46

Another heart-breaking detrans story by Lordy.

https://twitter.com/SarahVaci/status/1574114121322299399?s=20&t=E_JnEke-6Bcox67RCo6eJA

https://archive.ph/QEeDH

Portrait 21 in my series of 100 detransitioned women/females is Oliver, 26, USA

“It's hard for me to find the words to feel like I stand out from other detransitioner's stories. That in itself is a terror and a comfort.

I've picked apart my body since I was 10 (a thread 1/6)

and developed an eating disorder. Dealt with undiagnosed mental illness and autism alone. Trauma and sexual abuse. Had crippling sex dysphoria and wished I had breast cancer. I was treated poorly as a child for being gnc and possibly gay. (2/6)

At 17 y/o I began calling myself trans and went along the path of hormones, surgery, name change, etc. for years. There are so many people like me that a platonic ideal of a detransitioner's experience is developing.

While it's comforting to have others to relate to, (3/6)

it's terrible that it comes from what is usually a soul shattering, life changing realization that you've been misled by yourself and medical professionals, friends and family. That you've lost parts you will never get back. You'll never know the "true self" you were so (4/6)

convinced you were becoming by altering your body and language.

All I wanted was to finally be at peace with my body. To be happy and confident.

But the parts I needed to make peace with are gone forever. I never had the chance. I'm left to love and heal in a body with (5/6)

permanent scars that were somehow supposed to make me feel better. All that said, I'm happier now and am glad that I was born female. That would have been impossible for me to say even 2 years ago. (6/6)

You can support my art series at http://paypal.me/SarahVaci Many thanks!

My experience is similar to hers in many aspects but that's not surprising, she herself pointed out in the beginning how similar detrans stories are:

"It's hard for me to find the words to feel like I stand out from other detransitioner's stories." That in itself is a terror and a comfort."

By this I suppose she means it's comforting to know you're not alone but terrible to realize that it's a social contagion and yet nobody gives a fuck about young traumatised women on the autism spectrum being medically abused and mutilated.

" All I wanted was to finally be at peace with my body. To be happy and confident. But the parts I needed to make peace with are gone forever."

I find this part especially well-said and relatable...

Another heart-breaking detrans story by Lordy. https://twitter.com/SarahVaci/status/1574114121322299399?s=20&t=E_JnEke-6Bcox67RCo6eJA https://archive.ph/QEeDH > Portrait 21 in my series of 100 detransitioned women/females is Oliver, 26, USA > “It's hard for me to find the words to feel like I stand out from other detransitioner's stories. That in itself is a terror and a comfort. > I've picked apart my body since I was 10 (a thread 1/6) > and developed an eating disorder. Dealt with undiagnosed mental illness and autism alone. Trauma and sexual abuse. Had crippling sex dysphoria and wished I had breast cancer. I was treated poorly as a child for being gnc and possibly gay. (2/6) > At 17 y/o I began calling myself trans and went along the path of hormones, surgery, name change, etc. for years. There are so many people like me that a platonic ideal of a detransitioner's experience is developing. > While it's comforting to have others to relate to, (3/6) > it's terrible that it comes from what is usually a soul shattering, life changing realization that you've been misled by yourself and medical professionals, friends and family. That you've lost parts you will never get back. You'll never know the "true self" you were so (4/6) > convinced you were becoming by altering your body and language. > All I wanted was to finally be at peace with my body. To be happy and confident. > But the parts I needed to make peace with are gone forever. I never had the chance. I'm left to love and heal in a body with (5/6) > permanent scars that were somehow supposed to make me feel better. All that said, I'm happier now and am glad that I was born female. That would have been impossible for me to say even 2 years ago. (6/6) > You can support my art series at http://paypal.me/SarahVaci Many thanks! My experience is similar to hers in many aspects but that's not surprising, she herself pointed out in the beginning how similar detrans stories are: "It's hard for me to find the words to feel like I stand out from other detransitioner's stories." That in itself is a terror and a comfort." By this I suppose she means it's comforting to know you're not alone but terrible to realize that it's a social contagion and yet nobody gives a fuck about young traumatised women on the autism spectrum being medically abused and mutilated. " All I wanted was to finally be at peace with my body. To be happy and confident. **But the parts I needed to make peace with are gone forever**." I find this part especially well-said and relatable...

