FTM Detransitioner : The Subcultural Pressure On Young Women To Medically “Transition”
July 7, 2011
Watch these videos soon if you’re interested in viewing them. Detransitioners almost always delete their videos/blogs after a deluge of criticism from the trans community and shunning from those they thought were their friends. Like a cult, ex-members are antithetical to maintaining the one-sided thought constructs required to maintain a faith based genderist fantasy and philosophy. The trans community exists solely to support those who want to submerge themselves deeper into gender beliefs, and never ever to support those who have reached a stopping point, or who turn back. Detransitioners are the pariahs of the trans community. This young woman seems to have been very immersed in the trans trending youtube community, she vlogs frequently -and is often quite entertaining (unlike most of them) – so the loss of that support system might be very troubling to her. I wish her well, and commend her on her bravery of speaking out and breaking the biggest taboo of the trans community. Especially her re-clamation of the word “Lesbian” for herself, which is like fingernails on the blackboard to most of her peers. I was reading something the other day from a young, short, hairy, bald F2T who was discussing “The Oh My God What Have I Done To Myself Phase Of Transition”. Hopefully the young woman featured here will never have to “work through” that “part of the journey” instead putting on the brakes before it was too late.
The first vlog is her response to the public feedback (including a mention on Dirt’s blog) to her first statement about her intention of going off of testosterone which she made briefly at the end of her “One Year on T” video. The second is a follow-up video further explaining her detransition. She sounds like a typical exiting cult member, trying not to rebuke her former beliefs, trying to maintain good relations and a support system with her peers, while still trying to exit the cult trans machine.
Quote from the video: “T was not a mistake. OK I know that you didn’t talk about that or anything like that but I feel like –clarification for everybody. Of course I’ll talk about that in my “why I stopped T” video. But, I honestly believe that it was not a mistake. I feel like maybe I did stay on it for a little too long. And that I started a little too early. But, you know, I wanted to get T and what am I going to do if I want something? I’m obviously going to lie to my therapist. Like, who wouldn’t do that ? I’m sure a lot of other people have done that. And it has to stop. I completely agree of course. I don’t know who I’m agreeing with, but whatever. I agree with that statement that I’m just saying right now. I feel that there are a lot of trans people out there who do start transitioning way too young. Because they feel like they need to transition. Because they can’t, you know, be okay with themselves in their body. Which is absolutely horrible. Because then they might grow up, you know. Of course I truly believe that a lot of trans people are trans. Yes, you are trans. But such transition at a young age and stuff like that. I mean, I honestly don’t think that it’s pressure from the YouTube Community, but I feel – because there’s no one making videos “You Need to Be on T if you’re Fourteen”, you know, there’s nothing like “You Need to Get Surgery Right Now”. No, there is none of that. Maybe once or twice out of a million. It doesn’t happen. But I do believe that younger trans people looking at these videos might look at them and think “Oh my God this person has transitioned and they’re only 17, and they’re already getting their top surgery this summer and they’ve been on T for two years”. Stuff like that. A younger trans person might think “I need to be like this to be happy” when really, they really need to look into themselves. “
Although several of her peers are already clicking the “dislike” button I’m sure her detransition videos will be a source of help and comfort to others who struggle to detransition with no support whatsoever as all their trans peers abandon them. Here are a few comments left on them by other young women:
“hey man i was really surprised when i saw this video but very happy about it. i stopped T also a few months back and i feel the same way as you. theres more of us out there its just not talked about very often.”
