A woman who decided at the age of 44 to transition to become a transgender man has revealed how she ‘deeply regrets’ her decision and is now ‘de-transitioning’ to live as a woman again.
Appearing on Newsnight, the UK woman, known as Debbie, discussed with presenter Deborah Cohen how she feels she ‘mutilated’ the body she was born with by surgically transitioning.
Born female, Debbie realised she wanted to be a transgender male after watching an episode of 90s television show Kilroy, in which the host Robert Kilroy-Silk was interviewing female-to-male transgender people.
She told Cohen: ‘I just happened to turn the TV on at the right time. Kilroy was on and he was basically talking to female to male transgender people and it was like a Eureka [moment]. ‘I thought ‘This is me, this is what I’ve got to do”‘
Debbie, who says she was sexually abused as a child, set about taking testosterone and photographs of her three years into her transition show her clearly presenting as male.
Now in her early sixties, Debbie says in the footage that she thought she would become a different person if she became male, saying ‘I thought I’d become accepted in the world.’
After undergoing a full female-to-male surgical transition including having a penis made from skin on her forearm, Debbie lived as a man, Lee, for 17 years, continuing to take testosterone and wearing a full beard.
Now she is in the process of detransitioning after saying she deeply regrets what’s happened. She describes her realisation that she no longer wanted to live as a trans male, saying: ‘I remember breaking down, it was like “‘This was a mistake, it should never have happened”‘.
Debbie adds: ‘But what the hell do you do about it? How do you go through another harrowing transition? I’ve got no hair, I’ve got a beard, I’ve had my body mutilated – what do you do about it? To get back to being the Debbie that I was?’
She believes she transitioned as a result of the sexual abuse she suffered in childhood and hopes she can now change her appearance with the help of oestrogen.
She told Cohen: ‘I think I’d have to wave a magic wand but I hope that my hair will grow back in time with the oestrogen and the body hair will reduce and I can get rid of this beard.’