reflectin' & dissectin', thoughts on "detransitioning"

Women Transition

Women transition.

Women transition because we feel, see and experience ourselves as men, as genderqueer, as transmasculine, as non-binary, as not female in some way. Women transition because we’ve felt male our whole lives, because when we were kids we expected to grow up into a male body, because we couldn’t imagine growing up to be a woman or growing old as one. Women transition because we never felt like we fit in with other girls, because we felt like something else, because we always got along better with boys and men and felt like one of them. Women transition because we met a trans person or read about trans experiences and so much of our lives suddenly made sense. Women transition because we talk to trans people and find our lives reflected in their words, go to trans support groups and meet other people struggling with feelings and problems we have too. Women transition because being seen as female feels wrong, because being called “she” stings, because passing as male or genderqueer and being called “he” or “they” feels right. Read the rest of this entry »

Passing Women are Quite Common

Women transition for a lot of reasons but one of the main ones is being treated like all women are treated, disrespectfully, violently, subject to many limitations, as well as getting punished specifically for being a woman out of line with the male-created ideal.

Women aren’t allowed to just exist as we please. We are encouraged and trained, starting when we are very young, to please others. If someone sexually abused us as children then we likely absorbed the message that our very bodies exist to be used for others’ pleasure.  We are taught to please men especially since they have more power, including the power to dominate whomever happens to fall beneath them in the social hierarchy. Men are more likely to sexually abuse us, teach us our bodies are there to fulfill their desires. Men, white men most of all, still hold most positions of power in industry, in the professions, media, politics and religion, they still make more money and have much greater access to resources. Dominant men use their power and influence to create a culture that centers their world views and blots out or distorts the perspectives of women and less powerful men. Virtually all women are in a position where they have to please men in order to get some or all of their basic needs met. A lot of men and not a few women in this society don’t like independent powerful women. They fear and despise such women and punish those who do not bend to male expectations or work to satisfy male desires.
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An Open Letter to Julia Serano from One of the‭ ‬Detransitioned People You‭ ‬Claim to‭ ‬“Support‭”

Hey Julia,
My name is Crash and I‭’‬m a detransitioned woman.‭ ‬I blog about how and why I came to transition and then detransition at and at‭ ‬I‭’‬ve been talking to,‭ ‬hanging out and organizing with other detransitioned women for around three years now.‭ ‬In that time I have watched and helped our community emerge.‭ ‬I‭’‬m going to stick to talking mostly about detransitioned women and not touch on detransitioned men because I can‭’‬t speak to their experience.

Look,‭ ‬you say you want the trans community to support detransitioned people but you just wrote an article that distorts and misrepresent our reality.‭ ‬It doesn‭’‬t help me or other detransitioned people when you spread misinformation about us.‭ ‬You‭’‬re not the first trans activist to do so and I don‭’‬t expect you to be the last.‭ ‬I‭’‬ve been reading the articles trans activists write about detransition for years now and I‭’‬ve yet to see an accurate portrayal of our issues and experience.‭ ‬During that same time,‭ ‬we‭’‬ve also been writing about detransitioning as we‭’‬ve lived it.‭ ‬There are a lot more of us and a lot more of our writing available‭ ‬than ever before.‭ ‬But it seems as‭ ‬though many trans people who write about detransition are either unaware of what we‭’‬ve been saying or have been studiously ignoring us.‭  ‬Either way it‭’‬s incredibly frustrating to see the same inaccuracies about us repeated over and over again in the media.‭ You‭ ‬claim to want to support detransitioned people.‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬if you really want to support us,‭ ‬listen to what we‭’‬re saying and take it seriously.‭ Read the rest of this entry »

I am a Common Woman Making Space for Other Common Women to Emerge

“For all the world we didnt know we held in common
all along
the common woman is as common as the best of bread
and will rise
and will become strong-I swear it to you
I swear it to you on my own head
I swear it to you on my common
-Judy Grahn

I don’t feel exceptional. I feel common, so very common. My situation is not that unique or unusual. A lot of women are traumatized. A lot of women, most women in fact, don’t fit inside the female role or ideal. Some of us try to conform but others of us can’t or don’t want to and you catch hell for that. You catch hell for that either way, actually. You can’t win if you’re a woman in a male-dominated society. A lot of women dissociate. A lot of women are dysphoric. Let me say it again, women are dysphoric. And our dysphoria can be as severe or as mild as any case of dysphoria can be. We can experience the full range of dysphoric possibilities, from cringing when we get called she to having a near constant sensation of a phantom penis. There is nothing women can’t feel including dysphoria.
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What My Mother Taught Me

(Starting to Re-member)

When I was around nine or so, my family moved from a suburb right outside of a big city to a town about an hour and a half away, into a house with five acres including a pond. For most of the next nine years we lived there, my mom set about trying to return most of our acreage into as close to a native environment as possible, reintroducing a lot of indigenous species, particularly prairie plants, and trying to weed out invasives. It took years but eventually thistles and white clover gave way to flowers like monarda and brown-eyed susans. I was enlisted in this work whether I wanted to be involved or not. Some of it I liked, like getting to burn the prairie, other parts, like pulling and spraying weeds, not so much.
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Naming the Problem

Coming into contact with trans culture gave me language and a framework to describe and make sense of different feelings, sensations and experiences I had. It named a problem and a way to fix it. We usually called our central problem dysphoria.
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Coming Out

Deciding to stop t and deciding to come out as a woman were two separate decisions.

When I decided to stop t, I still thought of my self as genderqueer, as multiple genders, and that included seeing myself as a man sometimes. At this point I realized that I was different from male-born men and I felt different from most trans men too since they seemed a lot more male-identified that I was. I’d always seen myself as a genderfreak overall but other people usually read me as a trans man because I passed so well. Passing as a man felt good and right sometimes and off other times. It was still very easy to identify myself with men. I thought the problem was that I wasn’t just a man, I wasn’t any one gender, my sense of gender shifted around. That’s just how it seemed to work.
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Trying to Remember

I know my body started changing through its own hormonal secretions, moving towards adulthood sometime in middle school. I know that changing time was weird and I didn’t like parts of it, like growing breasts, but most of that transformation is pretty hazy. So much of my past is hard to remember because while it was happening it was fucking terrible and my mind obscures memory to protect me from re-experiencing pain. Which leaves me feeling like my past is mystery with a few clues here and there to point the way to how I got to where I am. I can excavate some memories if I’m in the right head space, if I focus enough.

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So I’m working on a farm, which is awesome but it also eats up almost all of my time and then I spend most of the rest of my time recovering and getting ready for the next day of work. That means I’m not the best email correspondent at the moment. Folks can still email me but it’ll probably take me a while to respond. I should have more free time when the season ends some time in autumn.

Musings on Female-Only Space

I’ve always felt strong connections with other people born and raised female, especially those who aren’t what women are supposed to be, whether or not they see themselves as women. I’ve bonded deeply with other dykes, queer women, detransitioned women, female-bodied genderqueers and trans men. Even when I was trans, the fact that I was born with a cunt and treated certain ways because of it made a huge difference to me and I knew it had a profound impact on how I turned out. There have always been FtMs who acknowledged and valued their experience of living as female and I could relate more to them than to trans men who insisted the only difference between them and other men was their transsexuality, which they saw purely as a medical condition.  Now I’m even more conscious of how being female, particularly having a body whose femaleness was questioned many times, helped create who I am.
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