It was recommended that the psychiatrist prescribe pills to halt his testosterone production so he could begin his gender reassignment as soon as possible. He explained his mental situation to the psychiatrist, asking why gender treatment was being pushed without considering the entire picture.
However, he didn't push further due to his young age and vulnerability. Then he began gender treatment, changed his name, and identified as a woman. He had one question in his mind after finishing the final procedure: "Oh God." How could I have done this? ”
The Answer To His Problems
Riley Edwards wanted to have a body that felt connected to him when he decided to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
Ups and downs had characterized his life, with the latter taking greater weight than the former. Initially, he thought gender reassignment would solve all his problems. By the time he realized he was mistaken, it would be too late.
Sharing His Story
The story of Riley, a typical Londoner living in Bexley under the care of his sister Marion and her husband Cliff, is similar to many others. In his late twenties, Riley lived as a woman named Denise before deciding to change his identity due to a series of unfortunate events.
As he shares his story with the world, he hopes that others who are considering gender reassignment will reflect on his experience before taking the plunge.
The late eighties marked Riley's arrival in London, where he was born to a nurse mother and a butcher father. Having lost both parents to a freak accident at age five made his life anything but pretty.
His sister Marion, then a 20-year-old working and living in Bexley, would be instrumental in helping Riley deal with some of his most challenging mental battles.
Riley started to question his sexuality in his teens. Anxiety and depression followed due to his attempts to suppress these feelings.
Among his repetitive behaviors to hide his unhappiness and true self, he developed obsessive-compulsive disorder. He would only have a limited amount of time left to deal with the problems caused by all these disorders, which were grave in themselves.
His quest for help on online forums led him to gender dysphoria in his early twenties. Gender dysphoria occurs when a person's gender identity is mismatched with their biological sex.
It seemed as though Riley's experience had everything to do with gender dysphoria. He became even more confused as a result of the individuals he met on those sites who persuaded him that he might be trans.
In Desperate Need Of Answers
Riley, fighting alone in such a world, did the only thing he could: he sought out expert assistance. His visits to the offices resulted in recommendations for a physician who did not contest his diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
The medical professional recommended that he see the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust's Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service. It was at that point that Riley's issues began to multiply.
Making An Appointment
Riley had a difficult time getting an appointment, but he eventually saw one of the program's psychiatrists after persevering through a protracted and difficult procedure.
Before she gave him a transsexualism diagnosis, he went to two appointments with the same doctor. Riley accepted his prognosis, but he couldn't help but think it unusual that each of those appointments had only lasted a short while.
The doctor suggested medicines that would stop Riley's production of testosterone and urged him to begin his gender transformation as soon as feasible. Riley, of course, addressed his mental health difficulties, questioning the psychiatrist as to why she was pushing for gender treatment without taking the full picture into consideration.
Riley didn't push much further than that, though, considering how young and defenseless he was. He started the gender transition process, declared himself to be a woman, and changed his name to Denise. Upon leaving the final treatment, he would ask himself, "What have I done?"
The process of changing one's gender is drawn out and challenging. It takes many months to finish and requires enormous mental power. It is divided between taking prescription drugs and having several procedures.
Riley did his best to delay the next step since he was aware that once he entered the surgical threshold, there was no turning back. But delaying would have a negative outcome.
A Confusing Time
Riley turned down the first surgery offer, claiming he wasn't ready for the life-altering step. He was still unsure whether he wanted to change his gender fully.
The hormone pills he'd been taking were already changing his body, making him appear more feminine. But although he couldn't bring himself to leave the program, he also couldn't opt out because of one crucial reason.
His Reason For Staying
Riley had been in the reassignment program for months now. But his reason for sticking around was different than most people's reasons for staying. In the time he’d been part of the program, he'd been receiving therapy to help him cope with his mental issues.
He felt strongly that those sessions were his lifeline in his dark world. Although he was unsure about going through with surgery, he knew he couldn't leave because of the therapy. But trouble was already looming ahead.
Turning It Down
A few months passed after Riley turned down his first chance at the reassignment surgery. His assigned doctor talked to him about a second chance, insisting that Riley considers it.
But Riley was still battling with the same thoughts as before. Although he was still taking the hormone pills, he wasn't sure if he wanted to continue with surgery.
A Line To Be Crossed
"There was a finality to it that I feared," he shared. "It was a line I feared crossing." When asked why, he said, "Some things are irreversible. Once you cross that threshold, you must now commit."
Regrettably, the program would begin pressuring him to start the surgeries. When he maintained that he was unsure, they came after the only thing keeping him sane.
"They threatened to kick me out of the program," Riley said. "It was either I continued with the process or stepped away completely."
Seeing that the therapy sessions were the only thing keeping him afloat in this suffocating situation, Riley keeled to the pressure. But unknown to him, someone was coming to his aid.