By Emma Dunn via SWNS
A woman has decided to "de-transition" back to living as a female after identifying as a transgender man for 15 years - after fearing she wouldn't be able to sing again.
Singer Cat Cattinson, 30, from Santa Cruz, California, grew up as a female but identified as male from the age of 13.
She only started to transition to become a man in March 2020 - after spending years struggling with gender dysphoria.
She started taking testosterone which made her voice lower and she went by the name of Tony.
Cat had been planning top surgery - to remove her breasts - but started to feel nauseous and experience heart palpitations when she took testosterone.
As a singer, Cat was also worried she would lose her "high-pitched" voice, so she chose to stop transitioning and ceased the testosterone injections in September 2020.
It was then she realized she was happier as a female - so she decided to de-transition.
It took Cat a year to de-transition and "look womanly" again, but she is hoping she can continue singing now she has her high voice back- despite it not being the same.
Cat, who is also a student and musician, said: "I always dressed in my dad's clothes as a kid. I was a tomboy.
"I felt unsafe as a woman because of trauma as a child and I think this made me feel like I didn't belong in this body.
"I first realized it was possible to change your body when I was 13 and from then I was convinced I wanted to transition to become male.
"But when I finally transitioned and actually lived as a man it didn't feel right.
"At first I was happier about my raspy voice, but I started to get pain and nausea.
"Now I'm happy back in my female body."
As a five-year-old Cat experienced a trauma that made her feel unsafe as a girl as she asked her parents if a sex change was possible.
"I thought of myself as a boy after that," she said.
"When I was a teen, I found forums talking about how it was possible to change sex.
"I felt then that I wanted to be a boy."
But when she first came out to her parents, aged 15, she was set back by their response.
"They were concerned for me and said I wouldn't have a good life as a man and that no one would take me seriously."
Cat put her transition on hold and battled eating disorders and bullying.
"I was constantly battling how I felt about my gender identity," she said.
"I became a bit of closet trans man."
But after years of feeling she'd tried everything else she made her mind up to officially come out as a transgender man and look into transitioning.
"I felt like I'd never be happy as a woman," Cat said.
"It was so easy to get testosterone - they didn't require any tests or therapy.
"I was surprised at how quickly they gave it to me."
At first Cat was happy with the changes - her voice became raspier and deeper, and she began to lose definition from her breasts and asked people to call her Tony.
"I felt like I had to be transitioning so that I could pass as a man," she said.
"But suddenly my voice dropped loads and I sounded like I'd been smoking all my life. I didn't recognize myself anymore.
"I'd been a singer all my life and I worried about what it would mean if I kept going."
Cat also started to get some worrying side effects.
"I was getting heart flutters and feeling sick all the time," she said.
"The pain was blinding and getting worse and worse.
"It was becoming painful to sing and I realized that I might never be able to again, so I stopped taking the testosterone."
It took a year for Cat to fully de-transition back to a woman at the age of 30, despite only taking the injections for four months.
"I was bedridden because it was a big comedown from taking the testosterone every day," she said.
"But now I'm happier with myself and my body and I've realized a lot of my feelings of wanting to be a boy stemmed from that trauma as a child.
"My parents are now supportive and I know their reactions stemmed from worry for me.
"I've had to re-learn how to sing and my voice is still different, but I still have a love for music."
Cat's parents said: "We're really proud of her.
"She's continuing to move forward with her life and helping others."
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