December 12, 2007

Woman Sues Over 30-Year-Old Sex Change

A German woman whose female sex organs were removed 30 years ago as an 18-year-old is suing the surgeon who performed the procedure.

Christiane Volling, 48, a nurse in Dusseldorf, contends she never wanted the operation and was forced to lead a false life as a man, Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday. Volling is seeking $147,000 in damages for pain and suffering from the Cologne doctor who removed her functioning reproductive organs in 1977, allegedly without informing her of alternatives and possible consequences, the German broadcaster reported.

Volling was registered as a boy at birth and named Thomas after a midwife allegedly mistook her enlarged clitoris for a penis, Deutsche Welle said. Volling, who is petitioning for an official name change to Christiane and for a change in her personal status, as well, told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, I felt like a monster, and was always an outsider.

Gender-rights activists are looking at her lawsuit in hopes it will set a precedent for other transgender cases.