“I saw the breasts and I saw the long hair and I thought, like, that’s what I wanted.” – Jait Jr., former transgender teen now a gay man trying to undo the damage to his body done by hormones and silicone.
“I’m always walking around with a secret”.
MTV “True Life” runs a segment on transgender teens- one male, one female, now forced to undo the damage as they grow up and change their mind about believing they should medically alter their bodies into looking like the opposite sex. “I’m questioning my gender again”- Full episode here:
The incredible sexism of their home environments (“Boys who play with Barbie must be girls”) is astounding and illuminates some of the cultural forces driving the “transgender children” trend. Both of these former trans teens were fully supported into transitioning by their families, and both families cautioned the (now young adult) transgenders against switching back.
“This is what I was afraid of. They don’t get it. They feel like I’m not being true to myself. I don’t know… I just feel like they think that I’m making a mistake.”- Jait Jr on his family’s lack of support for his de-transition.
“Right now I just want to shave off all my hair and be a man so that’s what I’m going to do”- Jait Jr, formerly “Daniella”.
“Detransitioning is what is going to make me happy”- Jait Jr.
“Growing up, I never really felt super-girly and I couldn’t put my finger on why.” -Amanda, former teen transgender “Anthony” now quitting testosterone and undergoing electrolysis to remove her beard.
“I guess my biggest fear is that right now I’ve got it all figured out but that I’m going to get confused again and not know what I’m doing or who I am. Forever.”- Amanda
“I just hope that this is the last transition I make. I don’t want to keep doing this”. -Amanda
“I hope I’m done with gender related surgeries for good this time”.- Jait Jr.
“I guess I kind of feel reborn”.- Jait Jr.
“I haven’t felt this comfortable in a while”. -Jait Jr.
“I think I prefer make-up to shaving because it’s easier and a lot more fun”- Amanda, still a strong believer in gender roles.
Butch Lesbian, Radical Feminist, and Former FTM: Heath Atom Russell on Gender Dysphoria, De-transition and “Brain Sex”
March 27, 2013
Self-described “Unapologetic Butch Lesbian, Radical Feminist and Former FTM” Heath Atom Russell covers a lot of ground in this video as she discusses stopping testosterone and healing from body dysphoria in a woman-hating world. She applies her personal experience to critique the medicalization of gender, YouTube trans-trending, the homophobia of “Queer Culture”, misogyny, lesbophobia, the theory of “Brain Sex”, and the process of becoming a proud woman.
Heath is extremely thoughtful and well-spoken and intends to offer her perspective to others who are interested in detransitioning as well as offering “a word of caution” to the public at large. In the video she discusses the rape and death threats she has received from some members of the transgender community for speaking publicly about her experiences at her blog, which is here: http://nymeses.tumblr.com/
Heath discusses the ill-health effects of synthetic testosterone and breast binders on female bodies, including her own and the cultural explosion of gender-based medicine, especially among youth.
Click here to VIEW.
In correspondence with GenderTrender, Heath stated that what she really wants readers to know is “that doctors don’t always have people’s best interests at heart” and “long term synthetic hormone use is not exempt from the never ending guinea pig treatment that, overwhelmingly, homosexuals are subjected to receiving”. She would like to see more discussion of misogyny, homophobia, and internalized lesbophobia in the LGBT community- particularly their effect on the creation and exacerbation of sex-based body dysphoria and body dysmorphia.
She expresses concern about the medical industry trend towards pathologizing gender-nonconformity in children, adding: “ I’d also like them all to be made aware that the criteria for gender dysphoria is so purposefully vague that it can target ANY child that doesn’t rigidly conform to patriarchal gender roles and that drugging children isn’t the answer – overcoming misogyny and homophobia IS the answer along with letting kids just be kids for a while before messing with their health!”
Heath mentioned that some trans viewers have complained that detransitioners should not be given a platform to speak because they are not medical professionals, or because hearing about detransition may “cause” trans viewers to feel suicidal. GenderTrender disclaimer: Heath Atom Russell is Not a Medical Professional. Please consult your personal physician, not people on the internet, for your health care needs. Also, here is a link to suicide hotline resources and support: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
I want to thank Heath for everything she is doing. Most detransitioners either choose or are forced into silence which makes it difficult for individuals considering transition to get an accurate view of the diversity of experiences involved. Her video is highly recommended for all female transitioners and for anyone interested in transgenderism. Please give her your full support. Thank you Heath.
