Quixotic
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    • Quixotic

      I don’t think any therapy is cheap, but prisons should be providing it to inmates who need it. I suspect she didn’t transition until now because she’s been in the military, which doesn’t allow transgender people. She would have been discharged if she came out or transitioned, just like gay people were prior to the appeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Many trans people wait to come out or transition for various reasons. Also, while transitioning can be expensive, she probably could have found cheap resources in the civilian world that would still be better than what she’ll get while behind bars, so I don’t think free medical care is a big priority here. Also, even if the prison or the military was willing to pay for surgery, something that drastic and expensive probably wouldn’t even be viable. There aren’t that many surgeons who are experts at surgery on transgender people, so people often have to travel across the country or even abroad to have surgery done. It’s unlikely that she’d be able to do that even if money wasn’t an issue. And honestly, if she wanted things to be “easy,” she would have been better off pretending to be male. Trans women are at disproportionate risk of abuse and rape in prison. Very few trans people would come out if they weren’t suffering psychologically. It’s just so much easier not to be out as trans in our society that there’s really no benefit to coming out unless you feel like you have no other choice.

    • Quixotic

      Good for the ACLU. It’s unfortunate that so many people don’t understand gender transition or prisons’ responsibilities when it comes to the quality of life of their inmates. First of all, we’re not talking about a “sex change,” here. Manning wants access to therapy and hormones. It’s also not a matter of deserving it. Inmates in prisons are entitled to medical and psychological care. Gender dysphoria can cause severe depression and lead some people to become suicidal. Allowing the person to live as the gender they identify as, and possibly take measures to physically transition, is the only cure. If you think inmates should have access to mental health services, then you should also think that trans inmates should have access to gender therapy and hormones. Does an inmate not deserve to have glasses? Or a prosthetic limb? These are things you could argue are not medically necessary, but that can drastically improve a person’s quality of life. When someone is imprisoned, the prison has responsibility for both their health and their quality of life. This means that yes, occasionally inmates receive better care than some free citizens do.

    • Quixotic

      Many transgender people suffer severe depression and suicidal thoughts because of their dysphoria. It’s rarely a simple matter of “wanting” to transition. Trans people who transition usually feel very disconnected from their bodies, and there are plenty of examples of trans people (including trans inmates) taking matters into their own hands and castrating themselves out of desperation. Also, we’re not necessarily talking about surgery, here. We’re talking about providing her with therapy and hormones. If an inmate suffered from depression, wouldn’t you expect them to have access to therapy and antidepressants? There are many types of medical and psychological treatment that aren’t strictly necessary, but that improve someone’s quality of life. For example, I could still live if I didn’t have my glasses, but I wouldn’t be able to read or function as well. I would expect to be able to have glasses in prison. A trans person receiving hormones and therapy is of similar importance.

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