A woman who had her breasts surgically removed to try to become a man now feels she was ‘violated by the medical industry’ and made a ‘mistake’ that left her ‘worse off’.

Mel Jeffries was born a girl and grew into an unhappy, depressed teenager who, like many teens, was confused about her identity and sexuality.

She thought her life would be better if she transitioned into a male, and lived as a man called Mason from the age of 18.

With testosterone treatment Ms Jeffries had a deeper voice, facial hair, more muscle and weight, but it wasn’t enough. 

‘All my hatred of being a woman was just focused on my chest,’ she told Channel 7’s Spotlight program – so, aged 26, he had her breasts removed, something she now considers one of the greatest mistakes of her life, as she transitions back to female. 

Spotlight claimed there are ‘thousands’ of vulnerable young Australians who regret changing from male to female or female to male. 

Mel Jeffries was born a girl and grew into an unhappy, depressed teenager who, like many teens, was confused about her sexual identity. She is pictured when she lived as a male called Mason

Mel Jeffries was born a girl and grew into an unhappy, depressed teenager who, like many teens, was confused about her sexual identity. She is pictured when she lived as a male called Mason

Mel Jeffries was born a girl and grew into an unhappy, depressed teenager who, like many teens, was confused about her sexual identity. She is pictured when she lived as a male called Mason

Ms Jeffries describes her life as a ‘clusterf***’ and said she will always carry the scars, physical and mental, of the choices she now regrets. 

When she was 16, she said she ‘was just looking for a sense of belonging’ and found comfort in online communities.

‘And then it’s, like, if you do transition, it’s, like, oh, everyone gives you so much love,’ she said. 

Before making decisions she now regrets, she had been through ‘quite a few experiences’.

‘I was sexually assaulted and I feel like that was a big fuel for me wanting to transition and not be a woman anymore,’ she said.

Ms Jeffries thought being a woman made her vulnerable and an easy target and that she would be better off being male. 

‘The magical thinking was like, I could be someone and I wouldn’t have to be me. I wouldn’t have to deal with everything that came along in my life,’ she said.

‘Maybe all my unhappiness is because I was born in the wrong … sex.’

The online community was almost like the love of a new family in supporting her transition. 

She was told ‘there’s your biological family. They’re the family you don’t choose. And then there’s your logical family. They’re the ones who choose you.’

Starting on testosterone was easy – she was prescribed it in a diagnosis that took less than an hour. 

Ms Jeffries felt that she had been encouraged to begin the process because she was ‘primed’ by others into thinking ‘if you don’t transition, you’re going to kill yourself.

‘You’re just priming people to do this, to hurt themselves.’

Ms Jeffries (pictured) said she will always carry the scars, physical and mental, of the choices she now regrets

Ms Jeffries (pictured) said she will always carry the scars, physical and mental, of the choices she now regrets

Ms Jeffries (pictured) said she will always carry the scars, physical and mental, of the choices she now regrets

She realised she had made a huge mistake after the double mastectomy when, ironically, someone called her Mason, the name she had already lived with for eight years. 

‘That just felt so foreign and alien,’ she said, ‘that name just feels so disorienting for me’.

She wants other people to know the pain she has gone through. ‘I’m never going to be over it. They’re wounds, they’re not even scars. 

‘It’s like, I’m still bleeding. I’m still … processing it and grieving … I’ve literally been violated by the medical industry.’

Ms Jeffries is not sure if she would like to be a mother, but would like to meet someone to share her life with.

For now, she is focusing on her health and is comfortable being a woman.

‘Well, I’m female … it’s not just that I’m a woman. It’s like my sex is intrinsic to my experiences. Being female is intrinsic to who I am,’ she said. 

Earlier on Sunday, Channel 7 was criticised for using photos of transgender influencer Grace Hyland in a promotion for the Spotlight episode. 

Transgender influencer Grace Hyland (pictured) criticised Channel 7 for using photos of her in a promotion for the Spotlight episode

Transgender influencer Grace Hyland (pictured) criticised Channel 7 for using photos of her in a promotion for the Spotlight episode

Transgender influencer Grace Hyland (pictured) criticised Channel 7 for using photos of her in a promotion for the Spotlight episode

Ms Hyland, 20, used her TikTok account to slam the network for making it seem she regretted changing gender.

‘I transitioned at 13 and I don’t regret it at all,’ adding that she’d had breast augmentation surgery two days earlier.

‘And even though my face is in this, I don’t agree with it, I don’t stand for this story, I don’t stand for the sensationalism of this whole thing. Don’t get it twisted Channel 7,’ she said.  

There are around 1,000 adolescents on waiting lists for gender treatment across Australia. 

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