Detransitioning and Wondering
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.
“so I could live as a woman”
I’m not sure this would qualify. For the someone case I was thinking more about the case of deeply repressed gay men who can’t bring themselves to get sexy with a dude, so they transition to appear hetero normative. It often doesn’t end well.
For the something case I was referring to your quest for a bio child/family.
If you like living as a woman, and you like being female bodied, and you like the feeling that E gives you, then I’m not sure where you’re failing, but I suspect that the whole alone bit is getting to you. I know it’s getting to me also after 4 years, but I’m not about to detransition over it. I don’t think that would be remotely fair to whomever I reverse trapped.
[–]detransi[S] 1 point 18 hours ago
Thanks for clarifying!
The alone part used to get to me previously. I was very lonely. However, I was lonely ever since I was little. So while loneliness affect me more as a woman for the first few years, it wasn’t as bad as it is for some others who need to cut off social and family ties during transition.
However, now I have a lot of friends who know me as a woman, most of them don’t know I’m trans. I feel included and I have a social community. That made the alone part a bit more bearable.
More than the alone part, now it is the baby part which really gets to me! Most of my women (and men) friends are my age and already have kids or will have one soon or plan to have one sometime. I look young, so they don’t ask me my age, and they haven’t asked me about having a baby.
However, I have always wanted a baby since I was little and saw my little sibling grow up. I’ve always wanted little me. Now that most of my insecurities about my appearance and about my gender have reduced, that old need to have a child has become very prominent. I don’t want to have a child with any random woman, I want my child to have a supportive functional family. That’s my quest for a bio child/family as you point out. That’s the part which has got me thinking about detransition because I don’t see it working out living as a part-time woman (socially) and as a part-time whatever-gender (at home)
[–]nuovo_donna 3 points 18 hours ago
“I don’t see it working out…”
I think this is a case where trying to extrapolate historical or current failures at finding love into a belief that it can’t work out based on [x] is bound to be false. You might say, they run away when they find out. But I can just as easily point to trans friends who’ve found loving cis partners, male and female.
Unfortunately you might not be able to shake this belief system until the day that you actually do meet someone. Until that time though, the only real solution is to keep plugging and keep living your life authentically, the same as all of us trans lonely hearts. Trying to become someone else to attract a person isn’t a good solution.
I believe your trans friends in loving relationships are lucky! Anyone, cis or trans, in a lifelong loving relationship is lucky!
“Unfortunately you might not be able to shake this belief system until the day that you actually do meet someone.’
That is an accurate statement for me. It goes both ways, with transition and with detransition. This is one reason I’m stuck in the middle, with the ability to go either direction, but without the ability to make the decision to pick a direction.
While it is true that baby/family reasons have prompted the urgency in making a decision, I was never convinced I’m a “female trapped in a male body”. I don’t think I am trans in the sense of being “female”. I don’t even know what that means!
I’m only trans in the sense of being uncomfortable as a boy/man. Social transition to “woman” solved that problem. However, I can see that had there been no fixed genders, I would have probably not cared at all.
At home these days, I have no gender, and I don’t care about gender one bit when I’m alone. I shave my head and I have some body hair growing (due to reduced estrogen dosage). Of course, these are not the same as natural baldness and excessive body hair, but still these are typically not feminine. Yet, I don’t feel anything wrong these days when I’m at home.
Gender seems to matter to me only if another person can perceive (see, hear, imagine, etc) my gender. When I had only lived as male previously, I saw bald hairy men being treated worse on the average than men with a full head of hair. I saw that the only way bald hairy men could receive respect was by being macho and overly masculine. These men were never supposed to be given kindness, instead they were supposed to earn respect. Besides, men in general are treated worse than women as it relates to kindness (I now see that my insights were accurate, having lived as a woman now).
I wanted to be treated kindly and women were treated more kindly on average. Women had more friends and I could never be one of them. Women got a lot of things I wanted. I was jealous of them. At the same time, I did not find myself particularly enamored by the masculine gender. For years, I held back these feelings, but when I encountered a major setback in life, I could not hold it back anymore. That led to a series of therapy sessions which eventually led to transition.
Therein lies my quandary. It seems like I took a social problem (society forcing people based on sex into genders, gender roles and gender stereotypes), projected the problem on myself (i.e. not being treated kindly by others was my fault), blamed my secondary sex characteristics for the unkind treatment, sought to eliminate those characteristics through proper channel, got diagnosed with GID and recommended hormones, which indirectly helped resolve the above social problems but which left me with more doubts about myself.
To become someone else, one must be someone to begin with. I have no idea what I am. I have no nationality, no religion, no favorite team, no favorite people, no … and now no career after transition. I even have multiple legal names which helped me be stealth. I do have an identity in my brain about who I am and the traits which make me who I am are more abstract, such as conscientious, generous, nurturer, intellectual, etc. However, none of these have anything to do with my gender or sex. I have no gender identity or at least not a fixed gender.
