Detransition is Deprogramming

When FTMs express disdain for detransition, they talk about it within the framework of trans rhetoric, which equates detransition with reparative therapy. They assume that I am accepting the female gender role they felt pressured to take on before they found their way into trans-masculinity. Of course it is unappealing to think about going back to the performance that was so painful that evacuation was necessary. I am not going backwards. I am living in a completely different way than I did before or during transition because now I know I can opt out of both forms of gender conformity.

Truth is not a hedonistic pursuit. Detransition is difficult because it can feel as if everything one built around themself will crumble if they don’t hold on to the things the trans community taught them. The ideas presented by the trans community don’t just apply to how people relate to their sex; they color the whole world. People are separated out into “cis” and “trans” and taking the side of the “underdog” makes it difficult to divert from the trans script. It can be frightening to think about losing the life story and identity that being trans creates. Often people may not want to think outside of the dogma because that means leaving the group where they have made friends and found comraderie and a sense of belonging and order in the world. Detransition can mean losing community, losing credibility, and losing the validation of others glorifying FTMs as brave and unique and admirable.

Detransition isn’t a process where someone is waiting at each milemarker to give you a gold star. It is necessary to want to find a new way: you get what you put into it. It is impossible to stay within the framework of trans rhetoric and still detransition. Without the desire to seek out a new way of thinking, all this is just a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeat. FTMs who criticize the process I’m going through don’t understand this: the path I sought out is rewarding, but there is no carrot dangling in front of me.

When I write about detransition, I do not mean “retransition.” Some people use the two terms interchangably – like Joel Nowak and thirdwaytrans, both de/retransitioning former MTFs. Retransition implies a second superficial journey: the MTF part of the term FTMTF. Some people have used this acronym to describe me, but I am not FTMTF. I don’t have to try to pass, I don’t have to wear different clothes, I don’t have to change my voice, I don’t have to do anything but be what I am. Using the terms retransition and FTMTF would imply viewing my time being FTM as a foundation to build on. I have always been female, and it is from that understanding that I detransitioned.

Redressalert has written about her experience with being vulnerable to sex stereotypes early on in her detransition. I have fallen into this trap as well. I spent a lot of time obsessing about how to tweak subtle gestures, voice tones, and ways of taking up space into a feminine form. I grew my hair out for a while, and I attempted to use MTF voice training to alter how I spoke. I dressed differently, and I tried to use my knowledge on how to pass for male to invert my presentation. Like Redressalert, I realized that all this was self-harm. I do not do this anymore.

It is not productive to change myself in order to change the perceptions of others. Detransition is the furthest thing from conversion, or from what I imagine reparative therapy would be. Detransition is no rigid course of treatment for those who believe transition is morally wrong - it is the absence of all the rules, community-created goalposts, and judgements that transition consists of. Detransition is not an externally directed movement, it is just the act of looking around honestly, and adjusting accordingly.

Detransition does not mean ceasing to be aware of gender, or how others perform it. It means opting out of playing a part for others, and recognizing that I can’t control how other people will categorize me. I refuse to change myself in order to make my world more friendly anymore. My direction comes from within instead of from outside measures of digestibility and normalcy. I am becoming more and more aware of when I am performing out of habit, or when I feel pressured to perform, and I make it a goal each day to come back to myself.

It can be hard to meditate in the standard sitting form, because it is often too painful to be completely in my body. Instead, I have been working on making every activity a form of meditation: writing, reading, laying down, cooking, eating, showering, walking, exercising, being. I found that it was impossible to “just be myself” when I first began to detransition, because I actually didn’t know who that was. I am closer to knowing now, but without building awareness long-term I could not begin to weed through the overgrown garden of influences that have intertwined inside me.

I decided to do something different without having a roadmap. This isn’t a step-by-step process, but there is a growing number of women talking about what it’s like to take a new path when they stop identifying as FTM. I have internal motivation to break open and find truth and that has rewarded me. To one who is cynical and holds on to trans rhetoric, there is no reason to try something different. Trans rhetoric is its own universe: there can logically be nothing outside of it. An open mind is required for detransition, because this is not a pseudo-religious, blueprinted endeavor that provides a script for one’s worldview.

The year and seven months that I have been detransitioning have been a continual process of change. I am spiraling towards a center of being and knowing. There has been a clear pattern of movement that feels more and more like a vector and less like wandering in an endless desert. Detransition is deprogramming: putting down all the performances, the perpetual analyzing, the coded gender recipe. Detransition is coming back to a sense of self that isn’t just a reaction. It involves taking off all assumptions, all judgements, and all the stories I’ve collected about my body and who I am.

I call myself butch, but it’s not an identity. It’s not a word I really contemplate in the context of myself as an individual, it’s just a descriptor of how I fit into a gendered world. Butch isn’t masculine. I work on breaking my habits of performing masculinity and femininity on a daily basis, and that’s what butch is to me. I no longer qualify and quantify each movement I make. I’m not keeping score anymore, because gender is a game rigged in favor of men.