February 27, 2013
Heart-wrenching post by a man coming to terms with the fact that he drank the gender Kool-aid, got swept up into the “Transsexual Empire” of the psychiatric and medical sex-change industry, and now needs to come to terms with it all.
At the start of the piece Carolynn asks why there are not more voices in the transgender community expressing doubt before undergoing profoundly reconstructive cosmetic surgery on their genitalia? And why are there not more voices expressing the regret and despair that follows?
The answer, he shows us, is clear. Once you have gone that far into the process there is “no going back”. His only choice is to make the best of his life now that what’s been done, cannot be undone. There is no benefit to wallowing in despair. Rates of suicide for post-operative transgenders are high. The only sane choice is to accept what has been done and make the best of it.
From the piece, titled “Did I Make a Mistake?”:
“DID I MAKE a mistake? Am I doing the right thing? Is this the path for me? These are questions we usually ask and, if not, should be asking ourselves. Gender transition is not for the faint of heart. Early in my transition from male to female, I gave little thought to those questions. I was very busy buying new clothes, coming out to family and friends, and getting ready to return to work after a lengthy absence.
I was working on name changes, birth records. I was preoccupied early in my transition. There was a lot of ground to cover if I was to come out and be my true self. Endless doctors’ appointments. Sometimes I felt as though I should have had a tube from my arm connected directly to the blood lab. I had more blood drawn from me in my first year of transition than I had in my entire life, and I was under the microscope of psychiatrists, every move scrutinized. Should I sit in the blue chair in the doctor’s office? Should I sit in the pink chair? I felt like I was under constant surveillance, and worried my male side would pop out. It didn’t. I did a very good job at covering the male side of who I was. After a few years of this—the real life test—I received a letter saying that I was eligible for and had met all the criteria to move forward and have gender reassignment surgery. To say I was happy would have been a gross understatement. There it was in my hot little hands, the brass ring! The letter I had been working toward for the last four years.
For a brief moment, I hesitated to pick up the phone to book my surgery date. I read and re-read the letter countless times. Then it went into my file, and I didn’t look at it again for at least three months. Those three or so months were when the questioning began. I tried approaching people in my support system. Each of their answers was almost scripted: “Well, if you have any doubts then you’re not really trans!” I thought to myself that “You’re not really trans” was an odd thing to say. My question was still not being addressed. I had a new brass ring to reach for. “Is there anyone who has any doubts or second thoughts?”
One would think this would be a very easy question to have answered. It was my experience that it was the hardest question that I ever asked to find an answer for. It would appear that by the time I reached that stage in my transition, the medical community felt I was ready to move onto the next stage—surgery. I was supposed to be ready to take the final plunge into the mystery of becoming a woman. Hard as I looked for one person to say, “Yes, I had doubts; yes, I was terrified; and yes, I questioned if I made a mistake,” I never found them. That one person never appeared.
I knew they were out there. They didn’t speak. Now I had a new question. Why weren’t they coming forth with their experience? Shortly after I pulled the letter from my file again, I made the call to the surgeon and booked my flight. I was very excited to be on my way to have this correction taken care of, but that one question still haunted me. What haunted me even more was where were the ones that had gone before me, that were supposed to help guide me through this rocky period. It wasn’t long after I had returned home from the surgery that I found the answers I was looking for. I found where most brothers and sisters had gone; I found the answers to those nagging questions. The real work began upon my return home. The rigid schedule of dilating, the inability to get to the bathroom without assistance, the blood, the pain. I’ll never forget the pain. My hips and halfway up my stomach were yellow and black from the bruising. The simplest act of trying to watch television became agony. The deed had been done; there really was no turning back. I couldn’t go home now .
I was now in this surgically created wonderland that I called my female body, laying awake at night still asking, “Did I make the right choice?” Right choice or not, this was where I was! Life carried on seemingly uneventfully, get-well cards came, flowers arrived, people phoned. It was almost like I had celebrity status, but that was short-lived. Then again I was alone with my thoughts. That one nagging question rang through my head. Did I make a mistake? I felt a bit depressed so I made a couple of phone calls trying to find a counsellor to speak with. Oddly no-one would accept me. I called my old shrink and he said, “Our work was finished. I was only there to help you until you had surgery. You’ll need to find another doctor.” The hunt began for another psychiatrist. I thought it would be easy, but it was not. Depression by this time had taken deep root; eventually I was diagnosed with chronic depression. What followed was not at all what I had expected. I stopped going outside, I quit playing softball, I closed my kickboxing gym. I became a recluse, subjugated in my own home by no one other than myself. My depression deepened. My rigid schedule of postsurgical care went out the window. Then another nail struck into my coffin of depression! My surgical area had grown shut!
