Detransitioning, or retransitioning, is the process of reverting back to the gender assigned at birth after transition has taken place. Take a look at 8 stories of people who went through this journey twice.
1. The man who underwent sex change then went back to being a man for his dying dad
“The only thing that is constant is change.” The famous verse by Heraclitus is likely the mantra of Mark Marzo, a man who underwent many big changes in his life.
A self-proclaimed gay man since birth, Mark had a sex change operation to become a female. However, because of his dying father's wish to have a grandson, Mark needed to give up the "big change" and return to being male.
Despite his sexual preference, Mark, the youngest of 13 kids, was his father's favorite. Growing up, Marzo was fortunate to have the acceptance of his family. After his sex change, he changed his name to Maria Corazon Marzo and got married.
Then the impossible happened: Maria 's terminally-ill father requested she give him a grandchild. Surprisingly, she agreed to grant her father's wish and had a sex reversal.
Now Mark again, he sought the help of Sheryl Ocampo, a friend and co-worker, who agreed to get pregnant via in vitro fertilization. In 2001, their son Andrei was born.
Currently, Mark works as an area-manager of a salon in Ortigas, and is not dating anyone as he is focused on his career.
2. The transsexual woman who is demanding the NHS pay for a second sex change op because being a woman is too "exhausting"
A British transsexual who had a $15,000 sex change in 2007 now deems living as a female to be too “exhausting,” and wants British taxpayers to pay roughly $22,000 to undo the original procedure.
Chelsea Attonley, 30, who was born Matthew, recently told a British magazine, “I have always longed to be a woman, but no amount of surgery can give me an actual female body, and I feel like I am living a lie.”
Attonley, who has started taking testosterone, said that she must have the breast implants removed, and possibly penis reconstruction surgery. She is hoping that her bill will be taken care of by the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS).
Attonley isn't working due to the alleged stress she is under, said she would not feel bad about saddling British taxpayers with the reverse-sex change operation because she doesn't “consider it a choice,” a newspaper reported.
3. The once youngest sex swap patient in Britain who wants to reverse her sex change treatment
Ria Cooper made headlines in 2011 when she became Britain's youngest sex change patient at 17, after years of begging her family and the NHS to turn her in to a girl. However, after living as a woman for less than a year, she decided to change back in to a man after suffering huge mental anguish as a woman.
She cancelled the full sex change operation that was scheduled and ceased the female hormone therapy that saw her develop breasts, saying that she found the changes overwhelming and that they made her deeply unhappy.
Born Brad, Ms. Cooper began dressing as a girl at 12, and at 15-years-old, begged doctors to help her become a woman.
Although she underwent a thorough psychological assessment and counseling at Hull Royal Infirmary prior to starting her sex change therapy, Cooper has suffered such torment living as a woman that she has tried to commit suicide twice.
4 The newsman who switched genders and wanted to switch back just after a couple of months claiming amnesia
In 2013, Don Ennis, an ABC News editor, had a sex change. Three months later, the father of three decided he wanted to change back into a man.
It all started when Don Ennis showed up at work wearing a little black dress and a wig and told co-workers to call him Dawn. At the time, Ennis, a father of three, said he had an “unusual hormone imbalance” and was more comfortable living as a woman.
He also changed his Facebook picture, replacing the one of himself as male to female, and tried to address any confusion he may have caused among friends and family.
Soon after becoming Dawn, Ennis and his wife of 17 years separated, but three months later, Dawn showed up at work as Don again. He claimed that he had suffered from amnesia and accused his wife of dressing him in a wig and creating a fake ID card with the name “Dawn” on it.
The Danbury, Connecticut journalist explained that while his memories of the last 14 years had returned, his female identity did not.
A year later, Ennis returned to work as Dawn (her legal name and gender identity remained female throughout the whole ordeal) — and was, unsurprisingly, fired shortly afterward.
5. The man who became a woman only to reverse the operation 7 years later
At 42-years-old, Walt Heyer was, by all accounts, a happily married man with two children. But it was then he decided to undergo gender reassignment surgery to become a woman — a decision he would later say had a "tremendous, destructive process" on his life. He reverted back to being a man just eight years later.
