Two identical twin sisters have jointly undergone gender reassignment operations to become the first brothers of their kind in China, according to a mainland newspaper.
The doctor in charge at the People's Liberation Army Hospital 411 in Shanghai said cases like the siblings from Yunnan are few and far between even in the world, reported Youth Daily.
With a determination that won him the support of other patients, Yao Wen, a pseudonym of the 25-year-old elder brother, told the newspaper at the hospital on Monday (26 March): ‘I’m willing to give everything for a sex change, my university certificate, my current job and all.’
When asked who affected the other in the decision, Wen said that he and Yao Hua had identified themselves as male ever since they were kids.
Wen recalled how they had been different than other girls: They were interested in guns, marbles, Taekwando and gradually developed a vague sense of liking for girls.
They came clean with each other about their gender identification while still at kindergarten. They then went to the same primary school, secondary school as well as university, even somewhat incredibly choosing the same subject, while facing much discrimination along the way.
The twins later learned of the PLA Hospital 411 from the internet, but the total three-phase operation costs of well over 100,000 yuan ($1586, €1188) were simply unaffordable, especially as they had just graduated from university.
Wen decided to use all her savings, ask for help from their parents – who had accepted it after much shock and disbelief – to let Hua receive the first two phases of operation and keep working herself. Hua is scheduled to finish the last phase in September and Wen, the second phase.
Based on records and reports, it was in 2007 that the world last saw two twin siblings both receiving reassignment operations in the United States, according to Zhao Yede, a hospital director and the doctor in charge.
‘It's the first time that two twin siblings have operations together in the country,’ Zhao said. ‘This is rare even in the entire world.’