The Oklahoma Corrections Department is providing cross-gender hormones to two of the state’s nearly 25,000 inmates currently serving time.
Ronny Darnell, a convicted rapist, is trying become the third after filing a 2012 lawsuit alleging that he is being punished in a cruel and unusual fashion because the state agency wouldn't treat his condition.
The condition that Darnell claims to have, gender identity disorder (GID), causes its sufferers to have an overwhelming sense that they would be happier if they were the opposite sex.
In addition to the hormones, Darnell also wants that state to provide him with laser hair removal, counseling and eventually a sex-change operation as treatment for his condition, per NorthJersey.com.
According to department spokesman Jerry Massie, the state prison system will provide such hormones "when it's medically appropriate," but such cases are rare.
"There's only one official GID offender," Massie said. "On this particular person ... they had had some procedures done prior to incarceration, so it's medically appropriate to prescribe the hormones." The other inmate receiving the hormones is geting them because of a medical issue.
The hormones range in price. The monthly prescription for one of the inmates is $158.73. The other's is only $3.73 per month. It’s not known which inmate is getting what.
"They are denying me any kind of medical treatment at all for my serious medical need," Darnell wrote in the suit. "I am a female not a male. I was just born in the wrong body. It has deepened my voice to sound like a man. It puts me into a great depression and gives me anxiety attacks on a daily basis."
Darnell's lawsuit is still pending in federal court. He has no lawyer, but recently asked a judge to appoint one to his case.