, who has the courage to say to the masses:

 'Good people sometimes do bad things that require punishment, yet do not forget they are good people as tomorrow it may be your father or your mother or your son, or your daughter, or your brother, or your sister who does something bad that requires punishment. You may never forget the crime, however seize the moment to forgive us and help us find the good in ourselves once again.'

My name is Taryn-Michelle Hislop. I am a 44 year old transgender Christian woman who hopes to one day be reunited with my children and loved ones.

*Important note: My original name at birth was Cecil Michael Miller, born in Carnarvon of Western Australia. After incarceration, I changed my name to Michael William Hislop after beginning to receive counseling for the 12 years of physical and sexual abuse I suffered as a child. Many of my abusers were family members- Miller's. After receiving further counseling from psychologists when I came out in 2015 as transgender, I took the final step in changing my name for hopefully the last time to Taryn-Michelle Willa Cecilia Eleanor Hislop. I hope this clarifies any confusion readers may have when they peruse the various documents that have one of the three names.

 

Her written work is below: 

A Cry for Help!


Graphic Novel Design

 

Poetry and Short Story

 

Resume

 

Synopsis Alien Naturally

 

Synopsis Naturally Transgender

Carriage of injustice

Compilation of x7 ad scripts aimed at the prevention of child abuse

 

Selective Justice 

Unexpected Encounter

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Inside Out Awareness & Bullying It's Not OK

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