Detransitioners, Being Affirming, and Pissing Everyone Off

Blogs may include sensitive or triggering content. Reader discretion is advised.

It’s 2:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. So, I watched YouTube videos for a while and somehow went down the rabbit hole of transgender detransitioners – people who transition from, say, female to male and then back to female. Interesting topic for me, being a post-op transsexual (but not from Transylvania). I admit, I was a little taken aback at how easy it apparently is to get hormone therapy and surgery these days. I transitioned in the ’90s, and the 1990 Standards of Care, which I’m familiar with, are vastly different than the current 2022 version.

Now, I’m all for affirming folk’s gender identities – I’ve been on team LGBT for decades – but at what point did they decide that a second psychological evaluation, successfully living for a year 24/7 as your chosen gender, and other such things were bad ideas? Hell, there used to be a serious waiting period just for HRT. Now, you can apparently walk into planned parenthood and get hormones the same week. WTF? This is life-altering stuff here. Yes, the 1990 guidelines were too strict, but has the pendulum swung too far in the other direction? Is that why my YouTube feed is full of detransitioners now? It troubles me a bit. Are we doing our gender non-conforming youth a disservice by not making them jump through some pretty big hoops before making such major life decisions?

Maybe I’m out of touch. For those of you going through the transgender transition experience these days, what’s it really like?

But this also bothers me on another level. At what point is our need to be affirming so one-sided it could potentially be harmful? Yes, we should affirm and validate those in our communities who need it. But is a little tough love so out of place?

This goes back to a dead horse I probably shouldn’t flog: the recent controversy on our Discord. Granted, the member that agreed to leave Discord had a delivery that sucked – it came off as very invalidating and even made some of us in T-E-C question our own DID diagnosis, and we’ve been professionally diagnosed multiple times. The pendulum went too far on a non-affirming, invalidating swing, although if I thought the person was truly malicious, they wouldn’t still be welcome on the website… we’re actually STILL conflicted as a council on what to do. T-E-C does not agree amongst ourselves, it’s such a charged issue. I’m going against the advice of my headmates by even bringing this up, and I apologize.

But, what if, like the 1990 transgender standards of care, that member wasn’t actually 100% wrong? Shouldn’t we encourage people to investigate differential diagnoses? How do we do that without being “gatekeepers” and while still being supportive? It’s a complicated problem.

If you are questioning whether or not you have a dissociative disorder, you are welcome here. It’s not anyone’s place here to tell you that you do or don’t have a condition – we’re not trained medical professionals; we can’t diagnose you. We may strongly suspect, though. <grin> That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework. That doesn’t mean researching Autism, CPTSD, BPD, Bipolar Disorder, etc., is a bad thing to do or suggest doing. Heck, you may find you fit in multiple buckets – we do!

So much second-guessing goes with these disorders; I hate to throw fuel on the fire of doubt and denial. At the same time, I think it is essential for everyone to keep an open mind and not pigeonhole themselves into one specific diagnosis before a real expert can see them. (And no, the average therapist isn’t an expert.)

Now that I’m probably pissed EVERYONE off, I’m going to leave this for a discussion in the comments. I would kindly ask that a particular member with a supreme talent for coming across the wrong way refrain from commenting and that people also refrain from picking on that member in return. Let’s debate the topic, not the people, please.

What do you think? Can affirming care be taken too far? Should some pushback be automatic for everyone, just so they don’t jump too quickly down a mental health rabbit hole that could harm them, ala detransitioners? Or is the risk of the harm from the pushback too great? How can we, as a community, find the proper balance? Is there such a thing?

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Les_fractals_de_la_neige
1 month ago

Oooh…we have a bunch of appointments today, so I don’t know if we’ll have the time and/or energy, but I really really want to share our thoughts on these things. Because our life is very interesting in the matters you bring up here

We figured out that we weren’t cis in 2018/2019. We went through an informed consent clinic (though we did have some counseling beforehand, as we were unaware that such clinics existed). Now here we are in 2024, self-aware as a system (and professionally diagnosed over two years ago by a therapist who specializes in Dissociative Identity Disorder), had one surgery, and have been off of HRT since that surgery.

We were self-diagnosed with DID for about a year before we got in to seeing our therapist and getting an official diagnosis.

We still aren’t cis, even though we feel in many ways that we have been “de-transitioning”.

We still do not have official diagnoses for Autism nor ADHD, though numerous medical professionals, as well as friends and family who are professionally diagnosed all say that we basically HAVE to have both.

Also, with the things we recently brought up in our last blog post…all of these things give us a very unique perspective on these sorts of things.

We have to go to our first appt now, but I wanted to say at least this general summary of our experience so that we will hopefully remember to come back and talk about the experiences in more detail and actually get into our thoughts on the different matters. (Might be a bit, since we have a LOT in our brain, though, and we work some weird shifts coming up…but we do intend to come back. And we are very interested in hearing what others think as well)

Possum
1 month ago

I guess our view on a lot of life is kinda like “I personally would rather be accidentally supportive of a liar or someone misinformed (tho obv try to provide sources of good info and methods of finding answers) than to discredit someone’s lived experience” /g /neu

-Ty

Possum
Reply to  saoirse.t-e-c
1 month ago

Ah I /think/ I see what you’re talking about now

Unfortunately I have a feeling it really comes down to each situation and that there’s not a single answer

From our experience a lot of hrt nowadays starts at really low and easily reversible doses, and the places to get it all go through the risks with you as well as making sure you fit the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria in the first place

Any surgeries still require 1-3 psych/counseling letters

Imo, let the Drs handle each person as they come with that bc it’s not like we have that power anyway

So in that hypothetical, I’d probably be like “woah, that’s a big discovery! What led you to it?” And listen to what they say
Ask if they know what pronouns they like
Ask if they have any name ideas or even just what they’d currently like to be called
Basically putting the focus on why and how they see themselves fitting the label and trying to whatever of my own experiences tie into theirs
If there isn’t anything that relates, I might be like “that is a really different situation from my own. I can still tell you about my story if you would like, and what has helped me. And if you’re up for it, I can pass along places where I have found a lot of other people talking about their stories and what’s helped them if you’d like, especially to maybe find someone with a more similar background!”

It’s definitely not a simple “one-size-fits-all” answer on affirming tho, bc both the lgbt story and the mental health story are going to have unique factors in every single situation bc every person is different to some degree
What’s affirming to one person might be the Achilles heel of another

I wish there /was/ a single simple answer tho

-Kyrenoc and Possum

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