Is there a “gender critical” way to transition?

In regards to the topic of how to handle early transition, commenter Daniel asked me this:

“Two other common methods for early transition are wearing the clothes of your target gender prior to medical treatment, or going on hormones but not announcing your transition until you have physically changed enough to pass.

Each has benefits and drawbacks, and I have seen feminists react negatively to all of them. There is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation going on, and it’s not like there are official guidelines on how to handle this.

I’m genuinely curious, assuming someone has dysphoria and is transitioning to treat it, what would you like the early transition timeline to be? What do you think is the best course of action for all involved? This is not a settled question at all, and getting a gender critical perspective on it would be valuable.”

I think Daniel is talking about how if people socially transition for a while without medically transitioning, feminists keep pointing out that since their birth sex is obvious, it’s silly to call them by opposite sex pronouns. However, we also want people to take the time to think about it before medically transitioning, and as Daniel has pointed out before, socially transitioning is how people can tell whether medical transition might be right for them. So we pretty much object to any strategy they try.

Daniel asked for a gender critical perspective on how to handle early transition. My answer probably won’t be very satisfying, because the gender critical method of transition is to not transition at all. We view gender dysphoria as self-hatred and transition as the self-harm that results from that self-hatred. We just don’t want people to self-harm at all. Instead we want them to learn not to hate themselves.

I asked this question in a gender critical Facebook group to see what the response would be. I got the replies I was expecting, which was: don’t transition. We began comparing gender dysphoria to anorexia and one person, who agreed to be quoted anonymously, said this:

I think the problem is that transition doesn’t treat dysphoria any more than liposuction treats anorexia. Arguing that there should be a way to transition that we approve of is like saying “you don’t want us to get liposuction OR starve ourselves, so we are damned if we do, damned if we don’t”. It entirely misses the objection.

I think this sums it up really well. If you are female and you hate being female and you change your body so that you don’t look female any more, that doesn’t actually solve the original problem: that you hate your sex. You can’t actually become male, you can only look male from the outside. You’ll always be female, just with body modifications.

I have no doubt that people can find their dysphoria goes away or is lessened after they make body modifications, for the same reason that anorexics feel better after they lose weight. They wanted something, and they got what they wanted, and so they felt better. But the person who hates her body and feels good about changing it still has the same problem: she still thinks the body she was born with is wrong.

The gender critical perspective is that you should unravel the reasons why you began to hate your natural body in the first place and learn to change those feelings. We don’t believe that people are essentially transsexual, we think the transsexual identity is a social construction and that what’s real is the body itself. We want people to know that bodies are not wrong and that men and women can be any kind of people they want to be.

Daniel doesn’t describe dysphoria in silly sex stereotypes like “I knew I was really a boy because I liked wearing boxers,” as a lot of transitioners unfortunately do. He describes a severe mental illness that didn’t respond to anything else besides transition. So what happens if a person with dysphoria tries to reconcile with their birth sex but cannot? What then?

I’m a person who has had anxiety and depression for most of my life, and I’ve had internalized homophobia, and I was able to untangle the reasons for all that and learn ways of coping. Because I was able to do this, I believe that other people can do it, too. I think people can examine their underlying beliefs (usually with the help of a good therapist) and figure out why they ended up going down the path of self-hatred, and I think people can learn coping skills that help them manage long-term mental illnesses. I cannot give advice for dealing with gender dysphoria because I don’t have it, but there is a whole community of detransitioners who are working on this and writing about it. The only advice I can give is to look at what they’re saying.

Of course, we don’t live in Purple Sage’s Personal Utopia, (I wish!), we live in the real world. Some people are going to transition. I cannot say what the best method is for early transition, but I can say what my major objections are in regards to the way trans people often proceed.

My primary objection is the public trans activism that is being done that is taking away women’s rights. I don’t think that people trying to deal with their personal mental illness need to remove women’s rights to our own private spaces in order to feel better about themselves. Trans women who don’t pass should be able to respect that women don’t want to share a washroom with six-foot tall guys wearing makeup. They should have enough courtesy to use the men’s washroom or a gender neutral washroom, and instead of campaigning for being allowed into women’s washrooms based on self-declaration, they should be campaigning for single-user, unisex washrooms in order to balance their needs with women’s needs.

