I will be on TRTV Thursday 11PM Eastern

Here it is:

Update: I previously incorrectly listed the time as 9PM Eastern … it will be at 11PM.
Update 2: And I just realized I misgendered Mark.  Ughhh …. I try to get this stuff right.
Update 3: Watching TRTV now … now not really sure what pronouns Mark prefers … will have to ask.  I hope these guys don’t get me in trouble! Thursday is going to be interesting.
Update 4: TRTV Misgenders me on their website … it’s all good!   :-)   http://www.transitionradio.net/joel_nowak.html

Ok I guess this is a first around here – three posts in a day – trifecta (or hat trick or whatever). I wanted to let you know that I am going to be appearing on TRTV with hosts Mark Angelo Cummings and Lynna Lopez. (Here is the link.) I have been watching episodes of this program over the past few weeks and I believe that something worthwhile is going on here. Although I know that Mark Cummings and Lynna Lopez are passionate people (who I actually strongly disagree with on a number of things), the moments of this series that I love the most are when the guests are simply allowed to articulately share their journeys (and Mark and Lynna contribute here too). We aren’t hearing these conversations anywhere else (at least I am not) and that alone makes what Mark and Lynna are doing right now extremely important.

Mark asked me to appear on the show and since you aren’t hearing a lot of former MTFs talking about their experiences I accepted. This is the kind of venue I feel comfortable speaking in … this feels “right” to me … like this is where I should be right now.

Talking about this stuff is hard. I know I keep a lot of stuff sort of “close to the vest” in my blog and I will try to talk a little bit about that on the show. Someone recently told me that my blog seems to be about figuring out what I want to say and that pretty much hits the nail on the head. How borring. But at the same time, that question is actually kind of a lot more complex and difficult that I have really been getting into in this blog. Because the more of myself I “expose” through this blog, in some ways the harder it is to keep myself and my retransition healthy. I don’t want to talk too much about my life as a “woman” here because I fear that it will make it harder for people I know in real life to take me seriously as a man. So maybe it is time for baby steps … testing the waters …. saying a few things here and there that may be slightly out of my comfort zone but still trying to stay safe and keep moving forward. I will write more about this I promise. I am not going to be able to keep writing as much as I have been for much longer so I need to get some of this out while I can. And then I am probably going to be too busy with school to be around as much as I have been the last few weeks.

I really do be one of those who help clear the trail for others who come after me … only in the fact that I want to show retransition is possible should you really feel it is your necessary path. But here’s the thing I also HAVE to take care of myself first. I have to admit that I am a little scared (I have said this in my blog a few times recently you may have noticed) because I feel like I am out in no man’s land. It is reassuring when Third Way Trans gives me a shout out because I think he is one of the few people I know of out there who is in a slightly similar place (and there are a few others out there too). But I don’t want to step too far out into the public eye with this activism stuff because there are few men out there who have really had much experience talking about the stuff I am talking about that I can can turn to and ask for advice. I found myself turning away from some other chances to tell my story in some potentially powerful ways over the past few days because I feel they would be just too disruptive of the life I have right now and that I am creating and building upon everyday.

Uhhh … I am tired …. long day.

I am enjoying this time here though on this blog and am happy I am finding time to spend here. I do believe this is officially my RETransition Summer.

PS … here is the latest episode of TRTV with a really great interview with Lynn Cadin

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Conversion Therapy: A Fundamental Confusion

Just a quick post this morning as I mull over the morning news …

The Obama administration has responded to the online petition (inspired by the suicide of a trans youth late last year) calling for an end to “Conversion Therapy”. On the surface, this appears to be a humane and well-informed decision.  I believe that the Obama administration has the best of intentions.  The horrors and ineffectiveness of conversion therapy for the LGB population is widely documented.  In the administration’s statement, written by Valerie Jarrett, statements from the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the American Counseling Association and others are cited that express the ineffectiveness of conversion therapy on sexual identity.   The problem here is that the petition (and the response) are about not only sexual identity (orientation)  but also gender identity.  They are not the same thing and this is a fact that is commonly overlooked (or, in some cases, delibveratelyobscured.)

Ironically the statement by the American Counseling Association that the administration’s statement links to specifically addresses why they are not including gender identity conversion therapy in their report.

