The case of a British woman who underwent a “sex change” from female to male illustrates the dangers of changing one’s physical shape in an attempt to satisfy mental illusions.
Debbie Karemer, 61, told MailOnline that a sex change 17 years ago was her “greatest mistake” and says doctors should have recognized that she was not really transgender and was seeking surgery for the wrong reasons.
Karemer struggled with her sexual identity for years and sought gender reassignment at age 44. She then lived as a male for 17 years.
After years of counselling she decided she was not transgender and is now living as a female again while awaiting surgery to reverse the earlier reassignment.
Karemer now says that she suffers from complex PTSD as a result of sexual abuse, and that her self-loathing became so extreme she almost cut off her breasts with a pair of kitchen scissors.
How, however, she says she currently feels like a female “trapped in an approximation of a male body,” and claims that other transgender people she knows regret their operations but are not courageous enough to be honest about it.
She first heard of transgender and gender reassignment surgery in 2002 while watching a television special featuring transgender men and women.
“At the time it was a state of mind nobody really spoke about. I remember seeing them on the TV and thinking, ‘That’s me.'”
Later the same week Debbie researched transitioning online and found a local female-to-male support group in London.
There she obtained the number of a private psychiatrist specializing in gender identity disorders. Later that week she booked an appointment with a private psychiatrist and was given a two-week course of testosterone to start the very next day, she said.
Just three months later, Debbie underwent a private double bi-lateral mastectomy and changed her name to Lee.