After nearly two decades of living in ‘the wrong body,’ Khanh Van, known to her friends and family as Shayne, has finally finished her male-to-female transformation and feels more confident than ever.
“I used to fear that people would say I was not a real girl,” shared Shayne, pointing out that although she identifies as female, she was not born with the right parts.
It is hard for Shayne to recall a time before she realized she was transgender.
For as long as she can remember she had been a female trapped in a man’s body.
“I always felt that I was born as the wrong gender, but I never thought much about a surgery," she said.
"A sex reassignment operation is a big thing and I wasn’t sure my parents would go along with it.
“Instead, I just did my best to enjoy life.”
A bold move
Shayne, 21, comes from a wealthy Vietnamese family who did their best to provide her with a comfortable life and elite education.
But despite support from her family, the outwardly confident woman was inwardly inhibited.
In late 2018, she chose to take a shot at leaving self-conscious Khanh Van behind and start a new life as Shayne, starting with a breast surgery at Yanhee Hospital in Thailand.
While her new breasts did make her feel more like a woman, a series of rocky relationships shattered her perceptions on what ‘love’ meant as a trans woman.
“[My partners] might have loved me, but they didn’t want anybody else to know about us because I was not a complete girl,” she said.
In April 2019, Shayne revisited Yanhee Hospital to finish her transformation. After undergoing a thorough health check and a mental test to determine that she was certain of her decision, doctors approved her gender reassignment surgery.
“I knew it would be painful, but I was way more scared of living the rest of my life in a man’s body. That would have been lifelong torture,” she said.
It took nearly six weeks of surgery and recovery before she finished with her gender reassignment, but Shayne says it was “entirely worth it.”
“It’s given me a happy life,” she explained.
|Khanh Van, or Shayne, is seen in this supplied photo following her gender reassignment surgery.|
A new self
With her gender reassignment surgery complete, Shayne says she now feels a sense of security she has never felt before.
“I am happy with myself. I am my best and most beautiful self. My life keeps getting better and better,” she said.
“I used to freak out because I thought people might label me as transgender and not as a woman, but now I feel that I am below no one. I am confident knowing that I am a true female.”
Currently, Shayne owns a nail salon and make YouTube videos to share beauty care tips and discuss her story and the obstacles she has overcome.
“I am well aware of what I had to go through, and I am willing to share it,” she said.
As for her family and friends, Shayne says their love for her has remained steadfast throughout her entire transformation.
“My parents treat me as a woman and my sister treats me like a sister,” she said.
“My boyfriend loves me as a woman. I feel very lucky.”