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I try not to go down the trans rabbit hole too much these days but in the past couple of weeks being on Ovarit has linked me to some bullshit that I can't really deal with and I'm struggling.

Now that I have a pretty good handle on my dysphoria stuff that I took for granted seems ludicrous and sad-- the idea that a huge chunk of lesbians now take 'roids for "mental health" is insanity inducing alone. But seeing shit like... mainstream LGBT social media endorsing a 18 year old's desire for "nullification surgery", female celebrities including gender conforming ones spontaneously transing in spades, seeing posts about how trans females "just love their hysterectomy!" as if it's a new couch or something and not a surgery, an entire subreddit with multiple posts a day devoted to people who have gotten cosmetic mastectomies without nipples, that fucking Facebook video with the trans couple with a baby... I ran into a research article the other day where a gender surgeon gave a self-identified cis woman a metoidoplasty!

I feel like I'm literally in a coma and hallucinating. I do not feel like I recognize reality anymore. At my job (which is NOT healthcare or gender/sexuality related in the least) I have gone from seeing a trans person maybe once a week to now seeing 4-5 every day and they're almost all young women with severe social anxiety and/or a chip on their shoulder. For fuck's sake I have had to deal with someone with yaoi pins on her shirt asking me if I was a "plant gay"... this is along with the multiple times a week where clients/customers play the pronoun game with me and assume I am trans or studiously avoid calling me a woman or correct themselves or whatever the fuck.

I used to strongly feel like I could explain to somebody what my experience was like, why I had chosen to not transition, etc. so long as they would listen in good faith. I felt like the "kids" were reachable and you could talk to people about gender stuff. Like, maybe they would be hostile but at least we would be on the same page about the reasons why we all wanted to do this shit to ourselves. But now barely legal adults are getting their nipples amputated because the idea of a graft (but not fucking surgery itself) "makes them uncomfy :(" and surgeons are willing to make them look like alien children and it's unthinkable to ask basic questions like "why". I do NOT feel like I occupy the same reality as these people.

I went down a youtube rabbit hole by accident and found the entire community of "subliminals" where people watch and re-watch videos that are supposed to literally give them certain qualities (or somehow "manifest" them for you, or get you to achieve them some how) and there are TONS of these for dysphoric girls, where you just listen to music with inaudible "affirmations" that are supposed to make your chest flat or your jaw bigger or you taller or whatever the fuck. There's also trans affirmation ASMRs that kids listen to where creepy guys (mostly) practice using your pronouns and tell you that you are SO VALID and such a great guy and all this shit. This world is literally unrecognizable to me-- it would have been unthinkable even when I was the most divorced from reality, unemployed, mentally ill, trapped online as an escape that this wouldn't have appeared disturbing to me...

I mean otherkin and all ye olde crazy internet seem tame in comparison... I was a kid who was obsessed with animals and supernatural beings and I get the appeal of lots of kinds of escapism even if it's embarrassing. Watching all this and having it invade my IRL reality (a "trans butch" female comics artist with an incredibly silly name and aggressively simpering gender politics came into my workplace the other day) makes me feel like I'm on the ride to hell every day.

Dysphoria was honestly preferable to feeling this level of Kafkaesque horror. I have "cis women" with pronoun necklaces that say "she/her" walk into my workplace and then women indistinguishable from them come in with "they/them" hoop earrings and then women who look exactly like the other two come in with a dirtstache wanting to change their name on their accounts to video game character or popular boys' names from 2015. My boss asked me if I was going to cut off my boobs the other day because I casually mentioned I had shoulder pain. I'm about ready to tunnel straight into the ground and never come out. I'm 3 seconds away from buying a wig and pretending I am straight so at least people don't "they" me or ask me about "queer health in the area" or randomly tell me about some trans man who does dog sledding while I'm getting paid butt wages to do something mundane...

