I hope I haven’t influenced you- Sharing some doubts in retrospect

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]

12 Responses to “I hope I haven’t influenced you- Sharing some doubts in retrospect”

  1. luckynkl Says:

    Does T leave one confused, forgetful, unable to focus and cause problems communicating? IOWs, does it fog the brain? Just curious.

  2. GallusMag Says:

    She seemed slightly scattered but managed to successfully articulate some pretty important stuff. Stuff that is maybe a bit hard to communicate, especially for one who is still trying to process their experience. This is what detransition looks like, or emerging from any cult-like situation. “Why did I ignore my doubts and hide them from others?” “What the hell was I thiking?” “How can I back away from my former actions and beliefs without regarding them with regret and despair?” “How can I integrate my past into my new mental clarity?” “How many others did my own cult-like behavior indoctrinate?” “Do I have a responsibility to set the record straight for the young trans trenders for whom I willingly served as a role model?” Etc.

    It’s interesting because she recognizes how she got caught up in the whole YouTube trans trend – and promulgated the tropes therein, even as she knew herself to disbelieve them, or at least hold enormous personal doubts, even as she published her YouTube “testimonials”.

    And I think it is unusual for a trans trender in recovery to be concerned with their personal responsibility to the young adolescent women who watched their indoctrination videos. I think these folks DO have a responsibility to start speaking out. So often they simply stop vlogging and “disappear”, which lends itself to the trope of “Just off living in the happy wonderland of being a man now” when that is seldom the truth. She was a very popular trans trend vlogger 5-6 years ago. I give her credit for starting to set the record straight but I wish it were more.

    She said she’s afraid to look at her old trans-trending videos now. I wish she would look, and I wish she would share more of her thoughts on the matter, no matter how haltingly or scattered they may be expressed. She’s not the only one waking up. Maybe she has a responsibility to speak up.

    • Marie-France Lesage Says:

      I can’t begin to imagine how distressing it must be for her to realize how deep she was into the cult-think. I dated a guy for a while who was ex-Scientoloty — and he was very far into it for over a decade before he started to wake up. It was very, very hard for him to look back and say, “Yeah, I was really dishonest with myself and with everyone around me. I didn’t speak out about my doubts. I tried to keep up this happy-happy-joy-joy face for all the other Scientologists, my family and friends, but I had HUGE, crushing doubts the entire time. Now what?!!?!”

      I went through a very similar problem in my twenties after I “came out” as a lesbian for a few years and then realized, “Hey, I don’t think real lesbians feel the way I do about men, sexually.” Ooops. I am really bi-sexual. That was super embarrassing. Why couldn’t I just be honest with myself and everyone else? Because sometimes it’s complicated. Sex is also PRIVATE. You don’t normally just walk up to people and say, “I’m super sexually attracted to my friend Monica, but I am having sexual fantasies about her husband, too. And my neighbor, Carol. And the guy who sells me espresso is smoking hot. Eeeps.” It’s tough to articulate and tough to deal with how people may or may not judge you (which can run the gamut from a yawn to complete, permanent rejection and shunning.)

      Sometimes the people around you put subtle or not-so-subtle pressure on you to conform. Sometimes you have really tough emotional stuff to work through (in my case, a lot of pain, distrust and rage at men in general after a series of sexual assaults beginning when I was three.) Sometimes you’re super attached to someone and are afraid of losing them (in my case back then, my girlfriend of several years who really IS a lesbian and so much better off without me — happily coupled for twenty years, kid, dog, house, the whole enchilada. We’re still very close friends, but my confusion was holding her back.) Sometimes your entire social circle — even your co-workers, family, etc. — comes to see you a certain way, and you feel terrified that they’ll all turn on you if you change (some will, most won’t.)

      That said, I do think it would be good for ALL the trans regretters to speak out about their doubts — especially their hidden doubts when they were pretending to be gung-ho. Other people who are considering transition have a right to know, and doctors/psychologists need to know that lying about being 100% sure is VERY common among their patients. I think the parents of so-called “trans kids” especially have a right to know.

  3. moose Says:

    She’s refreshingly clear about the internet’s influence on her decision, about living her life exclusively online like many young ‘FTMs,’ especially those in less urban places.

  4. Lydia Says:

    Every time I watch one of videos–it doesn’t matter what the topic is–I see how prescient Guy Debord was when he wrote about the society of the spectacle. Being is reduced to having which is further reduced to merely appearing. That is the world in which these kids are trapped. So of course they are vulnerable to the trans framework, which glorifies presentation above all else. I weep for the future.

    • Becky Green Says:

      That sounds like a fascinating book, I’ll be ordering a copy tomorrow. I never heard of him before, so I’m happy you relayed his brilliant analysis of society’s current, and unfortunate, trajectory.

      I can already see how it applies to a couple misguided beliefs that are currently in vogue regarding sexuality. Specifically, that the commodification of sex is seen as empowering and that one’s sex life is deemed most enjoyable when it’s made public, to some degree. Everything private must now be validated by the public to be real. The public quantifies the value of a particular experience instead of the person who actually had the experience. So, with sex, the orgasm isn’t the true climax anymore; it has been usurped by the exhibitionistic pleasure of being watched. When appearance trumps all, narcissism will multiply exponentially.

  5. Adrian Says:

    Some thoughts sparked by watching this video:
    All the “I thought I really was this tortured man, born in the wrong body” stuff. She really did feel that way, or had convinced herself that she felt that way, that transitioning was the only way and that it wasn’t a phase, it wasn’t just all in her head, etc. And yet… some years on, turns out it was – in the sense that she has regrets and would not consider things that same way now.

