Hundreds of young people who have ‘transitioned’ from one sex to the other say they are regretting their choice, and now want to change back.
Charlie Evans was born female but lived as if she were a man for nearly a decade before accepting her true sex and ‘detransitioning’ last year.
After going public, she was contacted by hundreds of young adults who similarly doubt their decision to ‘change sex’ but are in need of support networks to help them.
Evans said: “I’m in communication with 19 and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it”.
She added that most who contact her tend to be around their mid-20s, female, and are often autistic.
“I thought it was better to work on changing how I felt about myself, than changing my body.” Ruby
When one woman told Evans that she had felt shunned by the LGBT community for “being a traitor”, she felt she had to do something.
She has now launched the Detransition Advocacy Network – an organisation seeking to provide help to others considering a return to their birth sex, and those who have done so already.
Sky News spoke to Ruby – not her real name – one of the many to contact Evans asking for help.
Ruby began identifying as a boy aged 13, and eventually obtained testosterone to help her transition to male.
She says at the time she had an eating disorder, which she feels was closely linked with her desire to change sex, but that this was not explored by her doctors.
“When I was at my gender clinic to get referred for hormones, we had a session where I went over my mental health issues and I told them about my eating disorder and they didn’t suggest that that could maybe be connected with my gender dysphoria.”
The cross-sex hormones she was taking meant her body changed, her voice became deeper, and she grew facial hair.
Now 21, she had been considering surgery to remove her breasts, but earlier this year she opened up about her growing doubts and decided to come off testosterone and return to living as a woman.
She said: “I didn’t think any change was going to be enough in the end and I thought it was better to work on changing how I felt about myself, than changing my body”.
Ruby also criticised what she sees as a trend of affirming everyone’s feelings of gender confusion, and called for alternative treatments.
She said: “For everyone who has gender dysphoria, whether they are trans or not, I want there to be more options for us because I think there is a system of saying, ‘Okay here’s your hormones, here’s your surgery, off you go’.
“I don’t think that’s helpful for anyone.”