My second most important objection is the public trans activism that forces everyone to redefine male and female and pretend as though human reproductive anatomy is an unfathomable mystery instead of an accepted scientific fact. We shouldn’t have to force organizations like Planned Parenthood or midwife organizations to talk about “pregnant people” when only women can get pregnant. This removes women from a conversation about women and it causes both gas-lighting and bullying of women.

I guess if there is any such thing as a gender critical approach to transition, it would simply be transitioning without denying reality. Being a female with dysphoria is not the same experience as being male, and there is no harm is acknowledging this. Women with dysphoria don’t need to flip out when someone refers to women as the class of people who can get pregnant. The reason FtMs can get pregnant is because they’re female, and I think they can recognize this reality even while taking testosterone to help their dysphoria. If pregnancy would worsen dysphoria, then it’s a good idea not to get pregnant, however that doesn’t mean the entire world has to pretend that men can get pregnant. They can’t.

I think it’s entirely possible to think of gender dysphoria as an illness requiring treatment, rather than a sign of being essentially transsexual, or a sign of being literally the opposite sex. I don’t think we need to make up stuff about being “born in the wrong body,” when there is no such thing as a body being wrong. I don’t think any harm comes to a woman if she admits to being biologically female despite having a condition that makes her want to present as a man.

Transition is used as a treatment because we haven’t figured out how to treat people in any better ways. I think that when learning how to treat dysphoria, we should be taking clues from the way anorexia and dissociation are treated, and we should be listening to detransitioners.

What I would suggest (and this is, of course, some TERFy advice), is that if you feel you have to transition, you should still try to work on discovering the reasons why you started hating yourself in the first place, and you should still try to reconcile with your birth sex, even while transitioning. This may appear to be a contradiction, but I heard an interesting point from a FtM who might be considered a “gender critical trans man” who spoke to me in email a few times. She said that taking testosterone made her feel better about being female. That might sound odd, but I think what she did is take on the appearance that felt comfortable to her without denying her sex, and she felt better about who she was afterwards. I think people can be fully themselves, even while making body modifications, without denying their biological sex, and further, I think people are more fully accepting of themselves when they don’t have to deny anything. Even though I personally feel that no one should transition, I really appreciated hearing her perspective. My main objections are the removal of women’s rights and the denial of reality, so when someone is just doing what feels right to her without being misogynist or denying facts, I’m pretty chill about it. It’s a lot like someone getting a tattoo or a piercing—it’s her body, and it doesn’t affect me.

Socially transitioning usually means telling everyone that you have the wrong body and you’re going to change it and can everyone please refer to you by your new “gender” because that’s who you really are. Does it have to be presented this way though? What if the reason given for using your new pronouns is not that you are literally the opposite sex, but that you have a mental illness and this will help you cope? I wonder if people don’t do that because it’s harder to explain or embarrassing or something. I can’t say I know what to do exactly about this, but my general advice is: tell the truth. Every conversation about how to accommodate people with dysphoria should proceed from the truth. Then we might get somewhere.


45 thoughts on “Is there a “gender critical” way to transition?

  1. This is so level-headed, thank you!

    Everything must be based on the truth. Whatever is not based on truth fails.

    The truth is, except for a vanishingly small number of people born with ambiguous genitalia, human beings come in two genders, male and female. Gender is not “assigned” at birth. Gender is discerned at birth (nowadays, usually before) by the examination of unarguable physical characteristics, like genitalia, like DNA.

    There are a very few individuals who are deeply unhappy with their gender. This is not anyone’s fault, and it is not the fault of the individuals so afflicted. These individuals deserve our care and respect, just as everyone else does.

    Sometimes it appears that the anguish of these individuals is eased, or even cured, by dressing or behaving like the other gender. Sometimes even drastic remedies such as surgery seem to help, though this should be a last resort, for obvious reasons. If the suffering of someone with such an illness (that’s what it is, a mental illness) is eased if I change pronouns when referring to them, I am more than willing to accommodate them. However, for them to demand that the entire society twist itself into knots (such as, for example, a demand that Planned Parenthood no longer acknowledge the fact that only women can become pregnant) is out of line. The whole world cannot change to fit around the mental illness of a few people.

