Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dignity, Respect, and Equal Treatment

Beginning next Tuesday, GLAD will be in U.S. Tax Court challenging the IRS' denial of sex reassignment surgery to treat Gender Identity Disorder (GID) as a deductible medical expense. GLAD is representing Rhiannon O'Donnabhain, who underwent the professionally prescribed procedure in 2001, after spending years in anguish attempting to live as a man and eventually being diagnosed with GID in 1996.

Every mainstream medical authority from the American Psychiatric Association to the National Institutes of Health recognizes GID as a medical condition. Rhiannon's health care providers say that the treatment was critical to her mental health and ability to function at all levels.

And yet the IRS has refused the medical deduction - a deduction that would be available for an appendectomy, or bypass surgery - claiming that sex reassignment surgery is "cosmetic."

The underlying principal in this case is that transgender people deserve dignity, respect and equal treatment for their medical care.

More on this story at

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