June 07, 2011

Transgender Sues Federal Government For Failing To Remove Her Penis. Wait, What?

Dillwyn, Virginia (The Weekly Vice) - Ophelia De'lonta, a 50-year-old Virginia prison inmate is suing the federal government for a sex-change operation after she failed at several attempts to castrate herself with a used razor.

According to the Virginia Department of Corrections, in October 2010, De'lonta, who was born a man and is in a male prison,became angry because a guard referred to her as a man. She then attempted to cut her penis off with a Bic razor using knowledge gained from mail-order anatomy books. She tried for three hours before passing out. It took 21 stitches to repair the damage to her penis.

Investigators say De'lonta stated that she developed a gender identity disorder at the age of 12, when the castration attempts began.

She dreamed of a sex change operation and by the age of 17, she says she began robbing banks in order to raise money for the operation. When she was 18, she was sentenced to more than 70 years in prison after she was convicted on robbery, drug and weapons charges.

In 2004, De'lonta won a court case that required the state to furnish hormone treatment. Since then she has developed breasts. It was also ordered that the entire staff at the prison refer to her as a female and provide feminine hygiene products to her.

On Friday, De'lonta filed a federal lawsuit in attempt to get the state to fund a full sex-change operation in order for her to overcome her disorder. She stated that if she does not win this case, she will continue with her castration attempts.

As strange as this case may seem, at least 12 other inmates in Idaho, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky and North Carolina have castrated themselves over the past 14 years, and several others have tried, according to psychiatry professor George R. Brown at East Tennessee State University. Dozens of other inmates nationwide have won the right to hormones and psychotherapy.

Mandi Milenko
The Weekly Vice

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