Episode 45

full
Published on:

15th Oct 2021

45 - Helena Part 1: Social Justice, Fandoms & FtM Gay Boys

This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation with Helena. She is a 23-year-old detransitioned woman, well-known on Twitter and YouTube for her insights into the FtM trans kid mindset. The self-described “gender apostate” shares her thoughts on ROGD’s relationship with critical social justice, fandom culture, “shipping,” and the extraordinary fascination many teenage girls have with young gay men.

Links:

Helena on Twitter: 

Twitter.com/lacroicsz

 

Extended Notes:

  • Helena is a detransitioned woman. She identified as a transgender man at 15, but by 19, she wanted to become a woman again.
  • A little bit about Helena and her detransition journey.
  • Before Helena started testosterone, she had this fantasy that not being female would be amazing. Helena was very isolated in her journey. Her ex, also a trans person, was against her detransitioning.
  • As she was on this journey as a man, she was so tired of pretending to be masculine and wearing clothes that didn’t fit her body.
  • What was it like psychologically to suppress Helena’s feminine side for so long?
  • Has social justice affected or played a role in trans identity?
  • Helena remembers reading things like, if you feel different than everybody else, it probably means you're trans.
  • Teenagers are biologically more sensitive to social rejection from their peers, and they’ll do anything to fit in and belong.
  • Whenever Helena was questioned about her new identity, she just thought they were just stuck in old beliefs and just wouldn’t listen.
  • Helena explains what a trans medicalist is and shares her thoughts on the difference between non-binary people and trans people.
  • What makes someone a cis girl or a cis boy or what really makes someone trans? The reasons are very superficial.
  • Cis allies are finding it difficult to be allies to the transgender community because they’re being told their opinions don’t count.
  • What is trans fandom all about? And what is “shipping” all about within this fandom culture?
  • A lot of these “shipping” content has sexual undertones of gay pairings of common fictional characters.
  • Growing up, it can get confusing. Men, that you’re basing your identity off of, are being written by teenage girls.
  • Let’s talk about Tumblr and how these trans mood boards all originated.
  • Helena remembers this internet time very fondly. She loved being on the “gay” side of the internet where it was all acceptable.
  • Helena wishes there was a way people can indulge in their sexuality in a non-threatening way, but she also understands that too much of it can lead down the wrong path where it creates dysphoria.


This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:

Rethinkime.org


Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod


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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

* We are sponsored by ReIME and Genspect.
Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving long term care for gender variant individuals. To learn more, visit https://rethinkime.org/

Genspect is an international alliance of parent and professional groups whose aim is to advocate for parents of gender-questioning children and young people. Parents are concerned that their kids are not receiving appropriate treatment and support; many do not feel free to speak out about their concerns.
To learn more, visit https://genspect.org/
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

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Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.



Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.