A reflective essay on why some individuals may return or stay in their trans identity.
Coming to this as a "parent" reader, I need to read this twice or three times to begin to comprehend the inside of it. You make so many important points that we can't otherwise possibly know.
I hope detransing men support each other. I only just found Isaac Uncooked yesterday for the first time; he tried to detrans EIGHT (!) times before apparently committing to it. You're right about the need for single-sex spaces. (What a horrifying betrayal you experienced in the detrans space. As if what you're doing isn't difficult enough!)
It's a cult in every way. Many strangers like me are out here, cheering and rooting for you. My heart goes out to you!
Thank you for sharing your deep thoughts and insights from these complex subcultures. It's helpful to understand. There is crazy and stupid crap in the GC "movement" such as it is. I have seen some of the unhinged sentiment you describe against male detransitioners on the feminist site Ovarit. It has made me sad and angry, as male detransitioners deserve support on every level every bit as much as females. I consider myself a feminist, but that is not my kind of feminism. I think it is great that you understand and write about the fact that men are different than women, and that the process and needs of "detransitioning" must also be different. I am glad to know you are claiming separate spaces for men who have gone through this damaging cult. You deserve happiness and I know you can find it.
Thank you, Ritchie, for another insightful essay. I am sorry that currently there is nothing for detrans males equivalent to the groups that support detrans females and welcome them back into the "woman fold." You have my great respect and appreciation for your honesty and courage to continually put your deep thoughts and experiences into words for the benefit of many, including those considering or experiencing detransition, and those who, like myself, wish to somehow support them.
From what I've heard from trans activists vs. detransitioners (especially yourself, Sinead and Isaac), the big difference is that trans activists' thoughts are horribly unrealistic and narcissistic, whereas detransitioners are in the forefront of sanity and the ability to think clearly, logically and scientifically. So, despite your physical and emotional problems, your intellectual health seems great - your minds have become clearer on the subject than those of us who never fell in in the first place and who don't really know what it's about. I can only wish that one day my ROGD daughters become as sane as you.
Love, and more power to your elbow,
The way your describe “gender critical” trans people that support detransitioners is exactly the feeling I get from them but was not able to articulate it fully as you have. A very insightful essay.
After watching so many detrans interviews I almost feel like regret is part of the natural process and lifecycle of being trans. At least with all the health risks and complications, I feel it must be inevitable as people age. I wonder if in a few years there will be a reverse social contagion of sorts where detrans becomes the new trans -- I have wondered if there will be a massive cultural shift and awareness if a celebrity detransitions. As someone who’s had many trans and non-binary friends, some medicalized, some not, some considering -- i don’t wish people to suffer the consequences of regret as it seems painful, but I do hope something shifts and they snap out of it, for the sake of their own health and the future health of others.
“I find myself constantly being told by them how transition worked for them, and that’s great, but to me, it’s like a drunk person telling a sober person why drinking worked out for them in the end.”
This makes so much sense and is so easy to connect with. Seeing, through parents’ eyes, the differences in how boys and girls both enter the trans world and find their way out, it’s clear that these are almost universally two very different animals. Hopefully in time this will result in distinct approaches for helping boys manage gender dysphoria/distress. I do not doubt that you will be a significant contributor to the development of those interventions.
Your insights are incredibly helpful for parents of boys and your grace and strength in the face of such a difficult path is a source of comfort. Know that you are so very admired and appreciated.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience so well Ritchie. I'm a conservative middle aged mom newly trying to wrap my head around GI. I've gotten the impression that there is good support for d/t females, and I'm sad to learn it's more difficult for men but it makes sense. I'm curious if you have any thoughts on how the general public can be more supportive, besides just generally offering respect and dignity to all people? I imagine you have more pressing things on your mind at the moment, but there are many who have great compassion for people in your difficult circumstances and would be happy to be appropriately supportive if we knew how.
Hi Ritchie, I am another Mom who appreciates your voice, care and thoughtfulness, and I am sorry that your de-transition challenges are compounded by the lack of support from people who I would expect more compassion from.
I am relatively new to the Gender ID/GC debate, and yours has been one of the perspectives that has helped me to build a more complex understanding of what is happening, including the reality, that as a male de-transitioner, you have had to face criticism from some on the GC side.
After 5 months of reading, I am struck by the systemic forces at play in this space and how the GC movement is struggling to align when we share goals and passion.
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with those of us who are learning from and with you. I appreciate how you are making sense of your experience, and the different forces, pressures and players.
As a parent with a confused teen who I fear will take actions that will do her much harm, and as I watch this madness unfold, I have found people such as yourself to be so brave and helpful, speaking out so that others don't have to suffer what you have gone through. You give me renewed faith in humanity's ability to learn and understand complex issues. I am sorry you don't get the support you need from society. Please at least know that people like myself wish you all the best, have the utmost respect for you, and are wholly on your side.
You write as a deeply reflective and critical anthropologist. You are wise and your experiences and writings will save lives. Thank you.
Excellent, yes. yes. yes. And I speak to you as the ex-wife of a man who never smiled after the surgeries. Considering I knew him when he was 20, happy, productive, a leader in several areas, compared to his transitioned self, using our children as props in his quest to be "Mum," the resentment of me manifesting in so many odd ways. Your words will save children. This writing gets better and better. Forge onward. I hope some in your detrans male cohort will find their inner strength and follow your amazing lead. Bravo.
My ex's father was very similar to yours, similar dynamic in the marriage, a strong likelihood his father was, as well, on the autism spectrum. I later did training and taught children in that population and learned the behaviors (lack of eye contact, irritability, rigid thinking) The in-one-appointment transsexual diagnosis by a PhD psychologist "sexologist" (I have this in a sworn affidavit) clearly did not include work on his childhood. I was called all sorts for pointing out that direction would be useful, though for me, the marriage was over.
You have regained your honesty and integrity. I'm proud of you. I felt the pressure of the cult from a different direction, and I so appreciate your recognition of trans widows. Keep on doing this. I'm champing at the bit to hear your statements in court. What you say about masculine culture, your inability to see your male self in your early context, is very, very important. I hope you write a book one day.
Ute Heggen, now with YouTube channel of same name, with butterfly shorts for a few seconds of unadulterated joy and my movement sequences for torso, vagus nerve, wellbeing.
Great job writing this Ritchie you did this so well 🙏👍
I wanted to add something, Ritchie, which is the kernel of truth in the monstrous abdication and abandonment of ethical practice, on the part of the mental health field, going back to yes, the famous Ray Blanchard, the infamous John Money & infamous Alfred Kinsey (both child sexual molesters).
It seems to me, just a trans widow, mother of sons and retired Kinrgarten/early grade science teacher, this simple fact: because all mammals reproduce through sexual reproduction, when any child/teen/young person feels same sex attraction, they could easily start to ideate they should have been the opposite sex. Douglas Murray, who rarely discusses his homosexuality, once said that the first thing you know when you realize you are gay is that you will suffer unrequited love. Because most here on Earth are heterosexual. This is evolution. Therefore, how in the world would the context of Northern England give you the support you needed when you started feeling this? You are half my age. Please be strong. Be a gentle warrior. I was fortunate to have an emotional father, who cried easily. He cried more easily than my mother. I know how difficult it can be to write. Please know that your literature (and this it is) will help us find the light in the darkness.
Ute Heggen In the Curated Woods, True Tales from a Grass Widow
You write so, so well. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your unique perspective.
Tulip l first found you on Twitter and have followed your journey since then. This is a brilliant essay and has really given me insight to the pressures and dilemma which detrans people face. You have my utmost respect xx