I try not to go down the trans rabbit hole too much these days but in the past couple of weeks being on Ovarit has linked me to some bullshit that I can't really deal with and I'm struggling. Now that I have a pretty good handle on my dysphoria stuff that I took for granted seems ludicrous and sad-- the idea that a huge chunk of lesbians now take 'roids for "mental health" is insanity inducing alone. But seeing shit like... mainstream LGBT social media endorsing a 18 year old's desire for "nullification surgery", female celebrities including gender conforming ones spontaneously transing in spades, seeing posts about how trans females "just love their hysterectomy!" as if it's a new couch or something and not a surgery, an entire subreddit with multiple posts a day devoted to people who have gotten cosmetic mastectomies without nipples, that fucking Facebook video with the trans couple with a baby... I ran into a research article the other day where a gender surgeon gave a self-identified cis woman a metoidoplasty! I feel like I'm literally in a coma and hallucinating. I do not feel like I recognize reality anymore. At my job (which is NOT healthcare or gender/sexuality related in the least) I have gone from seeing a trans person maybe once a week to now seeing 4-5 every day and they're almost all young women with severe social anxiety and/or a chip on their shoulder. For fuck's sake I have had to deal with someone with yaoi pins on her shirt asking me if I was a "plant gay"... this is along with the multiple times a week where clients/customers play the pronoun game with me and assume I am trans or studiously avoid calling me a woman or correct themselves or whatever the fuck. I used to strongly feel like I could explain to somebody what my experience was like, why I had chosen to not transition, etc. so long as they would listen in good faith. I felt like the "kids" were reachable and you could talk to people about gender stuff. Like, maybe they would be hostile but at least we would be on the same page about the reasons why we all wanted to do this shit to ourselves. But now barely legal adults are getting their nipples amputated because the idea of a graft (but not fucking surgery itself) "makes them uncomfy :(" and surgeons are willing to make them look like alien children and it's unthinkable to ask basic questions like "why". I do NOT feel like I occupy the same reality as these people. I went down a youtube rabbit hole by accident and found the entire community of "subliminals" where people watch and re-watch videos that are supposed to literally give them certain qualities (or somehow "manifest" them for you, or get you to achieve them some how) and there are TONS of these for dysphoric girls, where you just listen to music with inaudible "affirmations" that are supposed to make your chest flat or your jaw bigger or you taller or whatever the fuck. There's also trans affirmation ASMRs that kids listen to where creepy guys (mostly) practice using your pronouns and tell you that you are SO VALID and such a great guy and all this shit. This world is literally unrecognizable to me-- it would have been unthinkable even when I was the most divorced from reality, unemployed, mentally ill, trapped online as an escape that this wouldn't have appeared disturbing to me... I mean otherkin and all ye olde crazy internet seem tame in comparison... I was a kid who was obsessed with animals and supernatural beings and I get the appeal of lots of kinds of escapism even if it's embarrassing. Watching all this and having it invade my IRL reality (a "trans butch" female comics artist with an incredibly silly name and aggressively simpering gender politics came into my workplace the other day) makes me feel like I'm on the ride to hell every day. Dysphoria was honestly preferable to feeling this level of Kafkaesque horror. I have "cis women" with pronoun necklaces that say "she/her" walk into my workplace and then women indistinguishable from them come in with "they/them" hoop earrings and then women who look exactly like the other two come in with a dirtstache wanting to change their name on their accounts to video game character or popular boys' names from 2015. My boss asked me if I was going to cut off my boobs the other day because I casually mentioned I had shoulder pain. I'm about ready to tunnel straight into the ground and never come out. I'm 3 seconds away from buying a wig and pretending I am straight so at least people don't "they" me or ask me about "queer health in the area" or randomly tell me about some trans man who does dog sledding while I'm getting paid butt wages to do something mundane...

6 comments

I used to strongly feel like I could explain to somebody what my experience was like, why I had chosen to not transition, etc. so long as they would listen in good faith. I felt like the "kids" were reachable and you could talk to people about gender stuff. Like, maybe they would be hostile but at least we would be on the same page about the reasons why we all wanted to do this shit to ourselves.

I relate so much to your whole post, but especially to this. My dysphoria was awful and desisting was also awful in a different way, but looking back on that time, I was so optimistic. I really thought this was going to plateau, I thought there was no way people were going to get this detached from reality. I thought that I would be able to just wait it out.

