By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com February 19 2013 8:20 PM ET
A convicted rapist currently imprisoned in Oklahoma said she wants the state to pay for laser hair removal, hormone treatment, and counseling, as part of her transition procedure.
The inmate, identified as Ronny Edward Darnell or Phoebe Halliwell, filed a lawsuit in federal court last year, asking the Oklahoma Corrections Department to treat gender identity disorder. Jerry Massie, a spokesman for the department said inmates have received similar treatment in the past, according to The Oklahoman. However, a psychologist working at the male facility denied treatment for Darnell.
"No one is being treated in DOC for this, as far as I know," psychologist James Smash reportedly told Darnell. "I have given you my answer. Please do not ask me about this again." Smash did, however, advise the inmate to work up the administrative chain if she wanted to appeal the decision. Darnell requested to be transferred to another prison facility where she said other transgender inmates are incarcerated.
Darnell claims that being denied treatment subjects her to cruel and unusual punishment.
"They are denying me any kind of medical treatment at all for my serious medical need," Darnell wrote in a handwritten lawsuit. "I am female not a male. I was just born in the wrong body." Darnell added that being denied hormone treatment "has changed me in ways I do not like."
Darnell was convicted in 2005 for abducting and repeatedly raping a 13-year-old girl in 1997.