“The coalition is aware that it is becoming common to include “transgender”when one refers to “lesbian, gay, and bisexual.” However, the coalition decided that it was not accurate in this instance to make that addition, because the subject is the promotion of therapies and ministries to change sexual orientation (attraction to the other sex, to one’s own sex or to both), not gender identity (psychological experience of being male or female). The coalition notes that the two populations of youths are not mutually exclusive. Some lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are transgender. Furthermore, those whose appearance and behavior are perceived as inconsistent with gender norms and roles are often targeted for sexual orientation discrimination and violence. By not including transgender in this booklet, the coalition in no way intends to minimize the real concerns for the safety and well-being of transgender adolescents in schools. We have tried to include resources relevant to transgender youth in the Resources section (pp. 17–19).”

I have to admit that I find it frustrating that many trans activists will  assert that sexual identity and gender identity are two separate things and yet will not speak out when the two get lumped together as they often do in situations such as these. Trading off of the general public’s knowledge of sexual identity issues to raise awareness seemingly similar struggles faced by the trans population is not always helpful … especially when there is serious difference between the lesbian and gay experience and the trans experience.

I want to be clear about something.  I am not saying that a child’s struggles with gender identity are any less valid (and sometimes painful) than a child’s struggles with sexual identity. I am also opposed to unethical psychological “treatment” to make a child try be someone they are not.  I believe that kids do not need to conform to preconceived gender roles or identities to grow into well adjusted adults.  But, to go back to the original petition, the statement asserts.

“Therapists that engage in the attempt to brainwash or reverse any child’s gender identity or sexual orientation are seriously unethical and legislation is needed to end such practices that are resulting in LGBTQ+ deaths.”

Despite many attempts to define it (and even legislate its definition) I feel that the concept of “gender identity” is still nebulous.  I also believe that conversations regarding how to live one’s life in a sexed body that does not conform to one’s sense of what that sexed body SHOULD be do not have to be unethically conducted as painful behavior modification therapies.  What I worry about is that the current confusion about what conversion therapy actually is will lead to parents and therapists being afraid (or face cultural shunning) for trying to help kids make sense of their sexed bodies, which I think is something that can be helpful to many.  Therapy and treatment for the wide range of issues that present as “gender dysphoria” are still in their infancy and there is little hard science behind any of it (and a number of active movements from both pro and anti-LGBT forces to discourage all research in this area.)  If we are going to begin legislating the removal of treatment options we just have to make sure that we are clear that we know what we are actually talking about.

Note:

There is a candlelight vigil this evening in my town for a trans-identified youth who took their own life last week.  Although I will not be attending, this  breaks my heart and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and all of those touched by this tragedy.  This is a real issue.  This has to get better.

Suicide Prevention Resources

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Available Resources for Transsexuals who Detransition: Jesus Christ and Euthanasia

I had a bad day yesterday. I was tired from working, everyone I interacted with seemed cranky and I was frustrated by my lack of success in connecting with people within the LGBT community offering ANY outreach or support for those who detransition (or are wondering about it) and who need help with the many psychological, medical, legal and social issues they will encounter.

About the only people I can find actively doing this are usually fundamentalist Christians who require that you repent for the “sin” of being who you are and accept Jesus Christ as your savior. Last night I found another resource provider – Dr. Wim Distelmans, who made news this week for performing euthanasia on post-op ftm to relieve their “unbearable psychological suffering” after a sex change surgery failed to meet the patient’s expectations.

Coming at the end of my long day I saw this story and as I read it experienced a profound episode of cognitive dissonance. I read the headline several times. I even read the first few paragraphs of the story and my brain still couldn’t process what was being said or what it was even talking about.

And when I finally began to comprehend the horrible reality, that a beautiful human being, Nathan/Nancy Verhelst, was so unhappy after a sex change operation that they decided to end their life and that their decision was supported and assisted by a doctor, I became even more depressed. And angry. I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night.

The early reporting that is coming out on this is very sketchy and “tabloidy”. I have learned that there is always more to stories like these so I don’t want to make too many assumptions. Someone pointed out that the story had misgendered Verhelst – the photo caption used one gender and the story used another. The sad truth is that we may never know what pronoun Verhelst would have wanted us to use. Maybe Verhelst didn’t even know for sure.

I have to respect Verhelst’s decision, but I also strongly argue that it was not necessary, at least from the details of the story as reported so far. My dream is for us to get to a place where this NEVER happens again (although for now I am sure it will, this has been going on for years under the name we use when it is not medically sanctioned – suicide – and it quite common for trans people both pre and post-op.)

One of the few quotes attributed to Verhelst in the reporting is an expressed dissatisfaction with the results of his surgery. “When I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself. My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be … a monster.”