    None of these accommodations can change the facts on the ground, the truth. The truth is, if you are born a male there is nothing you can do to change that. Likewise women. You can become a male who presents as female or vice versa; with surgery such a presentation can be very convincing. Nevertheless, the truths of gender remain, like the laws of physics.

    It is also a fact that many, perhaps most, women in this society have good reason to fear males, at least men they do not know, especially under circumstances where they are vulnerable. Like, toilets, like, even more so, locker rooms. The desire of the very few individuals who were born as males but who wish to be females to pretend that they ARE females, and to cause everyone else to pretend along with them, is far less important than the safety of the majority of women who will be endangered if males, just any males, are admitted to our private spaces on their mere say-so that they think they are or should be women. Such a policy is an obvious open door to all sorts of criminals, as experience has already shown. Providing gender-neutral facilities for dysphoric individuals is a far better alternative.

    I think that it is almost always unwise to undergo mutilating surgery for any reason except to treat the most dire physical illness. But it is the right of other people to differ with me on this as to their own bodies. Psychiatric professionals have the thankless task of advising people in this circumstance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I understand what you meant, drycamp, but please allow me to be pedantic and point out that you should have said “two sexes” not “two genders.” There are two genders, but they are masculinity and femininity. The sexes are male and female, which is what you meant.

      Liked by 5 people

      • The dictionary says gender is, “the state of being male or female.” (I can’t find the definition of “sex.” You can imagine what I get when I google it!)

        This is one more way that I guess I’m not keeping up with the correct terminology. I’m 71 years old. For most of my life, my usage was correct. We said, as of a noun or a horse, “what is its gender?” Not “what is its sex,” which could mean anything.

        I do appreciate the correction, but I’ll probably get it wrong next time. Either I’ll forget it, or it will change again. You know what I mean, is what counts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh my, is that what the dictionary said? That is so inadequate. I’m working off of a lot of sociological theory when I say “gender.” The word gender used to be just a grammatical word that indicated whether a noun was masculine or feminine, for the purpose of agreeing adjectives to it. But then John Money coined the term “gender” as being the degree of masculinity or femininity experienced by people with intersex conditions (called hermaphrodites in his time.) Then feminists further theorized on “gender,” naming masculinity and femininity as a set of social expectations and a hierarchy with men on top and women on the bottom. I carry all that theory with me when using the word gender. Sex is just whether you are male or female (whether your body produces male gametes (sperm) or female gametes (ova) ).

          Liked by 3 people

        • From the NYTimes, today, ““We are glad that as part of the settlement Walmart will continue to provide the same health insurance benefits regardless of the gender of the associate’s spouse,” Peter Romer-Friedman, one of Ms. Cote’s lawyers, said in a statement.” This uses “gender” in the old fashioned way. It’s not just me.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I find this perspective doubtful. I am soon 51 and I remember very distinctly around age 20 when I started to see “gender” replace “sex” in government forms. And it’s only been in the last decade that “gender” instead of “sex” started to trickle in to zoological studies on non humans.
          Thirty years ago this only happened in the English speaking world, in a puritanical response, attempting to dissociate ourselves from our biological side… biology being “dirty” and civilisation being “good”.

          Liked by 2 people

        • As per Walmart comment, yes of course media and law have substituted sex for “gender” and every time I see this, I write back to those people and tell them to STOP fucking around with this. It has always driven me nuts.
          Euphemisms is an aspect of language I truly dislike.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. A great essay and I thank you.

    I think it is extraordinarily important not to conflate sex and gender. This is a trick of the transmaniacs and it leads to absurdities like saying biological sex doesn’t exist. Sex is biology. Gender is behavior. Easy peasy.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Great article.

    As a result of my own peak trans, I have met a couple of well know GC MtT trans people. One , I call Sandra, passed very well, not as a glamourous ‘babe’ but as an very unremarkable middle aged woman, The other guy, I call Beverly, describes himself quite happily as a gay man in a dress. I didn’t presume to ask about their ‘downstairs arrangements’.

