Meet the man who cut off his own testicles and penis because he never felt his genitalia was ‘part of him’.
Trent Gates from Washington DC performed the DIY surgery on two separate occasions, each time using a sharp knife sanitised with alcohol using iced water and tablets to numb the pain.
The 23-year-old IT worker admitted himself to hospital after both incidents – the first of which took place in his apartment, the second in a North Carolina hotel room.
And he says he can still climax – despite the extreme surgery.
“It really wasn’t that painful and it wasn’t that euphoric a feeling – it was just kind of, ‘Yeah, it’s happening,” he said of the latter attempt, which saw his penis removed.
“I used a ceramic (knife) because its sharper than the steel, less ripping and tearing.
“I sanitised it all beforehand with alcohol. I took every precaution. I had no infection. I went to the hospital right after.
“I honestly didn’t have a problem with the pain. I used a little bit of a numbing agent on it, and the oxycodene that they prescribed me when I did my balls to take the edge off.”
He told Metro US that he didn’t want to be a man or a woman but an androgynous in-between known as a ‘nullo’, adding that he’d been inspired by some images he’d seen while still a teenager in high school.
“I saw a photo online – it was like, ‘Bam!’ I was like, ‘That’s me, I want to be there some day’,” he said.
“I think it was a photo of (famous nullo) Gelding. He’s kind of like the grandfather of the community.”
Gates described himself as a non-binary person who is sexually attracted to men, adding that he does not like the pronoun ‘they’ and that he feels more male than female.
He also recalled how medical staff reacted towards him after each incident.
“I had the same surgeon both times, even though (when I cut off my penis) I was 16 hours away from where I did my balls.
“She ran me through the ringer, because it was a couple of months after she’d seen me at a different hospital.
“They made sure I got psychiatric treatment just to make sure I was sane and that it was a good decision.
“The therapists and the psychiatric staff said, ‘Yeah, yeah, he’s good, he’s sane…miraculously”.’
Gates added that becoming a nullo has helped him overcome the crippling depression which saw him attempt suicide multiple times during his younger years.
“I feel more me and freer in a sense. It’s kind of hard to describe it,” he said. “(My genitals) really didn’t feel like part of me.
“And if people have a problem I’m like, ‘F*** it, it’s not your body, don’t worry about it’.”