Trial ended today in Rhiannon O'Donnabhain's challenge of the IRS over their refusal to allow her a tax deduction for the costs of her treatment for Gender Identity Disorder. The IRS presented testimony from a final expert witness and both sides made their closing arguments.
Both parties will next file briefs with the court on November 6. Following that, each side will have seventy-five days to file a response brief (due January 21, 2008), after which the judge will issue a decision.
At the conclusion of today's trial proceedings, Rhiannon O'Donnabhain issued the following statement:
"I'm glad to have had the opportunity to tell my story and it was important for me personally, as a citizen and tax-payer, to have my day in court.
It also was important for the transgender community, my community, to speak in an official forum about what it means to be a transgender person living in this country.
I hope that this case sends a clear message that transgender people deserve dignity, respect, and equal treatment not just for our medical care, but in all aspects of our lives - just as every human being deserves dignity, respect and equal treatment.
I also hope that this case addresses some of the misunderstanding, bias, and prejudice transgender people face in our lives every day. Because what's really at the heart of this case - and my story - is a basic misunderstanding about the critical importance of being able to express my gender identity. It's something everyone should be able to do."