Lost Boys - Part III
Detrans man speaks out about the realities of detransition
This will be my final piece in the Lost Boys series; a short collection of essays focusing on the requirements of male detransitioners. I’ve said quite a lot already, and moving forward, I would like to focus on sharing other detrans stories and showcasing those who have paved the way and empowered people like myself to speak out.
At this point in my detransition, the adrenaline has all but worn off. I’m confronting the realities head-on, not just for myself but for others in similar situations.
To catch you up, I began medical transition at age 26 and had penile inversion with a scrotal graft at 30. If you’re wondering what that is and only if you have the stomach for it (You have been warned!), go here to see for yourself what the ‘procedure’ looks like.
If you want to see the potential outcomes, horrors, and disasters, as well as the butchers that do this, head over to this thread on kiwi farms. I cannot possibly stress enough that these links are not for the faint of heart.
I share this only because this thread has saved some of my detrans friends from doing this. Not all. Some of us have to live with this shit forever. We were too unwell and socially inept to understand what it meant when we went through it.
Detrans people who have been on HRT for only a few months may get off lucky. Some people can get rapid development in a short time frame depending on age and sensitivity to hormone treatment, but many will effectively return to normal. Then you have those who were cut; had their breasts, testicles, genitals inverted, changed, mutilated, amputated, lobotomized - whatever term you feel fits - but the impact is the same. It’s gone forever.
For detrans women who have had mastectomies, there is a promising field of breast reconstruction thanks to the developments in care for breast cancer patients (if you can get funding, that is…). Unfortunately, if they’ve had a hysterectomy, like detrans men who had their testicles removed, they will be reliant on HRT for the rest of their lives.
Gonads play an important part in our endocrine system, responsible for more than just reproduction, which is something I didn’t learn until I detransitioned. In nearly a decade of medical care, not one medical professional made this clear.
Trading One Trans For Another
All I wanted from my endocrinologist was to start a little bit of testosterone, just enough to be healthy, but after a long battle to be given testosterone alongside the already tiny dose of estrogen I’m taking, the answer from my panicked endocrinologist was simply to “stop the estrogen, and only take 2mg testosterone daily”. Now I’m going to be completely honest with you. The prospect of going on testosterone, regaining body and facial hair, scares the living shit out of me. The fear of masculinisation led me to transition, to begin with.
I feel panicked at the thought of being a hairy dude with a front hole. It’s a devastating thought, and no disrespect to other detrans men who have found solace in taking testosterone but it’s not just the physical aspects that scare me, it’s the psychological ones too.
Like my transition itself, my inverted penis is a caricature of a female body part that despite being dressed up to appear female, is unmistakably male. During surgery, they retain the Kepler gland, which produces seminal fluid. You can produce quite a lot, but only once you climax. Women produce fluid leading up to, during, and after - and the difference is unmistakable, which is why I struggle to call it a vagina. It's not. It’s a lobotomised penis.
What happened to me isn't the same as someone who lost their testicles for whatever reason. They weren’t on cross-sex hormones and their bodies haven’t changed the ways ours have. Let's not be so quick to compare the experience of someone who is detransitioning to the likes of someone who has lost body parts due to diseases like cancer. I’m nowhere near as brave as a cancer patient and my needs are not even close to being the same. We need to stop pretending like they are.
Just because I detransitioned doesn't mean I've suddenly resolved all my trauma and body issues. In some ways, they’re far worse than before I transitioned because I’m confronting them head-on.
The problems I have with my waterworks mean that even with pelvic floor exercises I don’t fully empty my bladder. That means that, after going to the toilet, I’ll continue to drip for up to an hour. When I’m out and about I must wear sanitary pads or risk smelling of urine.
Shopping for underwear sucks too. Men’s underwear has space for appendages I don’t possess and is uncomfortable. I mostly wear plain black women’s briefs, largely because I’m also wearing pads too.
Because of my gyno-breasts and body shape, I tend to wear a slightly smaller t-shirt to flatten my chest (because fuck binding) along with a hoody three sizes too big to hide the evidence of my prior bad choices.
Even in transition, I never once claimed to be female or even a woman. I accepted that I was male. I still do, but because of things like the above, it’s hard to feel like a man – or even want to.
The Great Stuck
I’m not interested in acquiring any further radical physical changes. I don’t want any more surgeries ever again. I just want the bare minimum HRT. I want to be healthy, and I want to do so without doing more damage to my body. That's it. It just feels like no one knows what they’re doing. It’s completely experimental. I had no idea I was signing up to be a test subject. How dare I assume that medical professionals know what they’re doing!
