What You Can Do

  1. Write a letter to GiGi’s judge using the template on this page. If her attorney has not received the letter before April 15th, it will not be mailed. **ASAP** is best: David M. Simpson 6404 Ivy Ln. Ste 408, Greenbelt, MD 20770
  2. Donate. her family members are using the funds to pay the lawyer and they will put everything else in her commissary fund. https://www.generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/support-gigi-thomas
  3. Write a letter to GiGi herself, expressing your support. Address: GiGi Marie Thomas (A65386), PG County Correctional Center, 13400 Dille Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
  4. Spread the word! Here’s an article in the SF Weekly.

Background

GiGi Thomas is a transgender woman of color who has worked for more than 15 years supporting people in need in the D.C.-Baltimore area. She served as a client consultant with the sex-worker rights and human services organization HIPS and recently completed a Masters in Social Work from Howard University. Over the years, GiGi helped thousands of community members find shelter and sustenance, reunited families, cared for the injured, and spoke out about injustice especially regarding the treatment of the trans community. Gigi’s peers describe her as “one of those people who just gives and gives with all they have,” and an “amazing woman” with “a heart of gold.”

Since October 2015, GiGi has been held without bail in a men’s prison, often in solitary confinement. If sentenced to further prison time, she will very likely remain in men’s prison. At her trial in February 2017, her attorney argued for involuntary manslaughter and a jury (obviously not of her peers) found her guilty of 2nd degree murder. The prosecuting attorney misgendered her and erased the context of her experiences as a trans woman of color, social worker, and community leader. The judge will finalize her sentence on May 9th. In the meantime, her lawyer is collecting letters of support to present to the judge by April 15th *at the latest*.

Due to possible legal and confidentiality reasons, we are not able to provide additional details about her case at this time. They are not necessary for the purpose of community support letters.

Community Support Letter Template

[Note: If you know GiGi personally, please include such details as how long you’ve known her, any positive details about her and her contributions in the community, and anything you know about her struggles, trauma, and strength]

  1. Dear Judge Daneeka V. Cotton
  2. Mention that you’re writing about GiGi Marie Thomas to be sentenced May 9th.
  3. Identify yourself and your role(s)/involvement in the community (e.g. profession, volunteer work, LGBTQ community member, how long you’ve lived in D.C., etc.)
  4. Mention that you heard about GiGi’s case from members of the DC trans community.
  5. Optional talking points **please make your remarks as specific and unique from your perspective as possible**
    1. Information on how you know trauma-informed mental health care care is important or about the great need for competent professionals to serve trans women of color, prevent violence, and help keep trans women safe.
    2. Details about GiGi professionally.
    3. Request that the judge to consider the incredible positive impact GiGi has had in the community.
    4. Describe how her work relates to your experiences.
  6. Request that the judge consider alternatives to incarceration for GiGi’s sentence and the provision of trauma-informed care (which is not offered in prisons). (It’s a long-shot, but you could specifically request 5 years of probation with mandatory mental health treatment.)