I already became someone I’m not by transition to “woman”. I never felt like a female trapped in a male body, but now I feel like myself trapped in the woman gender. The woman gender in itself means little to me just as the male gender means little, although I prefer the benefit of being treated kindly. As a result, detransition implies giving up one set of benefits I like socially in favor of another set which I dislike socially.
If I were convinced that my sex/gender is female/woman, I wouldn’t have considered detransition as lightly. The responses I see here tell me that most are convinced they are their target gender and in some cases their target sex. For you, transition was the means of correcting a mistake, specifically a mistake in your body (?). For me, I don’t think that was the case. I’m probably one of those gender fluid or gender queer or … people. This complicates things.
Because I’m not in anyone else’s head, I can’t tell how you feel or felt. I often wonder though – What did other people’s gender dysphoria feel like? What happened emotionally, physically, etc to you if you did not transition?
What I felt is what I wrote above – being treated by others in ways I did not like, and being denied the ability to express myself (through crying, clothing, etc), for which I hated my male secondary sex characteristics and overall dislike towards being treated as and expected to be a boy/man.
‘I have no idea what I am. I have no nationality, no religion, no favorite team, no favorite people, no”
Maybe you’re a comic book hero like the Silver Surfer 🙂
TBH I’m kind of the same way at home. I don’t stand to pee or anything but the feeling of being female is transient at best and sometimes feels non existent. My therapist used to say (when I was still going) that one doesn’t transition in a vacuum, and that our gender identity can’t be forged without other people interacting with us. This was a huge issue for me because for over two years I absolutely couldn’t blend, my family was rejecting my identity, my friends would slip up, store clerks would say, have a nice day sir, ma’am, whatever, so I hid out in my house. I have a home office type job so it was easy to be a hermit.
I guess the reason I’m convinced that this was the right decision is based on a lifetime of pining for it, combined with the massive stress and anxiety that immediately preceded transition.
“I was never convinced I’m a “female trapped in a male body”…I don’t even know what that means!”
None of us do 🙂 It’s a horrible euphemism.
I was never a female trapped in a male body. I’m a female who happens to inhabit a body that carries a Y chromosome in its cells. :3
The way that I confirm my being female is the continual satisfaction that my feminized body is bringing me, and the satisfaction I get from simply not being expected to do “man things”. Besides that, testosterone made my brain feel fuzzy. :I
“Maybe you’re a comic book hero like the Silver Surfer”
🙂 I’m flattered. However, in reality, I’m more like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statelessness which also incidentally happened due to transition.
… so I hid out in my house. I have a home office type job so it was easy to be a hermit.
I recognize that I posted here to get ideas, but I can share some too. 🙂
This is something I learned …
Given that gender dysphoria is an incongruence between social concept of gender and internal identity, mingling socially is very important during/after transition.
I socially transitioned when I was in between jobs. Staying home made me focus on one thing – gender – and everything about gender – passing, do I look right, do I sound right, what would someone say, etc. When I joined a new job, I was timid, wondering if anyone could tell, checking my makeup in the mirror, etc. I had OCD about gender, if that’s possible. One person who was accidentally told I’m trans harassed me and HR had to take him out. However, things improved, specifically because I mingled, or was forced to mingle.
I was handed very tough and interesting projects. I had to work with others who weren’t told that I’m trans! Gradually, they moved on and newer people worked with me. Working with so many people, I realized that nobody could tell. They included me in everything. Everyone wanted me to be their best friend at work and some outside work too. That gave me courage to go out on my own and make more new friends. My friends circle blossomed from there on.
During the whole of 2011, gender became so irrelevant to me that most of the time I was not even cognizant of being perceived as a woman. Numerous times people have used “she”, “her”, “miss”, “ma’am”, etc to refer to me and I looked around me to locate the woman they were talking about/to. It took a few moments to realize that it was me – “I” was the woman. 🙂 Gender had become such a non-issue! All started with mingling.
Then I recalled that people seemed to enjoy hanging out with me even when I lived as a man. It was I who pushed them away. I hated myself as a man significantly more than anyone else hated me. I declined their invitations, avoided visiting their homes, etc because I could not let anyone get too close to me. Social transition greatly helped me overcome those issues.
I’ve been reaching out to my old acquaintances. I’m not out to them as trans; they still think of me as male. I’m traveling in a couple of days to meet one of them, while presenting as a man. I’ll see how that goes. In fact, I already met my old dentist and my old optometrist while presenting as a man, and they said nothing about gender. We had good conversations. The receptionist at the dentists said that she has never seen me so happy. It’s these social interactions which I previously avoided as a man. When people found me clammed up, they clammed up too. No wonder I felt worse as a man than I should have felt.
