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Transgender inmate suing Ohio over refusal to allow hormone treatments

Thursday, May 1, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A transgender prison inmate in Ohio wants a federal judge to order the state to allow her hormone treatments to continue, saying she suffered a medical setback including facial hair growth and depression when the treatments stopped.

Whitney Lee

Whitney Lee

Whitney Lee had undergone continuous hormone therapy since 1999 until the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction abruptly halted the treatments in February 2012.

The state resumed the treatments last month after a judge temporarily ordered the state to provide them and scheduled a hearing for Thursday in Columbus.

A prison psychiatrist has determined that Lee lacks the criteria for gender identity disorder, also known as gender dysphoria, and that the therapy can’t be justified, according to the department.

Lee, 36, is housed with men at Mansfield Correctional Institution, where she is serving a three-year sentence on forgery and theft charges out of Hamilton County.

Lee had previously received the treatments at home, in federal prison and in the Hamilton County Justice Center, according to a request for an emergency order filed by the Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice & Policy Center. Lee has been living as a woman since age 18, the center’s complaint said.

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