FtMtF and right back (via genderfork)

Random gender thoughts

So I got a new work shirt the other day, just a white button-up, nicely tailored and professional. (Thank you Goodwill!) I wore it to work yesterday, with a black tie arranged into an ascot-bow type thing that the women traditionally wear at my job. And a bra. I passed almost completely I think.

Nobody at work said a thing except for one of the waitresses who whispered “you have chi-chi’s today!” and pointed at my chest. She knows a bit about my gender background and she’s been cool with it, so it didn’t bother me because I could tell she was being humorous. Not even the customers that I’ve known a while said anything - although many of the regulars wouldn’t say anything to me despite being friendly in the past. I figure being ignored is better than being criticized.

I was so, so scared on my way to work. Halfway there I strongly considered going right back home and putting on my guy stuff.

I felt really pretty, but I don’t know if I want to do that everyday .. going back and forth in a public sphere is extremely nerve wracking. :(

I wish people didn’t feel so constrained by gender .. to me it doesn’t even feel like a real phenomenon! Sometimes I have no idea where femininity ends and masculinity begins. I feel differently gendered every day. I used to just want to be a cis-person, but now I wish everyone else was genderfluid.


Let me get this straight. This person was born a girl at birth, but they feel like they are not just a girl. No, they are a boy who wants to be a girl. They feel like a trans woman, even though they were born female. Haha, okay, what the hell. That doesn’t make sense, and as usual these idiots are making actual transsexuals look like they are insane. 

This video was posted in 2009 and it’s sad to see all the comments left like “I feel the same way!”

I just keep seeing more people detransition. It happens, it’s going to happen no matter what, but it shouldn’t happen so much in my opinion. If only people thought more before they made life changing decisions. There’s this trend I see among some people who have detransitioned back to female, and a lot of them say they never felt more at home when their natural hormones took over. They loved getting their feminine features back, basically.

Here’s my question.

Why the hell do people transition in the first place if they love their feminine features so much, and their female body? What the hell do you expect to find yourself feeling if you change your body when you love having a female body? What are you thinking? Are you thinking?

I just hope you guys are not suing gender clinics, that would really anger me.  

anonymous asked:

Hey there, sorry to waste your time but... I got a problem. I feel like I am a transgender woman (so, being born a man and feeling like a woman), Yeah nothing bad I know, but my "problem" is I already AM a woman, I was born a girl... And I feel like I'm supposed to be a trans woman and not one by birth (I know that trans women are real women too don't get me wrong) but I just feel like that's supposed to be and... Well, Does that make any sense?

You’re not wasting my time!  Never - any of you, except trolls - think that!

I had not heard of this before, so I went to go ask this question in a non-binary facebook group - quite a few people feel this way - you are not alone!

Some people described it as FTMTF transition - female-to-male-to-female.  One person suggested transitioning to male, then back to female.  (that brings up de-transition, which opens a whole can of worms that is messy and deals with society way too much).  

One person wondered if you were male in a past life - some people believe in reincarnation, others don’t.  

A lot of people who said they identify with your statements say they just use the term ‘non-binary’ as their gender when asked by others because it is too difficult to explain concisely otherwise.  

Now, as to how to learn to cope with this problem of yours?  I strongly suggest an lgbt gender therapist - they’ll help you with identity, with transitioning if you decide to go that route (someone in the group suggested transitioning as far as you could as male, then taking a step back, or transitioning to male as much as you felt comfortable, transitioning to agender/genderless/etc), etc.

If someone has to de-transition then that’s what they have to do, but then a lot of them act like all transsexuals are confused and that they should de-transition too. Drop the crap and stop saying stuff like “Come back and join your sisters.”

Just because some of you fucked up doesn’t mean that we all fucked up.


FtMtF video


This person says they are FTMTF (female to male to female), and they were born female but their gender is male, and they like their female body, so she says she’s like a “MTF”

You can see her sidebar too. “Brittany 19. Libra. Spiritual. Wolf. Queer. FTMTF. Furry. Individualistic. ”

Can someone attempt to make sense out of this for me? A girl who was born a girl who likes her body, but feels like she is a trans woman, but she also feels like she is FTMTF. What? O.O

I can't believe this is still being debated.

14 April 2011

What is it that makes a person a trans woman?

I have some difficulty answering this question, in light of the debate going on over Kinsey Hope’s refusal to post pictures of a person who describes herself as a Female to Male to Female trans woman at Fuck Yeah Cute Trans Chicks. That is, this person was assigned female at birth, at some point transitioned to male, and then transitioned again, a process which some people would describe as “de-transitioning”, to female. I say I have difficulty with answering it, not because I am having difficulty forming an opinion on the matter, but because I know that voicing my opinion on this matter is likely to cause a great deal of consternation, and to cause some people to form mistaken impressions of my beliefs and my character.

By my own definition, a trans person is someone who desires to move, has moved, or is moving their gender identity, appearance, expression, or behavior from one point on the gender continuum to another. It’s a very simple definition, and covers just about everyone, regardless of where you started, or where you’ve gone in the meanwhile.