This in particular haunts me – I went through something similar. Starting in the the months after my surgery I too became afraid of mirrors. I somehow managed to get through life completely avoiding them for years. And, needless to say, during that time I totally “let myself go”. I loathed my body and basically gave up on it. I gained a massive amount of weight. My hair was a knotted mess. Forget about passing as a female, I was no longer passing as a human being who cared about life.

I know we have screening processes for people who undergo gender reassignment surgery and the medical community also does what it can to ensure that people have realistic expectations for surgical outcomes. But I think sometimes we, the people who go on this journey, still secretly hope for more than is realistically possible. Even though we are often very rational people – a lot of us expect something mystical and magical will occur on that operating table. The fact that many of us, including Verhelst, refer to a relatively short medical procedure as our “second birth” underscores our belief that this surgery carries with it the same incomprehensibly wonderful magnificence that is the true “miracle” of birth.

I have met many transsexuals who after surgery describe a specific kind of depression that impacts them. It is often temporary and they are able to happily get on with their lives in their new gender, but after the surgery a lot of people just feel kind of let down when they realize it isn’t as transformative as they had thought it would be. Some flesh has moved around, there are some new physical realities (and opportunities) but basically life is still “life”.

Again, going by the limited details available in this story (I feel I need to keep repeating this disclaimer – I am going to stop but please be mindful that using sketchy tabloid-style reporting to talk about very real issues of life and death is always tricky) it seems like Verhelst was looking to surgery to escape to a new life. Or to say it another way, maybe Verhelst wasn’t running to one gender as much as running from another.

I think a lot of us trans people do this and I will talk more about this some other time. Although everyone’s story is unique, I have noticed some differences between the experiences and motivations for transition between MTFs as a group and FTMs as a group. Verhelst’s story is something that I have heard from other (though certainly not all) former FTMs. It is not so much about becoming a man – it is more about escaping the social and biological hassles of being female. From the reporting:

“I was the girl that nobody wanted,” he said. “While my brothers were celebrated, I got a storage room above the garage as a bedroom. ‘If only you had been a boy’, my mother complained. I was tolerated, nothing more.”

And then there is this heartbreaking quote from the mother:

“When I saw ‘Nancy’ for the first time, my dream was shattered. She was so ugly. I had a phantom birth. Her death does not bother me,”

Again that word – “birth”. You know – there is part of me that wants to believe this is a hoax. I am still not entirely convinced that it isn’t but that probably is a remnant of my cognitive dissonance. Assuming it is true, if this is really what the mother said it is no wonder Verhelst felt so devastated. Again, more unrealistic expectations – surgery would never repair the relationship between mother and child, nor was it going to heal the scars left from years of emotional and psychological hurt inflicted on a helpless, scared little girl. With any dreams of validation and acceptance perceived to be gone, Verhelst apparently felt there was no other option but death.

It is important to add that there is nothing in the reporting that states Verhelst wished to detransition. What is clear is that after surgery Verhelst could see no further options for leading a fulfilling life. Whether it be considering retransition or one of many other options available (perhaps spending time with other people who have faced some large obstacles in life but persevered and found some sense of fulfilment) I think that it was too soon and tragic to throw in the towel.

Since I started my blog, one of the main questions I get asked a lot is “do you think people should be prevented from having gender reassignment surgery” or “are you afraid that your story will be used by those who wish to prevent people from getting gender reassignment surgery”. My answer is straightforward – I just want people to be able to do what is really necessary for themselves to be ok in their journey through life. If it is gender reassignment surgery that is going to help them get there – I say “great”. But I also think that this surgery is often used in place of addressing the harder to fix problems. A MTF gender reassignment surgery can be completed in as little as 90 minutes. Going through and attempting to heal the emotional scar tissue that builds up over the years for some of us is not so easy. Whether it is a biological disposition to depression (or other mental health issue) that afflict some of the unlucky amongst us, or having to live through any the cruelties that we has a human race are all do adept at inflicting upon each other, a lot of us have deep problems that can not be solved as quickly (or magically) as we would like.