In short, social interactions – very important. Staying home – avoid if you can. 🙂
Thanks again to everyone here! I’m going to give my keyboard some rest. The yahoo group [below] sounds like a great starting point for me. So thank you!
This sounds like a really bad idea. transitioning back just to start a family is not being true to your self and will likely bring a host of problems like depression with it.
Exactly. Plus you’ll probably end up putting that family through further pain when you inevitably re-transition.
if they do decide to re-transition. i’m sure some people detransition and are happier. like we hear time and time again on this subreddit, not every trans*narrative is the same.
that said, in my opinion OP, it sounds like you would be detransitioning for reasons that are obviously important to you, but also slightly misguided.
not all women will disappear when they find out you are trans. some women will like your bald head. you could also consider dating pansexual or bisexual women, as well.
you have stored sperm, so you’re ahead of the game there already. but yeah, dysphoria would probably return.
if you stop HRT, you will masculinize for, well, the rest of your life, pretty much. you would probably return to the hair loss that you were afraid of before.
you have a lot of questions to ask yourself, and i don’t think any outside analysis can really help you figure out, well – you. it’s just like transition – it’s hugely a self-reliant step and almost fully based on introspection.. i hope you can get in contact with some other people who have detransitioned, as your advice from a community of (mostly) pre-HRT and early-in-transition people will be starkly different.
“i‘m sure some people detransition and are happier. … not every trans*narrative is the same.”
I would tend to agree with this.
“you would probably return to the hair loss that you were afraid of before.”
One reason I shaved my head and keep it shaved is to experiment with this. When I go to the remote grocery stores and people see me with a bald head, it does not feel as bad as it used to. I used to associate baldness with abhorrent uglyness, but I don’t anymore.
“i hope you can get in contact with some other people who have detransitioned”
Exactly why I posted here, to see if someone like that would respond and connect with me. It’s really hard to find detransitioners posting openly.
“I think I have better chances of having a family if I detransition fully and go back to living as a man full-time”
I’ll be blunt, that’s stupid. Try to think outside “your box” and just think about that for a second.
TBQH, you sound incredibly misguided in your intent, but it is your decision. Just because you haven’t been able to find a partner, that doesn’t mean that you’re never going to find someone. Adoption is a possibility, as your chances to get viable sperm after 3 years of estrogen are virtually nil.
I would strongly suggest talking to a shrink as their seems to be a bunch of issues pinging around in your head that are doing you no good.
It’s really hard to find detransitioners posting openly.
0.It’s because a ton commit suicide. But this group is apparently helpful http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nogoingback/
Sweetheart, my SO is just starting her transition and already she regrets not starting sooner. We’ve been married three years now and we’re not even at the stage for hormones yet (we only finally got around to getting a specialist last fall due to a bunch of moving around, school and job changes).
Me and her were friends for years before our eventual dating and marriage, and I didn’t give two shits if she’s turning into a girl because you know what I love her. We know everything about each other.
I think it would be much healthier for you to be honest to who you are, and honest to your future love, wherever she may be. As cliche as it is, don’t change who you are for the sake of someone else. If they can’t accept you for you, well they can go fuck ’emselves.
You have some kids on ice. And don’t think your dysphoria won’t get worse if you are in boy mode and you have a spouse going through pregnancy. My girl had it baadd when we were expecting our first kid. Everyone calling her the “lucky Daddy” made it that much worse. She wanted to be the one to nurse and to grow the baby.
I hope you do find luck in love, but don’t compromise on who you are to maybe hopefully find it.
I’m glad to hear that you two have found love and formed a wonderful family!
“And don’t think your dysphoria won’t get worse if you are in boy mode and you have a spouse going through pregnancy. … She wanted to be the one to nurse and to grow the baby.”
This brings up something interesting I noticed a couple of years ago.
I was hanging out with one of my straight women friends. She described to me how she broke up with her second baby’s daddy because he cared and nurtured their baby. That was shocking, surprising and eye-opening to me. She explained that her problem was that she felt less of a mom because the dad was doing everything for the baby, except perhaps breast-feeding. She believed that loving a baby was her prerogative as the mom. A few weeks later, I heard a similar story from another person, and then again on TV.
Listening to these stories, I wondered if all straight women think like her and if the straight man’s role is merely to provide and protect without care for his own life. I wondered if regardless of sexual orientation of the woman, if she knows me as a transwoman (which she would of course know if I’m married to her), would she still treat me the same way as these women treated their male partners. I wondered if I would be encroaching on the biological mom’s “territory” if I cared for and nurtured my baby. If so, my entire gender struggle resulted from such strict sex-based-gender-stereotypes which limited my freedom. More than being a man or woman, more than transition or detransition, it is this lack of freedom to be myself that bothers me the most! And such lack of freedom is what comes with the gender assigned to me. That was the reason I objected to it.