I had less than two inches of depth. I was horrified. What had become of that soulful, full-of-life woman that I had known at the beginning of my transition? Where did she go? How could I get her back? The question of whether or not I had made a mistake was secondary at this stage; my priority now was to find the real Carolynn again. This was a daunting task to say the least. I was lucky enough to have been referred to a doctor by a dear friend of mine. He saw me, and I would love to say that we got off to a great start. We didn’t. He called me obese and said I needed to exercise. I didn’t see him again for at least a year. When I finally did return to see him, I was a complete train wreck. I had put on 40 to 50 pounds, and I was depressed. I still had the problem of the surgical area having grown closed. After some time with this doctor, things started to look a little better. Over the next few years things began to change. I felt my old self returning, I re-opened my kickboxing school, and started to socialize again. Then my doctor threw this at me one day in a session. He said, “Carolynn, you know you can go for a surgery revision and get that fixed.” My jaw hit the floor. I was in shock. I thought it was a one-time shot, and if, like me, you screwed it up—well, you were screwed forever after.
I felt this little fire of hope begin to burn in me again. I had purpose in my life again. This time, I wasn’t going to screw it up! I jumped through all the hoops, made all the phone calls, and reattached the tube from my arm to the blood lab. Honestly, I felt happiness shine again in my life. Finally, the day came for me to head off and have my surgery revision. I remember arriving at the recovery house and seeing another group of me’s from six or seven years ago. They were all driven. They were all happy and they all had no clue what was going to happen after.
Not from a place of ego, but rather a place of a caring sister, I took it upon myself to inform the other guests that this was not my first time. I had to go around and return their jaws to the closed position. I became very close with two of the girls there. One very young woman was maybe 17 and there with her mother, and another was my own age and all the way from the U.K. They listened intently as I told them my story and the pitfalls to be aware of. My young friend even went so far as to take notes. Our surgery days came and went. We all returned to the places we respectfully called home. A few days later, I got a phone call from my friend in the U.K. She was in tears and panicking, saying, “I don’t know what I have done.” We talked for what seemed like hours until she said she was feeling better. It’s been some time since I have heard from her. As for my young teenage friend, I got a call from her mother on several different occasions telling me what her daughter was not doing, and how she was feeling depressed. Considering myself somewhat of a hip person, I started to text my young friend. We worked out some things via texting and email. My life continued fairly normally. I was again into my routine of dilating and postsurgical care. Only this time I had a new-found appreciation for what I had been given, and the question had finally been answered.
Did I make a mistake? The answer is No! I did not make a mistake. Do I have regrets? Yes, of course, I have regrets. I do not feel I would be classified as human if I didn’t. Do I miss my old self? Sometimes. The question of whether or not I made a mistake at this stage is irrelevant. The more pressing and more important question is, am I able to be happy living as I am? At time of writing, I have an afternoon appointment coming up with a personal trainer at the gym. Later this evening, I’m going out for dinner with some friends and there is this very handsome man I met who asked me on a date.
The answer is, yes, I am happy and can live this way. The question I had chased and tried to have answered was the wrong question. After a few years of wrestling with it, the question “Did I make a mistake?” became irrelevant. The question I should have been asking myself all along is, “Can I be happy after I have made these final choices?” People have surgery everyday. Most don’t ask themselves, “Did I make a mistake?” If my own personal experience is of any use to anyone, then ask yourself the right questions first. Don’t ask “Did I make a mistake?” or “Am I doing the right thing?” Ask yourself, “Can I live happily once these decisions have been made?” That question is far easier to answer than the others.
November 28, 2012
“I hope that I haven’t influenced any non-binary people to take testosterone when it wasn’t truly right for them. I’m not sure how I feel about testosterone anymore or the process of taking hormones, I can’t say for sure whether it’s a good thing or not, because I’m probably not someone who should be putting their opinion out there! I’m not sure if I regret taking t or not, even though I said I didn’t in the video. I’m pretty sure I would have taken it no matter what… But I just hope I haven’t influenced people with my videos in the past, that is all.”
