Is Balian Buschbaum Transgender?

In 2009, the German pole vaulter Balian Buschbaum revealed that he would undergo hormone treatment to switch his gender. After the surgery, he took the name Balian. He reportedly had always wanted to become a man and he was courageous enough to follow his dreams. Born Yvonne Buschbaum, he grew up feeling angry, confused, and unsatisfied. But, he eventually found his passion.

After undergoing extensive surgery to change his gender, the former gymnast began competing as a male. He went on to adopt the name Balian. “Balian” is a play on the name of a character played by Orlando Bloom in the film Kingdom of Heaven. In 2013, he appeared on the German version of Dancing With the Stars and became the winner of the competition. The surgery was so invasive that the International Olympic Committee revised its rules so that athletes can compete as themselves.

A successful transition can lead to acceptance. When Yvonne Buschbaum first changed her name, she feared that the public might reject her as a transgender person. However, this change was not her personal choice. Instead, the East German steroids she was taking caused her body chemistry to become disrupted. The only way to reverse this was to undergo gender reassignment surgery. She later accepted her gender dysphoria and began a vigorous workout program to hide her period.

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