US: Trans prisoner requests electrolysis, and for court to refer to her as female
A trans woman prisoner incarcerated in an all male prison has requested electrolysis hair removal, and for the court to refer to her as female during ongoing proceedings.
Michelle Kosilek, 63, identifies herself as female but is incarcerated in the male-only, MCI Norfolk state prison. She was previously known as Robert, was married to Cheryl Kosilek, and was convicted of murdering her in 1990.
Judge Wolf, of Boston, Massachusetts ruled in September that Ms Kosilek would be given gender reassignment surgery in prison, as the “only adequate treatment” of her gender dysphoria. He also ruled that her legal costs should be covered.
He said: “there is no less intrusive means to correct the prolonged violation of Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care.”
She has now requested the electrolysis treatment, and that the court refer to her using only female pronouns, given that, despite being in an all-male prison, she is living as female.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Ms Kosilek previously filed a motion requesting the court to prepare a surgeon and location for the surgery, as well as security and transportation plans for moving her to and from the hospital, despite the appeal.
Ms Kosilek received some electrolysis in 2008, but in 2009, Judge Wolf denied two requests from Ms Kosilek for further treatment, saying that she had access to other, cheaper, methods of temporary hair-removal.
As well as appealing against Judge Wolf’s ruling on the surgery, and legal costs, the Department of Correction is expected to contest Ms Kosilek’s request for electrolysis.