A transgender woman who struggles with gender dysphoria decided to undergo a sex change for the third time.
Chelsea Attonley said she spent her entire life struggling with her gender identity, wrestling with whether or not she’s a woman trapped in a man’s body or the other way around.
Attonley, who was born with the name Matthew, first became a woman at age 18 — shelling out $7,589 on breast implants.
“For the first time in my life, I felt like a million dollars,” she said of her first transition. “As I walked down the street in short skirts, men would stare and beep their horns. Some women might find such attention annoying but I loved every minute of it.”
Following her mother’s death in 2013, and years of struggling to meet a man and find love, Attonley began to question her decision.
“I didn’t know where to turn,” she said. "I craved affection but was worried that no one would love me in the body I was in.”
“I have a lot of mates who are gay men and I couldn’t help but feel jealous when I saw them in happy relationships,” she said. "I thought it might be easier to become Matthew again.”
She decided to once again become Matthew, before finally realizing she was meant to live as a woman. A suicide attempt in early 2015 was the realization she needed to accept who she really was.
“I took an overdose and walked to a local bridge,” she said. "Thankfully, the police got me to hospital in the nick of time.”
“I was living as Matthew and I’d decided to have my breasts removed," she said. "But I was looking at them in the mirror and the tears started to flow.”
“They made me feel so womanly and the thought of having them taken away just broke my heart," she continued. "If anything, I just wished they were bigger. I knew in that second I wasn’t Matthew, I was Chelsea. I just had to start living as a woman again.”
Attonley’s procedure was paid for on the British government’s dime, costing taxpayers $5,312.
Attonley said that her struggle with gender dysphoria is something many people wrestle with and should be paid more attention to.
“Gender dysphoria is a very serious mental illness which needs treatment,” she said. “I attempted suicide because I was so confused about my gender. Who knows where I’d be if I hadn’t had any help.”