[Note to MeepMarmoset: Please post more on this or at least set your "Transgender Regret and some Melancholy I need to get off my chest" video to public so others going through the same thing can view it. Thanks. Also, I again direct folks coming off T and/or experiencing regret to this site where you can connect with others and get support: http://atlasstrawberries.tumblr.com/ -GM]
November 21, 2012
“I’m trying to just get off of it at this point. And my reason for that is because I am not wanting any more changes than I’ve already had. I think the changes that I did have snuck up on me pretty quickly and I hadn’t really thought about what it meant to pass at that point. And now I do pass. And I’m still at a crossroads with that in terms of it being something that I am comfortable with, and it being something that sort of negates an old identity that I am comfortable with that I still feel like I am. Like I still very much feel like a dyke. And so it’s hard being read as a straight white male. It’s got its privileges but it’s also- it’s been hard for me to relate to people just because – I look a little different now. And I think a lot of that was because I had insecurity about being butch enough in the queer scene and also I feel like a lot of people were taking T and I was- I wanted to fit in, so I took T too.”
November 9, 2012
October 29, 2012
From the DailyMail:
“Ms Cooper who was training to be a hair dresser as Bradley, believed at the age of 16 she was old enough to make the life-changing decision to give her ‘peace of mind’.
In 2010 Ms Cooper- then Bradley- told the News of the World: ‘I hate my body as it is now. I’ve known for years I’m a woman – I think and act like a woman, not a man. I don’t want years of misery.
‘I want it done as soon as possible so I can be the person physically that I am on the inside.
‘People might think I’m too young to make such a huge decision but I know my own mind and this is what I want.’
From the Mirror Online:
Last night child psychologist Karen Sherr, formerly of Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “It’s absolutely ludicrous for young kids to make such huge, life-changing decisions… and for doctors and their parents to support it.
Ria has come full circle, now stating:
Ria admits to dabbling in prostitution – something touched on by a recent Channel 4 documentary which followed her life over a year. “If there’s one thing I regret it’s that but, as usual, it was all about looking for love and being loved.
Sadly, the second youngest gender patient in the UK, Angel Paris Gordan- who had his testicles removed by NHS doctors at the age of 17- was in the news last August after being arrested for buying crack cocaine.
Ria was only two months away from his scheduled surgical castration and sterilization which was ordered by doctors at the London Gender Identity Clinic.
No word yet if Ria will file a lawsuit against those who diagnosed and “treated” him. In 2009 the Monash Gender Clinic in Australia was shuttered while investigations were made and settlements paid to ex-patients who filed claims against practitioners for misdiagnosis and surgical mutilation. From TheSundayAge, which covered those events:
“’I will never be able to have sex again. Ever’
May 31, 2009
Three former patients of Australia’s controversial sex-change clinic say misdiagnosis and wrongful surgery destroyed their lives. Jill Stark reports.
HE WILL never forget the noise. Lying on the hospital trolley being pushed towards the operating theatre, he heard nothing but a primal wail. He looked back to see his younger sister sobbing, traumatised by the enormity of what he was about to do.
Andrew*, born male, was minutes away from an operation that would make him a woman. Psychiatrists said he had a female brain in a male body. Gender reassignment surgery was the only way to ease the mental torment he’d endured since adolescence.
But as the wheels squeaked towards the operating table he was struck by an unshakeable thought: “It’s not right.” He remembers telling the surgeon: “I think I’m doing the wrong thing, it’s not right, I think we’ve got to stop it.”
The surgeon stroked Andrew’s face, telling him it was natural to feel frightened before an operation. He protested again, insisting it felt wrong. Then it went black. When he woke up he was sure the surgery had been cancelled. The romantic tales he’d read of transsexuals who awoke post-surgery feeling “reborn” convinced Andrew the operation had been halted, because he felt no different.
“Then I remember lifting up the sheets and putting my hand down and feeling it all bandaged and packed. I just started bawling my eyes out and screaming … I remember saying to myself, you f–king idiot, Andrew, how could you be so bloody stupid?”
Twenty years after surgery that left him feeling like a “desexed dog”, the grief can still overwhelm him. Now 42, Andrew tells The Sunday Age the operation he had as a confused 21-year-old has shattered him.
