Antione Lee won a procedural victory in his lawsuit to continue hormone treatment for his gender dysphoria when an Ohio federal court refused to throw out his lawsuit against a prison doctor who refused to continue his hormone treatment. Lee, though biologically male, considers himself to be female. He has been dressing and grooming himself “as a woman” since he was a teenager, and began living as a woman at age 18. Lee started receiving hormone therapy in 1997, but the treatment was disrupted by a period of incarceration. In 1999, Lee restarted treatment, and received it consistently for the next 13 years, including during periods of incarceration. During Lee’s detentions at federal and state facilities spanning 2005 to 2012, he received estrogen hormone therapy. The hormone therapy resulted in various changes for Lee, including his skin and voice softening, developing breasts, and becoming unable to grow facial hair. The physical changes allowed Lee to “look like a woman,” which he felt was his correct gender.
We support the right of men to receive treatment for gender dysphoria while incarcerated if they were diagnosed with the disorder prior to incarceration. Such treatment also does not mean men with gender dysphoria should be housed in women’s prisons. We expect, however, that prisons will keep men with gender dysphoria safe while they are incarcerated.