I’m a genderweird woman who took t and spent several years living as a man before deciding I wasn’t male and didn’t want to be seen as one. I quit t over a year and half ago and I’m gradually attempting to come out and live according to how I presently feel. I started t when I was twenty then stopped for a while before deciding to go on it again for a couple more years before quitting this last time. I was on it for a total of about four years.
I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about why I made the choices I did and how those choices have effected me. I learned a lot from my time taking t and living as a man but I also wonder if I’d be happier now if I hadn’t altered my body. In some ways I miss my old body and how other people used to read it. I pass almost exclusively as male in public and that often grates against me and makes me feel invisible.
I decided I wanted to share my thoughts and reflections on my experience of changing my body and living as different genders. I also want to address the reasons why I transitioned in the first place, many of which I find aren’t widely discussed, for example transitioning in response to socio-cultural pressures, as an adaption to trauma, and as a form of personal experimentation.
I don’t think every person who transitions does so for the same reasons I did but I don’t think I’m the only one who did so either. I think the reasons why some people are trans and/or transition vary with each individual. I am concerned that certain factors that drive some people to alter their bodies don’t get talked about enough or have become taboo to discuss in some circles. I believe for example that I took on a male identity and took t in part because I internalized sexist and misogynistic beliefs and I know from encountering other “detransitioners” that my experience is not unique. Since many hateful people have charged trans people with being brainwashed patriarchal tools, it makes sense that many trans people and their supporters would dismiss as transphobic the idea that people could end up taking on a trans identity and/or transitioning as result of living in a sexist society. It’s not so simple though. Some people do transition or take on a gender as a reaction to living in this gender-fucked up society. I have no idea how common it is but I suspect it happens more often than people think.
I’m not interested in deciding who is and isn’t “really trans” or what people ought to be able to do to their bodies. It’s up to each person to figure out what they are and how they want to live. I will however comment on what social and cultural forces I think could influence a person’s self-perceptions and decisions based primarily on what I’ve noticed in my own life.
I seek to share what I believe I learned from my experiences since I think others may find it interesting and helpful. I also know how difficult it can be to find accounts of people’s “detransitions”. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find other people’s stories that are similar to my own and when I have stumbled upon some, I’ve found them very helpful and comforting. This blog won’t exist if I hadn’t found another “detransitioner” to correspond with online. Exchanging emails with someone who’d been through similar shit helped me clarify my thoughts and figure out how the hell I got to where I am now. I want people who transitioned and stopped to know that they’re not alone. I hope that my perspective can add to the various conversations and debates about gender and transitioning that are already taking place.