14 comments

[–] Dee 10 points

The question is how to get these people to realize the harms of the path they are on before they take drastic steps. What separates detransitioners from desisters, who did not take irreversible steps?

[–] DonnaFemina 14 points Edited

"What separates detransitioners from desisters, who did not take irreversible steps?"

Health insurance that covers these surgeries? "Gender affirmation" provided by their families and schools, and "gender-affirming care" available near where they lived?

It could be that simple. They transitioned because the path to surgery was free of obstacles.

The constant and mandatory affirmation is the main factor. I escaped the trans movement by a decade. I desisted because people made fun of me (now illegal), refused my chosen pronouns (now illegal), and because nobody in their right mind would see me as a boy (now illegal). I gave up because nobody wanted me to be a boy except me. It's different now.

Yeah, that's a really good point. It must be hugely embarrassing to walk back on a trans identity. We need to start giving detransitioners the #SoBrave hashtags that they deserve.

[–] Lezbhonest 7 points Edited

I honestly believe that the biggest thing that prevents this is not "coming out" and socially transitioning, new name and pronouns, etc.

I IDed as FTM (and briefly, nb) for about three years, but only "came out" to one person. I firmly believe that was the reason I was able to desist so easily, because I didn't have to announce it and walk back on my words to so many people.

Plus, when I was in hs, there weren't these massive cliques of trans kids. They'll bully you if you detrans now.

Timing really is everything for those of us who made it out with all our parts. For me, my serious questioning happened in the '00s. I had one friend I talked about it with. I thought my situation was unique--I should have been born a gay boy. When I told women friends I had watched gay porn, they were mostly just grossed out. It was a different time. I was the last stop for several young gay men who were still trying to be straight. The thing that convinced me something was wrong/different about me is that gay men were the only men who responded well to my vibe and seemed to like it. Straight men either found me intimidating or wanted me to dominate them.

What snapped me out of this idiocy was studying men. Not yaoi, not porn, actual men, how their bodies work and feel to them, their sociology, how they experience emotion, their behavior. I wanted to understand what it was really like to be a man.

So I did a shit ton of reading, asked male friends a lot of questions and wrote a character who was how I'd expect myself to be if I had been born and socialized male. I grew fond of him in the years I wrote about him, but it became clear he wasn't me and I didn't want to be him. He constantly disappointed me. He loved pleasure and never thought about the cost--he was warm but a bit lazy, and if someone got upset with him, he simply withdrew until it blew over.

Eventually, I realized I was being extremely unfair to my body--a very good female body that had served me well all my life. It wasn't her fault I wasn't happy. I got angry on my body's behalf. There was nothing wrong with me--the problem was the world.

The hard thing about realizing that is you have to accept you may never be happy in this wrong world. But I'm getting older now, so it matters less than it used to.

I firmly believe that was the reason I was able to desist so easily, because I didn't have to announce it and walk back on my words to so many people.

Thank god for that.

These kids are young. Obviously we grow and learn our entire life, but your actual brain is not fully done developing until you're 25. The parts that take the longest to develop are those having to do with impulsivity/consequence. You think you want something right now and you think you know what you're doing, but your brain literally isn't wired to understand the full consequences of your choices yet. Young people very seldom concern themselves with the future for this exact reason.

Another thing is maturity and experience. Most kids think that they're the only one to ever have experienced XYZ, that they must be the only one of their peers with a rich internal life (a big reason for the "not like other girls" prominent among young girls) and so if you believe that no-one else could possibly understand what you're going through you're very unlikely to take their advice. Imagine if a man told you how sexism feels - you'd throw up in your mouth because you'd think there was no way he could possibly know what he's talking about. The difference here, of course, is that people who advise these kids against doing what they're doing DO know what they're talking about.

