In praise of gatekeepers: An interview with a former teen client of TransActive Gender Center

Cari is a 22-year-old woman who previously identified as a trans man. She pursued medical transition at 16, with the support of TransActive Gender Center in Portland, OR. She was on testosterone by the age of 17, and had “top surgery”(double mastectomy) a few years later. Cari says she has been moving towards detransition for over a year now, and started taking concrete steps towards it a couple of months ago, including stopping testosterone.

In this interview, Cari shares her thoughts on transition, parents of trans-identified kids, and her experience with TransActive Gender Center, with a particular emphasis on that organization’s exclusionary focus on medical transition. For gender-dysphoric young people, Cari advocates for greater mental health support, as well as the chance to explore alternatives to hormones and surgery as treatments for gender/sex dysphoria. You can read more of her thoughts on her Tumblr blog.

Cari brings up a number of interesting and controversial points; your comments and questions are encouraged, and Cari is available to respond to them in the comments section of this post.


How old were you when you first began working with TransActive? What brought you there?

I was 16, and I had come out as transgender about a year prior. I found them through a friend who had received therapy there. They were the only gender therapists I could find who offered a sliding scale, which was huge for me since I was paying for my own therapy.

What services did TransActive provide or recommend?

I was given therapy there primarily for the purpose of transition care—getting a referral to an endocrinologist for hormone therapy, and a letter to change the gender marker on my driver’s license. I had been hospitalized about a year prior to starting counseling there due to suicidal ideation and non-suicidal self-harming behavior, but this was not a focus of treatment, other than discussing ways that transition would help with my depression. I was not receiving any other form of counseling for my mental health at the time.

They also recommended their therapy groups and “FreeZone,” which is a social group for trans children, their parents, and TransActive staff, but I didn’t attend those. FreeZone struck me as kind of a weird thing, since it would entail seeing my therapist and probably her other clients in a social setting.

transactive counseling

Did any counselors there attempt to explore whether there might be other underlying issues which could contribute to you claiming a transgender identity? Was there ever a concern that other mental health problems could interfere with a “successful” transition?

My counselor did not explore this with me, other than what seems to be the standard, cursory question of “Would you be able to be happy being a butch lesbian?” or something along those lines. It seems like everyone asks this question, thinking it’s somehow going to help dissuade people who are transitioning for the wrong reasons, but with all the other positive things that are said about transition, it doesn’t really work. I didn’t know that I was a lesbian until after I had started to detransition (primarily due to dating trans men), so this question didn’t strike me as relevant at the time, and there wasn’t any discussion of alternative ways to deal with sex dysphoria. This may simply be because there isn’t much information about alternative treatments in general.

However, I also had an experience there which I believe to be directly negligent on the part of the therapist. During the course of my therapy, before I received a referral for hormones, I began to have trauma flashbacks, which I hadn’t previously remembered. I brought these up to my therapist, and her only response was to devote one or two sessions to it, and then continue with the transition therapy process. This process seemed to be primarily about validating pretty much whatever I said about my gender/planning and mapping out a timeline for my transition, and it was not brought up at any point that prior trauma might have anything to do with dysphoria. The implication that was always present, in therapy or in the other trans-related discussions I was part of, inside and outside of TransActive, was that if I was trans (and my therapist never gave me the impression that I might not be), my options were “transition now, transition later, or live your life unhappy/commit suicide.” To a teenager who is struggling with mental health issues, this is a very attractive proposal: “This is The Cure for all of the emotional pain you’re feeling”.

How did your parent(s) feel about your trans identity? Were they supportive? How do they feel about your decision to detransition?

My parents were supportive of (if a little confused by) my “social transition” (using my male name/pronouns, binding, etc) but thought that I should wait to transition physically until I was over 18.  The staff at TransActive told me I didn’t need their permission for hormones, however, and that they would refer me, so I think eventually my parents may have just gone along with it because they know how stubborn I am.

My parents are supportive of detransition, but told me they wanted me to make sure I was certain about it before “coming out” again. It’s kind of hard to explain that no, your son who used to be your daughter is now your daughter again.

This might be a good place to mention that I pretty recently came to the decision to detransition, so my experiences and opinions are influenced by the rather fluid and unsettled stage of life I’m in right now, and probably not representative of someone who has had more experience living as a detransitioned woman. I can speak as someone who feels that TransActive did not adequately prepare me for transition or present me with alternatives, but I don’t want to try to present my experience as an example of detransitioned women in general, only representative of me, one detransitioning woman.

