Gay teens who couldn’t come to terms with their sexuality share how they removed their breasts and genitals in false hope that becoming transgender would ‘cure’ them, as concerns mount that ‘gender-affirming care’ for children is homophobic

Gay teenagers disturbed by their own sexuality have described deciding that life would be better as a transgender person and undergoing surgery – only to regret it several years later.

The young people said that, in hindsight, drastic surgical operations were offered with insufficient discussion or thought. Their stories have emerged as concerns grow that so-called gender-affirming care for children is homophobic, as it permanently alters the bodies of children and young adults who are not transgender but are simply trying to come to terms with their sexuality.

One recounted being abused online by trans rights activists when, after living as a trans man for five years, they realized they wanted to return to being a lesbian woman.

Another, who began transitioning from male to female at the age of 15, is now campaigning for a ban on surgery under the age of 25 for anyone who hasn’t even had psychotherapy.

Yet another, who grew up as a lesbian in a conservative community, convinced her life would be easier as a trans man and had a double mastectomy – only to live as a woman again six years later .

Studies cited by The New York Times showed that many teenagers struggling with their identity and sexuality eventually found peace: 80 percent of childhood gender dysphoria resolves by puberty, and 30 percent of people who receive hormone therapy stop using it within four years, the paper said said.

Activists calling for respect for trans children are seen protesting in Washington DC.  But young people who spoke to The New York Times spoke of their concerns about the ease with which they were given life-changing treatment

Activists calling for respect for trans children are seen protesting in Washington DC. But young people who spoke to The New York Times spoke of their concerns about the ease with which they were given life-changing treatment

Kasey Emerick, a 23-year-old woman and detransitioner from Pennsylvania, had a double mastectomy at 17 and lived as a trans man for five years

Kasey Emerick, a 23-year-old woman and detransitioner from Pennsylvania, had a double mastectomy at 17 and lived as a trans man for five years

However, the effects of the hormone therapy, including infertility, are often irreversible.

Kasey Emerick, a 23-year-old woman and detransitioner from Pennsylvania, told The New York Times that she sees life as a trans man as a better alternative to being a gay woman.

“I transitioned because I didn’t want to be gay,” she said. “I believed that homosexuality was a sin.”

Raised in a conservative Christian church, Emerick told her mother she was gay at 15.

Her mother told her it was probably a reaction to her father, who was convicted of raping and assaulting her from the ages of four to seven.

At 16, Emerick was caught texting a girl, and her mother took away her phone: Emerick was then admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Emerick convinced herself inside the hospital: ‘If I had been a boy, none of this would have happened.’

She said she found trans advocacy sites online and felt she could ‘choose the other side’.

At 17, after two 90-minute consultations, she was released for a double mastectomy – despite the anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, panic attacks and ADHD she also suffered.

“I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m having my breasts removed. I’m 17. I’m too young for this,’ she recalls, but says she went ahead with the operation.

“Transitioning felt like a way to control something when I couldn’t control anything in my life,” she told the paper.

Emerick lived as a trans man for five years, but then realized she wasn’t any happier, and began to transition – despite online threats from trans activists.

“I thought my life was over,” she said. “I realized that I had been living a lie for over five years.”

One man, Paul Garcia-Ryan, lived as a woman from age 15 to 30 and underwent surgery.

Paul Garcia-Ryan, now 32, founded an organization to help other young people considering surgery to switch — which he had, and regrets

Paul Garcia-Ryan, now 32, founded an organization to help other young people considering surgery to switch — which he had, and regrets

He detransitioned and is now, aged 32, a psychotherapist in New York, treating young people suffering from gender dysphoria.

Garcia-Ryan tells The New York Times he believes no one under the age of 25 should be allowed surgical procedures unless they have seen a psychotherapist.

He said he was driven to identify as a trans woman because he couldn’t help being a gay man.

“It was much less threatening to my psyche to think that I was a straight girl who was born in the wrong body — that I had a medical condition that could be taken care of,” he said.

He said that, when he sought medical help at the age of 15, the clinic immediately confirmed his own thoughts, rather than challenging them.

He said he had surgery in college, but suffered serious complications from the surgery and hormones, which made him rethink his decisions.

“You are made to believe these slogans,” he said. ‘Evidence-based, life-saving care, safe and effective, medically necessary, the science is settled – and none of it is evidence-based.

‘When a professional affirms a gender identity for a younger person, what they are doing is implementing a psychological intervention that narrows a person’s sense of self and closes off their options to consider what is possible for them. ‘

Aaron Kimberly, a 50-year-old trans man living in British Columbia, transitioned at the age of 33, but argues that too many young people are not adequately interviewed before undergoing the procedures.

Aaron Kimberly, a 50-year-old trans man living in British Columbia, transitioned at the age of 33, but argues that too many young people are not adequately interviewed before undergoing the procedures.

Grace Powell, who grew up in a conservative community in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said she became convinced that her sexuality would be “solved” by living as a trans man.

She had a double mastectomy the summer before college, then went to Sarah Lawrence College as a transgender man named Grayson.

Powell, now 23 and detransitioned, told The New York Times she wished more questions had been asked before opting for the life-changing procedures.

“I wish there were more open conversations,” she said.

“But I was told there is one cure and one thing to do if this is your problem, and it will help you.”

Aaron Kimberly, a 50-year-old trans man living in British Columbia, transitioned at age 33 and is happily living as a man.

But he said he left his job at a clinic treating gender dysphoric youth because he felt there was not enough emphasis on mental health treatment, ahead of surgical options or hormones.

He then founded the Gender Dysphoria Alliance and the LGBT Courage Coalition to advocate for better gender care.

“I realized something had gone completely off the rails,” he said.