I was pushed to have a double masectomy and I bitterly regret it
The trans lobby pushed me to have a double masectomy and I bitterly regret it. That’s why Costa’s advert is so dangerous, writes SINEAD WATSON a detransitioned woman who had a double mastectomy
When is the madness going to stop? I’m talking about the latest attempt to pretend it’s normal for young women like me to have our healthy breasts surgically removed.
It’s not. It never has been and it never should be — however hard transgender lobbyists fight.
When I saw pictures this week of the new image emblazoned across Costa Coffee’s vans, I felt deeply concerned. I also felt immensely sad.
The cute cartoon of an androgynous-looking character in colourful yellow shorts with a big smile and two mastectomy scars promotes transgender surgery more keenly than it does the brand itself.
The message is clear: you too can live your best life like this trans man if you get your breasts cut off. And it could not be more disingenuous.
Sinead Watson from Glasgow. Sinead, 31, transitioned into a man on 2015, had bitter regrets and now passes as a woman again
Sinead Watson became Sean Watson (pictured) with hair growth but then regretted her decision Transition
There is absolutely nothing glamorous about having your breasts removed. I should know. I only have to look in the mirror to see what a transitioned chest looks like.
And, believe me, it’s absolutely nothing like the image apparently taken from a mural designed by the UK’s biggest coffee chain for Brighton and Hove Pride last year.
In fact, I choose not to look in the mirror because my chest is such an ugly battleground of scars.
Rather than resembling a man’s, it looks like a woman’s chest that has been sliced open with a scalpel.
READ MORE: Fury as Costa uses cartoon image of ‘trans man’ with mastectomy scars: Angry customers now warn they will boycott chain over ‘horrific imagery being used to sell coffee’
And that’s precisely what it is — maimed and disfigured. I went through this surgery six years ago when I transitioned into a man.
It was a catastrophic mistake which, now that I have fully de-transitioned, I regret every single day of my life.
Meanwhile my chest displays two angry red weals under where my breasts were and two slightly smaller scars under my ribcage.
I have ugly creased skin under my armpits where the flesh has been pulled. That’s the brutal, unvarnished truth.
My entire chest is totally numb with zero sensation. The nipples — which were repositioned during surgery — are much higher than an ordinary woman’s but still not right for a man’s.
I have a partner of three years and he is wonderfully accepting. But I hate the fact that if I want to wear feminine clothes I am forced to wear a padded bra because I have no breasts.
Instead I mainly stick to baggy tops. I will never be able to breastfeed. That’s a huge cause of pain because I might want to have children one day.
Aside from my own fury, what terrifies me most is that other girls, just like me, are being propelled down this same route.
It really has reached a terrifying point when a mainstream coffee chain thinks this is a bandwagon it has to jump on.
Shame on them for pandering to the trans lobby without thinking of the potential consequences.
The evidence shows that most of the children who want to transition have issues such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders.
Many have been sexually abused or are suffering from acute loneliness.
They are trying to find a community to belong to. And they find it in transgender groups such as Mermaids.
Costa Coffee was accused of ‘glorifying irreversible surgery’ with mural showing a mastectomy
Like so many young girls, I was horrified when I hit puberty at 11 and discovered myself growing breasts.
Overnight I went from an innocent little girl without a care in the world to a sexual object.
Suddenly men were paying attention to me and I was too young and naive to know how to handle it.
Unfortunately my parents — who worked long hours — were oblivious to the pain and distress it was causing me. And I was too embarrassed to explain.
READ MORE: The ‘immoral’ brands pushing body mutilation on girls: How Costa Coffee, Oxfam, Dr Martens and Penguin Books have used cartoon images to ‘trivialise’ life-changing trans ‘top surgery’
By the time I was 13, I was saddled with a 34DD bust. I’m only 5’5”, so my breasts shone out like beacons.
Things got worse over the years. When I got a Saturday job, aged 16, the boss grabbed and hugged me every chance he got.
I was too timid to stop him. I started hating my body and wishing I had been born a boy just so this would all stop.
When I started a degree in history and archaeology at Glasgow University, I should have been in my element, meeting other students, enjoying a rich social life.
But the damage had been done; I was filled with self-loathing and didn’t want to mix. Lonely and out of my depth, I went on the internet and typed in: ‘I hate being a woman.
What can I do?’ I was looking for coping strategies and emotional stories. Instead I found myself bombarded with information about transitioning.
I was a lonely, naïve 20-year-old and didn’t even know it was possible to change my body. I was rapidly sucked in.
Within weeks I was convinced this was the answer to all my problems. It’s a form of love bombing.
Transitioning evangelists on the forums tell young people like me that all will be well.
From then on it was an escalator journey straight to being a man.
After cutting my long hair short and wearing men’s clothes for a year, I was put on a 12-month waiting list for treatment at a gender clinic in Glasgow.
I could not believe how easy it was. What I needed was counselling to uncover why I had come to loathe my body.
Instead the professionals appeared to take what I said at face value. When I said I was in the wrong sex and wanted to be a man, they agreed and prescribed me with testosterone.
No one ever told me the truth: ‘You’re not a man. It’s impossible to de-sex yourself.’ Within months my body completely changed. Living as Sean, I grew a beard, an Adam’s apple —everyone has one but the testosterone I was taking enlarged it like a man’s — my voice deepened and my body fat redistributed.
My breasts lost their plumpness. They were now two flapping sacks on my chest and so ugly I couldn’t wait to lose them.
So I was thrilled when I was booked in for what is euphemistically called ‘top surgery’, at a hospital in Manchester in June 2017.
It was just two years after my first appointment at the gender clinic. The day before surgery I was shown before and after photos of other patients.
READ MORE: Transgender man, 22, gives birth to TWINS after going through six rounds of artificial insemination with a sperm donor to fulfill his dream of having a biological baby
I was so focused on my mission that, if there were ugly scars to see, I didn’t take them in. Eagerly — and without a shred of counselling — I agreed to a bi-lateral double mastectomy.
It’s a complex operation with very variable outcomes but I didn’t have a shred of doubt. I visualised myself shirtless on the beach — just like in the Costa cartoon — showing off my manly chest.
I was convinced it would prove to the world that I was the man I was meant to be. Instead I woke up in excruciating pain and, when the bandages came off, I saw a chest riddled with scars that looked nothing like an ordinary man’s and never would.
I was devastated. I was too ashamed to ever take my shirt off in public. I looked like what I was — a woman who had taken testosterone and had a double mastectomy.
My disappointment was so profound, I had a complete breakdown. I quit my degree course just two months before graduating and attempted to take my own life.
I was saved by my family and a tiny group of women who were brave enough to go on the internet and admit that they regretted transitioning too.
Just a year after having my mastectomy — in October 2019 — I stopped taking testosterone and started de-transitioning fully.
I know I will be castigated by the trans lobby for my views. I will be told I have the blood of trans children on my hands.
Defending the decision to use the image, a Costa Coffee spokesman said: ‘At Costa Coffee we celebrate the diversity of our customers, team members and partners. […] The mural, in its entirety, showcases and celebrates inclusivity’
But it’s time to be honest about what a body really looks like after transition.
And we need to address the reasons why so many young women are electing to have their breasts removed.
We need to acknowledge that puberty is difficult. We need to help girls negotiate the change.
We need to tell them it’s very common to go through phases of hating your body.
And we need to educate men to stop sexualising young girls. Quite simply, it is time for us to wake up, smell the coffee and realise the terrible damage that can be done to young women.
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