October 24, 2013
The following is a list written by a detransitioning woman outlining the missing factors in the care they were provided by medical practitioners, advocates, and the trans-supportive community at large.
Much lip service is paid in transgender political lobbying around the difficulties in accessing “care” for transgender people. Yet this “care” is profoundly, singularly directed towards modalities that proscribe misogynist, heteronormative, and indeed transphobic(!) adherence to sex-based gender roles and the pathologization and medicalization of sex-role nonconformity.
Increasingly, this narrow focus of “care” is being directed towards children as young as 18 months old who are being diagnosed as medically disabled and “gender defective” and are celebrated as such for their “bravery” in the face of developmental sex-role deformity by the mainstream LGBT community as if they were contestants in a queer “special gender olympics” version of Toddlers and Tiaras.
What of the individuals like Nathan Verhelst for whom such treatments abysmally fail to diagnose or cure? What treatments are available for gender dysphoric individuals for whom cross-hormone and cosmetic surgical options are medically contraindicated? What “care” is available for those many individuals suffering after “transition”?
When Joel Nowak of Retransition.Org contacted WPATH (the premier medical lobbying group for transgender psychiatric and medical care) regarding resources and information for those who need to discontinue cross-sex hormones for various reasons they were told that WPATH had “no idea”. NO IDEA. “That is a very good question” he was advised. This organization has presented itself as the worldwide cutting-edge authority in medical and therapeutic treatment for transgender individuals for decades, and is recognized as such by legal and medical and governmental agencies globally. Yet they had “no idea” how to advise transgender medical consumers on how to safely desist cross-sex hormone therapy, and “no idea” where to refer such transgender persons.
While continually citing the suicidality, morbidity and psychiatric and medical emergency of gender dysphoria, the carers and advocates for transgender persons- including those of the highest professional, therapeutic, academic, political and activist standing- have decided that care should be confined to those who can (and want to) medically and psychologically tolerate gender normative “treatment” and all other transgenders who suffer from sex or gender dysphoria can literally be damned.
Transgenders who medically detransition, or whose dysphoria is uncured after “treatment” – and the percentage is large- are not only completely rejected from care but are shunned, and even attacked by those claiming to promote care for sex and gender dysphoric (transgender) persons. Supportive medical and therapeutic care for these particular transgenders is considered non-imperative as their distress is deemed inconsequential and their experiences and outcomes disposable.
Below is the list provided by a detransitioning woman (now negotiating medical and social de-transition without care or support, because none exists) listing the elements that she identifies as missing in her pre-transition care.
Sadly, this woman has been subjected to a barrage of harassment and intimidation by individuals (also identifying themselves as transgender) who want to silence any sex or gender dysphoric individuals who share information on gaps in existing care for transgender people.
Anyone who is genuinely concerned about providing care for transgender individuals – perhaps especially families struggling with “transgender children”- would do well to take note of the items on this list.
From her post:
“As someone who views transsexualism as a medical condition, I believe everyone should exhaust other alternatives and transition only as a last resort. That is what I did. The thing is, I didn’t have the resources to utilize that I could envision in a better world. Transition was the best option at the time for me, but I can think of a lot of things that would have allowed me to make a better decision. Some of these things are:
– Knowledge of the existence of detransition
– Realistic, accurate, and honest information about detransition
– Visibility of detransitioned folks sharing their story
– Information on alternative options for dealing with dysphoria such as meditation and exercises to re-align my self of self with my body
– Knowledge of radical feminism
– Knowledge of how trauma can influence one’s sense of self
– Trained, knowledgeable support for my trauma
– Someone to guide me into addressing my trauma, instead of letting me go through therapy thinking it really didn’t affect me in any significant way
– Better role models to look up to who exemplify living confidently as a gender non-conforming woman
– More accurate information on the effects of testosterone
– Honest discussion on the mental effects of testosterone
– Parental support in being gay
– Parental acceptance of my being gender non-conforming
– Better support by non-parental figures in being gay and gender non-conforming
– Knowledge of how deeply misogyny can affect females
– Acknowledgement and information about internalized misogyny within the FTM spectrum
“Last resort” is a misleading phrase here. I think virtually all trans folks are in a compromised position where better resources could be available, but are not. Detransition has been entirely taboo to talk about anywhere. It has been dismissed by trans folks and framed as cautionary bullshit coming from transphobic people. That one aspect alone puts anyone considering transition at a significant disadvantage if they are ignorant of the possibility of detransition.
Am I against transition altogether? Until these sorts of support and resources are available to the majority trans people, that question does not apply. We do not live in a world where these things are prerequisite to transition, so how could anyone know if transition would still be necessary if better support and resources were available? Sexual trauma is completely ignored as an influence of transsexuality by most therapists in an effort to be “PC”, and that is appalling.”
Read the rest of her post and more of her thoughts here: http://twentythreetimes.tumblr.com/
[Bolding by me not the author- GM]