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Transgender Virginia Inmate Wants Sex Change Operation

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File photo of a Virginia prison. (credit: SHAWN THEW/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Virginia prison. (credit: SHAWN THEW/AFP/Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A transgender Virginia inmate is appealing the dismissal of her lawsuit seeking a sex change operation, saying a jury should decide whether hormones and other therapies she receives are adequate or whether she should get the surgery.

U.S. District Judge James Turk dismissed Ophelia De’Lonta’s lawsuit in October, saying the state was treating her 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. She claims her disorder causes her to attempt castration and that the surgery is the only thing that will make her stop. In court filings last week, she cites treatment guidelines that say the surgery is needed in severe cases.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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