top of page

Keira Bell: My Story. As a teen, she transitioned to male but came to regret it.

Written by Keira Bell, April 7 , 2021

By the time I was 14, I was severely depressed and had given up: I stopped going to school; I stopped going outside. I just stayed in my room, avoiding my mother, playing video games, getting lost in my favorite music, and surfing the internet.

Something else was happening: I became attracted to girls. I had never had a positive association with the term “lesbian” or the idea that two girls could be in a relationship. This made me wonder if there was something inherently wrong with me. Around this time, out of the blue, my mother asked if I wanted to be a boy, something that hadn’t even crossed my mind. I then found some websites about females transitioning to male. Shortly after, I moved in with my father and his then-partner. She asked me the same question my mother had. I told her that I thought I was a boy and that I wanted to become one.

As I look back, I see how everything led me to conclude it would be best if I stopped becoming a woman. My thinking was that, if I took hormones, I’d grow taller and wouldn’t look much different from biological men.


The consequences of what happened to me have been profound: possible infertility, loss of my breasts and inability to breastfeed, atrophied genitals, a permanently changed voice, facial hair. When I was seen at the Tavistock clinic, I had so many issues that it was comforting to think I really had only one that needed solving: I was a male in a female body. But it was the job of the professionals to consider all my co-morbidities, not just to affirm my naïve hope that everything could be solved with hormones and surgery.

Last year, I became a claimant against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in a judicial-review case, which allows petitioners in Britain to bring action against a public body they deem to have violated its legal duties. Few judicial reviews get anywhere; only a fraction obtain a full hearing. But ours did, with a panel of three High Court judges considering whether youths under treatment at the clinic could meaningfully consent to such medical interventions.

121 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page