    Both work with GC rad fems, and are active online, to try and challenge the dominant trans narrative. Neither demands anything about pronouns, but go under female names.

    I was expecting to feel hostile to them, but was overwhelmed by their genuine niceness, their warmth, their affection for women and way that they were going out of their way to put out the idea that women had every right to their own spaces and their own definition on ‘women’.

    From talking with them I found out that Sandra had go thru a fairly typical midlife MtT experience, at the time had seen trans as the only alternative to suicide.

    Beverly just like dressing up I think is not affronted by being called an autogynophile.

    They make a cute couple.

    I also met a very butch woman, I’ll call her Jill. She could pass as a man if she wanted to, She dressed in a very dapper way and had a quite presence that a lot of men would envy. When she spoke she spoke quietly and everyone listened.

    What I found strange was that despite her very butch appearance, she had a warmth, compassion and quite unthreatening strength that stuck me and very female. Is that just me assigning attributes to gender?

    She said she got as much stick from women for the way she looked as she did from men. She worked in a male dominated environment and they just accepted her as one of the blokes. She’d had a lot of (female) friends who had transitioned and while it saddened her she understood their reasons. It seems to be a lot about just being able get on with life without being seen as a weirdo.

    She had a gorgeous ‘femme’ girlfriend. Jill and I shared cooking tips and beliefs in the importance of eating together as a bonding ritual.

    Then we all went to the pub, I missed my train, left a drunken message on the home phone, got home late and had to tell my SO that I was late cause a load of trannies and lesbians got me pissed.

    Is their a grey area of using and ambiguous name (Jack/Jaque, Jo etc) and working out with the intention of bulking out. How would using T as a training drug come in to this?

    IIs the rise of trans making society less tolerant of women like Jill?

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s an adorable story! I think I know who you’re talking about, and they are great. When trans people acknowledge the truth about their sex while dressing how they want, they are pretty cool people. I just don’t like when they want everyone to lie.

      Liked by 3 people

    • “Is the rise of trans making society less tolerant of women like Jill?”
      It might be. That would be a pity, wouldn’t it?

      However … Jill sounds, from your brief description, like a supremely grounded ‘masculine’ woman. Such women have always been a feature in general society. I think they can make insecure people – women and men – a bit nervous, and perhaps the hostility she encounters comes from that.

      I dunno. But your evening sounds great!

      Liked by 1 person

    • They have learned that “being nice” will ply women to their viewpoint. I know of many many females who refuse to criticise gender for exactly this reason “But “she” is so nice” !
      Nice should never dictate reality. The guys going around in dresses claiming they are gender critical I find completely disingenuous and manipulative. It’s ok for their THEM, but not for the rest of the dysphorics.
      There is no such thing as a sex change for Homo sapiens. Language, law, medicine, must change. There is no middle ground on this.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had my own appearance described to me as “soft butch”. I work out a lot – being physically strong is necessary to the work I do and I have positively ripped arms and legs. I have short hair and don’t wear makeup. Some trick of genetics gave me a tenor vocal range. I also have, as an ancient poet once described it: hips you could found a city upon.

      I find it odd when people tell me (as I’ve been told before) that I would pass well should I choose to transition. Of course I wouldn’t. In addition to my Venus of Willendorf hips, tiny hands and feet, and so forth, I have an oval face straight out of a 17th century miniature. On the occasions I’ve startled someone in the changing room, all I have to do is say “hi” and women realize I’m in the right place.

      And that is something I think is important: that people not confuse the stereotypical nonsense with what being a woman really is. People usually guess I’m about four inches taller than I am because I stand very straight and I have big shoulders and “presence”. A young man I worked with who moonlighted at bars as a bouncer once offered to recommend me as he thought I’d be very good at it (and the per hour pay is sometimes better than my current evening job), but I prefer working with kids to teach them water safety and fitness, to be a positive role model who shows girls they don’t have to have long hair, wear makeup, or fit stereotypes of femininity. And it’s working: girls in my classes brag about being able to tread water and do other swimming skills. The older women at the pool call my students the “ducklings” from the way they all follow “Mama Duck” (me) into the water and splash around confidently.

