Robert Kosilek was married to a woman. Then he murdered her and went to prison, where he changed his name to Michelle and began identifying as a woman.

Now a federal judge in Boston has ruled that Kosilek is entitled to a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation because he has “gender-identity disorder.”

“Everybody has the right to have their health care needs met, whether they are in prison or out on the streets,” the AP quotes Kosilek as saying. “People in the prisons who have bad hearts, hips or knees have surgery to repair those things. My medical needs are no less important or more important than the person in the cell next to me.”

Prison guards are concerned about his safety when he becomes a she in a men’s prison.