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In October, Virginia inmate Ophelia De’Ionta tried to castrate herself with the help of three disposable razors and information from medical textbooks. For three hours, she sat in her cell, cutting on and off before passing out. To repair the damage done, it took 21 stiches. This unfortunately isn’t the first time she attempted to castrate what she calls, “that thing between her legs.”

Ophelia De’Ionta, born Michael Stokes, first tried to self-mutilate at the age of 12 and began robbing banks at 17 in hopes of being able to have a sex change.

On Friday, De’Ionta filed a federal lawsuit saying that the state failed to give her the medical care she needs in order to treat her disorder because they will not give her the operation. The incident is being called a manifestation of her gender identity disorder.

If De’Ionta wins this case, she will get the surgery she feels will cure her disorder and also be the first inmate to do so. The surgery cost upwards to 20,000. If she loses, De’Ionta claims she will keep trying to do it herself, even though it can kill her.

De’Ionta, 50, is currently an inmate at the Buckingham Correctional Center, an all-male facility.

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