‘Non-binary’ Ontario male sues health service to cover neo-vagina surgery while leaving his penis intact

Apr 2, 2024 | Political News

A biological male Ontario resident who identifies as non-binary but female dominant is embroiled in a legal battle over their desire to undergo a vaginoplasty operation that would create a neo-vagina while keeping the biological penis intact. 
 
The resident, identified as KS, was told that the procedure would not be covered by the province, however KS has appealed the decision, arguing that the surgery should be covered by taxpayers. 

According to the National Post, KS' request was denied by Ontario's Health Insurance Plan in 2022, who deemed the unorthodox vaginoplasty to be an experimental surgery. 

Such operations are not done in Canada, and as such it would have been performed at the Crane Center for Transgender Surgery in Austin, Texas. In an interview with the National Post, Dr. Curtis Crane said it was not uncommon, and that he does “10 or so a year.”  

KS went to Ontario's Health Services Appeal and Review Board and managed to have OHIP's ruling overturned, with the board arguing that vaginoplasties are covered, and that KS' request shouldn't be denied just because it would keep the penis intact. 

Upon receiving the board's decision, in which they noted that they were abiding by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health‘s recommendation that “customized surgical requests” should be abided by in the name of “gender-affirming” care, OHIP appealed to Ontario's Superior Court of Justice, which heard the case in February. 

“It is very important for [KS]  to have a vagina for her personal interpretation of her gender expression but she also wishes to maintain her penis,” KS' doctor wrote to OHIP, arguing that the resident is “transfeminine but not completely on the ‘feminine' end of the spectrum [and] for this reason it's important for her to have a vagina while maintaining a penis.” 
 
KS wished to keep the penis for sexual purposes, as well as to avoid urological complications associated with a traditional vaginoplasty. 

The Ontarian suggested that forcing a transition to fully male or female would be akin to “conversion therapy.”