I need a partner as my equal. I understand I cannot give birth, but I’d be willing to if medical technology permitted.
Being called daddy is probably not going to affect me as much as it affected your SO. Of course I’d object if someone mockingly called me “mom” or “dad”, but that’s different from calling me the non-birthing parent, i.e. dad, which I don’t mind. I also wouldn’t mind if my kids call me dad (as long as they don’t call me dad in the presence of people who might only know me as a woman, but if people know that my spouse and I had a biological baby, they’d probably already know that the sperms came from me which leads to the conclusion that I’m male). Those are not the things I fear as much.
What I really fear in this context is being excluded from baby care (just as I was always excluded from all womanly things when I lived as a man) and being assigned a “man’s” duty after the birth of my child, regardless of whether my spouse is straight or lesbian or bi or whatever else. I want to be there for my baby. This was exactly my gender issue when I lived as a man previously – I cannot let go of the feminine aspects of my life regardless of the gender I present as, and it is easier to express those feminine aspects and masculine aspects of my life when I present in society as a woman. If I can do the same as a man, I’d likely be happy that way too.
life on T= miserable
life on E = happy happy joy joy
what do you think will happen when you get off the E? you’re happy now because your brain finally has the right fuel. going back to T will be like filling up a gas engine with diesel, you’re GONNA have a bad time.
you already have sperm saved up, you can have kids, altho if you want to start a family, please think about adoption, there are so many children without a good home. and as far as dating goes, there are plenty of girls out there who will accept you as a girl with a penis.
detransitioning is a bad, BAD idea, hon. maybe you want to bring it up with your therapist???
“life on T= miserable … life on E = happy happy joy joy”
Actually, that’s not been the case.
Life as a man previously = miserable, except for a great career.
Life as a woman = happy socially, but miserable career and lack of good orgasms and always doubting myself and feeling like I ruined my life and longing to have a baby each time I see or hear or hear about kids.
Life as bigendered person = happy socially when I pretend to be a woman, happier at home on very low E, more confident about myself as male, but still feeling like I ruined my life.
E or T alone actually make no difference in how I feel mentally. I’m able to go on and off easily. It is the side-effects of E and T, specifically with hair and skin, that makes me feel better or worse – secondary sex characteristics.
I think everyone else covered a lot of territory and I agree with them that detransition could be a bad idea. Ill just cover one part.
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.
Do you really now? I feel the same way too, i have very little hair and wear a wig. Recently i met a girl and she eventually saw me without a wig (or even makeup) and she still sees me as nothing but a woman. And I look like a guy without a wig too. I know its hard to believe that anyone can see you for who you are when you are so naked, but know that those people are out there. Just as you now look at old photos of yourself and think your handsome, I am sure you look much better without hair than you think you do.
Have you dated any bi sexual women? They could easily be very open to you, and even celebrate your masculine characteristics, not for their masculinity but for being apart of who you are.
Sounds like you are in the same appearance boat as I am.
“Just as you now look at old photos of yourself and think your handsome, I am sure you look much better without hair than you think you do.”
I’m sure that’s the case. The issue is that beauty in the eye of the beholder. Let me be more specific.
Women who are attracted to me as a woman are attracted to be because I look very pretty as a woman. However, I’m a fake pretty person because without my wig on I look like a shorter thinner leaner version of shaved-head Matt Damon (with no prominent Adam’s apple and with higher eyebrows) when I’m not presenting as a woman. That’s not attractive to the same women who are attracted to me with my wig on.
“Have you dated any bi sexual women?’
Has made no difference in the end result. Most women I meet, lesbian and bi, say that they like everything about me and find me very femininely attractive, until I reveal I’m trans. Most disappear right away, most of the rest disappear after learning I have a penis, some of the remaining see me as some fetish, and most of the remaining disappear as soon as a relationships seems on the cards. I’m left with a few who haven’t totally grasped the concept that I do look like a man when I don’t have my hair on and I break up with them because I see the end of the relationship coming up very soon. I say this after hundreds of attempts to date over the last few years, plus the cases in which I’ve started from let’s just be platonic friends.
On the other hand, I don’t have to pretend to be male. Yes, I have a gender issue with being a man, but I am male. It’s easier to explain this concept and help people understand. I don’t think it is a cake walk either way, but it just feels easier as a man because I’m male. I wish there were no social genders, but I have to live with the reality that there is the binary around me.
Is it not possible to have a family with somebody who is aware and accepting of the fact that you are yourself, with no secrecy? I’ve read about pregnancies occurring all over the trans* subreddits, and in several magazines I’ve read about FtM who have borne children from either IVF or their male partners… I know that’s not your situation, but it is relevant enough in that they changed their plans only slightly in order to have a family. If you want to be with a woman in order to bear you children, then maybe keep looking for somebody who will be with you for the person you really are. If you want to be with a man, then there are plentiful options for surrogacy, and there’s always adoption… I don’t want to shut you down, especially because I hardly know my ass from my elbow when it comes to being a mature adult, but I don’t know if you’ll be happy making life changes like this simply for the purpose of procreation. If having a family is what you want, well… having kids… it’s seriously important to be happy in yourself before you start shaping the intellectual and social aspects of another human being.
