Thoughts of Detransitioning

April 22, 2012

26 Responses to “Thoughts of Detransitioning”

  1. RoseVerbena Says:

    “….living in a culture that doesn’t really accept you if you are living in the gray areas of gender…”

    Exactly. There are no amounts of hormones, surgeries, costume changes, etc. that will alter the fact that people who are persistently living in the “gray areas” of sex-role stereotypes (aka “gender”) within a patriarchal culture are going to receive social rejection and (sometimes) abuse for not fitting neatly within these sex-role stereotypes.

    The answer to this problem is not to embrace sex-role stereotypes as somehow Ordained by Nature — sacrosanct blue-prints for how people should be — and jumping from one sex-role stereotype silo (how “girls” are) to another sex-role stereotype silo (how “boys” are.)

    The answer is to continue the work feminists started decades ago of dismantling sex-role stereotypes.

    Being a butch dyke is a perfectly fine way to be in a sex-role-sterotype-free world; no need to mutilate your body and take dangerous hormones or try to “pass” for male. Just be who you are: a biological woman and lesbian who doesn’t fit the historical, limiting, unnecessary “feminine” sex-role stereotype.

  2. Violet Irene Says:

    Oh the pain and the loneliness…I’ve been there. I worry about these women. It is so, so, so hard. I was lucky to have supportive friends surrounding me when I decided to come back, without that I don’t know what I would have done to cope. When I realized the mistake I had made taking “T” and trying to “transition,” I felt a shame and regret so deep, so physical, I can barely stand to remember it. I wrote about it a lot, that’s the only reason I remember much about that time, it was so dark. One thing I said was that I felt blood was on my hands, that I had conspired with the medical men, the shrinks, and the patriarchy, to attempt to kill a beautiful, proud woman–myself–and replace her with some loathsome male impersonator drone.

    I feared that my body was permanently broken. And I hadn’t even had any surgery. I feared that no one would ever look at me as just a woman, again, that I would always be some unwanted “third gender.” I feared that I had broken my life beyond all repair.

    But you know…I healed. And now, no one knows about that incident in my life except if they knew me “when” or I tell them. No one would guess. I am lucky, I stopped before permanent damage was done. But I was deeply traumatized and confused. It has been 7 years back, and I still have just gotten to the point where I feel like I can talk even anonymously online about this stuff without being thrown into a spiral of grief and self-hate.

    So much love to these women. They are going to need a lot of courage and I hope they find their allies soon, because they will need all the help they can get.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Love to these women. YES!

    • GallusMag Says:

      I think many people don’t understand the incredible pressure to transition on females who reject the “female role”.

      • RoseVerbena Says:

        I’m learning more about it every day, and it makes me ill. I get stomach cramps just reading about it. It’s like this vast conspiracy to kill off lesbianism by making all the baby dykes turn themselves into pseudo-men.

    • Ashland Avenue Says:

      WOW, Violet. I hope you’re doing well now. Take gentle care of yourself.

    • moira Says:

      Violet Irene, thank you for this and all your posts here. Very few people posit ftm “transition” this way but in my experience it is exactly as you say, a form of suicide attempt. I wish we could talk.

  3. GallusMag Says:

    This guy talks about the taboo against discussing detransition in the trans community and the resultant lack of information and support related to stopping a cosmetic cross-hormone regime:

    • RoseVerbena Says:

      Very interesting — and very sad, too. The number of people with unhealed emotional pain who are getting swept up in the “trans” cult/fad is really distressing. I would LOVE to see a serious medical-ethical review of the ethics (or lack thereof) of giving these people permanently body-altering hormones and surgeries when they’re bouncing around inside, confused about “sex, gender, whatever” and even lying about it to themselves, to their closest family and friends, and no doubt to their doctors as well.

      These body alterations are not like changing hair color or getting your ears pierced. They are mutilating themselves and damaging their internal organs when they’re not even sure themselves of what they want, who they are, what’s going to take away their pain and help the be happy, relaxed and comfortable in their own skin.

      Also note that this M2F2? is working as a fitting-room attendant at Marshall’s. I’m presuming that as he was transitioned to F while working there that he will now be transitioning back to M while working there, but he doesn’t even mention or (apparently) think about this incongruity from the point of view of his customers.

