Scrambled Eggs - Part II
Detrans man talks about leaving the trans community
I was recently asked by a group of parents why I felt I had transitioned to begin with. I said it better at the time than I’m recounting, but my answer went something like:
“I hated myself so much, that when I learned about dysphoria and being trans, I was given a free pass to project that hate outwards. Suddenly if anyone looked at me it was no longer because I was anxious, but because they were transphobic. My not fitting in, my same-sex attraction, my awkwardness, sensory body issues, OCD and anxiety were all because I was trans, and suddenly I was able to discount all my trauma and pain, and attribute it solely to dysphoria (being trans). That was far less scary then facing what I needed to.
So many people’s transition story starts with, “I was on my way to killing myself, then realised I was trans!” This death affirmation is used as a mark of validity for trans people. It shows to others strong distress prior to transition which affirms not only the storyteller but anyone hearing it, too. Would you dare interrupt or challenge me if I told you my story?
…By my early 20s, I was figuring out ways to accidently kill myself and found a way that make it look like tragic accident. I did dozens of practice runs over one summer, figuring out the best point to execute my plan, getting the timings right and had developed a routine so that when I did finally decide to do it, my family wasn’t left the tragedy of suicide but the tragedy of accidental death. I don’t suppose they would have gotten over it the same, but I did think it would make it easier than simply just necking myself and leaving a note.
I spent a long time feeling sorry for myself before I became assertive and practical about my predicament. That was perhaps the most alarming point, when I wasn’t sad but quite optimistic and confident about the plan. I slept on it and slept on it, practiced and practiced, sometimes I would push my luck by going too far and seeing if fate would take me but I always felt in control no matter how reckless I was being.
I felt that way because I was exhausted and quite frankly, if this was all my future held for me, why even bother going on? It’s ridiculous… and a waste of time, I thought.
Then I learned about dysphoria and being trans. Suddenly, I felt all my burdens lift; my shame, guilt, anxiety around my same-sex attraction, trauma and fear were all due to this one thing called “dysphoria”. Not only that, but there was a way to cure it!
Be honest, when you read my pity paragraphs about suicide, did your heart sink a bit? Could you feel the pain? This is how we drew people in! We just didn’t know what we were doing. And when they hear these stories, their instant reactions are, “Oh my god! You were suffering so much obviously you are trans!” And with that affirmation, they inadvertently affirmed my own affirmation and on goes the trans-affirming circle jerk.
We are in pain and we are traumatised, yes, but the vast majority of us have picked up dysphoria as a cop-out and with that we take our internalised self-hate and project it externally, with the encouragement of those around us. They must accommodate our rage, our anger, our demands and if they don’t, it’s because they hold the power and we are being oppressed. If they provide a counter point, view or narrative, it is because they are right-wing or some degree of deplorable that dreams of dystopia fascism, with only hatred in their heart.
…Autistic people do not deal well with perceived injustice…
I Ordered An Omelette
In my waking life, those around me provided me with a great deal of leeway. I think that’s because my autistic traits are quite obvious, especially when you see and speak to me. It’s hard not to be forgiving. It gives the sense that I’m more vulnerable. This effect was exacerbated when I was trans, and was extremely powerful for bringing in allies — mostly women. Looking and sounding the part, too, really propelled the message.
I was lucky enough to be able to blend in with time, not quite straight away but about two years into medical transition I sounded and looked the part. No one blinked an eye, especially since I made a conscious effort to dress my age and not draw attention to myself with blue hair or pronoun badges. I just wanted to be invisible and live my life in peace after what felt like a very busy life.
And the weirdest thing started to happen when I blended in, I stopped making an effort… and when people began to take notice it brought me back into that fear mode, so I would start making an effort again and I would just repeat the same shit again and again. I was constantly exhausted, at odds with myself, because after everything, even after surgery, HRT and appearing functional, I was struggling to keep afloat in the sea of confusion that comes post transition.
Why wasn’t I happy after everything? I was so angry at myself. I did what they told me to do, even when it didn’t feel right and therapists told me otherwise. I trusted their advice and their words, and that trust backfired immensely. Something just never felt quite right. That feeling which pierced deep into my gut every time someone would come up with new and increasingly outrageous claims.
Learning about PCOS and endometriosis really helped awaken me to how much women suffer at such a large scale and without support. When I was trans, I wanted to be an ally to women and made a conscious to learn about women’s experiences. As I was hearing the awful stories from women of all ages not being heard by doctors and bosses, I was also hearing from trans people claiming they were experiencing periods.
It felt outrageous and non sensical, as someone who had surgery, I just couldn’t understand what they were talking about or why they needed this? They are blindsided and unable to comprehend the damage this is doing to women who suffer from crippling periods, who can’t get taken seriously enough as is. It gives me an alarming sense that this is also part of their character fantasy and it’s things like this that made me realise something is deeply wrong.
This is not the gender utopia we were promised. Instead, we have more rules, stricter, more tightly defined conditions on what gender roles entail. Gender non-confirming kids are unable to simply play without having ideas of dysphoria thrown at them. Munchausen by proxy parents who obsesses over the lime light like Jazz Jennings’ parents, which are the same parents that would have put their kids through pageants years earlier.
