Ashley Diamond & @SPLCenter (USA)

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The Southern Poverty Law Center threatened to sue the Georgia Department of Corrections if it does not allow a transgender inmate to receive hormone therapy. David Dinielli, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, wrote in a letter to Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens that personnel at Valdosta State Prison where Ashley Diamond has been incarcerated since March 2012 have refused to provide her with “constitutionally-required medical treatment in the form of hormones.”

Dinielli notes Diamond has received hormone therapy since she was 17. He writes the Georgia Department of Corrections “abruptly halted” these treatments once she entered the system — in spite of its own policy that mandates “maintenance” of a prisoner’s hormone therapy while in custody.

The SPLC makes no note of the fact that Diamond already filed a lawsuit.

Group demands hormones for transgender Georgia inmate.

SPLC to Georgia_ Give transgender inmate hormone treatment or… _ www.ajc.

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3 thoughts on “Ashley Diamond & @SPLCenter (USA)

  1. I think we can all agree that every incarcerated person is entitled to basic health care, adequate housing and nourishment, and a sense of dignity. However, he has “constitutional right” to elective hormone treatment.

    “But because I am transgender, I am denied basic medical care and forced to change gender.”

    Inmate Diamond has not been denied basic medical care because his physical health will not be effected by denying him elective hormone treatments. If anything, his actual medical condition might be worsened by hormone treatment. Isn’t it true that hormone levels need to be checked which requires additonal lab test? Moreover, medical staff employed by the Georgia Department of Corrections probably have no special expertise in administering female hormones to male inmates. Over worked and poor funded prisons will be required to provide additional elective health care for treatments that they have no special expertise in administering.

    I know they don’t want to hear this, if this person was born male, he will always be male. Biological sex is a reality, all primates reproduce sexually, and Homo sapiens are a sexual dimorphic species. For all practical purposes, “gender” is a culturally defined term.

    “No one would deny a diabetic prisoner insulin. 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.”

    A diabetic could easily die without insulin. This is a life and death matter. Is inmate Diamond’s physical health in grave danger if he doesn’t receive female hormones? The answer is clearly no.

    If we are going to force prisons to provide elective treatments for what basically amounts to a psychological condition, thought, or belief, why stop at hormone treatment. Female inmates with severe body dysphoria should get free breast implants to relieve their emotionally crippling body dysphoria. They should also get any cosmetic procedure they need to relieve their emotional suffering.

    If this incarcerated individual needs non-essential elective treatment to feel “womanly”, or “feminine”, then female inmates should be able to get free breast augmentation, or at least free facials, hair removal, etc. to enhance their self-esteem and emotional well-being.

    So, he is incarcerated in a men’s prison? Is this correct? He wants to maintain a “feminine” appearance while incarcerated in a men’s prison. Common sense tells us that this is likely to be a disruptive influence.

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  2. I think we can all agree that every incarcerated person is entitled to basic health care, adequate housing and nourishment, and a sense of dignity. However, he has “constitutional right” to elective hormone treatment.

    I meant to say he has no “constitutional right” to elective hormone treatment.

    Sorry for the typo.

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  3. I was reading through some of the previous lawsuits (complaints, whatever, I’m not a lawyer) filed by Diamond. In one of these lawsuits, Diamond appears to refer to himself as a gay man. He complains about being called faggot. Then, he brings up “gender” in other complaints.

    After reading through his complaints, to me, it appears that Diamond isn’t getting the mental health counseling that he needs. He repeatedly complains of a lack of counseling. He also talks about feeling unsafe and being assaulted. He definitely is entitled to counseling and has a right to safety and security.

    By all means, give him counseling, and make sure that he is physically safe. There is no excuse for not providing some sort of therapy and seeing that he is never harassed or assaulted. In all honesty, I don’t know if female hormones really are in his best interest. Sometimes we just have to look at things from a rational point of view. It might not be fair, but this is the way the real world works. He is incarceratd in a men’s prison. He states he wants female hormones, but looking “feminine” or “womanly” in a men’s prison is highly likely to place him in a situation in which he is the target of further harassment, or God forbid, sexual assault. It’s not fair, but sometimes we need to be practical. I’ve know correctional officers, and prison life can be brutal. It’s not like the outside world, and guards can’t be everywhere.

    Give Diamond counseling and see to it that he isn’t harassed. He doesn’t need female hormones. When he gets out of prison, he can take hormones if that is what he wants.

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