At 17, Suresh Lalwani, decided to become a girl. But it took the Gujarat resident 10 years to convince his family before he underwent a sex change surgery.
Lalwani, 27, is now called Shreya. “I was a girl trapped in a fertile man’s body until a surgeon’s knife set me free,” said the professor at a management institute in Gandhidham. She underwent the surgery on March 16 at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Andheri.
“Sex change patients have to maintain hormone replacement therapy through their life,” said Dr Dheeraj Kapoor, an endocrinologist. The hormones have already enhanced Lalwani breasts, reduced facial hair and softened her voice. She now has shoulder length curls and prefers to wear sari.
Before starting the therapy, Lalwani preserved his sperms. “I want to be a parent someday. I might opt for surrogacy,” said Lalwani, who cannot bear a child as she does not have the female reproductive organs.
Her parents took time to understand her dilemma. Last February, they forced him to get engaged to a girl. “A few days after the engagement, I fainted. I was advised psychiatric counseling, which revealed that I had a gender identity disorder,” she said.
His mother, Jaishree, said it was hard to accept his decision to become a girl. “We fought over it. But when he attempted suicide, I realised it was better to get a daughter than lose my son,” said Jaishree.
Anjana Hazari, 78, the president of Ghandidham Collegiate Board, which governs the college where Lalwani works, pitched in with funds for her surgery.
Before the surgery, Lalwani sent an email to all her acquaintances stating, “I have a female brain in a fertile man’s body. I can change my body but not my mind.”