In my waking life, I present as a gender nonconforming male and am treated as such. Most people assume I’m around my early twenties and treat me like a young man. Work colleagues call me kiddo, lad, boy, and whilst I know these are terms of endearment, no one seems to view me as a man.
I’m not alone here either. Other detrans guys, I speak to feel the same. We’re either not respected because puberty was blocked and we’re short, or we’ve been on HRT since our twenties and our bodies are just different from other men. I haven’t had any traceable testosterone in my body for nearly a decade, which also means I’m extremely weak.
This begs the question: what happens if someone confronts and tries to attack me? What hope do I have of defending myself? Even with exercise, I’m not that much stronger and my only hope of regaining strength naturally is taking significant volumes of testosterone, which in itself terrifies me for reasons I hope readers will understand by now.
Detransition reminded me of why I transitioned in the first place. It’s not safe to be a gender non-conforming/visibly gay male in this world. In the last month, I’ve already been called a faggot and most men look at me like I’ve taken a shit in their kettle. I forgot how intimidating males can be towards each other, especially to effeminate men.
Though I will never use a woman’s toilet ever again, I equally never will use a men’s toilet. It’s not just because of hygiene or personal safety, but shame. I feel like I don’t belong anywhere: an obsolete prototype from an experiment that I had no idea I was part of.
Women have played a pivotal role in getting us here: people like JK Rowling, Stephanie Davies-Arai, Stella O’Malley, Helen Joyce, Abigail Shrier, Maya Forstater, Alison Bailey, and many other big names have been in this game for years, if not decades. We’ll always be indebted to them for the work they’ve done. Yet though we acknowledge the role women have played in this movement, for many of us, the women in our lives – online or otherwise – were a piece of the fragmented puzzle that led us to transition.
When we talk about the impact the trans community had on us, everyone cheers. When we spill our hearts about the horrific abuse and grooming we received online, everyone looks on with sympathy. But the second a detrans man dares suggest that part of their motivations to transition in the first place were the messages coming from women, we're tarred as misogynistic MRA’s.
Of course, it’s a small minority saying such things, but a vocal one – and if you step out of line, you'd best be ready to answer to them. This vocal minority is insistent on having a say on what we can or can’t talk about, especially if our experience is critical of women.
Wherever we turn, someone is attempting to control our narrative and police our experience. I never promised we were going to do this with absolute grace. The truth is dirty and whether or not our perceptions are flawed, it doesn’t change that it was a significant part of our own experience. There's value in our stories, no matter how uncomfortable they are to hear.
We’re not feminists or MRA’s, we’re in a state of recovery. Whether our interpretation is flawed or on point, we're not going to stop sharing our thoughts on how we got here. We are refusing to take part in the same tactics that were used against us in the trans community; gaslighting, pile-ons, shaming, blaming, misrepresenting and other people projecting the pain from their trauma onto us.
The Retransition Pull
Given the challenges of male detransition and the current state of discourse, is it any wonder that over the last month several detrans men have retransitioned? Who can blame them?
Given my issues with masculinity and my post-op status, the pull to retransition is becoming increasingly alluring. In a split second, I could just come offline, change my name back, and pretend none of this ever happened.
But I won’t do that. I know that isn’t the answer. I've spent the majority of my adult life as a trans person and it didn’t bring me the peace that I hoped it would. I understand just how enticing it is to go back to being trans, especially in a world where we find ourselves politically homeless and lost after detransitioning with no company other than ourselves.
I do not blame anyone for retransitioning. I understand. The trans community provides places and spaces to fall back on. It provides company. Even if you’re not happy, at least you’ll not be alone.
Detransition, for males, is a lonely existence. Unless we allow ourselves to be controlled, policed, and ruled by others, we’ll be facing all these things by ourselves, with only a handful of people who will understand.
Boys Will Be Boys
Just because some of us are castrated, it doesn’t mean we lack balls. We’re not afraid to make mistakes, nor are we afraid to tell the truth either. That doesn’t mean we’re going to do things with perfect grace, but we are getting things done.
We’re not women. We don’t understand the female experience, years of transition taught us that first-hand. And whilst we certainly have gained an insight into womanhood; we will never truly know what it is to be a woman. Equally so, no woman will ever possibly understand what it is to be a man, so it seems quite absurd to me to expect detrans men to behave like women.
We are doing things our way in our own spaces. We’ve had some great women help us make this happen and with an army of parents and sympathetic ears; we know that we are making a difference too.
You’re more than welcome to come along for the ride though.
As usual, stay safe, be well and take good care
Up and Coming
Look out for my upcoming series; “Detrans Titans”, where this spicy detrans male will get the chance to interview those who have made a significant in the detrans sphere.
You can also catch up on the previous entries in this series by using the buttons below: