US prison inmate Michelle Kosilek to get taxpayer-funded sex change operation

Michelle Kosilek is serving a life sentence for murder.

Massachusetts prison officials have been ordered to pay for a convicted murderer’s sex change operation, the Associated Press reported today.

District Judge Mark Wolf said Michelle Kosilek, who lives as a woman in an all-male prison, was entitled to the state-funded sex realignment surgery because it was the “only adequate treatment” for Kosilek’s “serious medical need.”

Reuters reported that Kosilek, who has suffered from gender identity disorder since he was a child, has been taking hormones that have caused his breasts to grow.

Kosilek began suing the Massachusetts Department of Correction in 2000, arguing he also needed a sex change operation.

"In this case Kosilek has proven that he still has a severe gender identity disorder. Although female hormones have helped somewhat, he continues to suffer intense mental anguish because of his sincere and enduring belief that he is a female trapped in a male body," Wolf wrote in the landmark 126-page judgment.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Wolf’s decision was probably the first such order by a judge in US history.

Kosilek is serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole for the murder of his wife in 1990. He killed her after she caught him wearing her clothes. 

He was convicted two years later.

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