After psychiatrists from Monash Medical Centre’s Gender Dysphoria Clinic referred him for reassignment surgery — including breast implants, the removal of his genitals, and the creation of a makeshift vagina — he tried to make the most of his new life as a woman.
He grew his hair long and wore make-up in a bid to fit in. Doctors told him it was normal to go through a period of adjustment. In time he would feel like a woman. But something wasn’t right. “I remember thinking to myself, what would happen if I admitted the truth to myself? I’m a man and I’ve just been mutilated, that’s all.”
Silent tears fall as he describes the anger he felt towards the doctors who led him down this path. But most of all at himself for believing them. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s when, supported by a woman with whom he was having a relationship, he returned to the clinic seeking help to return to life as a man. He says his psychiatrist, Dr Trudy Kennedy, told him she could not see him.
“I rang her up, I was telling her, ‘I’m suicidal, I’m not coping’. She said, ‘Well, if you’re that bad you should go to the emergency department’.”
Dr Kennedy says she has no memory of that phone call. But she concedes what happened to Andrew was wrong. “I think it was a terrible mistake that he was allowed to go ahead with it (surgery) instead of taking the time to think about it.”
She says Andrew’s surgeon is now dead. But Dr Kennedy, who assessed Andrew’s mental fitness, admitted to The Sunday Age: “I don’t know if he was ready for it (surgery) or not. He said he was ready for it. He’d been hounding us since he was 18.”
It’s true that Andrew thought he was a transsexual. However, the broken childhood that preceded his referral to the clinic is a recurring theme among those who feel they were misdiagnosed. Born to teenage parents, his earliest memories are of being hit and spat on by his father.
Latching on to his mother, he became distraught when he had to leave her to go to school. Confusion about his sexuality was compounded when he was raped by two men at the age of 16. As he aged and started to resemble his father, he began to hate his male appearance. A chance discovery of a book about a transsexual was a pivotal moment. The story resonated with him. Perhaps this was what he was.
Another former patient, Angela*, was also an abused child. Sexually molested by a cousin between the ages of four and nine, she grew up hating her femininity.
She recalls punching her breasts and working out obsessively at the gym to “remove anything that reminded me I was female”. She was a 22-year-old university student when she was referred to the clinic by her GP, depressed and struggling with her identity. Dr Kennedy diagnosed her as transsexual at the first assessment, prescribing her male hormones and suggesting female-to-male surgery.
Within months Angela’s body was covered in thick hair, her voice deepened and she had a full beard. She had to shave under the covers every morning to hide the truth from her conservative Catholic parents. Two years later she had surgery to remove both breasts and was scheduled to have a full sex change. Angela could no longer conceal the truth from her family and began living as “David”. Thankfully, she says, she realised there had been a mistake before undergoing full genital surgery.
“I remember at one point looking at myself in the mirror with this beard, my breasts gone and thinking, ‘Oh my God, what the hell am I going to do?’ … I felt ugly. I was the classic bearded woman, a monster trapped between two worlds.”
She claims her pleas for help were also ignored by the clinic and her return to life as a woman was a nightmare that involved two years of painful electrolysis to get rid of facial and body hair and surgery to reconstruct her breasts.
Now married to a “wonderful” man, Angela has three young children and has slowly rebuilt her life. Looking back, she acknowledges she gave consent for the procedure but believes it was not informed consent. She feels she was mentally ill and that her childhood abuse played a part in her gender confusion.
This nature or nurture argument is at the centre of the controversy surrounding the Clayton clinic. Like many psychiatrists, Trudy Kennedy maintains people with gender dysphoria are born with a genetic predisposition. While the condition is classified as a psychiatric illness, they believe it has a biological basis and can be cured only by gender-altering surgery.
They reject suggestions that a history of abuse, conflict with parents or underlying psychological problems can cause gender dysphoria. Indeed, just months ago, Melbourne scientists added fuel to this argument with the discovery of a gene that seemed to be responsible for feelings of being born the wrong sex.
But what worries other psychiatrists is the mounting evidence that surgery may not actually improve the lives of those who feel they were born with the wrong body. A review of more than 100 international studies of post-operative transsexuals by the University of Birmingham found there was no scientific evidence that surgery was effective and, in many cases, patients were left feeling more distressed. Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University — which housed one of the pioneer gender clinics — no longer performs sex-change surgery due to such concerns.