“Is it not possible to have a family with somebody who is aware and accepting of the fact that you are yourself, with no secrecy? … If you want to be with a woman in order to bear you children, then maybe keep looking for somebody who will be with you for the person you really are.”
I have been looking. However, it feels like I’m demeaning women by seeking someone to have a baby. I want to fall in love with someone. It’s really hard for the other person when I’m effectively a pretend woman who looks like a man while at home.
Hmm. I don’t know, lots of women willingly and even happily put themselves in that “demeaning” position… many people find it personally and spiritually fulfilling simply to reproduce, and obviously you think it’s important. But why is it so hard for the other person? I’m asking out of genuine ignorance. Sure it’s a lot to drop on a stranger’s lap, but if you came to love someone female and they truly loved you, having a baby and accepting all of your idiosyncrasies ought not to be so difficult. There are lots of unique families. All that really matters is that somewhere in the equation there is love.
“I think I have better chances of having a family if I detransition fully and go back to living as a man full-time.”
This “more of a chance” is pretty hard to quantify. If you are just looking to settle for someone who you get along with alright, but who isn’t perfect for you, then yeah it would probably be easiest as a guy, and without revealing your past (i.e. go off hormones). But if you want a really great relationship with a true partner for you in life, then she is going to be rare either way, and for you two to be great together she will have to know about your past.
If you go the settling route, it will probably end in divorce and heartbreak for the children. You decided to take hormones 4 years ago, some things worked out differently than expected and you now have second thoughts…are you now really ready to commit to +18 years of marriage? Especially with your known history of gender dysphoria?
It sounds like you have faced a series of dating set backs, and have fallen into the trap of thinking the grass will be greener on the other side. Good relationships are always going to be difficult to find though, since you will have to work hard at finding her either way, you might as well be the person you want to be – even if that means retaining your bi-gender fluidity.
It also might be a good idea to open your mind to adoption, or marrying a woman who already has kids from a previous relationship. Is you DNA really so excellent that it needs to be propagated? We live in an era when your DNA can be indefinitely preserved, and exact genetic clones of you can be made (once the legal barriers fall). I realize it’s not a decision that is made logically, but rather emotionally, but those who open their minds to adoption have many more options, so you might at least try to revisit your position on this.
This is a horrible horrible idea. Maybe you have forgotten how bad the dysphoria was before you began? If you did do what you say you are planning, would you also keep your trans feelings a secret from your SO? Why can’t you just find a bisexual woman who would love you as you are? This seems like a serious case of forgetting lessons you have already learned, and grass is greener syndrome.
Bisexual (cis?) people aren’t like a trans relationship panacea. Sorry but that’s kind of annoying.
No, but pansexual and bisexual folk generally are more amenable to dating trans women… Especially if meeting people through dating sites, it can be good to filter people that way. Why is this annoying?
Perhaps I should have sat on my hands. Kind of moot at this point. Regardless, bi cis people can be weird and cissexist as fuck.
right. a bi/ pan person isnt guaranteed to be right for you, or the OP or whoever. just as all cis straight guys arent right for a given cis straight girl. but if lesbians arent working out for OP bi girls are worth a try.
And gay/straight people can’t?
She never said they were, you are rebutting a straw man opponent.
Um, I know the way the argument goes. She didn’t suggest bi women as a red herring.
I tend to agree with javatimes below that bi people aren’t a relationship panacea. Typically a bi woman interested in me as a woman wants me to stay a woman, and a bi woman interested in me as a man wants me to stay as a man, even when I’m talking about the same bi woman. There are of course exceptions and finding them has been tough. However, consistency appears very important to most, whether they are bi or not.
There’s actually a reddit post I came across from someone MTF who had detransitioned already asking for reasons why women would not date him. Having read responses to that person’s post, I don’t fool myself into believing that somehow my life would be perfect as a man this time. However, I have to admit that this time, I have learned more life lessons, I am not shy about talking with women, I have been through hell, etc.
I am not in your situation and being on masculinizing hrt theoretically quite different, but when I had to go off T for a few months a couple of years ago, my dysphoria was huge. Even though it wasn’t long enough to physically change anything about me, within three weeks I was a depressed anxious mess. I had toyed with going off T because I hate having so many doctor’s appointments and having to deal with my at the time corrupt local LGBT clinic. I assumed if I could keep my baritone voice (generally voices don’t change back) it really didn’t matter which hormone was dominant. I was wrong though. I have no idea if this is meaningful to you at all but thought I would share anyway. Is it possible you maybe aren’t binary gendered?
