Biological male inmate awarded $495K, transferred to women’s prison where he’ll receive ‘bottom surgery’

A biological male inmate in Minnesota has been awarded $495,000 and is being transferred to a women’s prison where he will receive a free vaginoplasty after he sued the state Department of Correction (DOC) for discrimination.

According to Fox News Digital, Christina Lusk, 57, who began cross-sex hormones in 2009, adopted the name “Christina” in 2018 and was in the process of discussing surgical options with doctors when arrested on a felony drug charge.

Lusk had already endured “top surgery,” and was “on the verge of scheduling” a vaginoplasty, according to the lawsuit filed by the St. Paul-based advocacy group Gender Justice.

The inmate was sentenced to stay behind bars until 2024, and will now get to serve the remainder of prison time at a women’s facility in Shakopee.

Lusk filed a grievance with the DOC after department medical director James Amsterdam declared that Lusk “could pursue” a vaginoplasty “after release,” but shouldn’t be able to get genital surgery while incarcerated, the lawsuit claimed.

Gender Justice alleged that, while at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake, Lusk was sexually abused by the male inmates. They demanded that he be treated as though he is female, including housing in a women’s facility.

With the legal victory, Lusk will become the first inmate in the state to be transferred to a different facility based on gender identity.

Jess Braverman, legal director at Gender Justice, said that the male inmates called Lusk names, according to FOX 9.

“Inmates would heckle her, heckle her roommates… call her ‘it,’ that sort of thing,” he said. “And then there were staff who would say things to her, such as, ‘You know, you’re a man in a men’s prison. I’m not going to treat you like a woman. I’m not going to use your proper name and pronouns.'”

To be fair, Minnesota only has itself to blame for the lawsuit.

“In January, the DOC adopted its new transgender policy, though this is the first time it has been implemented,” FOX 9 reports. “Minnesota now joins 10 other states and the District of Columbia in approving transfers to facilities matching an incarcerated person’s chosen gender identity.”

“The DOC is constitutionally obligated to provide medically necessary care for incarcerated people, which includes treatment for gender dysphoria,” DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell said in a statement. “Based on the facts of this specific case, the incarcerated person will now have access to the medical care she needs, she deserves, and we have a legal obligation to provide.”

The DOC vowed in a press release that it will grant transfer requests based on gender identity “unless the requested placement would pose a heightened risk of physical or sexual harm to that person or those housed in the preferred facility.”

Lusk’s win is an “important step” for the DOC, according to Braverman.

“Minnesota was the first state in the country to expressly protect transgender people in our anti-discrimination laws. But sometimes it feels like we’re the last ones to get it right. I think this goes a long way in showing that Minnesota is moving forward,” she said. “We are fulfilling that promise, and we are going to give transgender people the dignity they deserve, whether they’re in an institutional setting, whether they’re incarcerated or not.”

Meanwhile, Lusk is celebrating.

“This journey has brought extreme challenges, and I have endured so much. My hope is that nobody has to go through the same set of circumstances. I relied on my faith, and I never gave up hope,” Lusk said in a press release. “I can truly say that I am a strong, proud, transgender woman, and my name is Christina Lusk.”



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