Va. Inmate Fights for Sex Change Operation

Ophelia De'Lonta says she was born a man but her disorder causes her to attempt castration

Monday, Apr 23, 2012  |  Updated 5:42 PM EDT
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Va. Inmate Fights for Sex Change Operation

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An Alexandria attorney has joined a transgender inmate's fight to have the state pay for a sex change operation.

Attorney Victor Glasberg argues a federal court was wrong to toss out inmate Ophelia De'Lonta's lawsuit in October.

U.S. District Judge James Turk dismissed the lawsuit because it said the Virginia Department of Corrections was adequately treating De'Lonta's gender identity disorder, a mental diagnosis in which people believe they were born the wrong sex.

Turk said courts have ruled that inmates are guaranteed only minimum care, not preferred therapies.

De'Lonta was born a man but claims her disorder causes her to attempt castration and that the surgery is the only thing that will make her stop.

Glasberg argues a medical professional should evaluate De'Lonta and decide whether the surgery is appropriate.

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