It seems that many gender specialists, and certainly many activists, are highly critical of attempts to “pathologize” people who identify as transgender. In fact, there is a movement afoot that says attempts to “gatekeep” trans-identified people with other mental illnesses is a form of “ableism.” and that even a person with Down Syndrome or on the autism spectrum should be allowed to medically transition, even as a minor. What are your thoughts on this?

I don’t think that people with comorbid mental illness should necessarily be barred from transition. What I do think is that there should be significant attempts to treat those conditions first, to rule out their involvement in dysphoria. I’m ultimately of the opinion that adults are allowed bodily autonomy, no exceptions, but that if we’re going to medicalize being transgender (which is the basis for having insurance cover it, having it be a protected identity, receiving any kind of special consideration under the law for anything, really), then there needs to be a standard of care that includes ruling out less invasive forms of treatment. It’s not considered best medical practice to jump to major surgery for any other condition, if there’s a reasonable possibility that medication or lifestyle changes could provide the same benefit.

I think that in my case, it’s entirely possible that I would not have been responsive to the idea that transition was not the only means of helping me. I know myself, and how stubborn I am, which I can’t blame TransActive or WPATH or ICATH or the APA or anyone else but myself for. But I do think that they need to be at least exploring these options. If I had been exposed to the idea that transition was not the be-all end-all of treating dysphoria, and that there were other viable options like treating my underlying mental health issues, I would be much more comfortable with their practices. But I wasn’t.

Trans activists vociferously deny that social media/trends could be a factor for some teens wanting to transition, yet it seems obvious to outside observers that the huge increase in girls identifying as trans is at least partly a result of immersion in Tumblr, YouTube, and other online forums. Did “social contagion” play a role in your own identification as trans?

I believe that it’s an oversimplification to blame social media for the increase in early transitioners. I think it has definitely played a role in younger people finding out that transition is a thing they can do, which to my mind isn’t an entirely negative thing—this is the same platform that allows LGBQ youth to connect with others who have similar experiences and find community. I think the increase is probably similar to the increase in teenagers going through a “bisexual phase”—it doesn’t invalidate the experiences of people who really are bisexual and discovered this in their teens, but it does mean that with the increased visibility of LGBQ people, that there is a higher incidence of teenagers questioning their sexuality. Now, with information about transition being readily available online, and a growing community of trans people to connect with, more young people are questioning their gender. The only difference being, questioning your orientation doesn’t make you want to pursue permanent medical interventions to your body, and it isn’t posited as a necessity for an LGBQ person.

To answer the question that you actually asked, though, online forums did play a significant part in my decision to come out as trans. I wasn’t so much into YouTube, though, and this was before Tumblr was a popular site. However, once I actually did come out, many, if not most of my formative interactions with the trans community (i.e., ones that influenced my decision to transition) were in-person ones, either through support groups or social events or LGBTQ youth spaces.

You no longer identify as transgender. What was your process of deciding this wasn’t right for you?

Actually, this is kind of funny, since your last question was about social media influencing people to transition. My decision to detransition was largely informed by social media, Tumblr in particular. Not that the detransition community, such as it is, convinced me to do so; my interactions with other detransitioned women have been limited since it wasn’t until recently that I stopped just reading and actually started interacting. But in the short time I have been communicating with other detransitioned women, I haven’t really ever felt any kind of pressure from them to do something particular about my transition, or to subscribe to any particular ideology. Rather, my experiences of reading the writings of detransitioned women were influential to me because they gave me what organizations like TransActive never did: images of women who had experienced the same things I had, who had struggled with dysphoria, and had found methods of making peace with their bodies in a way that I was starting to realize transition never would for me. Transition was very helpful for me in a lot of ways, and I wouldn’t say that I regret my decisions, but at some point it just ceased to be helpful to me. I think it helped me to be comfortable with my body and at some point I realized I was comfortable enough that I could stop, that I was ready to recognize myself as female again.

Do you believe some kids or teens are “truly trans”? Do you think gender identity is innate or “baked in” at birth? And if so, what differentiates true trans from people who thought they were trans, but eventually decide to detransition?

I think the scariest thing for me in my decision to detransition is that I haven’t really seen a whole lot to differentiate people who transition and are content, and people who transition and realize they made a mistake. I’ve seen people who checked all the “true trans” boxes, who were “transmedicalists” or believed themselves to be “just men with a medical condition,” who later detransitioned, or reidentified with their sex, or at the very least expressed serious doubts about their own motivations for transition, whether they pursued those doubts or not. I’ve also seen people who really didn’t seem to check those boxes, who had been transitioned for years and were still very happy with their decisions. I’d like to say that I know exactly how to tell the difference between the people who will end up happy with their transitions, and those who realize it isn’t the right choice for them, but the truth is I don’t. I think that all we can really do is to ensure that there are attempts being made to present all options, and to rule out other issues that might need to be treated first.

