Robert “Michelle” Kosilek is claiming that he isn’t getting his sex change treatments in prison and because of that he is turning back into a man.
“My breasts have shrunk, genitals have regained previous size and function, facial hair is thicker and scalp hair is thinner, all related to an elevated testosterone level,” Kosilek said in a handwritten letter submitted to the court recently.
Kosilek also claims that the state owes him a sex change operation, but perhaps the most fantastic part of this story is not so much the claims Kosilek is making against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but rather how much Massachusetts has a accommodated him to this point:
In 2002, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Kosilek was entitled to treatment for gender identity disorder — including hormone treatments, laser hair removal and psychotherapy — but stopped short of ordering sex-reassignment surgery.
Kosilek sued again in 2005, saying the treatments were not enough to relieve her anxiety and depression.
“I would not want to continue existing like this,” Kosilek testified in June 2006.
The trial lasted on and off from May 2006 until March 2007, with expert testimony from 10 doctors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists. An Associated Press review last year found that the corrections department and its outside health care provider had spent more than $52,000 on experts to testify about the surgery, which would cost about $20,000.
I fail to see how denying someone sex change treatment is “cruel and unusual punishment,” but leave it to the federal court system to find a way to justify such a thing as an “entitlement.”
If you ask me, the state paying $52,000 (and likely more) to fight Kosilek’s lawsuit is well worth it even though it’s more than double what the surgery would cost. Letting Kosilek establish this as an entitlement would open the door for other inmates to demand such treatments at a terrible, terrible cost to the taxpayers.