Female detransition and reidentification: Survey results and interpretation

Thank you very much Cari of Guide On Raging Stars! What you’ve done here is wonderful and necessary.

Read this survey to find out fascinating insights into detransition, such as most detransitioners DO have sex dysphoria, the average age of transition is 17 and average detransition is 21, they used to identify as FtM or nonbinary or genderqueer and now understand themselves as female. The most common reasons for detransition are a shift in ideological/political beliefs and finding other ways to deal with dysphoria. A whopping 65% of them had no therapy before transitioning, and only 12% felt they were given adequate information about transitioning.

A response to “How come I don’t like being called genderqueer or nonbinary”

This is another one of those excellent videos by Maria Catt (Carey) that I wanted to write a whole post about because she makes me think so much! Obviously, you should watch the video before reading this because I’m going to comment on what she said.

I thought it was funny how when a woman stops identifying as FtM everybody assumes she’s now “nonbinary” or “genderqueer” and calls her “they,” even if she says she’s a woman and wants to be called “she.” First of all, it’s hilarious that people who claim that “misgendering is violence” call a woman “they” even after she’s asked for female pronouns. Misgendering is only violence when it’s done to male autogynephiles—when it’s done to women it’s no problem at all. Secondly, they totally miss the point of detransitioning. The process of detransitioning is about reconciling with your birth sex. It doesn’t necessarily involve changing yourself to look more feminine, although it could. It’s mostly about realizing you are female. It’s about realizing that you don’t have to call yourself something other than a woman just because you don’t identify with femininity or don’t perform “woman” correctly according to other people’s opinions. The trans cult assumes that a detransitioning female is still not female—it’s like they can’t understand that a female who is gender defiant could actually be a woman!

It’s fascinating to me that she felt like she was artificially “playing a role” of woman before transitioning, but even while she was transitioning she still felt like she was “playing a role.” She was just playing the role of trans man instead of playing the role of woman. I think that people who are thinking of transitioning need to be aware that transitioning might mean still playing a role—just playing a different role than previously. The goal of someone’s treatment should be eventually to not be playing any role, to be in touch with the authentic self and doing whatever you please without caring whether it’s what other people expect or not. I see FtMs on YouTube deliberately speaking with a lowered voice and I think yeah, they’re acting. They’re playing a role. I don’t see how that could be helping with dysphoria. How can you be living your true self while you’re faking a voice? The “you” that you should want to be is the “you” that you are when no one else is looking, when you’re just by yourself, and not having to perform anything. That person is you, and we all need to get to a place where we can be authentic with other people if we want to be healthy and happy. Not necessarily with everyone, but at least with our nearest and dearest. Those two FtMs in a relationship together—do they still speak with those artificially lowered voices to each other when they’re alone together? Does the performance ever stop? Do they show their authentic selves to each other?

If a woman goes to a therapist and says, “I feel like this idea of woman is just a role I’m acting out, it doesn’t feel authentic to me,” the answer should not be “Play a different role then,” the answer should be “stop doing things that feel artificial, get in touch with yourself and just be you.”

Maria talks about her trans ally friends working hard to affirm her trans identity, and I think to myself, those friends were being inauthentic too. Instead of saying, “Hey, um, Maria, we’re not interested in playing pretend with you. We think you’re a great woman the way you are and we like you,” they’re pretending to go along with a lie just to demonstrate how good a Trans Ally they are. This is another performance! I don’t want friends who pretend things for me, I want friends who know the real me and who show me the real them. Without that it’s not really a friendship, it’s just people using each other to prove how liberal and tolerant they are about the latest oppressed group.

She talks about how calling herself a woman who has been traumatized (rather than a “nonbinary” or a “genderqueer”) gives her agency over her trauma symptoms. She can recognize the physiological reactions to trauma and being triggered and can work with those reactions to lessen them. But if she were invested in the idea of being “nonbinary” rather than a female survivor of trauma then she would be farther away from being able to deal constructively with her symptoms. This is so, so important. Therapists who have gender identity patients absolutely need to provide services for trauma, because some people are being diagnosed as trans in error and are made to further dissociate from their bodies when they actually need control over physical symptoms and reintegration with the body.