      I think a lot of these people are so confused and narcissistic about their own sex that they can’t really see how objectionable their behavior is from the point of view of people who are not living inside their own dysphoria. It’s as if they think that everyone else is as dysphoric about sex as they are, and in this person’s case, the fact that he feels “male/female/whatever” this week is blinding him to the fact that as a fitting-room attendant, his sex actually DOES MATTER to 98% of his customers.

      Hey, Marshalls: As a woman who has been sexually assaulted multiple times by men, I do care about the sex of the person bringing me a size up or a size down while I’m trying on clothes in your store. Ditto this news flash to Macy’s and every other women’s clothing store in America. Hello? Why don’t these folks work our their gender identity while working at Starbucks or some other job where they’re not handing bras to undressed women in the fitting room?!?

      • Violet Irene Says:

        This guy, I sense, is at that stage (which I went through and recall with pain) where it isn’t quite hitting him yet. It’s too much to let in all at once. If you did, it would about kill you. So you bargain a little, like, I started by saying “ok well whatever, it doesn’t matter, I don’t care, call me either pronoun, whatever!” But that was a defense, because I was really afraid I had gone so far and was so damaged I could never just be a woman again. I was trying to soften the blow, pre-empt it. At the time he made that video he’d only stopped hormones what, a week earlier? Wow, at that stage it’s like going through sudden menopause or a drug withdrawal, the physical illness is overwhelming, the emotional swings, strange feelings and symptoms.

        Once I was a little further down the road, I was able to start processing the full implications more, including how my choices affected others. In those first weeks though, the biggest thing I wrestled with was convincing myself that I was going to be able to live through this, that I hadn’t messed my life up so badly that I should just die.

      • fmnst Says:

        Great finds, GM – thank you.

        Rose, great post as always.

        I would like to hear from detransitioners who have sued everyone involved with their care for not making certain they were ready for this (at minimum!)

        They make plenty of money off the clients, and either sweep them through, or allow clients to snow them.

        So many of the testimonials I read/hear are of people saying that the therapists and docs thoroughly screen, so not to fear having regrets later.

        Yikes!

        Maybe when the medical/psych teams start getting sued, we’ll see more of them using greater caution, or walking away from the business.

        Have you heard of any such lawsuits, GM?

      • Adrian Says:

        @fmnst (can’t seem to reply directly) – I’ve not heard of lawsuits, though I’d definitely be interested in reading more about that area.

        However, someone a while ago linked a post on reddit (possibly here?) where an M2F who went 100% through with it (and felt it wasn’t possible really to change back at this stage) posted regrets. He was at the “well, I made my bed so will lie in it now” acceptance stage, but the interesting part was he posted about those screening procedures, but said that these days transitioning is common enough that if you really want it (or you THINK you want it!) you will know what to say to please the doctors and the committees, even if you’re unsure. The scary thing is people who are unsure just rushing and saying what the committee wants to hear.

        I’m reminded of the guy who was upset with his face surgery, he too admits to feeling unsure about things inside but that it was “well, now or never, and it’s expensive” so went through with it and has regrets.

      • GallusMag Says:

        @fmnst- “Maybe when the medical/psych teams start getting sued, we’ll see more of them using greater caution, or walking away from the business.

        Have you heard of any such lawsuits, GM?”

        Most medical malpractice lawsuits are based negligence or caregiver “error” . Providers have malpractice insurance and cases are generally settled financially long before they reach the courtroom.
        In terms of the physician prescribed cosmetic hormone imbalances and cosmetic surgery regimes being offered to genderists, as long as the physician follows the WPATH – World Professional Association for Transgender Health “standards of care” their asses are pretty well covered AS LONG AS “informed consent” guidelines have been followed. Medical doctors wisely transfer responsibility to the psychiatric providers that are used to “authorize” medical treatments. Doctors who vary from the WPATH SOC have lost their medical credentials. An example that immediately comes to mind is psychiatrist Russell Reid, http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/may/25/health.medicineandhealth2 who lost his UK credentials after “authorizing” many inappropriate medical treatments and transgender surgeries, and also “authorizing” the amputation of healthy limbs in patients with BIID.