I also think that there are people for whom transition is the best choice, or at least the best choice they could have made under the circumstances. I’m coming to terms with the idea that I really just don’t have conclusive answers, that it doesn’t seem like anyone does, and that perhaps the best we can do in these situations is to try to make peace with our bodies as best we can. That perhaps there just aren’t any easy, unambiguous, black-and-white answers about why people are dysphoric or whether transition is the right choice for them. That’s what I wish organizations like TransActive would embrace–not “this is your only choice,” not “this is not a viable choice at all,” but instead, “we don’t have all the answers, but here’s what we know about your options.”

Partly due to lobbying by TransActive and its director, Jenn Burleton, the state of Oregon now permits trans-identified teens as young as 15 to obtain surgeries (including mastectomies and hysterectomies) without parental consent. TransActive is networking with activists and lawyers in other states to push for lowering the age of medical consent nationwide. Given your own experiences, do you think there should be a minimum age for medical intervention for trans-identified people? What age is appropriate to begin cross-sex hormones? To receive “top surgery?” To undergo bottom surgery and/or hysterectomy?

I think the idea of someone being able to get transitional surgery underage is concerning—in the state of Oregon, you can’t get a tattoo underage even with parental consent, but you can be permanently sterilized at 15 without any parental input. This is built off the law that minors 15 and older can consent to their own medical and dental diagnosis and treatment, up to and including surgery, but it seems to me that these kinds of surgeries are things that can wait until someone is at least 18. You can’t diagnose many mental disorders, such as personality disorders (which I have personally seen as a contributing factor in people incorrectly thinking they are trans) until the age of 18, and it seems reasonable to me that permanent surgical interventions for what is arguably a psychiatric issue be held off on until that age. I don’t know what I think about underage hormone treatment, but I lean towards the idea that it should be available, but that again, proper alternative treatment and safeguards need to be in place, that it needs to not be the sole focus of treatment or option presented.

What advice would you have for parents who are concerned about the seeming trend in kids identifying as trans? There is very little support for parents who don’t simply go along with their child’s announcement.

I think it can be a very delicate thing, as I’m sure you know. Children and teens who are questioning their gender are usually in a very vulnerable state. I think they often feel that the people around them can’t understand what they’re going through, and that leads to feeing very alone and isolated. I know I felt that way, and when I encountered resistance to my transition, it really made me feel that interacting with those people was unsafe or that they felt contempt or condescension for me and for what I was feeling. I did cut off or restrict contact with a lot of people due to them not supporting my transition.

So I think it is of the utmost importance that parents go about it with a lot of respect for their kids and validation that what they are going through is an incredibly difficult and painful state, without that necessarily meaning you’ll go along with their desires unquestioningly. I think it’s possible to have a child-centered process without it being all about transition. Brainstorm with them about what they might be able to do to help them cope with their dysphoria, support them in going to therapy, but suggest that they examine other modes of treatment in therapy before seeking transition, things like that. Try to make yourself a safe and supportive person for them to trust with their feelings—this not only allows you to make suggestions to them and discover their underlying feelings and motivations for transition, but also means that they might not be as scared to say, “hey, I think I might have made a mistake/I have these questions and the community isn’t answering them.” Knowing that my parents supported me making my own choices and weren’t about to say “I told you so” was a huge factor for me in feeling comfortable when I told them about my decision to detransition

That said, I think it’s entirely reasonable to set the boundary that you aren’t comfortable allowing them to medically transition while underage. As my parents explained it, once you’re 18, you can make whatever decisions you want, but this is something that you should take responsibility for as an adult person, rather than us signing off on it for you. Of course, this didn’t end up working for me, since I lived in Oregon, a state that allowed underage consent to transition. But regardless of that, I think it was a good thought for them to have and express.

Do you think parents should buy binders for their daughters who identify as trans men? Some parents feel it amounts to a “slippery slope” that may lead to their child seeking top surgery.