A recent British review found suicide rates of up to 18 per cent among people who had undergone gender reassignment surgery. Doctors from London’s Portman Clinic say they see many patients who feel trapped in “no-man’s land” after surgery, finding themselves with a body which is no longer recognisable as male or female. Psychotherapy, the experts believe, may have saved them from such a fate but few gender clinics offer it.
Reviews of the Monash clinic found psychotherapy was rarely, if ever, offered. While a patient would require a diagnosis as a “true transsexual” from two psychiatrists before being offered surgery, both opinions were from inside the clinic — one that operates under the fundamental ethos that surgery is the only cure.
Andrew describes his experience as like “being on a conveyor belt” — prescribed hormones on the first visit and getting breast implants and a nose job within months. He says he consented to the procedures, and the sex-change surgery, because he believed it was his only option.
Another former patient, a 66-year-old man who was sexually abused by his mother as a child, had his genitals removed in 1996 after a referral from Dr Kennedy, who said the abuse played no part in his feelings of gender confusion. The man says his GP described him as a “walking cloud of despair” following the operation, which he says he will never get over.
However, Vikki Sinnott, a Melbourne-based psychologist specialising in transgender issues, has seen many clients who have benefited from surgery. She believes the regret rate in Australia is “tiny … between 1 and 2 per cent”. But she concedes no studies have been conducted to test this.
Indeed, one of the most glaring problems uncovered by the government reviews of the Monash clinic was lack of patient follow-up. Ms Sinnott says this could be due to a lack of funding. “But it’s also about people’s willingness to be involved. Quite often people will say, ‘Thank you very much, I’m happy with where I’m at, I’ll now go and continue with the rest of my life’,” she says.
None of the misdiagnosed patients spoken to by The Sunday Age deny gender reassignment can be beneficial to people who are correctly diagnosed as transsexual. Some have even offered to be part of any research conducted by the clinic. However, the transgender community has harshly criticised them for telling their stories, accusing some of lying to doctors about their transsexuality in order to get surgery they later regret — an opinion voiced in the past by Dr Kennedy.
Angela’s husband, who has campaigned for years to make the clinic accountable for his wife’s ordeal, says even if that were true, a competent psychiatrist would detect the deception and conclude an underlying psychological problem was driving it.
“When patients report feeling like the opposite gender, that is genuinely how they feel at the time,” he says. “They are no more lying than someone with anorexia is lying when they say that they feel fat.”
For Andrew, it’s the small victories that keep him going. “I will never be able to have sex again. Ever. It’s taken a long time to come to terms with that, but now I can say it without crying,” he says.
“You can’t be angry forever. You’ve got to let it go for your own health, and the people who love you.”
*Names have been changed.
Here is the documentary covering Ria’s life as a “Transgender Child”
September 29, 2012
Is this the coolest dyke ever? She is hilarious.
August 31, 2012
“the worst part is, nobody in the community knows who I am anymore, so when I speak my mind and they yell at me, they just say, you don’t know, you’re cis you couldn’t possibly know.
but I know. I know too much and I wish I didn’t.
“I’ve spent the last couple of years obsessing over the idea of medically transitioning. For the past few months I’ve spent more and more time analyzing why I felt those things, and I’ve spent a hell of lot less time absolutely hating myself. It’s still a struggle because I’m not completely comfortable with my body, but at least I’m not lying to myself about feeling like a man anymore.
“They always say “there’s somebody out there for everybody!’
I have a hard time believing it. At least when I was calling myself a lesbian in the trans community there was this expectation that you could be a bit different, socially speaking. Now, I dunno. I realize now that I’m a heterosexual male. Straight women always want me to be more masculine, more like a real man. It’s not going to happen.
I don’t know, this maybe isn’t all that coherent, it’s just irrational thoughts maybe.
“There’s something brutally funny about, hormonally speaking at least, basically being on my third puberty. In all seriousness though, I need my natural hormone production to level out again. Mid twenties is just too damn old for this shit.
SUPPORT THIS BLOG:
August 9, 2012
Shockingly, GenderTrender, although a general audience site, is one of, if not THE top resource for varied transgender detransition information online. Although common, the strong taboo against detransition leaves many trans people isolated and alone as their support networks turn their backs.
Some interesting detransition thoughts from an well-spoken “transwoman” on Reddit.:
submitted 1 day ago* by detransi
I socially transitioned on hormones, no surgery, a few years ago. While I never felt “trapped in a male body” pre-transition, I was very uncomfortable with my gender. Particularly, I completely disliked how I looked, particularly going bald, and hated how people treated me and expected from me as a man.