To answer your question: The obvious way to do it would be to push back, as parents and adults have been doing for the entirety of human history when their young have silly ideas that they're incapable of fully comprehending. Unfortunately, any critique of this movement is either shut down or heavily criticised, so people are terrified to speak up. Even when it comes to children. Medical professionals will conspire behind your back to "transition" your child without your knowledge, teachers will ask in secret about preferred pronouns, any dissenter will be bullied and cancelled. These children aren't receiving any pushback at all. Not only that, but there is a societal incentive to being able to claim "oppression", so I really don't see how we could rectify the current situation at all without heavy legislation and judicial measures.

[–] ProxyMusic 4 points Edited

Most kids think that they're the only one to ever have experienced XYZ, that they must be the only one of their peers with a rich internal life (a big reason for the "not like other girls" prominent among young girls) and so if you believe that no-one else could possibly understand what you're going through you're very unlikely to take their advice.

This hits the nail on the head. It also touches on a conflict that I see at the heart of many of these kids' struggles.

On the one hand, their belief that they are the only one to feel this way, that no one else has been through what they are going through, and that that everyone else feels comfortable in their own skin and happy with sexist stereotypes, makes them feel unhappy, alienated, lonely, convinced no one else can possibly understand them, etc - in other words "dysphoric." But on the other hand, even though feeling set apart from others makes them deeply unhappy, it also gives them a certain kind of pleasure and a sense of power because it makes them feel special, uniquely put upon and superior to the "normies" aka the boring "cisgenders."

For those young people who grow up with the illusion that they are a special breed apart who are completely different to everyone else, giving up that illusion is part of the normal maturation process. Yet it's something that still distresses many of those who fell prey to gender woo. Painful as it is, the sense of being different to others brings with it a sense of pleasure, pride and often triumphant self-satisfaction, and so it can be surprisingly hard to give up. That illusion also goes hand in hand with the flights of fancy and magical thinking these kids are into. I think these are some of the myriad reasons this young woman struggles with her realization that her story sounds identical to the story of so many others. She still longs "to feel like I stand out" from others:

"It's hard for me to find the words to feel like I stand out from other detransitioner's stories." That in itself is a terror and a comfort."

She still longs "to feel like I stand out" from others:

Part of it is not wanting to admit she’s been fooled, like victims of online scams who didn’t think it could happen to them, too.

[–] Dee 1 points

I am concerned that brain development and maturity aren't enough. By the time the brain is fully developed, this thing has become an ingrained part of the young person's cultural identity — perhaps very much in the way that, say, a religion or an ethnic background might be. Even if one no longer believes, how hard must it be to give that up? See also, for instance, people who are atheists but keep attending religious services because of a sense of belonging.

I have a trans IDing teenager. Pushing back is hard, even when you do not live somewhere where this is being pushed, because they have been fed "all the answers" ahead of time. They are literally told that your parents might say X, and X is transphobic and means they don't understand, or don't accept your authentic self, etc. These messages might come mainly from other misguided teens, or also from adults who should know better.

Pushing back makes you the enemy. And people don't take advice from enemies.

So that leaves me in a position of wondering whether it is better to be blunt about my views and accept whatever consequences that brings (just so that she is fully aware those views do exist, and transition isn't the only option), or to quietly ask neutral questions. I've oscillated between the two a bit, with no coherent approach, and I don't think that is helping. I think we parents need coherent, science-based, advice on how to help.

Take just binders. My child says they are safe so long as you wear them safely, and she'd wear them safely. Information to the contrary is ignored as transphobic, or rather framed as "the benefits outweigh the risks because dysphoria can kill".

This is shocking and sad and powerfully expressed. Thank you for sharing this. I'm so sorry.