I don’t know that I think a parent “should” give their kid anything other than, you know, the things any parent should give that have nothing to do with gender identity–food, clothes, medicine, age-appropriate activities, an allowance if you can afford it, etc. I always bought my own binders, and paid for my testosterone prescriptions even when my parents were paying all my other medical expenses. I do think it’s invasive that a lot of parents will cut up their children’s binders or confiscate them. I think if a kid buys something for themselves that’s helping them cope and not making permanent unhealthy changes to their body, then it should be tolerated.  Doing something like taking a binder away is really only going to deepen the distrust the kid might have. Obviously if they’re binding with Ace bandages or tape or something, that should be discouraged, but I don’t see an issue with a teenager having a safe means to bind. As to whether it’s a “slippery slope,” I suppose it’s possible. I think I would say the same thing about letting your child bind as I would about anything transition-related: I don’t think it’s right to bar your kid from expressing themselves or exploring their identity, but that the more important factor is making sure they have proper information and resources, including the ways they could cope with their body without these interventions, and ideally, role models who have found a variety of ways of to cope with their gender nonconformity and/or dysphoria.

Suicide risk is often given as the main reason children and teens should be “affirmed” in their trans identity. What do you think about that?

I think it’s something to approach with caution. Suicide risk is a good reason to treat a lot of mental disorders and medical conditions, and I think the fact that gender dysphoria is one of those disorders is not necessarily cause for alarm. Someone being a suicide risk without psychiatric medications is a good reason to give them psychiatric medications, someone being a suicide risk because of neuropathic pain, which isn’t likely to physically kill you, is a good reason to give them pain medicine. Someone being a suicide risk due to feeling disconnected from their physical sex can, I believe, be a good reason to give them cross-sex hormones and surgeries, provided other courses of action have been examined in an objective way, and having really looked at those other options, medical transition still seems to be the best choice.

What I think is more concerning is the trans community’s tendency to present suicide as basically the only alternative to transition, and to martyr trans individuals who do commit suicide, as I think we saw pretty strikingly in the case of Leelah Alcorn.

Trans activists decry “gatekeeping,” with the current trend moving towards “informed consent,” trust in self identification, and earlier and earlier medical intervention, even for children. Do you agree with this trend? Why or why not?

I think this has been pretty well addressed with my answers to other questions, but to make it explicit, my opinion is that gatekeeping is absolutely necessary. Denying someone any kind of care for their issues is medical neglect. Forcibly trying to change someone’s mind about being trans is medical abuse. Showing someone all available options, following a standard of care that takes all of them into account, and ruling out a differential diagnosis that could be treated without permanent bodily alterations, is neither of those; it’s just part of providing good healthcare.

There has been some tension between gender critics—especially gender-critical feminists—and women who have detransitioned. I have read that some detransitioned women feel they are used by feminists to make a point that all transition is harmful. Quite a few detransitioned women write that self hatred and/or internalized misogyny or homophobia were factors leading them to transition in the first place, but when these same factors are pointed out by gender critical feminists, detransitioned women sometimes object. I wonder how much of the tension is down to a generation gap? Some Second Wave feminists who experienced gender dysphoria as children believe that if medical transition had been available at the time, they’d have jumped at the chance and likely been diagnosed as trans. On a political level, if detransitioned women and gender critics could unite, they could have the potential to make important changes in how children/teens are currently treated. How can this rift between gender critics and detransitioned people be healed?

I believe you included this question to address my stated uncertainty about doing this interview, due to my experiences being co-opted by radical feminists in the past. However, my experience of this happening was while I was still in transition, so I don’t have personal experience of what you’re describing.

From what I’ve seen, I think a lot of the backlash from detransitioned women has to do with the, honestly, very unkind and insensitive way that some radical feminists talk about transition—saying that trans people are “delusional,” that transitioned/detransitioned people are “mutilated,” etc. Whether or not transition is a good idea (for anyone), this kind of attitude really trivializes the emotional pain, the social struggle, and the complicated and messy ways in which people come to the decision to make these changes to their bodies. In my own case, I believe I made the best choice I could, given the options I was presented with. I don’t appreciate being called “mutilated” for doing what I felt I had to in order to survive.

I think it’s really great that radical feminism focuses on the social roots of these issues and doesn’t just go with whatever choices people feel like making without examining them critically. But I also think that sometimes can lead to a lack of compassion for the people who make those choices, and a lack of allowance for nuance and grey area around how people interact with and cope with their social realities regarding gender. I don’t have a concrete answer for you about how radical feminists can ally themselves with detransitioning women, but I think it has to start with a good hard look at the way these issues are talked about, to make sure that we’re having these discussions in a way that shows empathy for the people who are affected by this, whether they’re questioning or transitioning or transitioned or detransitioned

How are you doing now? Have you received any support from doctors or therapists/counselors for your detransition? Does TransActive provide any services for people who change their minds?

By the time I decided to detransition, I was not receiving gender identity-related therapy. However, my current therapist knows of my detransition, and is fully supportive of it. In fact, he told me he would not have signed off on my transition if he had been my therapist when I was transitioning, given what I’ve told him of my circumstances.