I think that those who work to discourage any discussion of the fact that mental health issues can, in some cases, be a contributing factor to gender identity issues are doing a disservice to everyone. I have encountered many trans people who suffer from major mental health issues and yet move forward with transition – believing that their psychological issues arise only from being “born in the wrong body”. I am not saying anyone who has a predisposition for depression (for example) should be automatically excluded as a candidate for surgery but let’s be ok with talking about the potential root causes that lead someone to want to change their sex a little more instead of always going directly to the “born in the wrong body” stuff. I think more research needs to happen surrounding transsexualism and depression. Huge kudos go out to Jay McNeil, Louis Bailey, Sonja Ellis, James Morton & Maeve Regan and the Scottish Transgender Alliance for their important research and findings on transsexual mental health.

And while we’re at it let’s stop perpetuating acceptance of the totally unverified statistic that only 1-10% of all people who have had gender reassignment surgery have some form of regret. The fact is nobody really knows. The reason always given for this lack of data has always been that “trans people are too hard to track”. I think this has been true in the past, but I think we are easier to follow now if someone will make the effort. And there are still difficulties within the trans community feeling good abou working “hand in hand” with academia. Over the decades there has been a build up in the distrust of academia (which is often encouraged by some of the more prominent members of the trans community) which discourages trans people from cooperating with any sort of research. That has to be healed. Members of the academic community are certainly not blameless here either – they need to repair some very real damage caused by a small number of individuals who abused their position of trust and respect as academics to engage in some pretty unethical behavior.

And lastly – I should not be having as much trouble as I have been finding resources from within the LGBT community itself for coping with detransition. When I call (as I did last week) and speak with the nice woman who answers the phone at the World Professional Association for Transgender Health: WPATH she should not be taken aback when I ask about resources for people who detransition. All she really could offer me was a polite “that is a really good question” and admit she had no idea where to direct me.

If there are organizations within the community who are doing this SOMEONE PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I am still hoping you are out there. And if you are please work at making yourself easier to find!

This conversation needs to be OWNED by the LGBT and specifically transgender community in a way that it isn’t presently. At the very least the trans community and their allies need to become more responsible stakeholders and contributors in these difficult conversations regarding regret, depression and detransition. Trans is in the news more than ever and almost everyone I know, straight, gay, bi or whatever, has a family member or knows someone who has faced some sort of gender identity challenge. Why is the conversation about detransitioning mainly coming from people who are anti-trans? Why are these resources coming from those who are least likely to provide an affirming and non-judgmental environment for people to work through these difficult issues?

And now it has come to this – euthanasia? Really? That’s all we’ve got?

As the trans community becomes more and more an accepted strand in the of the fabric of our society (at least some parts of it) it also has a responsibility to step up and start talking about difficult issues it has so far ignored. There are a lot of real people who’s existence is not even acknowledged, people who feel they have nowhere viable to turn to for help because they don’t have anywhere viable to turn to help. The people who feel that their only real option is to give their lives to Jesus or to just suicide out. Or the uncounted and unnoticed who just quietly withdraw from society all together – the people who become timid and afraid of life and withdraw to their rooms – their sole interaction with others now mostly online (this was and still is me in many ways.)

The trans community needs to evolve to the next level and become a better community partner. Taxpayer dollars and various grants going to many agencies and nonprofits based on the fact that they are serving the trans community. The transgender community is right to take pride in the strides it has made over the last few years but it also can’t be afraid to take some of the difficult steps that it needs to get to the next level. The time has more than come.

Things cannot stay as they are. The current status quo is not sustainable.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Because I think you might be out there

Hi,

Typically, it will be noted by trans-activists and even a lot of the mainstream media that the percentage of people who express “transsexual regret” make up a minuscule percentage of those who have transitioned from living in their birth genders or had any gender reassignment treatment or procedures.  These people usually are portrayed as aberrations within the transgendered community.  They are sad “problem cases” who can’t “get their stuff together” and are now doomed to live out the rest of their lives in agony. Transgendered people have it hard enough without stories such as these that can be used as anti-trans propaganda.

Here’s another thing – there is a lot riding on the notion that once someone transitions from one gender to another they usually don’t go back.  The idea that gender identity is fixed and permanent and not at all related to sexual identity is really important in helping make society more comfortable with the idea of people changing genders.  It helps make the idea of getting insurance coverage for transgender care more palatable and makes enacting trans-friendly legislation a lot easier.  “Gender” is still a sacred space and there is an expectation coming from somewhere in the middle of mainstream society that if people really do have to cross gender lines it needs to be done earnestly, responsibly and permanently.

