How does a world-famous transgender social media influencer become a Christian detransitioner and advocate for parents’ rights? He got away from social media and went to church.
Oli London, a British man who underwent multiple surgeries to appear as a Korean woman, told The Lion about the struggles that drove him to transgenderism before beginning the journey of detransitioning.
It’s also the subject of his forthcoming book, Gender Madness: One Man’s Devastating Struggle with Woke Ideology and His Battle to Protect Children, scheduled for release in August.
His journey began as a child, when he says he was “more into girlie things,” preferring dolls and dress-up to rugby or soccer.
That led to London being “very, very severely bullied.”
“I was bullied a lot, mostly for the way I looked, but I was also told all the time I was feminine, or I was like a girl,” he says. “When I used to go swimming at school, people used to say I had breasts and I was like a girl, so I always questioned my gender.”
The constant taunting caused London to develop severe body dysmorphia that he attempted to treat through plastic surgery.
“It was all about the aesthetics,” he said. “My concern was having a feminine face, big lips, smaller nose, so I was obsessed with that.”
However, physical alterations didn’t fix the underlying mental health issues or provide the happiness London was seeking.
“I started trying to change myself and erase the way I looked, erase the way I identified,” he recalled. “I got to a point where I’d had a lot of surgery, I still wasn’t happy, and the final thing on my mind was, ‘Maybe the reason for my unhappiness is because I’m feeling like the I’m the wrong gender.’ I’ve been told throughout my life by many people that I’m more feminine, that I would be better as a woman.
“And if you hear enough people say that you start to believe it.”
Even though family and friends tried to stop him, London was convinced that more surgery would make him happy.
“Many family members tried to stop me changing myself. They loved me for who I was, which is what any responsible family member would do,” he recalled. “I was really my own worst enemy. At the time I was going to do what I wanted to do no matter who was trying to stop me.”
When London publicly came out as transgender, he was fawned over by progressive media and believed he’d finally found what he was looking for.
“Everybody was like, ‘Wow, this is who you’re meant to be, this is amazing, this is the reason you’ve had so many identity struggles is because you were trapped in the wrong body,’” London remembered being told. “And I really believed that at the time. I really believed all these people were right.”
But soon he was questioning himself again, wondering if he should pursue more extreme cross-sex treatment, like hormone therapy.
“That’s when I actually went to church,” London tells The Lion. “I was like, I need some time out. I need to reflect. I need to sit somewhere peaceful, listen to something that’s positive, that’s away from all this social media, that’s away from all this gender ideology, and just be somewhere I could self-reflect.
“That was when I started to change my mind.”
London found a Christian community he describes as “very compassionate and kind.”
“They were non-judgmental,” he said. “They were very authentic.”
In contrast, when he announced his detransition, the love from progressive media and transgender activists turned into vitriolic hatred.
“They praised and celebrated me when I was trans,” London said. “The moment I detransitioned, they suddenly changed their opinions of me and started hating on me. That’s not real kindness and compassion.”
He believes people, especially youth, join the trans community for the instant validation it provides, not realizing radical progressivism is a “cult” that will “hate anyone that tries to question their ideology.”
London explains people with gender dysphoria have “struggled to accept themselves their whole life … and a quick fix is to get validation from transactivists.”
But the validation comes with major strings attached.
In March, a “Detransition Awareness Day” rally in California’s capitol turned violent when Antifa attacked attendees and journalists, requiring police intervention.
“That’s the daily reality of what people that question gender ideology and people that detransition have to face: threats of violence, attacks, harassment, and discrediting,” London explained.
Chloe Cole, who is suing Kaiser Permanente for performing cross-sex surgeries on her while she was a minor, spoke at the event. Cole previously accused doctors of coercing her parents into allowing her transition, saying they would have a “dead daughter” if they didn’t.
Some doctors may be “so delusional” that they genuinely believe they’re helping people, London explained. However, others are simply feeding the multi-million-dollar industry.
A single sex chance surgery can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Scott Newgent, who appeared in the documentary, “What is a Woman?”, even claimed that hormone blocker companies make 8 times more profit for prescriptions for minors than for adults.
Many transgender individuals will become “customers for life,” according to London, as they must seek continual treatment for the plethora of health issues they develop.
“It’s called gender-affirming care for a reason,” said London. “Using that language like ‘care’ and ‘compassion’ is part of their tactic to try and make it seem okay.
“They try to convince themselves that it’s care, it’s kind, it’s helping, it’s loving, and it’s compassionate. They try to use the threat of an increased suicide rate if we don’t do this.”
But the testimony of countless detransitioners and medical professionals indicates just the opposite.
Jamie Reed, a former case manager for the Transgender Clinic at St. Louis’ Children’s Hospital, blew the whistle on her ex-employer, calling its practices “morally and medically appalling.”
It was later discovered that a doctor from the same clinic advised a local school that all students who claimed to be transgender should be believed, even if the evidence obviously pointed toward peer pressure playing a role in the students “coming out.”
London believes that school, as well as social media, can play a powerful role in convincing someone to identify as transgender.
“If their teacher is teaching them about pronouns or the library books teach them about changing their gender, these are already vulnerable kids that are going to fall for that,” he said. “We need to protect kids better in school. We need to stop this harmful, wrong diagnosing of kids with gender dysphoria, when maybe a girl’s a tomboy or maybe they’re struggling with something else that needs to be diagnosed.”
The medical establishment admits transgender youth are often experiencing other mental health issues. Reed said she worked with patients who had depression, ADHD, eating disorders, autism, schizophrenia, PTSD and bipolar disorder.
Nevertheless, progressives jump to transgender diagnoses with willful ignorance, these critics say, leaving the underlying and often severe mental health issues completely untreated.
California has even granted itself “emergency jurisdiction” over gender dysphoric youth, allowing the state to take children away from their parents for the sole purpose of authorizing access to cross-sex treatment. As a result, a parental rights group is suing the state.
“We see in certain states … parents aren’t even acknowledged,” London said. “Teachers don’t tell the parents what’s going on with their kids, and they can be medically transitioned without the parents’ knowledge.
“I think that’s the harm these days when we’re seeing parental rights in certain states being overridden and taken away.”
As the transgender surgeries for minors are increasingly debated in state legislatures, the perspectives of detransitioners like London, Cole and Newgent are gaining a hearing.
Having been a poster child of both the left and the right, London has a unique view of the culture war, and how Christians can witness to the world.
“[There’s] a huge difference between, let’s say, the transactivists that were initially praising me that suddenly become hateful,” he recalled. “Christians don’t have it in their heart to hate on other people. They might disagree, but they want to try and come up with a better solution to help things get better.
“But they don’t have that hate in their heart.”