However, underlying this definition is the assumption that the transition is genuine, and permanent. We do not generally refer to people who believe at some point in their lives that they are transsexual or transgender, but then change their minds about that fact, as transgender or transsexual. We refer to these people as simply having been wrong about what they thought they wanted.

It is self-evident that someone who has traveled any distance at all along the gender continuum has some experience of having done so, but it does not mean that they have the experience of a person who undertakes such a move with the understanding that they are truly fulfilling a genuine need to permanently resolve a conflict, whether between their psychology and physiology, or between their perception of themselves and the perception of them held by others.

We do not exist in a world where the sex of a transsexual person’s body can be completely changed so as to make one’s body identical to a cissexual person’s body. We have never had this technology, and while it may become possible to do so at some distant point in the future if humanity manages to survive that long, we certainly do not have it in the present day. I find it difficult in the extreme to acknowledge the validity of having transitioned from female to male, and then describing a further transition from male back to the original female as an experience that is remotely similar to my own transition from male to female.

This is not an argument over socialization. I will not draw distinctions between women due to how they were treated by others. I think that socialization arguments are ultimately flawed arguments, just as flawed as the essentialist arguments that state that the presence of primary sexual reproductive gross anatomy of one type or another determines one’s gender in a failproof manner, and that both of these types of  arguments are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to divide gendered people against each other. No person’s experience of their gender is universal, and a person who was indoctrinated into one gender does not necessarily belong to that gender solely as a result of that indoctrination.

There is, however, a different essentialist argument that is being made and confirmed by science. The more we understand about transsexuality, the more it becomes clear that transsexual people are, in fact, born this way, for what ever reason, by whatever mechanism, and that this is a natural variation of humanity. Some people just end up with neurology that doesn’t match their physiology, and for those of us who cannot resolve this conflict well enough to live our lives to our satisfaction because of this transition our bodies to the extent that modern science will allow, because no psychological therapy ever devised has ever been shown to be effective, while physical transition is shown to have an effectiveness in the high-90’s percentile.

A person who is transsexual generally transitions through whatever means they are able to acquire and to whatever extent they can afford because they simply cannot bear to function to a satisfactory capacity while being perceived by themselves or others as a gender which they know themselves not to be. Transition is not, like the criticisms from the radical feminist community of trans people often state, a suit of clothes, to be put on or discarded at will.

If we recognize gender “choice” as authentic gender identity, then the validity of the very existence of transsexual/transgender people is in question, and we reify the notion that all gender is merely a construction of sociology, an attitude which has already been proven conclusively false by a preponderance of scientific findings.

Given the state of the science, I find it impossible to conclude that a person born with anatomy that we recognize as female, who has a gender identity that one must agree is quite likely firmly female, given that the individual has experience of having lived as both female and male, is in fact a transsexual woman. As a result, I believe that this person has no place in spaces which are dedicated to the needs of those who transition from male to female.

Having said the above, I will further state that I believe that Kinsey should relent and publish the picture at Fuck Yeah Cute Trans Chicks.

I say this, because I am no omnipotent Goddess to be Final Arbiter of What Is and What Is Not. I may be entirely wrong about everything I just said, and because that is always the Truth, and because the person in question may authentically perceive herself as a trans woman no matter what I think of the idea or of her, I say, “Bring it, Sister!”

In the end, I think it hardly likely that there’s suddenly going to be a flood of FtMtF women overrunning us all…there’s few enough people who ever even consider that they are or might be transsexual or transgender that I feel fairly confident that we need not fear such a thing, so the question I have to ask myself is, “Where is the harm?”

The only answer I can generate to that question is that some trans women may feel threatened or marginalized in some fashion by the placement of a FtMtF person on the same level as themselves. They may have good reason to feel that way, but I think that to err on the side of compassion for this individual is a sound decision, and I would urge us all to remain open to new ideas, and to love as we also wish to be loved.

In Solidarity and Squalor…XOXO, Gemma

I am so sick of this: a transgender PSA

I’m so sick of having my identity invalidated every time my grandma calls me “Grace.” She knows. She doesn’t have an issue with transgender people. However, she DOES think that you have to be stereotypically masculine in order to be a transguy. Therefore, she is erasing the identity of every feminine guy- transgender or otherwise.

We really aren’t that different from cis guys. The only difference is that we were born in female bodies and socialized as female. Some guys reject this background; others embrace it and make it a part of who they are. I am the latter.

Just like cisguys, we come in every possible level of femininity and every possible sexual orientation. I mean, sure, the majority of guys (cis or trans) are straight and masculine, but that doesn’t mean you can erase everyone who’s not. Especially when you’re talking to someone who is in a minority of a very small minority.

Don’t turn rainbows into just black and white.

admiration-determination asked:

For the people who just won't gtfo, I suppose genderqueer is the correct term for me. Sorry, and I hope you all know how much you've destroyed me with your ignorance and disrespect.

No, you are a cisgender woman, not FTMTF or genderqueer. Piss off with that victim attitude, you’re the one who told me that I don’t deserve to breathe, and you told my friend that they deserve to die. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, stop making trans people look insane.