After initial hiccups with my transition, for the last 2 years I have absolutely enjoyed my social gender as a woman. I made a lot of friends like I never used to be able to make as a man. However, my career was a disaster as a woman and will take a lot of work to recover. Luckily, I transitioned in stealth, so I don’t have to un-come-out to anyone professionally if I detransition. I might need to come out as FTM to some, but I can transition back in stealth by simply relocating to a new city. Living as a woman, my dating confidence improved significantly! My dating life was always a disaster as a man for two reasons – I was very self-conscious about my appearance and I was extraordinarily shy. However, living as a woman and having lots of women friends has changed everything. Besides, the hormones have changed how I look, which gave me a new perspective – now when I look at my old photos as a man, I think I looked very handsome.
These days, I don’t really care what gender I look like when I’m alone at home. I have even shaved my head and use a wig to present as a woman. When I’m at home, I’m shaved bald and it does not bother me. I still pass exceptionally well as a woman when I need to. I can also pass as a man. I go out grocery shopping in some remote grocery stores as a man and everyone treats me very well, like nothing’s changed. In general, I don’t care about gender anymore and I can theoretical live as any. I’ve effectively become a public cross dresser.
The biggest reason I want to detransition is to have a family. Every time I hear my friends telling me about their little kids or when I see their kids who look like them, I feel like killing myself. Every time I see the picture of a baby, I cry for hours and hours because that’s what I want. I want to have my own biological child (I stored sperm pre-transition). I want to be married to a woman. I understand these are possible even if I live as a woman. However, there are difficulties which seem insurmountable.
It’s really tough for me to date lesbian women. They typically think I’m very pretty, but most disappear when I tell them I’m trans. I break up with the rest because I know that I look like a man if I remove my wig and that’s not what they want. And I have a penis and I love it, which is likely to also be an issue for many of these women. So I drop out instead of the futile exercise of coming out to them about all this.
I think I have better chances of having a family if I detransition fully and go back to living as a man full-time. Yes, I have breast tissue and don’t have facial hair, but I’m sure there are other genetic men with one or both of these situations. Besides, my testosterone level was above the male range pre-transition and even now spikes high if I skip any estrogen dose. I’m sure my testosterone will do some work for me if I detransition.
The big decision I need to make is whether to go off hormones or not. This is where I need any suggestions, ideas, references, etc.
If I don’t go off hormones, I will need to explain that to my spouse, if I ever find her. If I do, I might look too masculine again which might cause relapse into gender dysphoria, or so I fear. I also wonder if my natural sperms will ever be healthy again. I have only taken estrogen and DHT stoppers for 3-4 years, never used an anti-androgen to stop testosterone.
What are the chances I can produce healthy sperm again? Does dysphoria return if someone trans goes off hormones? What are the challenges of reintegrating as your birth gender if you would decide to detransition?
Never transition for someone (other than yourself), or for something. If you think you’ll like living as a male then do it. If you’re doing it because you’re lonely, either for love or child, then you’re making no less a mistake than those people who fail to transition at an early age and go out and start a family figuring that will fix them.
“Never transition for someone (other than yourself), or for something.”
I feel like I did this the first time, male to female. I did it so that other people would treat me a certain way, as female, and so I would not feel as ugly, and so I could live as a woman, not because I felt somehow female. All I knew was that I did not fit into the male stereotypical gender role. I still don’t fit, but I’m comfortable with that now.
May 11, 2012
It deserves to be widely read and warrants its own post. From Lesley213:
I am a radical feminist and a lesbian. I hate the Trans project and how men invade women and lesbian space because they are “really women” or “really lesbians”. I hate the inherent misogyny in the Trans position.
And yet at an individual level I understand the desire of women to transition. My dirty secret is that I have felt it too.
I was not the typical tomboy as a child that many lesbians profess to be. I played with dolls, played happily with other girls and embarassingly for my mother with her feminist ideas, refused to wear trousers as I found skirts more comfortable. This all changed when I hit puberty. Although I was happy to get my periods and see my body become that of a woman, I found the social aspects of puberty very hard.
