crashchaoscats

reflectin' & dissectin', thoughts on "detransitioning"

Detaching Myself from My Dysphoria

The other day, I was trying to imagine how my life would be different if I’d never suffered from gender dysphoria. The point wasn’t to create a fantasy life I could never have but to see how different or similar of a person I’d be. It was to untangle my sense of self from my dysphoria because they can get mixed up with each other. I imagined myself as a butch dyke who never felt a severe disconnect with my body, who never had the urge to change it, who never felt like I’d be happier if people saw me as a specific gender. I would still dress the same way and have the same interests and personality but I would have one less problem to deal with. My life would’ve gone at least somewhat differently because I wouldn’t have felt the need to put time and energy into solving that particular problem.

I can’t say for certain that I’d be happier overall if I never experienced dysphoria because maybe I would’ve ended up dealing with some other kind of problem for years. I just don’t know. Like I said, I’m not trying to create a fantasy of an ideal life. Life is hard and full of difficulties whether or not you have gender dysphoria. Then again, I’ve felt relief during the times when it’s gone into remission because then I had one less thing to worry about. And some problems are better than others. The difficulties that come from learning how to farm are a whole lot better than the difficulties that come with coping with dysphoria or depression. Read the rest of this entry »

Letting Go of Gender

I’ve spent far too much of my life thinking about what gender I am or trying to live up to one or another idealized form of gender. I’ve noticed that I often fall into certain  thought-loops about gender, often about trying to pin down what I am because I could potentially live as more than one gender. At this point in my life, these thoughts are boring, anxious chatter. They take up mental space and distract me from other problems I feel too overwhelmed to face. They’re riddles that can’t be solved and that’s the point. I can get lost in them for hours and apparently they’re less scary than other parts of my life. Gender is familiar territory, a maze I can seemingly get lost in but whose twists and turns I know quite well. Its confines are comforting compared to the terrifyingly vast open space I enter when facing new and uncertain life struggles. I’ve seen much written about the supposedly liberating possibilities of “gender fluidity” or movement between genders but in my own experience, much of my movement between genders is driven by anxiety, fear and angst. It’s more about freaking out about how there are dangers and limitations put on me no matter what gender role I occupy and feeling pressured to choose the best option when there’s none that gives me all I want. I’ve found more peace by accepting the suffering that comes from being gendered and that I’m not going to get a satisfactory life just from living as a particular gender. Now when these thoughts occur, I’ve learned to not get caught up in them, to gently redirect my mind out of that groove and onto a new path. There’s typically no point in following those thoughts because I know they don’t go anywhere new or interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Peace with My Transition

I recently came across something I wrote about five years when I was first detransitioning. It was a draft of an email that I wrote to my best friend but apparently never sent. In it, I talked about how I often felt like I’d ruined myself by transitioning and was struggling with these feelings. I felt like I’d lost my old body and wasn’t sure how I was going to live as a woman in the body I had now. I felt ashamed that I’d transitioned as a result of social pressures and that writing about my transition online was more or less confessing to being an “unstable fuck-up”. I thought there was something really wrong with me because I’d transitioned, that I’d done something terrible to myself. While I knew that living in sexist society had played a huge role in my decision to transition, I felt primary responsible for making that choice. I blamed myself and my “weakness” for destroying my own life. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: How I Feel About My Body

 

Transcript:

I want to talk a little bit about how I feel about my body because I see that a lot of people think that detransitioned people all hate our bodies and that’s not true for me. I like my body. I like my facial hair and my body hair and my deep voice. I either enjoy or don’t have a problem with how my body has changed. I wanted facial hair before I took t, I was super happy when it started growing in and I still like it now. I think I look very handsome with a beard. I used to be upset for a while about my voice because it makes it harder for people to recognize that I’m a woman but I’m ok with it now. It’s not like the voice I had before I took t was more authentically my voice than the voice I have now. It’s still my voice. I like how my voice sounds. It’s a good voice.

Most of the concerns I have about my body now are about how other people react to it. There are a lot of people out there who act like there’s something wrong with bodies like mine. A lot of people in this culture are uncomfortable with female bodies that they think are too masculine. I’m really tired of it. I’ve been dealing with this attitude since even before I took t. Before testosterone, I was already getting a lot of messages that there was something wrong with my body, that it was too masculine, too ambiguous, that it wasn’t what a female body was supposed to be like. That’s all bullshit. My body was fine then and my body is fine now. I wouldn’t change anything about my body but I do wish that I could change how some people see it. I’ve had people treat me really cruelly for being a woman with a masculine body and I still get anxious about how people will react. It’s one of the reasons I usually don’t correct people when I pass for male. I get especially anxious when I’m looking for a job or sometimes when I’m meeting new people for the first time.