        ” Reid referred two BDD patients to a surgeon for leg amputations. “When I first heard of people wanting amputations, it seemed bizarre in the extreme,” he said in a TV documentary. “But then I thought, ‘I see transsexuals and they want healthy parts of their body removed in order to adjust to their idealised body image,’ and so I think that was the connection for me. I saw that people wanted to have their limbs off with equally as much degree of obsession and need.”
        http://standpointmag.com/node/2298/full?page=2

        The new WPATH standards released this year shift almost entirely towards an “informed consent” model, doing away with all gatekeeping requirements for cosmetic cross-hormone imbalance treatments and most surgical procedures, including castration (but not full SRS).

        In terms of minor children, who as of this week are now being diagnosed with “gender nonconformity” in the first year of life:
        “We are seeing babies as early as the last quarter of the first year of life showing signs of gender nonconformity”
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-parenting/post/gender-identity-and-children-who-struggle-with-it/2012/04/22/gIQABBJlaT_blog.html
        The legal responsibility for “informed consent” is placed on the parent/guardian. Theoretically one could sue ones parents but it seems unlikely.

    • Violet Irene Says:

      Do you think it could help to post information on detransitioning here? I would be really happy to do a guest post or something. I thought about setting up a blog for this myself but having had some really scary experiences as a blog owner for a different controversial topic, I’m just not sure I’m up to doing all the admin side of something like that anymore.

      But I went back after taking “T” (no surgery) and went on to get pregnant and have kids and fully integrate back into being a woman and am more than willing to share what that was like because people need to know. There is as you say such a lack of information out there, and not only that, there are LIES being spread by trans activists, to scare women out of stopping T and coming home. It is very much like a cult. They know if you get out you can tell others about it, warn the outside world–they don’t want that.

      Lie number one is that detransitioning and regretters are “rare” or “never happen. HUGE lie. I know a lot of women who stopped T and most of them? I didn’t seek out because I was looking for kindred spirits! I just ran into them, in the feminist and lesbian/bi women’s community. And we’d talk and wow, wtf, we both went through this crazy experience!

      Lie number two is that the psychology and medical community do an effective job of “screening” people pre-transition. I’d love to expose that lie from the inside, because what I went through was truly nuts. The day I reached out for “help” they were willing to give me the works, no real screening, just biding time. And when I had doubts, they immediately quashed that and pushed forward.

      There are a lot of myths about what the hormones do or don’t do that get passed off as fact, and in general very little fact to draw from. I haven’t done a study of anyone but myself but I would love to contribute a personal account of what it was like, if you think that would help women who are struggling. I think it would.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Violet- I think your guest post would be incredibly helpful to the many many FTMs that reach this blog daily by searching “FTM going off T”, “FTM detransition”, “FTM regret” etc etc. and I would be delighted to host it. The taboo against publishing info about the common experience of detransition is so very harmful to trans people. I have actually seen trans people publicly state that detransitioners should be LYNCHED.

        I absolutely think it would help other women who are struggling. I would also like to invite MNDR to share her account as a guest post if she would like to. Just submit the post as a comment here whenever you are ready and I will set up and publish it as a guest post. And thank you
        xox

      • Mortified Says:

        What kind of screening are these quacks supposed to do? I can tell you they do not interview family members, or at least not in the case of my daughter.

        I understand that there would be a lot of hostility and possibly even a tendency for a hostile family member to lie, but a professional should be able to deal with that.

        My daughter as a teenager confided in me quite a lot. Once she even asked me to read something in her diary. I can’t tell you what was there, but I can say that there was never, ever, any hint of transgenderism until after her brother died. She was 19.

        He (the dead brother) was her dad’s favorite, his namesake and only son. Dad is supportive of the transgenderism. Go figure.

        Why aren’t the “professionals” asking these questions? Could it have something to do with the huge amounts of money they get for these transitions?

      • Violet Irene Says:

        @GallusMag Oh thank *you* for doing the work to make this space! I am working on a post and will put it here when I am finished. This information really needs to get out, a lot of people are looking for it, as your search stats indicate.