TransActive does not, to my knowledge, provide any services for transgender adults, so I wouldn’t expect them to provide anything for detransitioning adults. (I’ve recently contacted TransActive asking if they have any services/could refer a detransitioning person to services, and will update this response once they reply).

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86 thoughts on “In praise of gatekeepers: An interview with a former teen client of TransActive Gender Center

  1. Cari, thank you so much for this interview. As a mother of an 18-year-old daughter who insists that she is a “guy”, I’ve tried to ask her a basic question which she cannot answer in a coherent way. Maybe you could answer how you would have answered at the time. What is it inside of you that makes you believe that you are the opposite sex? My daughter is an athiest, so her answer cannot include her spirit or soul as an answer. How would you have answered that question? Also, as you must already guess, I am not supportive of her seeing herself as a “guy” and consequently, I don’t use the male pronouns, I don’t use any pronouns so as not to hurt her more. I have my view of the world as does she and I cannot allow myself to lie to her. What do you think of that?

    Liked by 11 people

    • I think it can be difficult, because not only does the “criteria” for identifying as transgender widely vary depending on the demographic you’re talking to (if there even IS any criteria), the terminology that’s used is often extremely context-dependent as well. I sometimes think that if you ask 10 trans people what being trans means to them, you’ll get at least 11 answers.

      That said, my own personal experience of “being a man” really had more to do with not being able to see myself as female. I felt a lot of alienation from my body, and when I discovered that being trans was something that someone could be, I latched onto it as an explanation. In reality, however, I think my alienation from my sex had largely to do with my feelings of alienation from my body in general, and from other people. At 18, though, I don’t know that I would have been able to answer that question very well, either. I might have said something about “body maps” where the brain expects a different body than the one you actually have. Most likely I would have said something along the lines of “I just am and it’s none of your business”.

      As to the way you treat your child, I would say not using any pronouns is a good compromise–though it sounds pretty cumbersome. It avoids hurting her, but it also avoids pushing her away. Unfortunately, I think this is a very personal process and there may well not be much that can be done other than listening and caring and allowing her to find her own way. It sounds like you’ve got a lot of consideration for her feelings and are doing the best you can to balance your need for honesty with her wishes to not be referred to as female, which seems like the best way to deal with the situation to me. Best wishes to both of you!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for you thoughtful response, Cari. What you said, “my own personal experience of “being a man” really had more to do with not being able to see myself as female. I felt a lot of alienation from my body, and when I discovered that being trans was something that someone could be, I latched onto it as an explanation.” – That is exactly the way I feel my daughter is latching on to this. I suggested that to her, but she is just blinded now and very stubborn, like you describe yourself.

        I will let her find her own way because I know that she is not open to listening to me. She tells me that she doesn’t feel safe talking to me because of the pronoun thing, which is very hurtful to me (she’s my only child and I love her more than anyone in the world), so she won’t share her journey with me. I just hope that she will come out the other end without harming herself and with a deeper understanding of who she really is.

        Did you ever get back in contact with those people who were resisting your transition, who you had cut off, and have you forgiven them?

        Thank you again and I hope that you continue to grow in your understanding of yourself. It is a lifelong journey, I know that I’m still learning.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think that I cut off contact with anyone who was particularly important to me–it was largely high school peers, or else people who were also virulently homophobic in addition to not supporting my transition. So I never really felt the need to reconnect with them. I think that if I had cut out people who were important to me, then I would be trying to renew contact with them, however. Hopefully, this can be the case with your child. I have seen firsthand how painful and confusing it is for a child to cut off contact with their mother for reasons that seem incomprehensible or unduly harsh, so I hope very much that this is resolved soon for the both of you.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Cari, thank you very much for this honest interview. Do you think a therapist who presented other options to you would have been something you might have listened to when you were still a teenager, insistent on transition?

    I wish you and your family all the best.

    Liked by 7 people

    • I talked about this a little in the post, but honestly, I’m not entirely certain. I’ve always been very stubborn once I make my mind up on something, and I think that it’s entirely possible that I would have wanted to transition anyway. However, the fact that the option was not even offered is what really concerns me. Ultimately I will never know if I could have been dissuaded from transition, since anything I said about my gender was pretty much validated without question–by TransActive’s staff and by others.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Cari, thank you for your article. As a mother of a 17 year old who has socially transitioned, I am very grateful to you for sharing your experiences. Would you be OK with sharing some of the Tumblr blogs that started the process of reassessing your identity? I am trying so hard to understand how transgender feelings seem to become so strong around the ages of 15/16/17 – completely blindsiding parents who saw no previous gender conflicts in their children.

