The man is gay and black, so I’m guessing Holder and the DOJ will be stepping in shortly.
Georgia’s prison officials will have to explain themselves in court if they continue to refuse hormone therapy to transgender inmates, warns a letter delivered to the state’s Department of Corrections on Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group based in Alabama.
Starting in 2012, department employees violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment by denying hormone treatment to Ashley Diamond, a transgender inmate who had received the treatment for nearly two decades before entering the prison system, the letter alleges.
If these allegations are true, the officials also breached the department’s own policy, which calls for Georgia’s prisons to provide hormones to all inmates who start taking them before their incarceration.
In a press release, the Southern Poverty Law Center quoted Diamond (at left) as saying she’s “only asking for respect.”
“No one would deny a diabetic prisoner insulin,” said Diamond. “No one would sentence a person to a gender change. But because I am transgender, I am denied basic medical care and forced to change gender. Nobody should be sentenced to torture like this.”
Diamond, 36, first began taking hormones when she was a 17-year-old living in Rome, Georgia. In 2009, she was convicted of burglary and placed under probation. Two years later, she was sent to prison after allegedly violating the terms of her probation, and that’s when the hormone therapy abruptly stopped.
Her voice deepened, she began to grow facial hair and her body changed shape. In a lawsuit Diamond filed in November 2013 (the suit is still pending), she said she suffered from depression and chronic anxiety. She also contemplated suicide, according to the SPLC.