But here is one more thing, and this is why I, your humble narrator, am here.  I have a feeling that there are a lot more out there than are coming forward who have transitioned from one societal gender role to another only to discover at some point later in their life (be it five minutes or fifty years) that maybe it doesn’t feel right anymore and they don’t know what to do about it (or are scared to even admit having these feelings.) Because these people go against the narrative of a fixed gender identity, I have a hunch that there are many more people in this position than are politically expedient to report. Many of the fantastic LGBT community centers, trans-advocacy groups and medical providers who now have good resources for those wishing to transition do not have much in place to help the post-transition and/or post-surgical-reassignment population that wishes to transition again, this time to their birth gender.  It is already quite a task to get funding for anything related to “transgender” so one can imagine the additional burden it would be to get programs established for those wishing to transition back (not to mention a PR nightmare.) The question remains though, what about people who have transitioned out of their birth gender who want some information about what the process of transitioning back to their birth gender? What resources can be provided to this underserved community?

This is the space I found myself about about 5 years ago and it is a very scary place to be.  For me, my own confusion about gender identity had danced in and out of my life since I can remember.  Was I was born in the wrong body? Was I was born in the wrong sex?  It was a source of hidden shame that I had these thoughts and the few times that I confessed them to friends or family were disastrous.  In 1995 I saw the Internet for the first time and I suddenly had access to to talk to people who had feelings like I did and knew that I was not alone.  (Starting in elementary school I pretty much mastered the library sciences to read any and all published material on the subject of transsexualism.  Within 5 minutes of being on the Internet I saw that I had access to resources and literature that positively dwarfed what I had seen in my life up to that point.)

I was on my way.  And it was an incredibly exciting period of my life.  I was going to be my “real self” at last.  Any hurts from friends, family or “the world at large” were mitigated by the glow I had from finally achieving something that I had considered my entire life. For me it was really important to do things in what I perceived as the “right way”.  I followed the Standards of Care.  I consulted with experts on the subject. In my heart I felt I was on the right path.

I transitioned to my new gender role and although mostly happy for about 5 years I still had something gnawing in the back of my mind that wasn’t right.  I began to question the whole concept of being “born in the wrong body” as it related to me.  I turned these thoughts over and over in my head. Was I really the gender I had chosen to live openly as or was my essence – the stuff that makes me me – coming from a place that was neither necessarily male nor female but just “me”?   What made me who I am?  I began to look back on my birth gender just like someone might revisit an old neighborhood or town they are too embarrassed to admit they came from but at times still secretly missed. There were things about my birth gender that I had fought hard to repress that I now found that I missed.  I also found myself deliberately acting out stereotypes by emphasizing things about me that I perceived to be in accordance with my newly expressed gender identity and de-emphasizing those that were not.  I think a lot of us do this (and it doesn’t matter if you are trans or not) but sometimes it is great just “to be”.

After years of avoiding reading anything related to being transgendered (because after a lifetime of dwelling on it I was totally exhausted) I turned once again to the Internet to see if there was anyone out there like me and had found themselves in the same questioning state as myself.   While there were even more resources than ever for people wishing to work out their gender identity issues they all seemed to be pointing in one way – the steps leading to transition but not the steps leading away from it.  Although I read a few very lucid accounts of moving back and forth between genders after “transition” they paled in number compared to the horror stories of regretful transsexuals who had either soldiered on unhappily in their reassigned genders, killed themselves or went back to their birth genders in most dramatic fashion, often becoming reactionary fiercely intolerant people and having a “religious” component to their “conversion”.

I once again joined support groups and found a lot of really cool people there but few that I could relate to in terms of wanting to transition back.  I got a few comments that I had somehow become afraid to be who I needed to be. A lot of people saw me as retreating from something.  I saw the opposite – I felt like I wanted to grow.

For me this has been all along about feeling “gender congruity”.  It has been an elusive quest but maybe sometimes you have to take a few wrong turns on your journey to get where you want to be (or at least headed in the right direction.)    I am still on that journey.  I am a lot closer to being where I want to be now than I was 5 years ago, but I have been taking my own sweet time.  I have thought about starting this blog for awhile but I have worried for so many years about transgender related issues do I really want to spend any more time on the subject?  I want to move on.

I have to admit that it has taken me a long time to actually start this blog because I have been scared to write this. Scared of hurting someone. Scared of getting hurt. Scared I am going to say something that gets misinterpreted.  I guess, more than anything else, scared of trying to figure some of this out in public (which I have come to the conclusion is the only way I can figure it out.)  I don’t have a map and I am not entirely comfortable.