[–]detransi[S] 3 points 21 hours ago
‘Is it possible you maybe aren’t binary gendered?”
That is the conclusion I’ve been reaching after all this soul searching over the last few years.
I feel your pain with the systems you deal with. Hope it gets better.
Same to you.
I’m on HRT a little over two years now, and i often forget what the dysphoria was like. Humans have a great way of compartamentalizing shit.
There is someone out there for you, you just need to put yourself out there. Or fuck it, and adopt. Who says you need a partner to be a mom?
I feel a need to chime in here. I just met a woman — a seemingly straight woman at my workplace. We’ve said hello in the hallway for awhile now and last week she introduced herself in the cafeteria. I outed myself immediately, introducing myself and Christine and then backtracking on it. But that didn’t phase her, she continued trying to get to know me better. Then we went out to lunch on Friday and I came out to her official. She said she thought I was a trans person but didn’t know which (FTM or MTF) but was waiting for me to come to her.
I was just like you detransi, I never thought in millions years I could possibly find a mate outside the queer community. I’ve tried dating lesbians like you too and while I have many good friends now who love and support me, they don’t want intimacy with me beyond that.
So who know where this is headed with this girl. But that fact any of this happened makes me want to say DON’T GIVE UP
Thanks for the inspiring story! While I’m contemplating detransition, I have not totally given up. I still live my social life as a woman, although it increasingly appears to be a dead end. Hope this one works out for you!
Hmm. I’ve been struggling with some de-transition thoughts lately as well.
Now that I’ve socially transitioned into a woman, and now that I’ve started to pass really well… It’s a lot easier to be less self-conscious than it ever was before. I look at my old boymode photos, like you, and wonder, “Why didn’t I think I was a good looking guy? Or at least a pretty person… What was so wrong with me?” But I could never see myself as looking anything other than unbearably wrong, until now. Now sometimes I think I would be okay living life in a guy’s body, in the social role of a guy, as just a “feminine guy” or whatever, since I can really see that bodies aren’t everything, and I do act somewhat ‘androgynous’ sometimes… I know I’m wrong though, in the end. The reason my body matters to me so little now is simply because it isn’t sticking out in my mind like a sore thumb. My body no longer feels noticeably wrong, so I no longer notice it.
Lately I’ve been wondering why I put so much emphasis on my appearance at all. Why even bother transitioning, losing my fertility, becoming a social outcast to the majority of the world, all just for some seemingly shallow bodily changes… It all just feels so… Shitty. I don’t like doing this. But I know I always did hate my male body… I always looked at it in the mirror with disgust. Not every part of me I thought was ugly, just my masculine parts… All my body hair, my big chin/forehead, etc. I hated seeing my body get any more masculine. I had certainly convinced myself that to be sexually attractive to people, and to myself, I needed to be MORE FEMININE!! That’s the simple conclusion I came to, lol. I wanted to look prettier. But what young woman doesn’t? I think I had inadvertently linked being pretty with my own femininity, though, and now that I no longer care about being pretty… Not nearly as much, anyway… I’ve had to confront those demons in myself. The reality that I used to objectify women, and that I treated myself like I wasn’t good enough unless I was “pretty”.
Now, though, I’m finally starting to NOT have to feel my gender dysphoria… It feels like I’m not feeling my body at all. Like I can finally put it out of my head.
… But that doesn’t mean I would be fine if I went back to living life as a male. Even though it would be easier, it wouldn’t be worth it, in the end… My dysphoria would come back, without a doubt, as I am simply… A lady. I do not wish to have a male body. :3c
Don’t detransition unless you’re really fucking sure that you don’t want to be a woman physically anymore. Because it really isn’t just a social thing, being a woman. Remember that life isn’t about appearances, and that you can be you in the world regardless of your body, and you can find a loving mate regardless of your body too.
Detransitioning simply for the sake of having a future biological child and for the ease in which you’ll find a willing mate IS detransitioning for the sake of others, not yourself… and that can only hurt you and everyone around you. It would be like living a lie wouldn’t it? Would the lack of loneliness really be worth the hollow feeling of not expressing your true self?
As a side note… I think you should start taking anti-androgens… It might help with your mental state. Testosterone is poison. But I don’t actually know ANYTHING about that though, lol. o.o
Thanks for your detailed reply! I see a lot of parallels, and a few differences. I posted more details in response to nuovo_donna’s reply.
‘I had certainly convinced myself that to be sexually attractive to people, and to myself, I needed to be MORE FEMININE!!’
