Former Transgender Tells His Story
In his own words, this is the story of Darrell, an African-American former transgender. PFOX raised funds for his reversal surgery:
As a boy, I began to feel same sex attractions at age 13. I acted out with older kids and then became involved with older homosexuals and bisexual men. When I moved away from home, I encountered a man who I thought was a woman. He introduced me to other “men” like him, who befriended me. We spent lots of time together. I asked them how they got that way. So one of them introduced me to a downtown doctor, who evaluated me and gave me my first shot of estrogen so I could start looking like a woman too. At that point I became afraid. But my friends were there to help me. The doctor left me with my own estrogen and steroid pills and refills. I was on my way to becoming a woman just like my transgender friends.
As a result of the estrogen, I became physically developed as a woman, even though I was not one. The hair on my body and face started to shed. A month passed by. I became scared at what I saw in the mirror. Nonetheless, I was happy with what I was seeing.
Along with the physical changes, my personality changed. I became very arrogant. Even though my breasts had enlarged, I wanted more. So my transgender friends introduced me to an attractive man who owned an extremely large and beautiful house on a hill. He took me into his basement and told me to lie down on a table.
He massaged my breasts. Then he injected my breast with silicone gel and began to pump up the breast. I saw my breasts increase in size right before my eyes. He asked me to let him know when to stop. I was breathing very fast with fear. But in less than two hours it was over. I began to realize that this is commonly how transgendered men get their breasts – through unauthorized silicone injections. Sometimes they get together for what is called a “pumping party” and inject each other.
But I was pleased with my new breasts. I thought I looked attractive and was reinforced by the compliments of my transgendered circle of friends.
However, as the years went by, I became depressed. I was never able to be happy or find true love. I was in love with a guy that I thought was the best thing that had ever happened to me. But he was abusive. Despite the abuse, there was almost nothing I would not have done for him. But it was all for nothing because he left me for someone younger.
In the homosexual and transgender life, youth is very important. As a result, I was obsessed with my body and personal appearance. Acceptance by others in this lifestyle requires a good body and good looks.
In order to be part of the transgender crowd, men must meet certain criteria. We have to have more dominate female features; in other words, look more like a woman than she actually does. So we had to have bigger breasts, more shapely hips, flawless complexion, etc. In order to keep up, I had to buy the most expensive creams, take a regiment of hormone pills, do my makeup in the mirror for hours, etc.
It took me a long time to fix myself up and keep up with the beauty regiment, especially since I was not a woman. So although I looked better than most of the women out there, it was all a charade because I was not even a woman to begin with and it took so long for me to look like one. Going to a bar or party as a woman was hard work. The performance was an everyday lie.
But the praise from the others in my crowd of transgender friends kept me going. I was the center of attention and felt important. When younger transgenders joined us, I took more hormone estrogen pills to look more physically female, even though the increased dosage made me physically ill.
One time I saw myself from a side mirror and was frightened because I thought it was someone else. At one point, I was so depressed and lonely that I went to the public rail system wanting to be rescued, even if it meant going to jail. I carried half a gallon of whiskey and was sobbing on the public bench. It was raining that night and I urinated on myself over and over again. I was drunk. I felt sorry for myself because no one else was. After many letdowns like this, I wanted to change my life.
No one reached out to me, so I turned to Christ and stopped taking hormones. Slowly I began to look like the gender of my birth. I went back to calling myself by my male name, the one my parents gave me and that I had abandoned all those years when I was trying to make believe I was a female. I began to see that I was a new creature in Christ. I began to like myself and associate with people who were Christians. They loved me unconditionally and I didn’t have to always look “beautiful” to be with them.
Eventually, no one could tell I had been a female for all those years – except for one thing. I still had my breasts. So now I was a man with female breasts. What had once given me so much pride was now a source of agony for me. I did not have the money to pay a surgeon and hospital operating room to remove the silicone from my breasts. Of course, the procedure was not covered by insurance. I didn’t know where to turn for financial assistance, because I felt no one would understand how I got into this mess and instead tell me I deserved it. But I knew God did not want me to live like this. He had made me complete in His love and He would complete me now.
I heard about PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, a non-profit organization that had raised funds for the reversal surgery of another former transgender. PFOX agreed to raise funds for my surgery, anesthesia, and operating room. They found a Catholic plastic surgeon to perform the operation at a reduced rate. A Christian woman financed the operation. Who would believe that people could be so kind to make such contributions for someone like me?
There was a lot of anticipation and anxiety waiting for the day of my reversal surgery. I thought that day would never arrive, and when it did, I was scared. At one point I began to think I did not deserve it.
After the surgery was over, I looked down to see the final results and I never looked down again. Now I could do the things I had always wanted: go to the gym, meet people, try on clothes without fearing that someone would walk in on me, and become more physically active. I began to experience a confidence I had never had before.
Today I am ready for the Lord to move me to another level so that He will continue to work in my life. Jesus changed both my body and soul. I have been changed to be unchangeable. Not in a million years did I ever think I would be giving this testimony. Take it from me, regardless of what you have done or who you did it with, when God is in you, your life will never be the same. Jesus Christ is the best thing that happened to me. He is more beautiful than any woman I could ever try to be.
Copyright PFOX 2005