Suddenly all the girls seemed to only be talking about hair, makeup, clothes and how to get a boyfriend. I had no interest in any of this and felt like a real outsider. I began from 12 to hang around with boys and had a boyfriend from 12 and boys who were friends. I felt like I could fit in more with boys. There was no talk of make up, clothes or getting boyfriends. I look physically at this time, what would have been characterised as a “nerd”. Sensible haircut, jeans (skirts were no longer appealing when I was supposed to wear uncomfortable court shoes and shave my legs), t shirts and jumpers.
It is also at this time I developed my alter ego – Stuart. In all my daydreams I was Stuart. He grew up with me and I day dreamed about my life as a teenage boy and then a man. Of course like all daydreams, Stuart was more popular and better looking than my real female self, but he didn’t always have an easy time in my daydreams. However, crucially he didn’t experience any of the everyday sexism that I found so hard to take as a young teenage women. Every woman reading this will know what I mean by this. Stuart was a big part of my life until literally a year ago when he just vanished from my day dreams. At the time I didn’t understand why, but I think now that I was beginning to understand a year ago at some level that Stuart was a device to deal with my anger around everyday sexism – a sort of, what if daydream.
I have never talked about any of this in real life as I am deeply ashamed of this, so apologies if all of this seems really disjointed and poorly thought out. Its hard to put something into words for the first time.
But the truth is I think if in my early teenage years I had been presented with the discourse of Trans to explain my feelings, I could have easily transitioned.
I have read radical feminists talking about FtoT hating their female bodies and hating their female themselves. Of course at a fundamental level, undergoing cosmetic surgery is a self hating procedure to undergo. But I never hated my female body, beyond the usual insecurities of any teenage girl and young woman. I don’t know if those who actually transition feel differently, but I have always liked having breasts and a female body. But the things that did make me think I would rather be a man were simply that life would have been easier. I wouldn’t have had to deal with all the everyday sexism that as a teenage girl made me so angry. I wouldn’t have had to deal with on an everyday basis
- sexist teachers who treated girls and boys differently
- my parents who in spite of what they professed did treat my brother better. Yes we both had equal chores for example, but whereas he rarely did them, I was made to do mine
- judgements and pressures from other girls that I largely ignored, to wear make up, prettify myself, etc
- pressure to behave in a certain way now that I was a teenage girl, rather than just behave as myself
- casual judgements from men on whether I was attractive or not
I could go on and on, but you all know what I mean. I basically wanted to go back to being treated as an individual and not be faced with being treated as a lesser being with all the pressure to conform to being an acceptable teenage girl and then women.
So what stopped me framing these feelings as “really being a man inside”.
1. I think first of all the Trans project was pretty much in its infancy when I was young and at my most vulnerable. And certainly FtoT was largely unheard of, everyone in the media was MtoT. I was born in 1969 to give this context. As I was a younger adult, anything I read on FtoT made it clear that the surgical solutions around creating a penis were pretty rudimentary as well – and basically I didn’t want to be a freak – someone who in the surface looked like a man but had no penis or a pretty poor substitute for one.
2. I knew I wasn’t a man and that it was not really possible to become a man. If it had been, I would have been much more tempted.
3. Feminism – although I have only come to radical feminism in the last few years along with an understanding of the Trans project, I did have enough of an understanding of feminism as a teenager to recognise that my feelings were really about, as I would have expressed it then, the sexist society I was growing up in, rather than about my own individual feelings and “gender identity”.
4. I have the intelligence and self awareness to analyse and challenge my own internal feelings. Many women, including those who might be much more academically intelligent than myself, often have what I would see as quite a low understanding of their own feelings and behaviour. I generally do understand why am I doing something, even if it is for shameful reasons.
I do think I might have been influenced to go down the transition route if I had been surrounded both by the discourse and by individuals who were telling me that my feelings were really because I was a man underneath and that it was perfectly possible to change my body to that of a man’s.
I also do understand FtoT who then access lesbian space. I have had so much support, good times, a feeling of being accepted and generally nurtured in lesbian space. By nurtured and accepted I don’t mean in a support group type of way. I simply mean being allowed to be myself and accepted for that – a simple thing, but it has felt very powerful. If I had transitioned I suspect I would be wanting to access lesbian only space. it is literally about trying to get the best of both worlds.
I am not butch and so the lesbian discourse around being butch rather than being trans has never appealed to me. All I have ever wanted was to be myself. It terrifies me how the Trans discourse is now being sold to teenage girls and women as a solution to internal and societal conflicts. And it angers me that feminists are silencing objections to the Trans discourse as Transphobia.