      I sometime reflect on the farm women I’ve known and how they helped me understand that I needed to be strong and confident in a world which punishes women for those qualities.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. I agree that it’s a very bad idea – for one’s mental health and for successful social integration – to base your identity on a lie. Some people have such excruciating problems that they feel they have to do this, but up until now they’ve relied on actually fooling everybody else. I think that when your identity requires the rest of world to knowingly support your lie, you’re in trouble. Transgenderists are trying very hard to alter everyone’s perception of fact but it won’t work long-term. It runs counter to a whole slew of animal instincts: these instincts are responsible for the survival of the species, and they will win out. This will be incredibly hard for people who’ve thought the world had bought into it – they’ll be back at Stage One again, this time with fewer options.

    People are kind on the whole. We all have that friend who’s sure they’re an expert on something, but aren’t. We play along with them, don’t we, until the game threatens to cause real damage. In the vast majority of cases, those transgender people who brag about how well they pass … really don’t. Likewise, the same people don’t often confide how crappy their painfully-acquired new genitals are or how weird the side-effects of their meds can be. A great deal of it is fantasy; wishful thinking; bullshit. And this isn’t what Daniel wants to hear. I truly am sorry about this.

    Terfy feminists are gender critical. This means we really, honestly don’t see why a person’s sex should proscribe how they live. Having male biology should in no way mean you can’t wear all the swishy, silky clothes you want, spend your free time doing glitter collages, dance like Beyoncé, and everything else that expresses who you are. And if this is your individual expression, it shouldn’t stop you being “he”. It’s not actually as hard as some people make out – there are always men doing this and being men: often in the arts & entertainment, but I’ve known blokes in factories like this too!

    I understand that this doesn’t feel like the full answer to sex dysphoria. I can sort of get it; I had dysmorphic anorexia in my teens and, no, it doesn’t make “sense” to other people. The reason for this, though, is because your reality – that’s so very, very real – exists in your own mind. Tangible facts and the world you live in are both more predictable and more generous than your mind will let you think sometimes. Minds change – they’re always changing, all through life – and we can learn how they do this; how to support our own minds.

    I’d love for Daniel, and all the other Daniels & Daniellas, to be able to find a good enough therapist who gets it and loves who you actually, tangibly, are. I’d love for you to have the support and gain the confidence to discover everything about your marvellous self: tangible reality, ideas, whims, talents; the lot. And I believe you can. I hope you do.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Reblogged this on My Only Path to Power and commented:
    “you should unravel the reasons why you began to hate your natural body in the first place and learn to change those feelings.”

    “bodies are not wrong and that men and women can be any kind of people they want to be”

    “they should be campaigning for single-user, unisex washrooms in order to balance their needs with women’s needs”

    “being a female with dysphoria is not the same experience as being male, and there is no harm is acknowledging this”

    “I think people can be fully themselves, even while making body modifications, without denying their biological sex”

    “tell the truth. Every conversation about how to accommodate people with dysphoria should proceed from the truth.”

    What a world we live in, that any of these are seen as controversial statements.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “My answer probably won’t be very satisfying, because the gender critical method of transition is to not transition at all.”

    We seem to arrive at this place pretty regularly. I keep try to find overlapping goals or points of agreement but come up with very little. Still, I think we are starting to understand each other better, and that’s what I was hoping for when I responded to the questionnaire.

    (still working on the last reply, just trying to get my citational ducks in a row on anorexia/bdd vs dysphoria)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Daniel, I hope you’re not busting a gut over anorexia/bdd on my account! I know it’s not the same thing. As my closest personal experience, I was using it to try and show that I genuinely do know what it’s like to both hate and misperceive one’s own body. Indeed, one’s own being (anorexia’s never about fat, that’s just an available channel for the distraught mind.)

