A Bucks County judge has sided with a woman wanting to undergo gender-reassignment surgery after her family sued to block the procedure.
The woman’s family had argued that she shouldn’t be allowed to go through with the surgery because she was mentally unfit.
The 48-year-old Christine Kitzler told the AP she wanted her body to resemble her gender and scheduled an operation with a surgeon in Bucks County.
She said she’s struggled with substance abuse issues and depression, and her happiness depended on becoming her true self.
Her parents intervened with a lawsuit, saying Kitzler had a childhood learning disability and is still mentally compromised.
Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, said there’s a long history of opponents arguing that gay and transgender people suffer from mental illness.
“But of course, experts have long said that that’s not the case, and it’s always upsetting,” Silverman said. “And it’s particularly upsetting in the situation involving family members to see someone arguing that someone’s not competent to make a basic decision about the health care they need.”
With the victory, Kitzler is now preparing for the operation. Her surgeon has agreed to cover the entire cost of the expensive procedure.
“I’m happy for Christine,” Silverman said. “Despite the fact that she had to go through this kind of family trauma. That she prevailed, and that she can move forward living her life as her authentic self.”