A 92-year-old transgender World War II
veteran and pilot has been denied Social Security survivor benefits.
Following the 2012 death of her husband
Norwood Patton, Robina Asti filed for survivor benefits through the
Social Security Administration. Administrators denied her request,
saying that “her marriage does not meet the requires under federal
law for payment of survivor benefits” because Asti was “legally
male” at the time she married in 2004.
Asti transitioned in 1976 and is listed
as a woman on numerous documents, including her passport.
Lambda Legal filed a request with the
SSA to reconsider Asti's case in June and has yet to hear from the
“I am so insulted that the Social
Security Administration refused to recognize me as a woman and
treated my marriage to Norwood in such a disrespectful way,” Asti
said in a statement. “I have lived a very private life, but the
SSA is forcing me to speak out. I don't want other people to have to
In a video produced by Lambda Legal
highlight the case, Asti talks about her life and marriage. (The
video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)