A pair of 25-year-old twin sisters from Yunnan Province in southwestern China have successfully received preliminary sex-change operations in a Shanghai hospital to become males, seeing their long-cherished shared dream finally come true.
Both received plastic surgery at the No. 411 Hospital of People’s Liberation Army, the hospital confirmed yesterday with Shanghai Daily. The younger has already returned to her hometown as “she” received the surgery months ahead of her older sister, who boarded a train back home yesterday afternoon.
“The operations on both the twins are successful. They said they would continue to save up from hard work so they can return for their respective last phases of surgery,” said Zhao Yede, the twins’ plastic surgeon.
In China, their legal gender will remain “female” until all the surgical steps are completed and they go through the legal application for a gender-swap registry with the police.
But the question now is whether they will pull through the final move toward the legal change.
“Maybe we will announce the news in the future but now we will just keep it a secret to our friends and fellow townsmen,” said one of the twins, who would not have their names and other personal details revealed out of privacy concerns. “We cannot afford to lose our jobs, which is the main source of our future surgical fund. It will be unavoidable that colleagues would gossip after learning what’s happened.”
The twins worry that media exposure will alarm their villagers and friends and create heavy pressure on their family and relatives, who did not support their sex-change operations.
The twins said they started to realize their difference from other girls in kindergarten. They kept their shared secret from the family until last year when they came across news online that transsexual surgeries were available in Shanghai.
They used the words “stunned” and “embarrassed” to describe the reaction of their parents and older brother to their sex-changing plan. In their hometown, the idea of transsexual surgery is unheard of. The family gave up their strong objection only after both women threatened to never get married as females.
The twins told doctors they believed they were more closely bonded emotionally and more alike each other in both character and personal interests than most other twins. Dressed completely like males and never growing long hair or wearing skirts, the twins had gone to the same schools, including the same college.
They started consulting with the local hospital last July, said Zhao, their surgeon. He said both twins went through professional assessment and were confirmed to have psychosexual traits that qualified them for surgical operations.
“Both of them strongly object to all feminine features such as periods, breasts and wearing skirts. They are confirmed as born patients of transsexual traits,” Zhao said.
This marks the first case in China that twins underwent sex-changing surgery, the doctor said, adding that such experience is very rare globally.