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Judge Sides With Trans Woman Whose Parents Sued to Stop Gender-Affirming Surgery

Judge Sides With Trans Woman Whose Parents Sued to Stop Gender-Affirming Surgery

A 48-year-old transgender woman fought her parents in a Pennsylvania court and Wednesday won her right to undergo gender-affirming surgery, her lawyer said. 

Christine Kitzler, of Myrtle Beach, S.C, was initially prevented from obtaining the surgery when her parents filed an emergency petition Monday, demanding that a guardian be appointed for Kitzler and preventing doctors from operating on her, claiming she was incompetent, Kitzler's lawyer Angela Giampolo said.

Kitzler's surgery had been scheduled for Tuesday in New Hope, Pa., and when she got news of her parents' petition, she was in a preoperative appointment, according to her lawyer. 

"I said. 'Your honor, if this was a rhinoplasty we wouldn't be here and that has risk,'" Giampolo said, explaining that it was the particular nature of the surgery that Kitzler's parents objected to, not Kitzler's mental competency to make medical decisions at issue. 

"I raised over 15 objections to the language her father used," Giampolo said, explaining that the father continually referred to Christine as "my son" and "he" in court.

Bucks County Orphans Court Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. sided with Kitzler and threw out her parents' petition, Giampolo said, adding that Kitzler's surgery will take place soon.

Julia Morrow, lawyer for parents Klaus and Ingrid Kitzler, could not be reached for comment.

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