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Posted at 08:35 AM ET, 10/24/2012

Hearing for Va. inmate who wants state-paid sex change

RICHMOND, Va. — The case of a Virginia inmate seeking a state-paid sex change is headed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a hearing.

Ophelia De’Lonta’s case is scheduled to be heard Wednesday by a three-judge panel. De’Lonta says if she does not get the sex change operation, she will perform the surgery herself.

The appeal ended up in Richmond after a judge dismissed De’Lonta’s lawsuit, contending the Virginia Department of Corrections was adequately treating her gender identity disorder.

Gender identity disorder is a mental diagnosis for people who believe there were born the wrong sex.

Attorneys for De’Lonta argue that a medical professional should decide whether the surgery is appropriate — not a judge or prison officials.

Since 2004, De’Lonta has been given hormone treatments and psychotherapy.

By the Associated Press  |  08:35 AM ET, 10/24/2012

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