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Massachusetts Transsexual Case Proceeds to Discovery

A Massachusetts federal district has held that a prisoner who seeks a taxpayer-funded sex change has failed to prove “serious harm” by the denial of additional hair-removal treatments.
The plaintiff is serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife, Cheryl, in 1990. In 1993, Robert Kosilek legally changed his name to Michelle and has been living as a woman in an all-male prison.

In 2002, the federal court ruled that Kosilek was entitled to treatment for gender-identity disorder, but did not order the sex change surgery. In 2005, Kosilek filed another suit contending that denial of the surgery was making him suicidal.

Before the Court in that suit was a motion for interim relief that sought to require electrolysis treatments, which had been discontinued by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections under the argument that depilatories and shaving were cheaper alternatives. Kosilek argues shaving is a “quintessential male” activity.

In denying that motion, the Court allowed Kosilek to engage in discovery to determine the basis for denial of electrolysis treatments.

See: Kosilek v. Clark, USDC, D. Massachusetts, Case No. 00-12455.

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Related legal case

Kosilek v. Clark