It’s interesting that she got fetishized by women in the queer community. This is a topic that needs to be explored further. I’ve heard of women who specifically want to date FtMs and I wonder why this is and what this means. Are they lesbians who want to be seen as straight? Are they straight women who want to be with a man who’s “safe”? I don’t know. I haven’t met any of these people, I’ve only heard of them second-hand. Maria says that “femme-identified” women were really into her when she was a trans man, and they assumed that she would be into them without even asking. What I believe I’m seeing here is heteronormativity happening. Women who are feminine want to be with someone masculine, and they assume that someone masculine will be into them because they are feminine.

I have to stress that this is not the same thing as butch/femme lesbians. Butch lesbians are women, not men, and they are not the “man” in the relationship, they are one of two lesbian halves of a lesbian relationship. They aren’t intentionally performing masculinity, they are just expressing their female personalities, which happen to be different than the personalities that people expect women to have.

This new breed of “queer” people are performing masculinity and femininity though. Take a look at this YouTube couple for example. One of them is a feminine woman who calls herself “straight” and is intentionally being all girly and sexy with her outfit and mannerisms. The other is a trans man who is performing masculinity with her outfit and mannerisms. This is a video where they talk about what they do in bed, and since they are both female they are doing the same things in bed that lesbians do, except they are acting out gender roles and calling themselves straight. I’m not comfortable calling them lesbians but I’m not going to call them straight either because they’re both female. For lack of a better word, I’ll just say they’re “queer.”

The important question is, why are female same-sex couples trying to look straight?

Maria says she actually got yelled at by a feminine woman who was looking for a trans man because Maria said she wasn’t interested in women. Wow! That is terrible behavior! I don’t get that. Maria says women in the “queer” community could be coercive and behave in fetishistic ways toward trans men. This just adds to my feeling that actual lesbians should stay far away from the “queer” community.

And this is where she makes another point about how becoming trans doesn’t actually help you deal with your shit. Maria had often felt like she wasn’t a woman because other women treated her as an “other.” Then when she transitioned, women were still treating her as an “other.” They were treating her in a particular way because she was a woman identifying as a man and that made her “exotic” to them. Since one of her issues in the first place was other women treating her like she wasn’t one, this issue just continued for her when she was trans. Very important observations!

What she says at the end I would like to paint in huge letters on a giant billboard.

“I have no interest in serving as some kind of “other” while they get to be women.”

And…

 “There have always been women who were not so quick to accept social roles. Who were always too assertive, and too loud, and too sensitive, and too crazy. And I think that I get to be a part of that heritage. I think like, just because I’ve had these feelings and just because I’ve had these symptoms, just because bad shit has happened to me and I’ve been affected by it, it doesn’t mean that I get kicked out, like no. If anything, I feel like I’ve really earned my stripes. I feel like if there was a sash for womanhood struggles, like a Girl Scout sash, and you got patches, I feel like I’d have a full thing full of patches. I definitely feel like for me, the title woman means that I made it through my girlhood. I made it through. I got bullied, I got told that I was incorrect, I got bad shit happening to me, I got traumatized, I got beat up, I got other women distancing from me, I got a lot of criticism, I got getting turned around, I got all this shit, and I made it through. And now I’m truly the woman I’m gonna be.

In conclusion, don’t call me genderqueer, don’t call me nonbinary. Don’t try and offer those identities as some kind of solution for why I can still be trans or how my existence as someone who doesn’t…who has a history of not accepting the rules of what women are allowed to talk about and how women are allowed to react…the fact that I have not abided by those rules does not mean that I’m not a woman. It means that I’m a particularly badass woman.”

Hell yeah! This is what we should be teaching gender defiant girls. That they are women, and they are particularly badass women!