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Transgender woman says she was assigned to the men’s prison and denied gender-affirming surgery by corrections officials, despite doctors approving the procedure before she was incarcerated; lawsuit

The 56-year-old transgender woman, who is socially, medically, and legally recognized as a female, says she was assigned to the men’s prison and denied gender-affirming surgery. The woman reportedly came out as transgender 14 years ago and started human therapy. She claims in her lawsuit that she has been denied gender-affirming surgery by corrections officials, despite doctors approving the procedure before she was imprisoned. “Denial of health care, failure to house transgender people in the appropriate facilities, and misgendering transgender people in state custody is dehumanizing and degrading,” her attorneys said in announcing the lawsuit.

The 56-year-old transgender woman from MN, Christina Lusk, has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections for discrimination. Luck claims in her lawsuit that she was incarcerated in a men’s facility where she has faced s–ual and verbal abuse. Luck is now seeking $50,000 in financial compensation because she claims she was assigned to the men’s prison and denied gender-affirming surgery. Lusk is socially, medically, and legally female, but is not recognized as such, the lawsuit states. According to the court documents, Lusk is serving prison time on a drug possession charge, the Daily Mail reports.

“Denial of health care, failure to house transgender people in the appropriate facilities, and misgendering transgender people in state custody is dehumanizing and degrading,” advocacy group Gender Justice said in announcing the lawsuit filed June 6, according to DNT.

According to Lusk’s attorney, Jess Braverman, the 56-year-old transgender woman is legally recognized as a female. Braverman claims her client has asked to be moved from the men’s facility to the women’s prison. Lusk reportedly came out as transgender 14 years ago and started human therapy. She legally changed her name in 2018. 

Jess Braverman reportedly told FOX News: “She’s a woman, and suddenly she’s placed in a men’s facility. She’s in a locked cell with a number of men, and she’s really exposed to harassment and violence in that setting.”

The transgender woman also claims that she has been denied gender-affirming surgery by corrections officials, despite doctors approving the procedure before she was incarcerated. According to Braverman, her client is set to be released in 2024. The attorney also said that the 56-year-old transgender woman has been seeking a v-ginoplasty since her incarceration but Department of Corrections Medical Director James Amsterdam has determined that she should not be allowed the g-nital surgery whilst in prison. Lusk could pursue that after release, the lawsuit claims.

The 56-year-old transgender woman reportedly said: “I have been diagnosed with severe Gender Dysphoria. I have attempted suicide four times due to my severe distress caused by my GD as well as self mutilation. My mental capacity is under control, and I am able to make good decisions as far as surgery. I have letters of support from my primary physician, my gender specialist, my therapist, as well as my psychiatrist, only two letters are required for surgery but I go up and beyond what is required.”

The lawsuit also states that the move by the officials to hold her in a men’s prison and deny her the surgery is unconstitutional and a violation of her human rights. Now, Lusk is seeking $50,000 in compensation and a permanent mandatory injunction requiring that Lusk be treated as a woman by the state prison system and removed from the men’s prison.

According to the lawsuit, Lusk claims that the prison officials housed her in a room with seven men, required her to change her clothes and use the bathroom with men, and called her by her former name. 

Jess Braverman reportedly said: “Transgender people disproportionately face abuse and harassment in state institutions including jails and prisons, schools, healthcare facilities, and more. Every person in custody deserves to be protected from violence and harassment. We need our systems, such as the Minn. Department of Corrections, to do better now to protect all vulnerable groups, including transgender people.”