Episode 89

89 - Ritchie’s Detransition: The Myth of Adult Invulnerability

Published on: 30th September, 2022

Ritchie Herron, also known as TullipR on Twitter, is a 35-year-old detransitioning male who spent almost a decade living as a trans woman. Before his fixation on gender, Ritchie had spent most of his life struggling with debilitating anxiety and obsessional OCD thoughts. As you’ll hear, he is brilliant, articulate, and compelling. But in his teens and young adult life, he forced his big personality into submission. He was terrified of the truth: that he was gay.  Internalized shame, body hatred, and extreme isolation only fed into his OCD.

In the throes of all this, he found an online forum about gender dysphoria, and everything changed in an instant, as Ritchie had a new goal and a new OCD obsession. In this interview, he delivers a moving and powerful account of what happened next. And keep in mind, this is the story of a vulnerable adult, well over 18, but still the victim of a system that missed red flags over and over again. In 2018, after much coaxing from the professionals, he underwent a procedure under the UK’s National Health Service which removed his genitals. The regret set in almost immediately.

Ritchie is now working towards suing the NHS for failing to address serious mental health issues during the diagnostic process. He is active on Twitter, and his brilliant substack, promoting and reposting stories of detransitioners, particularly highlighting the hidden stories of men, bringing awareness to the public about what he calls “the medical scandal of our time.”

Links & Resources:


Extended Notes

  • Ritchie didn’t set out to be a mouthpiece for male detransitioners.
  • Most people don’t understand the pressures associated with gender clinics and therapy.
  • He longed to express himself as a child but he held it in which caused anxiety and OCD.
  • During his teens and as his parents went through a divorce, Ritchie suffered in silence.
  • He began SSRIs in his early 20s.
  • He hated his body.
  • When Ritchie told his psychologist he was trans, it was noted but not worked through.
  • The gender clinic knew Ritchie was OCD.
  • Forums helped implant the idea that Ritchie could be a woman who is loved by men.
  • Paying the gender clinic with a PayDay loan, Ritchie had his transsexual diagnosis within two days.
  • Estrogen tablets didn’t block Ritchie’s testosterone levels.
  • Ritchie embodied a character of who he thought he should be instead of who he was.
  • Pre-gender reassignment surgery, Ritchie’s mother attempted to warn the medical staff of his mental issues.
  • When Ritchie discovered the waitlist for surgery was over four years, he decided to reaffirm and have the surgery.
  • Shame and regret kicked in almost immediately after the surgery.
  • Ritchie felt the anti-antigen was a big part in inducing his psychotic state.
  • When Ritchie first found the detrans community he was angry but then realized he needed to talk.
  • In trans discourse, males are regarded less than females.
  • Vulnerability doesn’t have an age limit.
  • Ritchie shares some of the physical repercussions of gender reassignment surgery.
  • Ritchie’s advice to others is to avoid surgery at all costs.

This podcast is sponsored by ReIME and Genspect. Visit https://rethinkime.org/ and https://genspect.org/ to learn more.

For more about our show: https://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.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Genspect - an international organization which offers an alternative to WPATH. Providing a range of education, resources and supports to anyone impacted by gender distress, Genspect unites many different organizations globally, and gives voice to 1,000s of previously untold stories. For more info, visit genspect.org.

GETA - an association of therapists who believe that individuals experiencing gender related concerns ought to be treated using a whole person approach. GETA connects like minded clinicians, provides educational resources and trainings, and helps people with gender dysphoria find support. For more info, visit genderexploratory.com.
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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.