    Liked by 7 people

    • The two blogs that were most influential to me were Redress Alert and 23xx. Unfortunately 23xx no longer uses Tumblr, but her blog is still available to read.
      redressalert.tumblr.com
      twentythreetimes.tumblr.com

      I had also been following tumblr user hardscum while going through this process (though I didn’t seek her out because of it, I found her through an unrelated mutual follower), and while her blog isn’t detransition-focused, being able to follow a detransitioned woman’s personal blog, see the details of her life, and see that they were honestly pretty normal and mundane and that detransition hadn’t like, totally Ruined Her Life, was extremely important to me. I think that’s a big part of the problem with coming to the decision to detransition–we don’t have a narrative for how your life will go afterwards, like we now have for transition.

      As to how these feelings become stronger around 15-17, I would say that at least for me, my feelings of dysphoria became strongest around that time due to an enormous amount of change happening in my life. This could be the onset of puberty, or starting high school, or whatever else is going on in the kid’s life, but I think it may also have to do with the liminal space you’re in at that age–you’re not quite a child, nor an adult, you’re being pressured to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life, you suddenly have a lot of responsibility but no real power to control your own life, etc. How this might translate into dysphoria, though, I’m not certain, and it’s just my personal hypothesis.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Thank you Cari for your reply, and for providing the links. I will be reading these blogs and sharing them! As you say, 15-17 is such a time of flux, insecurities and fears and it can make our teens very vulnerable to ideologies that purport to have ‘ the answer’. This is why we, as parents, who know our kids so well – and love them so much – find it very difficult when the reasons they give us for feeling transgender often seem so vague and intangible. It leads to a heartbreaking time for both parties. I feel so sad for us all.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Cari, thanks so much. So many people on all sides of this will benefit from hearing your experience and observations.

        I just wanted to mention to note Redress Alert’s archive section (‘Original posts’) for her older posts, like this one: http://redressalert.tumblr.com/post/104913354980/trans-substantiation

        Also, just stumbled across this, looks brand new?
        http://detransitiontransitionstories.tumblr.com

        It looks like 23xx has deleted all her old posts? She wrote very powerfully.

        Liked by 1 person

    • There is a small print magazine called Blood and Visions that was put together by 23xx, redressalert, hot-flanks (another one to follow) and several other detransitioned/disidentified women. I believe it’s still available here: http://www.greenwomanstore.com/blood-and-visions.html and is filled with very powerful, insightful writing, in hard copy so it can never be lost to the Internets. I kept a copy close by on my nightstand for many months.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Cari, like others I just want to thank you for an extraordinarily brave, clear and honest interview. I will draw on your advice as I try to help my son who is currently taking cross sex female hormones. In particular I am struck by your awareness that trauma was a factor in your transition (something that had struck me in relation to my child and others). I only wish that all those who experience gender dysphoria could receive appropriate empathetic care and support. Good luck and thank you again for sharing all you have learnt. It will help others.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad that you’ve found my experience helpful, and I hope that whatever the outcome with your child ends up being in regard to their transition, that you and they are able to get to a place of mutual understanding and comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cari, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am another parent totally caught off-guard by this whole thing, completely blindsided by my daughter suddenly telling me that she is my son – who waited to tell me until after her 18th birthday. So much of what she has done and said seems like it is following an instruction booklet.

    I’m certain I could have handled things better, and we’re still in the fog of all of this with her. Your suggestions on how to discuss this are helpful. Thankfully she is getting mental health care now.

    Liked by 7 people

    • It’s interesting to me that you mention that your child’s words seem like they’re “following an instruction booklet”–it seems to me that so much of trans rhetoric is this very simplified series of catchphrases and slogans, and that often people will just repeat them without really thinking about what they mean, whether they really apply to their own experience, or if perhaps they just sound nice. I’m glad to hear she’s receiving mental health services, and hopefully that will be useful to her in making an informed, thoughtful decision. As to your feeling that you could have handled things better–it seems like things aren’t settled yet in regards to her transition, from what you’ve said, so hopefully some reconciliation can be made before that happens. It can be extraordinarily difficult to maintain unconditional support for a PERSON, while still not supporting their DECISIONS, and even if you’re able to do that, it’s not always received that way by the person in question. Best wishes to the both of you as you navigate all of this.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Cari, I appreciate your insight and honesty. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will help many.