I believe that is exactly what I did, plus more. I evaluated myself more deeply with some help recently …
Over my childhood and adolescent years, I convinced myself that to be not only sexually attractive, but to be also treated well, cared for, have friends, etc, I needed to be more feminine. I guess that was an obvious conclusion given my observations in the world around me. Girls and women were more sexually attractive (to me), were treated better, were cared for more, had more friends, etc. To be more feminine, I could not have male secondary sex characteristics. The more they grew the more disgusted I felt about myself. Hence I too hated my masculine features as a result and hated my appearance.
While that might sound like vanity about appearance, it comes from a deeper reason. I guess that deeper reason is merely social inclusion (or gender identity? that’s TBD).
So if I can take all the things I enjoy as a woman now – having friends, expressing myself in so many ways, being able to be a little masculine while being feminine, being treated kindly, etc – and if I could do all of those as a man, I am not seeing strong reasons not to live as a man. In other words, if I manipulate the concept of “man” by making “man” as feminine as possible without losing male as my sex, it seems like a workable solution. That’s my starting point for detransition as an option, not as a masculine stereotypical man, but rather as a man in tune with everything feminine and masculine within me.
“I think you should start taking anti-androgens… It might help with your mental state. Testosterone is poison.”
To be perfectly honest, testosterone and estrogen feel exactly the same for me mentally and emotionally. The only differences are physical, with breast, skin, hair, sexual function, etc. Either hormone does absolutely nothing for or against me mentally. I’m exactly the same person regardless of my dominant hormone. Perhaps that’s another indication that I’m gender fluid (?)
Because I don’t take an anti-androgen, my body regulates sex hormone production depending on the quantity of sex hormones already present in my body. When I take exogenous estrogen, my body assumes I have enough sex hormones and reduces testosterone production. In other words, estrogen works as an anti-androgen, but without brute force, thereby allowing my body to maintain a certain total sex hormone level which my body knows best.
In general, brains love sex hormones, regardless of the sex hormone. If you lower the total quantity of sex hormones, the brain is going to be upset. I know that for a fact because when I go cold turkey after a high dose of estrogen, I feel horrible because my body is yet to produce enough testosterone to replace the missing estrogen. It’s not because I’m missing estrogen, it’s because I’m missing sex hormones. Hence when testosterone levels come back up to replace the missing estrogen, I feel good again.
I believe when you take an anti-androgen as male, your sex hormone levels drop. Your brain is not going to like that. Then when you take exogenous estrogen, you are obviously going to feel better. That would be a false-positive.
If you truly want to measure the effect of estrogen on mental state, take it without taking an anti-androgen. When estrogen becomes your dominant hormone without using an anti-androgen, if you feel better, then it’s the estrogen making you feel better and testosterone was indeed the bad guy.
I have been on anti-androgens for a brief period. I did not like it. Perhaps another indication that I’m not trans per the stereotype that MTF trans people should not like testosterone and should be happier when testosterone levels go down (even before physical effects show up).
I’ve read before that estrogen in the presence of testosterone is blocked/much less effective – that’s why we take antitestosterone in the first place. Have you been getting blood tests? I’m not prepared to cite this, but I thought it was common knowledge. Before an orchiectomy, taking just estrogen isn’t going to work.
It’s a matter of debate on here, but the idea that taking anti-androgens and then estrogen as a cisgendered male (or the reverse, etc., as cis-female) would produce ‘happiness’, therefore a false negative for being transgender? I strongly doubt it. All of the threads discussing that end up saying that giving a person a set of hormones that doesn’t match their real gender is going to make them dysphoric. It’s not all body image.
Why do you keep calling it detransition? Sure, it might not be so convenient to not be on one side or other of the gender spectrum. But are you going to go back, entirely, to male? Just because you want a kid, dating’s awkward, and the job thing hasn’t gone well… aren’t those problems a cisgender female would run into as well?
Do you go to a therapist, particularly one specializing in gender? This seems like something for them, not for a forum of trans* people who can’t really answer for you what they’re working on still themselves. Bringing up detransition is like asking the question, “hey, do you guys doubt yourselves?” and not realizing the implications of it.
About blood tests, yes, my doctor proved to me that estrogen worked on its own as a very effective testosterone “reducer”. She knows I’d benefit from empirical evidence. 🙂 So long ago she had me gradually vary estrogen and did a series of blood tests to find the optimum estradiol dosage. As long as I don’t shock the system through sudden changes in estradiol dosage, her theory works. Now I know exactly what estradiol dosage to take for a certain level of estrogen and testosterone in my blood. I need only about 0.15mg of transdermal patches to reach female ovulation level of estrogen and female level of testosterone. And I know that I can only take a max of 0.1mg, which corresponds to about 8pg/dl of free testosterone in my body, the male lower end of the range, before I feel sexually horrible. So I’ve had to reduce to 0.1mg and stay there for a while now. Of course these numbers aren’t going to work for most other people. Everyone is different.