Now, at 74, Walt, a Los Angeles resident, claims he should never have been allowed to have the sex change in the first place. He was delighted at being a female at first, having felt trapped in the wrong body since he was five years old. But he said these feelings of elation soon gave way to much darker feelings.
Walt's genitals were removed as part of the transformation. He also received breast implants, treatment to reduce the hair on his face, and a course of estrogen hormones for as long as he remained a woman.
In the mid-1980s, Walt says he came to the realization that his desire to change genders came from deep-rooted childhood trauma — rather than a genetic disorder. He claims that his gender confusion was caused simply by his environment and family relationships. But with no safe reversal procedures at the time, it was already too late.
It was only after eight years and £20,000 spent, he once again became Walt Heyer. Now, through his website "Sex Change Regret," he acts as an unofficial counselor to those considering the same procedure.
6. The British tycoon and father of two who has been a man and a woman and a man again
Property tycoon Charles Kane is, by any standards, a very successful man. He has a multi-million-pound property portfolio, a law degree, a £250,000, 52ft motor yacht, a top-of-the-range Mercedes and a wardrobe stuffed with designer suits. And yet, he is far from happy. Despite all these attributes, which should act as a magnet to certain women, the one thing missing from his life is a lasting and fulfilling relationship. Most of his romances end abruptly after the first date after the women learn about his "secret."
Turns out that Charles is one of the few people in the UK to have undergone two sex change operations; the first to turn him into a woman and the second to turn him back into a man after he realized he'd made a horrible mistake.
Born Sam Hashimi, the divorced father-of-two had a sex change in 1997 to turn him into glamorous blonde Samantha Kane. Then, in 2004, after seven years living as a woman, he decided he wanted to be a man after all. He is now in the unique position of knowing what it is like to be both a woman and a man, and he has reached the conclusion that it is much better being a man — even with the current disadvantages.
Having decided he was not a true transsexual, but had been "confused" after the break-up of his 12-year marriage, Charles had his breast implants removed and underwent three private operations after being referred by the gender clinic at London's Charing Cross Hospital to reconstruct his male genitalia, using skin grafts from his stomach.
Charles now believes he suffered a complete mental breakdown, during which he started to question everything, including his sexuality.
7. The former transgendered NFL cheerleader who decided to go back to being a man
In 2013, Texas native Philip Porter decided to transition back to his birth sex (male) after living for 32 years as a transgender woman.
Growing up in the 1970s, Porter faced skepticism and disdain from doctors and psychologists when he first showed his desired to become a woman. "Back then — this was the '70s, we did not have Google, we did not have Internet — it was very difficult to find, you know, a professional doctor or psychologist who could hear my story."
Finally, he met a doctor in Dallas, Texas who helped him. "I was in his office the next day, an endocrinologist office the day after that, and just began my life living as a female. And did that very successfully and very happily for 32 years — I was an NFL cheerleader and I was a topless dancer for many years."
But 32 years into his life as Phoebe, Porter began to consider living as a male. So, in 2009, he stopped taking hormones and started the journey to live once again as a man.
8. The sports writer who went from being a male to woman and back to male before killing himself
In late April 2007, sports writer Mike Penner published an article unlike any of the thousands he had written for the Los Angeles Times. Under the headline "Old Mike, new Christine," Penner explained that he would soon assume a female identity and byline.
Gone was quiet, circumspect Mike Penner, replaced by ebullient, outgoing — and instantly famous — Christine Daniels. Celebrity meant a megaphone, and Daniels vowed to use it as an advocate. She told her story at transsexual conferences across the country, becoming a symbol of courage to a transgender community inspired by the most visible coming-out in decades.
A year after the essay, the Daniels byline vanished from the newspaper, and within months Penner was back at work, living as a man and writing under his male name. Once so vocal about the reasons for becoming Christine, Penner was silent about the reasons for abandoning the identity.
One year after that, he killed himself. His suicide is believed to be based on issues not addressed during transition that were compounded after the choice to detransition.