A 57-year-old convicted killer serving a life sentence in California became the first U.S. inmate to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery, the prisoner’s attorneys confirmed Friday.
California prison officials agreed in August 2015 to pay for the surgery for Shiloh Heavenly Quine, who was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery for ransom and has no possibility of parole.
“For too long, institutions have ignored doctors and casually dismissed medically necessary and life-saving care for transgender people just because of who we are,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, which represents Quine and other transgender inmates.
Hayashi said the surgery fulfills a landmark legal settlement and is a victory for “all transgender people who have ever been denied the medical care we need.”
Quine’s case led the state to become the first to set standards for transgender inmates to apply to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery. Her case prompted a federal magistrate to provide transgender female inmates housed in men’s facilities with items such as nightgowns, scarves and necklaces.