I have been spending time reading the thoughts and experiences of FTMs in their teens and early 20s, in their own words, on their own Tumblr blogs. In many cases, once past the initial euphoria of transition, I’m seeing a lot of despair, a lot of “this isn’t how I thought it would be.” Dysphoria continues for quite a few, and side effects from “T” are frightening and upsetting to a lot of young people (things like head hair loss, high blood pressure, and internal pain).
What strikes me most is how FTMs have been abandoned in many ways by the medical profession, and how all they can really do is share their experiences and try to figure things out with other FTMs. This abandonment is not because their therapists and doctors don’t care. Most of them care very much. These professionals aren’t ogres. They have prescribed medical transition because that is the treatment that is currently seen as the answer to dysphoria.
But because there are no good, long-term, controlled studies with a large number of subjects on this massive psychiatric-medical experiment, there is a lot that just isn’t known about the longer term experience of girls/women transitioning to FTM. For this reason, many FTM-run Tumblrs act as peer therapy hubs, where they try to advise each other the best they can. When doubts are raised about transition, though, it seems to be taboo to even mildly suggest that detransition might be considered. Mostly they reassure each other that whatever the issue (including serious reservations and regret), anyone who has started transition is truly trans and it is all a normal part of the experience.