From hero to heroine

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-4-12 18:08:02

Liu Ting waits at the lounge before the press conference on her successful transition last Thursday in Guangzhou. Photo: CFP

Wearing a red, off-the-shoulder evening gown, Liu Ting made her first public appearance as a woman last Thursday in Guangzhou, after a series of sex reassignment surgeries since last year.

A trans woman born in 1986, Liu found herself under the spotlight in 2005 while she was still living as a man. She moved her mother, who was suffering from uremia and needed close attention, to her college dormitory. The hardship Liu endured made her a media favorite, and the "young man" was soon promoted as a model of filial piety by the media in her hometown in Zhejiang Province.

But Liu had been aware since childhood that she was a woman. In 2013, she received an official diagnosis as a trangender woman, necessary in China before gender reassignment surgery.

Her fame attracted a Guangzhou hospital to offer her surgery for free, but she had to transition under the microscope of public scrutiny.

On October 9, 2014, Liu undertook her first facial feminization surgery, which went on for five hours. "The pain was greater than I had imagined. It was hard to breathe," she told the media at the time.

In the next couple of months, Liu underwent a series of surgeries including genital reconstruction and breast augmentation, with her mother accompanying her all the time.

Liu's parents had mixed feelings about her decision. When the family signed a consent form at a notary's office before the surgeries, the media spotted her father, standing in the corner with his hands behind his back. "If you have really thought it through, I will sign. But never regret about your decision," he told her.

After Liu finished the surgery, her mother had an emotional breakdown and almost fainted as she cried in the lavatory, feeling she had lost her "son."

But Liu is happy. She will publish an autobiography in June. Talking about her future, Liu said she hopes to become an actress. "It's another dream of mine [in addition to living as a woman]. I know it's naïve to think so, but I'll adhere to my dreams."

Global Times

A doctor injects Botox into Liu's face. Photo: CFP

Liu recovers in her hospital bed this March, with her mom at her side. Photo: CFP

Liu chooses women's clothes in a department store on April 6. Photo: CFP

Liu Ting, then living as a man, carries her mother upstairs to her student dorm in 2005. Photo: CFP



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