Transgender California Inmate Paroled After Asking For Gender Reassignment Surgery

California Governor Jerry Brown gave the green light on Friday to parole transgender inmate (and convicted murderer) Michelle-Lael Norsworhty after she tried to get the state to be the first to pay for gender reassignment surgery.

According to the Associated Press, in April, a federal judge ruled the state had to provide the surgery, and it was originally scheduled for July. The state, however, appealed. Ultimately, because the governor decided not to intervene, it's highly unlikely that the 51-year-old will get the surgery before her release.


Governor Brown says Michelle-Lael is no longer dangerous, despite being convicted of second-degree murder during a bar fight 30 years ago. At the time of her conviction, she identified as male and was sent to an all-male prison, Mule Creek. Michelle-Lael began transitioning in the 1990s, but all records at the prison are held under her former name, Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy.

California has refused all of her requests for the surgery since 2012, and although they're paying for the sex reassignment surgery of another inmate, Governor Brown seems comfortable with the parole board's ruling.

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