106 — Detransition Awareness: Beyond Identity & Political Narratives
This episode is dedicated to spreading awareness about the existence and experience of detransitioners — those who pursued a medicalized gender transition and later came to feel it wasn’t the right path for them. The detransitioner community is growing faster than ever as more young people realize they received inadequate and inappropriate healthcare.
The complex experience of detransition is not at all captured by the political identity being defined in the public discourse on the topic, and the real hardships involved seem to be entirely lost as an openly acknowledged possible outcome of the medical transition pathway, a primary outcome of the gender affirming model of care.
You will hear Sasha and Stella talk about how the detransition process is often a reckoning with reality. They speak about their experience working with detrans individuals and how it’s not as simple as “landing on detransition marks the end of a medical process or experience.” It is more of the beginning of a massive psychological process. It is not always a straight line with a clear destination. And it certainly involves a complicated and unique experience for each person. There are so many unknowns, particularly about the long-term medical implications in the aftermath of transition, so we’re learning as we go, seeking to better understand, empower and support the experience for detransitioners as well as others experiencing distress beyond transition.
In this conversation, you will also hear Stella and Sasha share about the launch of BeyondTrans.org. A new project of Genspect’s dedicated to meeting the specific needs of detransitioners, as well as those who are in a more uncertain space. Some people feel distressed about their transition. Many others feel more ambivalent. Some detransition. Others may not physically detransition, but their minds have detransitioned: they’ve moved on from an ideology that led them to believe they could become another person, and they’ve come to realize that this ideology can cause harm. Beyond Transition was established to offer comprehensive help for the varying needs of different groups impacted by medicalized gender transition.
You don’t have to be Irish to be Irish — https://youtu.be/jAQl64syDTg
Beyond Transition Website — https://beyondtrans.org/
Book Cynical Therapies — https://criticaltherapyantidote.org/new-book-2/
Breastfeeding Regret Paper — https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgwh.2023.1073053/full
Pinned tweet — https://twitter.com/redrobin9000/status/1603678082426195969?s=20
Reddit detrans — https://www.reddit.com/r/detrans/
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters (an excerpt from There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery; © 1977 Portia Nelson)
If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting:
- “15 — One Detrans Voice: a Conversation with Carol” — https://gender-a-wider-lens.captivate.fm/episode/15-one-detrans-voice-a-conversation-with-carol
- “45 — Helena Part I: Social Justice, Fandoms & FTM Gay Boys” — https://gender-a-wider-lens.captivate.fm/episode/45-helena-part-1-social-justice-fandoms-ftm-gay-boys
- “46 — Helena Part II: Advice for Parents from a Former Trans Kid” — https://gender-a-wider-lens.captivate.fm/episode/46-helena-part-ii-advice-for-parents-from-a-former-trans-kid
- “89 — Ritchie's Detransition: The Myth of Adult Invulnerability” — https://gender-a-wider-lens.captivate.fm/episode/89-ritchies-detransition-the-myth-of-adult-invulnerability
- “92 — Brian Belovitch: From Boy to Girl to Woman to Man” — https://gender-a-wider-lens.captivate.fm/episode/92-brian-belovitch-from-boy-to-girl-to-woman-to-man
- “99 — Detransitioned & Damaged by the Dutch Protocol: Teiresias” — https://gender-a-wider-lens.captivate.fm/episode/99-detransitioned-damaged-by-the-dutch-protocol-teiresias
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- BeyondTrans.org is a resource recently launched by Sasha and Stella for people researching aspects of their transition.
- Sasha and Stella contributed two chapters to the new book Cynical Therapies: Perspectives on the Anti-Therapeutic Nature of Critical Social Justice by Val Thomas.
- Stella defines the term detransition.
- Most detransitioners have very different stories but similar stages and feelings.
- The language used in the media about gender transition is often dramatic and negative.
- Stella references the enlightening poem Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson.
- Becoming politically invested in a person’s gender may lead them to forget who they are and what they want.
- Therapy often begins with regrets about what was lost in the past.
- There is real wisdom in the 12-step program of AA.
- Sasha shares real-life examples of gender-affirming care that should be deeply considered.
- Gender dysphoria ebbs and flows for many detransitioners.
- Reaching out to a gender professional can be confusing and possibly detrimental. Stella's advice is to take things slow.
“It must be so challenging to still have to deal with your underlying hurts and difficulties.” — Sasha [20:34]
“None of us are ever at some fixed end-point of growth. We are all in process.” — Stella [27:21]
“We are all vulnerable to adopting a fantasy.” — Sasha [43:38]
Becoming politically invested in a person’s gender may lead them to forget who they are and what they want.