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Transgender Canadian Launches Lawsuit After Being Denied Taxpayer Funding For An Out-Of-Country Vaginoplasty In Thailand

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A trans-identified male in British Columbia, Canada, is suing the provincial Ministry of Health after it refused to fund the out-of-country vaginoplasty he demanded be performed in Bangkok, Thailand.

The man, referred to only as KW in legal documents due to a publication ban on his name, originally lodged a complaint at the BC Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) in 2019 alleging discrimination. KW claimed that being denied funding for the out-of-country surgery was akin to sex-based discrimination on the basis of his transgender status.

In his legal complaint, KW insisted that a female would not have been denied the same laparoscopic sigmoid colon vaginoplasty — a procedure that is sometimes performed on females who are born with exceedingly rare disorders of sexual development. The surgery includes utilizing sections of harvested colon tissue to craft the appearance of a vulva and vagina.

KW claimed that he was unable to apply for the surgery because he could not find a specialist to complete his application form, and argued that a female could have accessed a gynecologist to do so.

The BC Ministry of Health (MOH) sought to dismiss KW’s claim on the basis that it held no reasonable chance of success, but was denied in a May 10, 2024 ruling. The matter will now be scheduled for a hearing.

The Ministry argued that they did not discriminate against KW, deny him medical care, or treat him differently “than any other beneficiary who requests out of country medical services.” They also noted that KW did not fully complete his application for surgery, adding that vaginoplasty procedures are available in Canada “and as such, the public health system was not obligated to fund the service [he] was seeking overseas.” 

The MOH gave approval for KW to undergo a fully-funded vaginoplasty at GrS Montreal in October of 2017. However, months later in January of 2018, KW applied to the MOH to instead fund his surgery in Bangkok, Thailand.

He was advised that the application had to be completed by a BC specialist, and not the plastic surgeon from Thailand.

A letter from the Ministry read: “When surgery is available in Canada, the attending specialist in BC may recommend surgery outside Canada. The specialist must include peer reviewed medical articles with the application to confirm surgery outside Canada will result in a significant difference in success. The recommendation for surgery is sincerely respected; however as surgery is available in Canada, provincial coverage was not approved for surgery in Thailand.”

Ultimately, KW never completed his application and accepted the vaginoplasty at GrS Montreal on January 6, 2020. The hospital performs penile inversion vaginoplasty, in which penile tissue is “flipped” to create a vagina-like canal. This is the most common vaginoplasty technique in North America.

BCHRT panel member, Shannon Beckett, wrote in her May decision that the tribunal is also going to consider discrimination on the basis of gender identity, though KW did not allege this in his filing. She argued that the Ministry of Health made a “problematic” statement when they refuted KW’s claim about females accessing this type of procedure. Beckett appears to have taken specific issue with the Ministry’s explanation that vaginoplasties are “rarely performed on cisgender women, and only in cases where it is medically necessary (i.e. due to disease or injury).”

Beckett wrote that the Ministry’s usage of the term “medically necessary “ has “implied that where transgender women are seeking the same surgery, it is not in cases ‘where it is medically necessary.’ This argument appears to be based on stereotypical and outdated ideas about the nature and reason for gender-affirming surgery. There is no indication in the context of this complaint that the gender-affirming care KW was seeking was not medically necessary.”

This argument is reminiscent of a 2019 procedural decision by BCHRT member Devyn Cousineau wherein she referred to notorious trans activist Jessica Yaniv having his male testicles waxed by unwilling women as “critical gender affirming care.”

The hearing dates for KW’s suit against the BCHRT have not been scheduled, and it will likely take months if not years as the BCHRT is facing an enormous backlog of almost 5,000 active files.

This case is not the first of its kind in Canada. Earlier this year, and as reported by Reduxx, an Ontario man successfully sued the Ontario Health Insurance Plan to have the province fund an experimental surgery in Texas that will leave him with his penis as well as a surgically created “neo-vagina.”

The man in this case broke his own publication ban when he posted about his diaper fetish on Reddit, and openly admitted he was the individual documented in the highly-publicized case. 


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The post Transgender Canadian Launches Lawsuit After Being Denied Taxpayer Funding For An Out-Of-Country Vaginoplasty In Thailand appeared first on Reduxx.

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