    I found what you wrote here particularly powerful:

    “The implication that was always present, in therapy or in the other trans-related discussions I was part of, inside and outside of TransActive, was that if I was trans (and my therapist never gave me the impression that I might not be), my options were “transition now, transition later, or live your life unhappy/commit suicide.” To a teenager who is struggling with mental health issues, this is a very attractive proposal: “This is The Cure for all of the emotional pain you’re feeling”.”

    When I read this, I can see how convincing it must have been for you to pursue transition. You felt utterly miserable and grasped onto the one option that was promoted as the cure.

    The constant enforcement of the transition-or-die message puts a lot of pressure on people to make decisions hastily. Besides survival, all other concerns get pushed to the background. It is extremely challenging to make the best choices with this level of stress.

    I do hope one day, thanks in part to stories like yours, that changes will be made to how gender dysphoria in children/teens is treated. At a minimum, youth should have access to therapy that helps uncover any underlying reasons for why they feel disconnected to their sex. And ALL options (not just medical transition) should be presented so that a well-informed choice can be made.

    I am happy to read that you are becoming more comfortable with yourself, that you are in a better place. I wish you luck in navigating your detransition and hope you find all of the support that you need.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you for your support. I think you’re right in saying that therapy needs to be a priority for children who are dealing with gender/sex dysphoria. I think the same needs to be the case for dysphoric adults, too. It seems to me that this is a good choice even for someone for whom transition is clearly indicated–why would you NOT want therapy to be a requirement before someone undergoes an intensive, emotional, involved process of permanent bodily change that can also cause all kinds of social challenges and dangers?

      It seems to me that the transition-or-commit-suicide narrative is largely the source of this. If someone believes that they will die without transition, then it would make sense that they wouldn’t want to wait until they’ve done the difficult and time-consuming work of therapy. In addition, for a pubescent or pre-pubescent child, there is a sense of urgency around transitioning before it is “too late” and puberty has acted on their bodies in unwanted ways.

      I think one piece of the puzzle, in terms of how to fix this growing problem, has to be representation of adequate role models–gender nonconforming individuals who can show how many ways there truly are to be a man or a woman, certainly, but even more importantly, people who have dealt firsthand with sex dysphoria and have found ways to accept their bodies as-is, as well as detransitioned people who can show that transition doesn’t even work for all dysphoric individuals. One of the biggest things that helped me to see detransition as an option was following the personal blog of a detransitioned woman on Tumblr–she barely even posted about her gender issues other than listing “detransitioned” on her sidebar, but being able to see a real live woman who had struggled with the same things as me, had reclaimed her femaleness, and was just living a normal life, was enormous for me in recognizing detransition as a viable path.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. Thank you for your willingness to add your voice and experiences here, Cari. It’s so important that we somehow bridge the gap between those who have been inside the transgender experience and those outside who are trying to figure it out. Every story matters, and your points about looking closely at the individual sincerely trying to do the best they can with what they have to ease their pain are so important. We can talk all day about what created the wound, but when someone is bleeding the most important thing is easing their suffering. Perhaps in these days our foremost thoughts should be on figuring out the best ways to do so, which is only possible by hearing the honest stories of those who have been through this, now able to say, ‘This was where it hurt.’

    Wishing you all the best in your continued journey and healing.

    Liked by 6 people

    • “We can talk all day about what created the wound, but when someone is bleeding the most important thing is easing their suffering.”

      So true. It seems like this is so often forgotten–in a lot of political discussions, not just those regarding transition. It’s easy to talk about how trans activism is hurting women, is hurting LGBQ people, etc, and that may be true, but most of the time the people who are transitioning aren’t doing so out of malicious intent, they’re simply trying to live their lives in a way that feels comfortable and right to them. Maintaining compassion for people who think differently from you, or think/act in ways you view as harmful, is one of the most difficult things that we can do as human beings, but the alternative is that we end up shutting each other out and refusing to acknowledge each others’ pain. Thanks so much for your words and your support.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. Cari, as a parent of a gender non-conforming, maybe trans maybe not daughter, I so appreciate your honesty and your willingness to be in dialogue with us here. Your viewpoints are invaluable.

    Your comments about your therapist not pursuing trauma treatment other than transition, even when your insights about trauma began to emerge, are especially interesting to me. I strongly believe that my kid has a lot of mental health “stuff” that has not yet been dealt with, and that her disconnect with her female biology is associated with these issues in a big way. Unfortunately we live in a state where, due to conversion-therapy law, I have not been able to find a therapist willing to pursue any route other than transition with any minor who announces that they are trans. I hope that, as my kid’s brain matures, she will become willing to explore these issues further in pursuit of her own healing.