“i definitely think you’re right that young transguys suffer unconscious pressures from within the community itself to transition medically with hormones and/or surgery. as a young transperson myself, i watched hundreds of transition videos where young, attractive, desirable transguys documented their experiences on t, their changes, and i wanted to be like that. i wanted something to happen in my life that would make me happy and i thought transitioning was going to fulfill that.
i thought that by transitioning and going on t i would share the same experiences of happiness and fulfillment i saw in these videos. but i was disillusioned by these experiences. i equated t with happiness. i saw top surgery as a way of feeling better about my body. and it is 100% certainly in no way ever the fault of the transguys who post these videos. it was 100% my deal. i had issues with my body and my life and my self-esteem and i was looking for a way to cure that. it seemed logical that by transitioning, i would experience happiness, because i saw it in so many other people’s videos.
their stories of happiness due to going on t and finally gaining the male sex characteristics they desired made me WANT those sex characteristics (i’m talking facial hair, low voice, body fat shape, etc) because i wanted to be happy, to fit in, to find an identity (which is so intrinsically linked to medical transition and taking testosterone in the ftm community) which i could relate to.
but my identity is my own, and i realised that t wasn’t going to make me happy – “becoming male” wasn’t going to make me happy (because that’s how i saw it; i saw myself as an unhappy person stuck in a female body and a female “role” in society wanting a trans body and a more liberal “male” role). only i could make myself happy. i felt trapped in the whole female role thing, i saw these transmen gain (SOME) privileges when they transitioned with t – they were unequivocally (in some cases, not all) read as male in society now, and they gained, or at least i thought they gained, a lot of privileges through that. i wanted to be male so i wouldn’t have to be female. but i realised, i don’t have to be either. even if people read me as a female, it doens’t mean i AM one. i wanted to transition because i wanted to find a recognisable space where my identity was accepted. non-binary, transfluid, genderqueer, agendered identities are not universially accepted or recognised in this age and time and i felt lost. i felt like i didn’t have a place, and i felt that by transitioning medically (and socially, tbh) i would gain the self-acceptance and fulfillment i saw in the vlogs of other transguys. but not every transperson is the same, and we all certainly want different things and think in different ways. yet i equated happiness with transition. and it was an illusion, and i realised that i didn’t HAVE to go on t to experience that.
and for the record, i am an XX-born person raised female as a child. i realised my rejection of a binary female identity from an early age and i came to (re)claim my identity as queer in both gender and sexuality from around the age of 14 or 15. i realised that i was at least genderqueer and/or wanted to do something about this around aged 17 and bought a binder, adopted a more androgynous style (although i was always dressing like a dorky skater boy wannabe anyway), and lived this aspect of my gender out online properly. (gender-neutral pronouns, neutral nickname/screenname, etc) it was only until the summer i turner 18 that i made the decision to transition to male. yes, “made” the “decision”. i decided to transition because i was unhappy with my life and i knew i would be starting university soon and i wanted to get an early start so i could avoid any awkward “oh btw you all knew me as a girl but i’m becoming a guy now thx” mid-semester transitions. yes.
i was pressurised into transitioning because i felt that people wouldn’t take me seriously if i STARTED uni as a girl and then transitioned to male. i thought i would be ridiculed or it would be harder for me, so i started uni as male. right from the word go, male pronouns (or at least, i tried, heh), male name, name gender on uni records. i threw myself into something that i thought was going to make me happy, but it made me miserable, socially anxious to a horrendous degree, and in a worse off position that i was already in. i felt pressurised to conform to a binary identity and a binary, “traditional” transition by getting an early start, going on t, changing my name and using male pronouns, because i thought nobody would take me seriously otherwise and because i thought it would cure my unhappiness. lo and behold, it didn’t. and again, this is in NO WAY the fault of ANY transguy who posts his transition on youtube. it was my own lack of self-esteem and self worth which made me think i had to change a major physical and social aspect of my life in order to be happy. but instead, it took me about a year and a half to realise that happiness comes from within. and just because i’m not using a male name or pronouns anymore, or have no desire to commit to medical transition any time soon, it doesn’t mean i’m not trans*. i’m still trans*. but now i’m just myself as well. and it doesn’t bother me that my identity isn’t recognisable. i’m just me. SOOOOOOORY for the huge mass of comments! i think i probably took up a whole page of comments, heh… in retrospect, it probably would have been better to post this to your page wall or message you, but i publicly wanted to express my experiences with the things you are saying because they relate a lot to myself. i’ve been looking for an outlet to get rid of all these thoughts because a lot of my friends don’t get it, and yet it’s so central to my history. so THANKS, and stay awesome, you <3”