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Case arguing against a residential center’s withholding of prescription hormone medication and punishment of gender expression for a transgender woman


Alyssa Rodriguez, now 20 years old, is a transgender woman who was deprived of her prescription hormone medication and punished for her feminine hairstyle and other aspects of her gender expression by the Office of Children and Family Services while at the Red Hook Residential Center and other New York juvenile detention facilities. Rodriguez had been on hormone therapy from a young age and experienced severe health consequences and emotional distress due to withdrawal symptoms after being forced to go without treatment. The case filed on Rodriguez’s behalf resulted in a settlement. OCFS paid a monetary award to Rodriguez and is taking significant steps to improve its treatment of transgender youth.


New York state has a legal obligation to provide medical care and protection from harm to all young people in custody, including the provision of medically necessary care to transgender young people under 18.

Lambda Legal’s Impact

In addition to advancing awareness of transgender health needs, this case is aimed at protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in out-of-home care from discrimination.

    • January 2006 Lambda Legal files complaint against the Office of Children and Family Services.
    • December 2006 Case settled.