But I am writing this because I suspect that there is a marginalized and isolated population which I am a part of that needs to be a little bit more out in the light. I understand why our story is not perceived as being the most helpful by those fighting the good fight for understanding and respect for the trans community.    But we are out there and we need resources and support beyond those tied to religion or some form of repentance/”conversion therapy”.

So this blog post is signpost of sorts – just one voice out there looking for other signs of life. I have seen a few other blogs starting to talk about this.  I have yet to find a clearing house of resources (is there one?) What are the legal obstacles of going back?  What are the psychological and medical issues? Is there a place we can talk about this?  Do we need to make a place where we can talk about this?  Is there a place on the web that I should be going to?  How can we have this conversation without being harmful to our brothers and sisters who fall under the umbrella of “transgendered”? Any thoughts please send to me at j@retransition.org.

I believe the understanding of trans-related issues is still very much in its infancy. I personally am wary of anyone who says “they have it all figured out” about anything (your mileage may vary). There are many assumptions about gender that we as a species have held for millennia that are only now just eroding.   The recent bill in California allowing students to be treated as the gender they perceive themselves to be and the backlash that has already begun is part of the process we as a society use to figure out how we deal with all of this. It is a conversation we are ALL going to have to have and I think all voices have to be part of the conversation.

My experience is only my own experience.  My gender identity is only my own gender identity.  My beliefs (as fluid as they are) are only my own beliefs.  I am not you. I cannot know what it feels like to be you (nor you me.)  By telling part of my story I don’t want to discount others’.  In life I strive to be gentle, loving and affirming (strive being the operative word – I am only human!)  I do not want my story to be used for hate or repression.

Although I feel secure in my birth gender and finally know this is the only “home” for me, I still identify as transgendered because of the journey I have been on.  In retrospect, I realize that some of the doubts I had about the validity of my needing to change my outward gender expression were valid.  I could have saved myself a lot of expense and major sidetracks on life’s journey if I could have known this sooner.  Unfortunately some truths are harder to tease out than others. It took me awhile to get here but “here I am”.

I am sure there are those on this journey who have never had the slightest of doubts and they are coming from a place that I cannot pretend to understand.  I don’t want to stand in their way. Also, just because someone has some doubts I am not saying this means they should not transition.

For many, expressing their gender identity as they believe/know it to be appears to be working for them and I think that is wonderful.  Even though it can still get pretty bad out there, I think there is more tolerance in the world than even a decade ago.   There have been many “transgender pioneers” who have conducted their lives with dignity and, simply by the act of living their lives, have brought compassion for trans issues from even the most unlikely of groups and individuals.  I do think that to move this “conversation” forward there needs to be a universal acknowledgment and understanding that gender identity can be just as important to people who are not transgendered as those that are. Most transgendered people believe with a burning passion that their gender identity is independent of their birth gender and it is this passion that helps fuel some of the tremendous bravery that often goes with making a gender transition.  But people who are completely comfortable with their birth gender can believe just as passionately in what gender means to them and, more importantly, how that impacts their own core identity. Just because I may believe in the possibility that brain sex can be different from someone’s biological sex it doesn’t mean I can force you to believe the same. How one constructs gender is a deeply personal thing exclusive to each of us as individuals. The beliefs and things we hold sacred always have to be respected. We should all be able to live our own truths as long as they don’t infringe upon or harm anyone. What I can do (and hopefully what we as a species can do) is maybe help you get to a point where you realize in most cases the whole “gender thing” really doesn’t matter.  And in the cases where it does matter (and there definitely are some) let’s not resort to bigotry or hatred.  Let’s work it out.

As a civilized society we should ALL be able to move through the world treating others with the respect and in the manner that we would wish ourselves to be treated. I think it is sad that many people still “detransition” because of societal or any other pressures.  We only get one life and we need to be who we are.  I do not want to be part of anything that encourages people to detransition for what I consider to be the “wrong reasons”, namely societal persecution and prejudice.   However, for those who have already transitioned and who, after doing the kind of soul searching that accompanies decisions such as this, have decided they are open to the possibility of transitioning back to their birth genders I want to say that this is nothing to be ashamed about.  In addition to those who have found their true gender identity by returning to living their birth gender I have read experiences from people who returned temporarily to their birth gender only to realize that it still wasn’t a good fit and moved back to their own “true gender” more self-assured in their identity than ever before.  I have read other stories where people have moved into a sort of “third space”.  Exploring options is a good thing.

I don’t want to be blogging about this the rest of my life and it is not my desire to become a full time activist but I do sincerely want to say “yo”.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail