US trans prisoner sues over hair treatments

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A trans woman in the US state of Massachusetts has filed a claim against her prison over allegations that she has not been provided with medically required hair treatments.

Trans woman Christine Alexander has filed a law suit against Massachusetts Department of Correction, of which she is currently in custody, because she said staff: “knew of her need for medical care and yet failed to provide the same.”

In Massachusetts, Alexander’s gender identity disorder is classed as a “major mental illness” and it has been reported that Alexander claims to have become severely depressed and experienced anxiety as a result of allegedly being deprived of the treatments.

The treatments required would be for removal of facial and bodily hair, and to stop Alexander from experiencing male pattern baldness.

Summarising Alexander’s case against the defendants, Judge Joseph Tauro said she alleged that they had failed: “to provide her with the medical treatment will lead to serious bodily harm, untreated mental illness and continued depression.”

All three state official defendants, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Diener, M.D., and Rebecca Lubelczyk made an attempts to have the case dismissed, however US District Judge Tauro denied these dismissals and deemed the allegations to be “taken as true”.

He said the claims were: “sufficient to establish that the plaintiff has a serious medical need, which has not been adequately treated under the eighth amendment standard.”

Alexander claims that the defendants have broken the eighth and fourteenth amendments of the American constitution which state that citizens must not be subject to “cruel or unusual punishments” and should stop the “state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness.”

Alexander was diagnosed with gender identity disorder in 2003, yet has been sentenced to serve in a mens’ prison.

The case continues.