        @Mortified I have a couple of theories on the “professionals” who yes, very much fail to adequately screen their patients more often than not. Money is part of it, of course. But more than that, I think ego and needing to think of themselves as crusaders or heroes. And a very big part of it is…a lot of these folks are just not really good at their job, overall, and if they were just a generic gynecologist or psychiatrist or social worker, they would probably have trouble finding enough patients to pay the bills. ALL of the ones I encountered were flaky, unprofessional, not too bright, socially awkward…I kept thinking of the adage “what do you call the person who graduates last in the class in medical school? DOCTOR.” But when they define themselves as the person you go to for hormones or “top surgery” or to “get your letter” the word of mouth goes around the trans circles and they are FLOODED with patients, many of whom pay up front in cash because they are desperate for validation and insurance won’t cover it. So these basically screw-up loser professionals suddenly make good money, and are seen as heroes and experts and respected authorities within this tiny community they reign over.

        And even scarier, I think some of them are interested because they have a gender fetish of some sort. The doctor I saw was very sexually inappropriate, very overly interested in irrelevant questions about my sexuality and sexual activities…ugh.

  4. Mortified Says:

    In my view, God (and I mean that in a generic sense, define “God” how you will) gave you your sex, and beyond that, it is up to you to define what it means to be a woman or man. Whatever you come up with is fine, as long as you are not hurting others.

    I know this is a bit too simplistic for those who are struggling with gender identity issues. Disclosure: I had them also, for many years of my life. (I won’t tell you how many years that was.😉 )

    I finally made peace with my own gender identity issues. I still don’t fully “fit” into my gender’s expectations, but I’m fine with that. Some people are not so fine with that, but I don’t care.

    Happy birthday to the person in the first video, thanks to both of you for sharing, and I wish all the best for you and others who are struggling with these problems.

  5. m Says:

    The girl in the top video makes a point I’ve heard more and more often, that Transitioning is best begun before puberty. Such a strange thing to think that little kids should make those kinds of decisions.

  6. Jean-Yves Says:

    I don’t really get the that “lesbians are pushed in being trans men” thing said up there. If you knew the amount of pain and confusion people go through before actually transitioning you would see how silly that is. Nobody can push you there unless its there where you should be eventually. Not everybody though go through with transition for number of reasons and that’s perfectly fine with me. Some can find peace by other means.

    As for transitioning, I’ve known personally dozens of FTM and while most transition (about 80%); it takes a lot of time to make this decision and at least 50% are actually attracted to men after transition (so I can this have anything to do with being a lesbian forced into this!! like some purport).

    • GallusMag Says:

      Don’t come to my blog and tell me that my experiences as a lesbian being pressured to transition are “silly”. Don’t tell other lesbians that their experiences being pressured to transition are “silly”. Where the fuck do you get off? Or are you just an idiot?
      If you do it again you will be banned asshole.

      Google “pressure to transition ftm”.
      Dipshit.

    • Darcie Says:

      I’ve M2T tell me
      A)That I really should think about trying a little lipgloss and some eyeliner, and
      B)That it really is time I should start taking “T” as soon as possible because then I could finally be my true self,

      I’ve been told both at times by the same trans on the same day. And this wonderful, dear trans “friend” told me I should start taking “T” in a room full of my friends, who had apparently discussed the matter amongst themselves at some length. I thought I’d been invited to a little dinner party with friends when I’d actually been dragged into the middle of a “gender intervention.” No shit, an intervention. As if my womanhood or my butch demeanor were some kind of fucking disease. I’ll tell you what I told them… to kindly go fuck themselves. No pressure my ass.

  7. Violet Irene Says:

    Yikes now I am afraid those were too long and got eaten by the server. I did save a copy if you need me to try again.

    [I got them! Thank You! Will be posted tomorrow. Such a great piece with such helpful information. Going to help a lot of women. xox. -GM]

  8. fmnst Says:

    Hi GM, some good news!
    Between this and the YouTubes you posted of trans regrets, perhaps we’re nearing the peak of this deranged fad.

    Perhaps this is worthy of its own blog post here…..happy day.

    wehttp://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/27/1078186/-SCOTUS-lets-stand-ruling-in-favor-of-treatment-of-transgender-inmates


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