      I assume I don’t know how sex dysphoria feels. At the same time, I’m unsure that I don’t. My childhood & teens provided powerful reasons to hate being female. It’s actually quite likely I’d have been ‘trans’ had I been born later, and I have certainly never felt “like a woman”. Whatever the bloody hell that’s supposed to feel like. Perhaps the part I missed out was that I am now, and for some time, comfortable with being me. I’ve also developed a big enough mouth to shut down anyone wishing to impose gender/sexism on me – that helps 😉

      I’m so pleased you’re reading & answering. It must be difficult but, I hope, interesting as well.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you! It can be stressful, but there is something rewarding in talking with folks you deeply disagree with. If nothing else, I’m (hopefully) getting better at articulating why I’m transitioning. You guys are also a (mostly) kind bunch who are willing to listen to me, as long as that’s the case I’m happy to keep talking.

        I’m actually really happy to look into bdd and make comparisons again, I thought I might have it for awhile, but ended up not fitting that diagnosis. It also responds completely differently to surgical treatment, and I think that says something important about the underlying cause.

        I’ve rewritten this sentence a couple times, because I keep thinking I sound like a dick- I don’t know how to respond when people say I need to overcome self hatred/hatred of being a woman, because I never did. I liked being a woman, I had very few negative experiences that came from being female. I had some very strange reactions to my body, but I was aware that it was conventionally attractive.

        The response to purplesage is closing in on 2k words, I’ll email it to her once it’s finished.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I have been enjoying talking to you too, Daniel. It’s interesting that you say you never hated being female. That means that I actually have no idea whatsoever what it is that you feel. It would be cool to find out more.

          Liked by 2 people

        • @purplesagefem

          I’ll try to be as specific as I can in the next response, but yeah, it took me much longer than it might otherwise have to start transitioning because I really didn’t want to stop being perceived as a woman. It just turned out to be the thing that relived my depression/agoraphobia/ect. It’s rough because I think we talk past each other a great deal, and mean different things when we use the same word.

          I also realize I’m an outlier to have this experience of being a woman. I suspect that is why so many people cite gender rolls for wanting to transition. Having them actually enforced in a way you couldn’t shrug off would make them seem more relevant in the decision making process.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. It would be great if the debate could become more nuanced. There is a sinister element to any belief that counter beliefs. Every time the media push this I would like equal coverage given to Transdoubters. Society is being sold a “pig in a poke’ and no one is allowed to say so.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. This article get to core issues in several ways.

    First, gender/sex word usage really is a problem and confuses any discussion. The earlier discussion about misgendering and missexing put a clear focus on the confusion and was very helpful.

    Second, is the treatment for gender dysphora curing an illness and correcting what god got wrong? OR body enhancement? From a everyday point of view, I have a real problem paying into healthcare insurance to pay for medically unnessary treatment when actual life threatening illnesses are too expensive to cover. A person can pay for any body enhancement they want if they have enough money, but when we are talking about the rationing of healthcare, there maybe less expensive and less harmful therapies. So. . . Is it a disease or a enhancement of normal?

    Third, I believe, in fifty years, we will all pine for the simpler days of discussing what it means to be a woman or a man. We will then be discussing what it means to be human. Transhumanism is no joke and the discussion has already gone there outside of our gender critical bubble. I would even take this one step further to say it is possible that the controversy over transsexualism is just a warm up to a larger discussion of how we will be taking nanotechnology into our bodies to enhance and survive.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have speculated elsewhere that attitudes towards transexuality, right to die/dignity of risk, cosmetic body modification, and even abortion and voluntary sterilization will all be predictive of the pitfalls we’ll face when transhumanist concerns become relevant.

      I’m also looking forward to the cyborg future. Que Sera.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Our civics are based on the moral structure of Abrahamic systems of faith. The way we enshrine the obligation to live and the inappropriateness of death, the way we view nature as dirty and unevolved, and humans as clean and transcendant of nature, and superior in value to all else. The way we think “Cogito Ergo Sum” instead of just “Sum”.
        Patriarchy has created a deeply flawed understanding of reality, trans-lingo is only the most recent evidence of it. All that humanity does is vile to the planet.
        Transhumanism is definitely the next hurdle.
        I do will not be donating my organs to science or to dying persons. I believe we need to be much more at peace with death.
        The fact that we call ourselves Homo sapiens may be the biggest joke science ever told.
        I look forward to a much stronger push from the Death With Dignity crowd

        Liked by 2 people

    • “From a everyday point of view, I have a real problem paying into healthcare insurance to pay for medically unnecessary treatment when actual life threatening illnesses are too expensive to cover.”

