Inmate seeking sex change aims for nursing career

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia inmate suing for a state-paid sex-change operation says she plans to pursue a nursing career when she is released on parole.

That could happen any day now. The Virginia Parole Board granted Ophelia De'Lonta's parole last month, but she remains in Buckingham Correctional Center awaiting approval of her post-release plan.

The 53-year-old De'Lonta told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that she will live with her niece in Hyattsville, Md., and enroll in nursing school. She said she chose nursing because she likes to help people.

Her federal lawsuit against the state remains active, and De'Lonta said she will pursue her gender reassignment surgery regardless of the outcome. De'Lonta has been diagnosed with gender identify disorder, a medically recognized illness in which people believe they were born the wrong gender.

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