Transgender people should have access to gender-confirming treatment. From a legal standpoint, “Gender Dysphoria” is a serious medical condition. Medical treatment should be consistent with accepted medical standards, and blanket bans on treatment, such as on access to hormones or to gender confirmation surgery, are illegal.
People should generally be allowed gender-appropriate clothing and grooming supplies, to allow people to present themselves consistently with their gender identity.
In New York City jails and New York State prisons, some progress in this area has been made, spearheaded by this office and the work of other advocates and the transgender community.
Progress has been too slow. Despite the legal requirements, too many transgender, non-binary and intersex persons in custody remain at extremely high risk of abuse. They are not treated in the same manner as cisgender persons, because of jail and prison officials’ claims that they cannot be housed consistently with their gender identity because of safety and security concerns.
We describe some basic information about filing a lawsuit for sexual abuse or a lack of needed medical care for people in jail or prison in other sections of our website. If the person is suing for discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause of the federal or State Constitutions or under the City or State Human Rights Laws, they should file a grievance and appeal it to the highest level in order to preserve their right to bring suit. Again, Notices of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the discriminatory to preserve the right to bring State law claims.
We are very concerned about the housing and treatment of LBGTQ persons in custody and urge you to contact us.