Steven Hayes — one of the two people convicted of murder in the 2007 Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion — recently told a podcast host that he is transgender.
Hayes, 51, is serving a life sentence at a Pennsylvania prison for the rape and murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48; Haley Petit, 17; and Michaela Petit, 11, according to the New Haven Register on Monday.
Hayes said he came out as a transgender woman in prison and has since started hormone therapy, during an appearance on podcast “15 Minutes With … ” — a show geared toward helping keep people out of prison — hosted by Joe Tomaso.
“Last year, I did finally openly admit my personal truth that I am transgender and lived a life of severe gender dysphoria,” Hayes told Tomaso in a letter as they planned out the podcast. She said she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria when he was 16 but never got help from his family on the podcast.
Hayes said he was released into the general population of prisoners at his facility last year during the show and explained that there is “a lot of pettiness among prisoners and staff.”
“It’s not the place to be. People are just trying to etch out the best life they can, and right now my sole purpose is to etch out a life to where I can be, I guess, a light to somebody, and I can try and reach out to prisoners here, although being transgender — that makes it difficult,” he said. “A lot of people just turn away from that because they’d rather just look at me like some type of creep.”
Hayes went on to say that prison is a tough environment he wouldn’t wish on anybody. When he was released into the general population, Hayes said he was suicidal, but that’s when he met another transgender prisoner who “recognized” that he was transgender.
Hayes went on to say that he has “been on” hormone therapy for a year-and-a-half and that there are a lot of “problems with the presentation as a female.
“A lot of people accept it, but this facility here — you have a lot of racist and bigot staff, and they’re not happy with it,” Hayes concluded before being cut off my the allotted prison call time.
The criminal also told Tomaso, a former paramedic and founder of CT News Alert, that he is “absolutely remorseful” for his crimes and would apologize to Dr. William Petit for murdering his wife and two young daughters if given the opportunity.
A spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Correction told The New Haven Register that Hayes’s medical information is protected by state prisoner privacy laws.
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