A woman who spent nearly 10 years living as a transgender man has launched a new group for trans persons who want to “de-transition” back to their original gender, saying many post-op individuals who struggle with gender dysphoria have been cast out of the LGBTQ community for regretting their gender reassignment procedures.
In a feature published in the UK-based Sky News, 28-year-old Charlie Evans, who was born female, began identifying as a boy when she was only a teenager. But after spending an entire decade living as a man, Evans said she decided to switch back to living as a woman after she failed to find fulfillment in her new gender identity.
Evans is now launching the “Detransition Advocacy Network” to help other people who’re struggling with their own transitions – including many young people who say they’ve been “shunned” and treated as a “traitor” by the LGBT community. Evans estimates she’s already been contacted by hundreds of people, particularly biological women in their mid-20s with additional psychological health problems or mental disabilities.
"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," Evans told Sky News. "They don't know what their options are now."
“Ruby,” a 21-year-old woman who also began identifying as male as a young teen, gave Sky News a similar account, saying she began to question her gender identity and made the decision to come off testosterone just before going in for a scheduled surgery to remove her breasts.
"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," she said. "I've seen similarities in the way I experience gender dysphoria, in the way I experience other body image issues."
Ruby, who’s name has been changed for the story, said the doctors who helped her begin “transitioning” to a man never connected her other body image problems with her gender dysphoria.
"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 connected with my gender dysphoria," says Ruby.
Sky News reports the number of young people in the UK being referred for gender reassignment services and procedures is rapidly rising, including among preschoolers:
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust offers gender identity services for children under 18, with some patients as young as three or four years old.
They now have a record number of referrals and see 3,200% more patients than they did 10 years ago - with the increase for girls up by 5,337%.