Yes, I really truly thought that this would peak at some point and the excesses would tank the whole thing. Like there'd be literally no way that trans-ing this many children would be sustainable and parents would surely wake the fuck up... and then I read stats that like 10% of kids in certain surveyed schools are transgender identified, something like half or more of LGBT kids are nonbinary or questioning whether they are. That lesbians surely would start waking up about how fucked up the whole "expecting lesbians to fuck dicks" thing is and now it's a standard position at dyke marches that penises are great.

Today I saw a trio of begendered young people--all of them female-- and one of them was an unkempt girl with long blonde hair, full testosterone beard, high waisted jeans pulled up under her breasts, and a pink shirt with an anime character on it that said PRETTY BOY. I literally do not know what this is supposed to mean. Who does she think she is? Who does she think other people think she is? How does she want to be treated and who does she want attention from? How does this make ANY sense and how has it become impossible for everyone in her life to react normally and naturally to her presentation (i.e. with bafflement and concern)?

I feel like I'm being forced to maintain a level of social dissociation that mirrors the level of body/mind dissociation I felt when acutely dysphoric. Like my social presence or ability to communicate socially is being fragmented if that makes sense. I think at one point I was very optimistic I could integrate into the social world "as a lesbian" even if it was tough, and I could have a social existence that didn't grate against the possibility of being recognized as a full human being. But now that hope has not just gone out the window but feels deader than when I imagined myself as either a guy or as a self-effacing woman. It's like if everyone is so utterly divorced from reality then there's no "ground" I can base any earnest, authentic communication upon, and everything I say is completely meaningless or subject to wild distortion.

I don't have anything constructive to add but thank you so much for everything you've written. You put into words what I have been feeling for several years but have been unable to express.

What you say here resonated so much with me, even though I can infer that I'm a bit older than you based on some of your references. My own dysphoria was a nightmare that started when I was a kid, but my own forays into the "trans" world of 2008+ was like wandering through H.P. Lovecraftian versions of "healthcare" - both mental and physical - and community "support". I can't even imagine having to live in that same world but now expanded even into the workplace, political sphere, mainstream social media, etc.

For whatever it's worth, for myself, packing as much real life and real people into my life, and doing everything possible to minimize / eliminate the "trans" life and people from my life, was what saved me. Literally.

The side effect of doing this was that it also allowed me to ultimately heal my dysphoria. I know saying things like that usually gets one dismissed and cancelled, but it happened to me. I think because continuing to immerse myself in "trans" support/culture/medicine - even the "positive" versions of same - was like constantly picking the scab. It never had a snowball's chance to heal, until I stopped letting other people/support/etc pick at it. I'm not saying that it went away right away. There were no "miracles". It took a lot of time, a lot of persistence.

But it also took adding those positive people/things to my life, as well. I was lucky enough to find and benefit from:

First, an online detrans/desist women's support group that only allowed women (you had to submit to a one-way video call to verify you were truly female to be let in). The very strict rules of the group included things like you had to use only female pronouns for yourself and the other women there, to reinforce and celebrate who you were as a female. That imposition and others like it were strange and offputting to me at first - but the woman-wisdom of them was ultimately healing for me.

In that group, I also got to meet other women - some with worse dysphoria than I had ever had - who had gotten rid of dysphoria. That was healing for me, as well, just to know it was possible. It would take me years beyond to reach that level, but you can't know you can get there until you know it's a destination.

Second, I had a few friends I could be completely honest with, who also were completely outside of the "trans" culture. They barely even knew what "trans" was. So they saw me for me, and didn't interpret me from within the medical/social "trans" identity. Though I often felt "misunderstood", I never felt unloved and unlistened to over the years (I could go to the women's group named above to feel understood). These friends, because they were so real-world and outside of anything "trans", acted as a strong reality-balance for me. It didn't matter that the "trans" culture said I was really "this". They saw and mirrored back to me that I was really "that". That kind of thing. Now, and for so many years, I have lived so long outside of anything "trans" that I forget that I'm supposed to "be" that and I live a normal life.

Hang in there. Take care of yourself and what you need.

[Edited for missed word]