I just want to live in world where it’s no big deal if a woman has a beard or a deep voice. I want what I am to be completely ordinary. So I don’t appreciate when people freak out and act like having a body like mine is a tragedy. It’s not. I don’t even think of my body as being that unusual. It’s just another human body. I feel very present in my body, I experience a lot of joy living in it and I appreciate all that it gives me. I’m grateful to have this experience living in this body of mine.

So in short, it’s possible for a detransitioned person to feel great about their body. You can’t assume how a person is going to feel just from knowing that they’re detransitioned. There are other detrans people who do suffer from how their body has changed and their experiences are real too. I think it’s great if detrans people who’ve had that experience want to talk about it so other people can understand and support them better. I’m not trying to say my experience is the only one or that it’s better in some way compared to other people’s. Detransitioned people are individuals with different experiences and needs and it’s important for people to know that.

Me, I want people to stop acting like my body is a problem. I also work on developing a strong relationship with my body so that other people’s bad reactions to it doesn’t bother me as much. The more I feel present in my body and the more I appreciate it, the less it bothers me when other people freak out about it. It becomes easier to see that what their projecting onto my body isn’t real and not be hurt by it as much. Not everyone is open to changing their minds but that doesn’t mean I have to suffer because of their ignorance. It can still be hard for me not to freak out when people react badly to bodies like mine but I’ve been working on it and it doesn’t mess with me quite as much anymore.

So to conclude, I’m a detransitioned woman and I’m happy with my body and I hope that eventually this society will be able to respect all kinds of bodies and that everyone is able to develop a good and satisfying relationship with their body. Take care and be well.

Follow-up to Lost to Follow-up

I have a lot of conflicted feelings about my piece “Lost to Follow-up/How Far Can You Follow Me?”. Writing it at the time was healing but when I reread it now, I no longer relate to a lot of it. It’s an illustration of me in the process of changing myself, getting out and articulating intense feelings so they could move through me and transform into something else. Writing it was powerful, I made myself very honest and open when I wrote that. Everything I wrote was true for me at the time but I think and feel differently now. Writing “Lost to Follow-up” changed me and that’s one reason I still appreciate it even though I no longer identify with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Genderfuct-Video

The original text can be found here.

Note: This post is not an invitation to start hassling genderqueer people about how they understand themselves. Let people figure their own shit out.

Statement Against the ADF

We recently became aware that The Alliance Defending Freedom has been contacting high profile detransitioned people attempting to find potential plaintiffs to bankroll medical malpractice lawsuits. We strongly urge all detransitioned people to resist the temptation of ADF’s financial support. We acknowledge that many of us have received medical and mental health care that was grossly negligent. While we believe it protects the well-being of all patients for negligent medical providers to be held accountable, any relationship formed with the ADF assists them in their agenda of eroding the autonomy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified and gender non-conforming youth by legitimizing conversion therapy based on Christian fundamentalism. We ask you to think critically about this and reject any “support” that would allow the ADF to treat our painful histories and financial vulnerability as an opportunity to promote their anti-LGBT and anti-woman agenda.

via Statement Against the ADF — Detransitioned Women Resist the ADF

Pressure to Transition

I want to talk about how some women, particularly lesbian, butch and other gender non-conforming women, are pressured to identify as trans and transition female to male. This is a real problem and I know this because I am a butch lesbian who transitioned in response to the cultural environment I live in and how other people have treated me. I got countless messages that I was more acceptable if I presented myself as a man instead as of a butch woman. I lived as a trans man for almost a decade before I came to accept myself as a woman. I am also part of a growing community of women, most of them lesbian, who questioned whether they were truly female, experienced gender dysphoria, identified as trans, considered transitioning or actually did transition. Most of us struggled for years before we could accept ourselves as women. Read the rest of this entry »

Resilient Not Ruined

 

Transcript: One of the problems I face as a detransitioned woman is that many people think I must be messed up forever because of my past transition. In their minds, having a body that’s permanently modified from taking testosterone must be a terrible thing to have to live with. In reality, I’m fine with my body, it’s other people’s reactions to it that causes me problems. I’m fine with having facial hair, more body hair, a deeper voice and all that, I’m fine with all the permanent changes I got from taking t. I want to make clear that I wasn’t ruined by transitioning. I wasn’t wrecked by taking testosterone or by living as a man. Being detransitioned has been hard in some ways but overall my life is good and satisfying. Read the rest of this entry »

Life as a Passing Woman

Transcript: I want to talk about passing for male and how that affects me. Someone commented on one of my videos asking me if passing for male ever made me dysphoric. I decided to make this video partially in response to that and also because I’ve been thinking about making a video about passing for a while now. I’ve been passing for male to one extent or another for over half my life, so there’s a lot I could say about it and how that experience has impacted me over the years. In this video, I’m mostly going to focus on how passing affects my life today. My present experience of passing is definitely affected by the fact that I started passing years before I ever took t, often without intending to. Sometimes passing can make me dysphoric but it would probably make me even more dysphoric if I’d only started passing for male after taking testosterone. Read the rest of this entry »