      This point doesn’t come up often enough. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to think about this kind of thing, but this is not that ideal world. There are only so many healthcare dollars around, and they must be prioritized. Actual life threatening conditions should (usually) come first. (“Usually” because sometimes expensive treatments for deadly illnesses are futile.)

      That someone is desperately unhappy and thinks that medically unnecessary surgery would make them feel better is not necessarily enough of an argument to force other people to pay for it. It is too often forgotten that health insurance dollars do not fall out of the sky, they come from all of us, and no, Big Pharma, it is NOT OK to randomly hike up the price of some drug because “after all insurance pays for most of it.” (We have seen this excuse used, recently.) We have to get away from that kind of thinking. We’re all in this together.


      • Our medical system is faultily based on our moral system of life at all costs. Never was a worst policy decision made as the day we started treating long term illnesses. The medical community should be focusing on ensuring fixable problems are available to ALL (basic dental, basic optical, basic medical, basic mental health), and I mean ALL, universally. But we waste shit piles of money on trying to find antidotes to stretched out deaths. This obsession is bankrupting healthcare systems, and because of it, the masses are loosing access to the basics. All should not be treated.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I wish there was a way dysphoric people could be guided through gender transition in a way that both allows experimentation with gender presentation and expression and grounding and affirming their natal sex. For me, the time I spent identifying as something other than a woman allowed me to finally embrace and experience the ways I could embody womanhood but at the time didn’t know I could. I think this is why so many detransitioned women come out of the experience of transition with this deep, deep respect and power in their female sex, even if they continue to live with some dysphoria. Once you realize the dysphoria comes from outside your self, you can redirect all your anger and frustration to the real source and allow yourself to heal. But when you don’t know what kind of woman (or man, in the case of dysphoric men) you CAN be, then you can never get to that place.

    Maybe someday there could be some kind of big sister/big brother program for dysphoric people, matching them up with men and women who have already been through the journey themselves, who could help guide a person through the maze of what is helpful and what is harmful. Like yes, put on men’s clothing, go out and “act like a man”, date women, change the way you dress and the way you speak and how you interact with others. But have some wise soul there guarding the root of you until you’ve got the strength to protect it yourself. I guess for now all we can do is keep writing and be present.

    Liked by 8 people

  10. Thissoftspace you touched on something very human, very real and potentially effective. It is a shame that detransitioners are afforded or feel unable to have a media presence. In some ways this would achieve what you describe. I imaging they would offer healthier role models than young people pursue on Trans sites. More importantly they offer a safer alternative and a reassurance to confused and vulnerable youths.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I would really not like trans people to be silenced up and marginalized, but I would love it if detransitioners had more space to tell their stories. I wish everybody could let go of the assumption that there is one right relationship to have to your body and your gender, and that anyone with the wrong relationship to their body is evil and dangerous and a threat to feminism. (I’m banned here for being the Green and Purple Menace (those are the nonbinary colors right? argh too many damn pride flags) so this comment won’t be visible to anyone, but oh well… I wish that anyway. I would also like a pony and a lifetime supply of ice cream and world peace. Thanks.)


      • For gawd’s sake Deviant Logic. You are not banned on the basis of your identifying as nonbinary. You are banned because you’ve been obnoxious too many times. You just keep making me *headdesk* over and over. The “right” relationship you should have with yourself is to be at peace with yourself and accepting. This seems pretty obvious.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The “right” relationship you should have with yourself is to be at peace with yourself and accepting.

          You know, you’re right. I don’t need internet strangers to understand me in order to be at peace with myself; that’s what friends are for. I shall accept that fruitful conversation is not always possible even between people who consider themselves feminists.

          I hope you are able to establish a comfortable women-born-women space far away from me and the people I love.


        • So butthurt! In fact, women already had a women-born-women space, and trans activists worked relentlessly to destroy it. It is trans activists who are attacking women, not the other way around. If you wanted space for nonbinary people only, that would be fine with me!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. @Francois Tremblay I’m not approving your comment. I have a policy not to yell at FtMs. We may disagree on our approaches and our politics but we don’t say things like that to each other here.


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