In mid-2021, British social media influencer Oli London came out as non-binary and Korean, as reported at the time by MercatorNet.
London took his double transition extremely seriously, with 18 facial surgeries to prove it. The surgeries began as an experiment in feminisation, though in time London openly admitted he was trying to resemble K-pop star Jimin from the pop group BTS, on whom London confessed to having a ‘crush’.
Despite pleading for acceptance from the transgender community, 32-year-old London found no comfort from them — likely because his earnest desire to be Korean had become an unintentional troll of transgenderism.
Now Oli London has found acceptance somewhere unexpected — and has undergone what appears to be his final transition: he has converted to Christianity.
London attended a Catholic church mid last year. He recently told Catholic News Agency that the kindness of the congregation kept him coming back. After one particular service, he spoke with a priest who gave him a Bible. London began reading the Bible at home, until it eventually dawned on him:
You know what, God made me a certain way, God made me who I am. Why on earth would I want to change that? Why am I going for all these extreme procedures? This is not how God made me, this is not what I was meant to be in life.
In the months since, Oli London has joined the army of detransitioners and has a new perspective on what drove him to gender confusion in the first place:
From the age of 13, London told CNA, he struggled with body dysmorphia and “identity issues,” leading him to hate the way he looked. He experienced bullying in adolescence for being overweight…
“I’m sure a lot of young people can identify with that. At school, sometimes, we all get bullied for the way we look or who we are,” London said. “But that’s kind of what spurred my journey to begin with — just having that kind of hatred of myself.”
After moving to South Korea to teach English in 2013, London says he was “bombarded” with messages about how plastic surgery could transform those who were “deemed not beautiful.”
South Korea is the “plastic surgery capital of the world,” performing 24% of the world’s cosmetic alterations.
London began consulting with plastic surgery doctors to change the way his face looked, going on to eventually have 32 surgeries.
“That is kind of the reason I had problems with my identity. I wasn’t sure: am I meant to be feminine? Am I meant to be a boy? The more surgery I had, the more feminine I wanted to look.”
London travelled as far as China, Turkey and America in search of increasingly invasive surgeries. He has revealed that it was a traumatic time for his family and now views his addiction to surgeries as a form of self-harm.
“I’ve had my jawbone shaved, I’ve had six nose surgeries,” he explains. “With my jaw, I couldn’t speak for two weeks, I couldn’t eat, I had to eat liquid, and it was very, very difficult.”
Immediately after each surgery, London felt a rush of euphoria. Indeed, as we reported after his string of surgeries in 2021, he told his online fans:
For the first time in my life I feel beautiful. I’m looking in the mirror and I love the way I look, and I feel happy, and I hope people can respect my decision.
Over time, however, London realised that the feelings of happiness were fleeting, and he began to question the direction of his life. “I was indoctrinated to some extent,” he now says in retrospect.
It was at this low point, burdened with guilt and feeling as though he had lost his way, that he found his way back to church after not having attended since age 13. He had regarded himself as an atheist for most of his adult life.
London credits the church and “the teachings of Jesus” with recognising that changing his appearance meant nothing — rather, it what was “on the inside” that mattered most.
“Letting Jesus and God into my heart [has] saved my life,” he remarks. “It’s brought me back to who I am as a person, finding God.”
Since his conversion, London has been extremely active online, especially on Twitter, where he has 212,000 followers. In his posts, he regularly warns young people of the harms of ‘gender transition’. He is motivated to shield them from the same mistakes he made. According to CNS:
Since London has spoken out about his story on social media and in interviews, he said he’s received “thousands and thousands of messages from Christians and Catholics” praying for him and sending encouragement. He urged Catholics to reach out to those with gender dysphoria, especially children, and invite them to church.
He has even written a book, to be released in August, about the harm of gender ideology:
In light of what St Paul himself says about letting new converts mature before setting them up in positions of leadership, perhaps Christians should be cautious in celebrating Oli London’s dramatic turnaround. His last few years have been less than stable, and time will tell how serious his new commitment is.
But it’s a transition that carries far more substance and hope than his previous ones — and for that, we can all be thankful.