Two former transsexuals in the US have spoken out on how transitioning did not bring them the lasting peace they desperately sought.
Paul, 38, felt he might be a girl as a teenager and when he first read about transgenderism in a student newspaper, he thought it would solve his problems.
He began transitioning after he was prescribed male-to-female hormones on his first visit to a community health clinic.
He was given little information on the risks and was told “not to worry” when he asked about possible side-effects.
After five years he underwent an orchiectomy – the removal of one’s testicles – which he thought would sever his dependency on hormones and remove his dysphoria entirely.
But after the botched surgery and painful recovery, he was told he could not stop hormone treatment.
“I attempted suicide, and then I began reaching out for help. I saw several therapists. I quit wearing women’s clothes, and I began changing my name”, he said.
But even after ‘detransitioning’, he has realised he cannot live a normal life, saying: “I seem to be either a de-sexed monstrosity, or I’m a damaged, mutilated male. I’ve been alone a long time.”
Paul had been officially disagnosed with gender dysphoria and has learned he falls on the autism spectrum.
His advice to children looking to transition was simply: “Don’t.”
Poor mental health
Taylor started transitioning from male to female by changing his name, wearing make-up and feminine clothing and growing his hair long.
After a year of living superficially as a stereotypical woman, he began hormone therapy.
“I wanted to be a woman. Badly. My mental health was poor at the time and I was very much socially isolated. I felt I could either try living as a woman or else I wanted to kill myself.”
But Taylor did not find satisfaction in living as a woman and soon quit the hormone treatment and returned to living as a man.
He laments now that throughout his confusion he was failed by medical professionals.
“I went to an endocrinologist, who gave me a prescription on the first visit, before my blood [test] results even came back. ‘It’ll be fine, congratulations!’ was his attitude. The doctor should have challenged me.”