Orchiectomy was never the immediate goal for me. The goal was to reduce the dysphoria or whatever feelings I had. My doctor’s point of view is that each person has their own goals. Per her, she uses anti-androgens for those who want quick relief and cannot be experimenting with estrogen dosages for months and also believe absolutely that they are trans and must transition with orchi and SRS. That wasn’t my case. Many never get orchi or SRS. And after noticing unacceptable systemic side effects, avoiding artificial chemicals in my body was important to me. Hence the anti-androgen regimen, which I briefly tried, was abandoned.
“Just because you want a kid, dating’s awkward, and the job thing hasn’t gone well’
As I mentioned above in another post, while the things you have quoted have increased the urgency of making a decision about transition/detransition, I was never convinced about transition being right for me, or at least transition as most think about it. Hence the quoted text is an inaccurate reason for my detransition. It is the partly accurate reason for having to make that decision soon.
“This seems like something for them, not for a forum of trans* people who can’t really answer for you what they’re working on still themselves.’
I posted to learn about other people’s experiences and to possibly run into someone else contemplating/going through/having done detransition. Just as you benefit from having a community when you transition, I sure would benefit from a community going the other way. People in trans support groups don’t tell you, “don’t talk with us, go tell that to your therapist”. Community helps beyond the things that medical professionals can. The detransition community is likely to be a hidden minority among a hidden minority for obvious reasons. Of course I don’t want to run into cis anti-trans people promoting detransition, so getting to know them a bit through such sharing of experiences helps. I presume putting myself out here would get me one or two detransitioners. If not, that’s okay too.
Just as transition does not always mean going all the way, detransition might not either. I could probably live as a man on estrogen, or as a feminine man on no estrogen, or as a masculine man who is allowed to do everything I can do now, or whatever else. I have not figured out that right spot yet.
I did not post to question other people’s reasons, but rather to understand if I am alone in this, which I’m sure you’ve been through before you came out of the closet, if you ever were in. Hence I stated my own reasons and asked if there was anyone who felt that way. I did not do that to get therapy from a forum, but rather to find anyone who feels anything like I do. You’d find it silly if all cis people said that you are trying to encourage more people to be trans by say that you are trans, right? Likewise, by saying that I’m detransitioning and have doubts, I find it silly if you claim that somehow I’m encouraging more people to detransition. If others do doubt themselves, it is actually very healthy to get those doubts cleared. You don’t benefit from more in the closet or more people like Renee Richards and more Samantha Kanes who figure out after going too far. Of course, I’m not saying that’s my intent, but I am saying that you and I aren’t soldiers trying to protect some territorial border of trans/non-trans. So let’s leave that argument aside that somehow by bringing up my detransition, I’m doing some grave harm to everyone. This argument is often used by anti-trans people opposing people transitioning.
That’s quite interesting, on your testosterone levels. Of course, I can’t help but still think that there must be something up, as that isn’t the norm for sure. I can’t wait to get off anti-T – I’ve also read that it doesn’t exactly help with depression, that they have the nasty effect of diminishing catecholamines. And yeah, I was a bit snappy last night, and my initial reaction to hearing ‘detransition’ is that of someone who has been told recently that it’d be ‘more convenient’ for them to have me to just go back to being male. I definitely took that out on you. My bad.
But you definitely, in this post, reference what I was getting at; you might be detransitioning from pure MtF, but you may still be on the genderqueer part of the spectrum. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
The other reason why I brought up a therapist is that in another of your posts, you got to talking about feminine side/masculine side – and going to therapy was where I learned about that, and was told to experiment with that. One of the reasons I finally decided that transition was right for me was that playing with the idea of letting my feminine side out sometimes just made me feel worse, let down. Also, you must be able to type like >100 WPM. There’s a lot to dig through here, and you’d probably get people like me responding with an emotional charge based on part of it. Not very impartial.
I hope you figure out a way to be happy, be that in a pure male role at work with some crossdressing at home – or more like part time in each role. I have a friend who does that. It’s an interesting perspective on things that I don’t understand completely. And yeah, you hit on the point that anti-trans people use detransition as a talking point, and I understand that’s not what you are doing.
0.edit: Also, I glanced over this whole page again, and there was a powerful point in another comment – that the detransition community is not vocal because their members don’t exist anymore. I would doubt that it’s as clear cut as that, truly, but as for the angle of forced ‘praying away the gay’, yeah, I’d kill myself. Eventual suicide was another reason why I was all ready to transition when I did. But as far as the people who have second thoughts all on their own… there is that yahoo group. There must be more things like it. But you are an interesting case, and I would imagine that really, as I said, it’s not so much detransition for you as it is just changing the degree of the transition.
Yeah you’re extremely wordy. I think that’s what made me so interested in this thread though, haha.
Maybe I didn’t know what I was talking about. If anyone knows what direction in life they should head, it’s you. You seem to be a decent navigator. I hope you end up someplace comfortable. 🙂