    Hearing that I can’t help but be reminded of the BIID advocates. They too go on and on about being in the wrong body, that it’s not a psychological issue, that therapy is no help, and that the obvious conclusion is that surgery is the only way, so the medical establishment must allow it and it’s a travesty that they don’t (and they frequently make parallels with GID, which the medical establishment will perform surgery for). There are occasionally threads or discussions with outsiders in them where those outsiders point out that perhaps those insisting that surgery is the only way are too involved – particularly if something involves psychological issues, can you always trust the claims of the sufferer? Of course those people are SINCERE, they indeed really do feel a certain way perhaps, but that doesn’t mean that in fact things are as they feel them to be.

    I mean, any number of people who have sworn up and down that something or other was not a phase and surely they will feel the same forever end up changing their minds later on.

    Of course that community too swears that no one ever regrets, but so many people leave the community after getting the modification they want, that I’m not certain anyone really knows.
    Thinking of SRS and transitioning purely in the physical bodyart sense, I am reminded of some themes that would come up in the bodyart community, particularly around competition. In some very small (often online) worlds there too, there would be “celebrities” of a sort and a type of one-upmanship, with pressure to go further, to more extreme things, and in that community there were social rewards for stretching the lip ever bigger, or whatever it was at the time.

    But some years on, when the peak of that fad (yes, I’m going there) has faded, there are people left with such extreme alterations that they can’t easily revert them, and they can’t really blend back into “mainstream” society either without having plastic surgery(?) to try to fix it. Extreme facial tattoos, or those people who stretched their lips around plates of 63mm or put two-inch holes in their nostrils, that sort of thing. Holes of that size won’t just close up. There too there’s a taboo almost about talking about regretting.
    When it comes to the FTM community on the internet, and the segment of quite young people that often gets called “transtrenders” in particular, it seems that they are idolizing a specific look of a teenage or maybe 20 year old young male. It’s easier for a woman to pass as that age anyway (despite her age) but I can’t help but wondering how it will go when they’re hitting middle age. Because either the full effects of T are working, and they get the usual back hair, belly fat and balding that men get, or else it doesn’t take so well and they remain somewhat “femmy” looking particularly in the face, and they no longer pass.

    Back to pressure though, you can find all kinds of comments to the effect of “if you’re going to transition, you should do it now, while you have a chance at that hot young male somewhat androgynous look” more or less, or people saying from the get-go that they want to take T but “only for a while” because they want the masculine young look thing but they don’t want enough to start balding, etc. It’s a weird world out there.

    Plus it seems the vast majority are all picking anachronistic names that end in “-aden.” Those are names popular for boys born NOW, not 20 years ago.

  6. EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

    It’s 1:00 am and I haven’t really had a decent night’s sleep in three weeks. Not since the Colleen Francis case hit my space. This video of regret is similar to many that I’ve seen. I’ve been combing every piece of medical literature that I could find. I’ve been watching every aspect of this trans phenomena in videos and in reading blogs.

    What in the world is wrong with our APA? There are medical reasons for sex reassignment in intersex cases, but I can’t think of any other illness where the patient shows up and tells the doctor what is wrong and demands a specific course of treatment. I see a lot of fatuous literature that states that GID is different from BDD because GID won’t respond to anti-depressant treatment. That corrective application of hormones and surgery is recommended. Somehow, that just seems like total b*** to me. GID looks exactly like anorexia in its application.

    One of my hobbies is micro-expressions. Even these transitioning teens that have achieved “happiness” by transitioning over are flashing so many sad elements when they talk about how much more at peace they are. They aren’t cured. They are only appeased.

    These kids need a real support network. And what is wrong with the LBG community that they blithely would shut up and go along with chemically castrating children that are probably going to grow up gay? Why aren’t they screaming about this? (Obviously, some of the L community is screaming. WTF!! is wrong with the *other* half?!!!)

    Most heterosexual women think that trans “females” in the bathrooms is cute. That they are gay. That they’re non-threatening. Because gay men are not real men to most of these het women. In the social gatherings where I’ve lightly brought up the issue, the absolute and total recoil about the Colleen Francis case is telling. They don’t know. Hell, 3 weeks ago *I* didn’t know.

    I’ve gone from blithely accepting the transgender identity issue to being virulently opposed in a very short time. I don’t know if I’m ever going to sleep again.

    But I do know that I’m going to do something about this. I haven’t really worked out exactly how that is going to happen, or what, but I’m examining how to begin waking up the community. It’s going to take some planning before I jump in with both feet. Transactivists are vicious and vengeful.

    • Marie-France Lesage Says:

      Be safe, but be confident that you are NOT alone. They’ll try to marginalize you, but women everywhere react very similarly to your reaction once they look behind the “trans” curtain. It’s appalling. I agree with everything you wrote and can completely and totally relate.

      I used to hang out with a bunch of cross-dressing gay men (my next-door neighbors in college back in the dinosaur ’70’s.)

      This current crop of heterosexual male “trans women” are a COMPLETELY different breed, and yes, some percentage of them are terribly dangerous to women and girls — and many more of them act out a jealousy and anger towards women that is quite…unhinged.

      When people think I am over-reacting, I remind them that Richard Speck was cross dressing and taking (smuggled/contraband) female hormones in prison:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Speck

      These days, “trans” whacktivists would be clamoring for his “right” to a state-funded sex change and for moving him to a women’s prison!!!


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