A series of national lawsuits where inmates successfully argued that they were entitled to medical treatment for diagnosed “gender identity conditions” influenced the state to offer transgender-related health care to prisoners – funded by taxpayers.
Reportedly, doctors recognize “gender identity disorder”, also known as “gender dysphoria”, as a condition where people experience extreme distress because they feel their bodies don’t reflect their true gender.
One prisoner who is reaping the rewards of the “entitled service” is transgender Kai Short, 35 – formerly known as Lakisha Lavette Short – who now identifies as a male. A former drug dealer, Short is serving a 55-year prison sentence for robbery and weapons charges, and just began receiving hormone therapy last month while in prison, at an estimated cost of $1,320 a year – which will continue for the remainder of his sentence.
This is the second special benefit Short has received in prison. Housed at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution near New Castle, last year Short became the first transgender inmate in Delaware to be granted the right to change her name, claiming she no longer identified as a woman.
Crediting the taxpayer-funded identity makeover, Short said, “This place kinda saved me,” and said his time spent behind bars is “one of the best experiences of my life.”
Short has not yet requested gender reassignment surgery.
In another case from Georgia:
Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice sided with a Georgia inmate who was refused hormone therapy. The federal department cited protections outlined in the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits the government from imposing cruel and unusual punishment.
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