Federal public servant Michele Franco, 30 years old, obtained in the Acre court the right to compensation for material and moral damages against a health plan that refused to pay for transsexualization surgeries for the client. The decision was made by judge Lilian Deise Braga Paiva, from the 1st Special Civil Court of the District of Rio Branco, and can still be appealed.
In the decision, the judge noted that sexual reassignment treatment, which includes breast implant surgery, is not considered aesthetic surgery, but “necessary to adapt the body to gender identity.”
On November 6th, she received the answer she had been waiting for: the court ordered the health plan to reimburse the public servant for the breast implant surgery she underwent. Michele celebrated the decision and said it was a victory for all trans women.
“This decision is not just a legal act, but a political act that benefits all trans women who are seen as a fetish, who are more within a consumer culture than a relationship culture. This decision brings humanity to our bodies, which must no longer be seen as aesthetic bodies, but rather natural bodies and that this reverberates for all women, cis or trans”, said Michele.
In the process, the public servant states that she is a trans woman, diagnosed with sexual identity disorder and that she needed to undergo transsexualizing surgeries, including the placement of a breast prosthesis. However, coverage for the procedure was denied by his health plan, on the grounds that it was a cosmetic procedure.
She presented medical reports and changed her civil registration with female first name and gender, demonstrating that she does not identify with her biological sex at birth. Likewise, the reports indicated male-to-female gender reassignment surgeries, such as mammoplasty, for example.
“It is noted that according to the medical and psychological report, breast implant surgery was of utmost importance for the patient as it was part of her sexual readjustment treatment and even improvement of her mental health. As is generally accepted and recognized by higher courts, sexual reassignment treatment, which includes breast implant surgery, is not considered aesthetic surgery, but necessary to adapt the body to the desired gender identity and thus preserve psychological well-being.” , the judge pointed out in the decision.
In addition to the reimbursement for the surgery Michele underwent, the court ordered the health plan to pay R$5,000 for moral damages.
“Regarding the request for moral damages, I also consider them to be due, as the denial of health plan coverage for the requested procedure generates unequivocal distress, anguish and suffering, in addition to representing an affront to the right to life and the dignity of the human person, notably regarding to their right to personality, relating to their identity as a form of individualization of the human person”, described the judge.
Gender transition process
At the age of 19, Michele discovered her transsexuality and, since then, began the gender transition process. She informed that gender transition involves both social inclusion and inclusion in the job market, family acceptance and also a set of hormonal therapies and surgeries.
“The transsexualizing process involves a set of surgeries, which are body surgeries, which is breast implants, partial surgeries, and sexual reassignment surgery, which is sex change. I reached a point where my hormonal therapy managed to change my body. I managed to redistribute fat, that is, I started to create hips, waist, buttocks, but I was unable to create breasts. So, I had to have breast implant surgery”, said Michele.
The public servant said that, unlike most trans people, she had a lot of support from her family throughout the transition process. And this, according to her, was essential throughout the journey.