I ordered an omelette, but my eggs became well and truly scrambled when I started talking to others just like me. I mentioned my friend previously who said that fated phrase which never quite left me; “I can’t do this anymore.” Putting on a voice, putting on clothes that didn’t quite fit my body, feeling over-encumbered and right back to where I was at the beginning.
Those words cut right through me because I too couldn’t do whatever ‘this’ was. I really do understand why so many post-ops just take their own life when they reach this point, and though I didn’t want to die, I certainly didn’t want to keep living this way. I once again had suicidal ideations for months as I began to circle the drain.
Then I thought “No, fuck them, they’ll just make a martyr out of me.”
I can picture it now; all the trans people that never liked me or saw eye to eye, suddenly pretending they’d lost their best friend and sucking in the misery in the victimization circle jerk that are remembrance days. I’ve seen it play out, fuck I probably did it too. It’s part of the group affirmation that ‘this is our grisly fate and society is at fault’. Again, no acknowledgment of any other life issues; just being trans was cause enough.
I never stopped listening to my doubt. I knew there was a great deal of bullshit being said but never felt powerful enough to combat it. And when I did, I heard that dreaded phrase — one of the deadly sins: “Thou shall not be Problematic”
It’s a great sounding word, I’ll admit. It sounds technical, mechanical and somewhat clinical even. These are shut down phrases, used to indirectly imply heresy (e.g., transphobia) without supplying any evidence. A well laid out challenge can be defused with the phrase; “Well that’s problematic”. And if they say why? Well, that engages the emotional response, because they haven’t adhered to the authority of the statement being ‘problematic’.
I’ve seen it play out when I’ve been cancelled for using terms like “MTF” and my only response has been, “That’s problematic for non-binary people,” to which I naturally state the term isn’t referring to gender but sex, only to be met with capslock and claims of bigotry.
It wasn’t just things like this. It was all over — you were always one step behind the latest version of what you could or couldn’t say and there was always a better perspective than yours. Your own experience and authority was nothing in the grand scheme of things with big name youtubers spouting their own observations and thoughts, which others take as further authority as well as affirmation.
Just because someone uses fancy lighting and well sounding phrases; doesn’t mean they’re right about what they’re saying.
Then there’s the stats. When you really look into the statistics, especially around trans murders and murderers, hate crime, suicides, satisfaction rates, surgery outcomes, prevalence of differences of sexual development, they are all being misrepresented without challenge. The very sacred tenants of the belief itself is based on presumptions and the statistics are so easy to deconstruct.
Ripping Off My Own Wings
Death is all over trans narratives, I noticed early on it always bothered me. My given name, that was lovingly awarded to me by my parents, was considered a ‘deadname’. This act did nothing but help sever the connection and I never once stopped to think how it must feel for my parents to have their child change their name to the point of complete erasure.
I try to imagine: if a married woman referred to her maiden name as a ‘deadname ’ in the same context, how would that be seen? It’s quite grim when you really sit and think about the action of calling something a ‘deadname’. It’s a ceremony, one where you bury the ‘false’ self and are baptised with a new gender affirming name, free of shame and fear.
Whilst my departure from the trans community hasn’t been completely devoid of empathy, as I had expected, many have reacted aggressively and with projected pain, as well as fear: “It’s your fault, only you are to blame”… “You were an adult when you made the decision” … “Don’t spoil it for others because you made a mistake”…
It’s so important to them that the onus of responsibility is strictly placed on myself and is mine alone, because if they acknowledge that others are responsible too — perhaps more so — then they have to acknowledge at some level that there are fundamental issues within the current system, especially around informed consent and safeguarding.
Not once was I offered an alternative explanation, despite asking the question myself in the community and with my therapist multiple times. Every doubt and fear I had about my own transition was attributed to being trans. I always tried to argue back, only to be shut down. I believed them, too.
I believed that there was always someone who knew better than I did and I was always seeking permission from those around me, constantly seeking affirmation because I needed others to believe what I didn’t myself. It was most certainly a survival mechanism and for a time it did work, but the price I paid was simply too much and no one who is struggling should have to pay such a heavy cost to get the help they need.
The most important part of my detransition was entering the detrans Reddit page and Discord group. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised at how refreshing it was to freely talk and have honest conversations that are not laced with hyperbole or policing. Perhaps it’s because we’ve all been through it, but the community is resourceful, dedicated, kind, understanding and well informed.
More recently, in March, the detrans day awareness webinar broadcast really gave me the courage to connect to others like me and to tell my story. Our truths are immensely powerful and I’ve been learning just how important detrans/desister voices are at this moment in history.
I would also like to say a thank you especially to detransitioners for your truth and bravery, which helped wither away the last remnants of my own fears in speaking out. And a huge thank you to the supporters, the parents, JK Rowling, Benjamin Boyce, Duncan, Stella, Genspect, Angus, Limpida, AlexIS, Robin and so many others who have reached out to offer their well wishes.
Support is available and if you are at the beginning of detrans/desisting please consider visiting the official detrans Reddit page https://www.reddit.com/r/detrans/ for help and advice.
As always Stay Safe and best wishes,