Transgender Inmate Sues Florida Prison

News: Life and Family
by Joe Gallagher  •  •  August 16, 2016   

Complains he's being forced to wear male underwear

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LEE COUNTY, Fla. ( - An inmate is suing a Florida jail for refusing to help him transition into a woman.

Reiyn Keohane, a 22-year-old male, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder in 2013 after stabbing his female roommate in the throat. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Keohane had begun hormone injections just a month prior to his arrest. Since then, he claims he has been discriminated against and has suffered cruel and unusual punishment.

Keohane's lawsuit, filed through the American Civil Liberties Union, says he was not given his promised hormone injections in exchange for pleading guilty. He also had his female underwear taken, and has been forced to wear male underwear.

"I am a transgender female and am not comfortable wearing male underwear — it is a discrimination on the basis of sex or gender to force a person to act in a certain way because of their sex," Keohane stated.

In regards to the hormone injections, he says, "This treatment is absolutely necessary to my ability to mentally function. ... Without it I consider self-harm and suicide every single day. It is the only thing that matters in my life in this moment."

While in a prison for men, Keohane has attempted both to hang and to castrate himself.

Keohane claims he has known he was transgender since he was 12. He originally came out as a homosexual when he was 16, but eventually admitted he felt like a woman internally. At that age, he also changed his name legally to "Reiyn."

Reiyn's mother would take her son out shopping for lingerie, give lessons on how to use make-up, and offer guidance.

At 17 he legally changed his name, and began hormone injections when he was 19, one month prior to his sentence.

Transgender persons are typically told to begin taking hormone injections as soon as possible. When sexual hormones are injected (in Keohane's case, the female hormones estrogen and progesterone), they induce a type of second puberty.

Injections of female hormones are usually accompanied by "anti-androgen" medication, which allows the female sex hormones to substitute for testosterone. This second puberty results in loss of muscle mass, hair reduction (predominantly on the torso), a change in fat distribution, reduction in male genitalia, and breast development.

The further along in normal biological development a person is, the less effective hormone injections will be. Considering that Keohane is nearing the conclusion of usual development, the injections will not be nearly as effective as they would be on a younger person.


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