    My kid will soon no longer be a minor and will be legally empowered to chart her own path. At that point, spouse and I will have to make some decisions about how far we are willing to go (or not) to finance any plans to transition. That’s a whole different discussion. But I very much appreciate your voice, here, and hope you will return.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I find it so unfortunate that a frank, honest discussion of how trauma, misogyny, and mental illness can cause issues with integrating one’s body into their self-image is treated as conversion therapy now. It’s something I had honestly never considered before starting to detransition. And honestly, now that I think of it, how insulting it must be to survivors of real conversion therapy! If someone truly cannot be cured of their dysphoria without transitioning, so be it, but it is utterly incomprehensible to me that someone–especially someone who has experienced dysphoria firsthand–could think that being able to accept their body as-is, without the need for treatments that are expensive, time consuming, and physically and emotionally intense, is a negative thing and akin to inhumane aversive “treatments” for homosexuality–something that requires no permanent medical alterations. Best wishes to you, your child, and your spouse.

      Liked by 8 people

    • I’m going to put it more strongly, because this issue of denying therapy for underlying self-rejection and mental health issues is causing lasting harm to so many, especially to the rising numbers of girls and young women trying to reject their femaleness.

      Is treating an anorexic girl toward self-acceptance, toward perceptions that align with physical reality, ‘conversion therapy’? Because it runs counter to her insistent, totally certain ‘identity’ as a person whose body is ‘wrong’? She knows herself to be Someone Whose Body Isn’t Acceptable, whose body Must Be Changed. Is therapy toward helping her to stop putting herself in grave danger through her insistence that she must lose weight ‘conversion therapy’?

      Likewise, a teen suffering body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is utterly convinced that aspects of their appearance are unbearably defective. Their ‘identity’ is, on a deep level, Ugly Person. Their life becomes distorted by that mis-perception of self. Is it ‘conversion therapy’ to help them realise that they are NOT defective, that there is nothing out of the ordinary or to be ashamed of about how they look? That they don’t need to feel dysphoric, to loathe aspects of their physical selves, or try to change their bodies to match their what their mind strongly believes? That they can instead learn to accept and love themselves as they are, and function comfortably out in the world?

      Successful cognitive behaviour therapies especially tailored to BDD sufferers have recently been developed:
      http://bddfoundation.org;
      Getting help http://bddfoundation.org/helping-you/getting-help-in-the-uk/
      But kids experiencing body-rejection who use the word ‘gender’ don’t deserve those kinds of therapy, do they. Because……..??

      It is totally unethical and an unfolding tragedy that the mental health issues and therapeutic needs of kids and teens who utter the magic words ‘gender identity’ are shoved aside, left unexamined, unaddressed. Instead, ‘Their body is wrong! How can that be, you ask? Um… because they say so. ’ They are rushed toward the permanent changes and health risks wrought by hormones, the full physical, psychological and social consequences of which they cannot possibly foresee. And that’s without even getting as far as surgical removals.

      (In case it needs saying again, conditions now known to be present at high rates in young people who latch on to rejecting their sex include Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, OCD, depression, self-harm, suicidality, sexual trauma, social anxiety, etc. And that’s in the absence as yet of studies of internalised misogyny, internalised homophobia, etc.)

      No matter how ‘informed’ the most motivated, clear-headed would-be transitioners might manage to be on some level, detransitioners tell of losses they had simply not anticipated, of grieving things they had no idea they would be shutting themselves out of, often forever. And Maria Catt (detransitioned former transman) blogs about when she worked at a gender clinic,

      ‘I have never gotten over all the bad outcomes I saw at that clinic. … saw all these young people in various states of crisis. … what I also saw was professionals sidestepping the moral question of how informed the consent can be when the circumstances the hormones create are incomprehensible until you are in the circumstances.’
      https://mariacatt.com/2015/12/07/unavoidable/

      But don’t worry your little heads about that stuff, parents and others who know and love your kids far beyond any of those lockstep, PC spectators cheering them toward attempted self-eradication. Shut up and enable the self-harms.

      We have to pull the curtain back on who’s really behind it, who’s broadcasting ‘I Am The Great and Powerful ‘Gender’’. And why. Who are the myths serving? SO much harm is being perpetrated on vulnerable young people.

      Liked by 6 people

  9. As the parent of a teen girl, the comment in my head is almost identical to several which have already been posted, so I will keep it short and simply say thanks for sharing your story. Thanks also for your honesty. Your story is an important one. I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Even if it’s repetitive, I still appreciate seeing your words, it means a lot to me to be received with such care and thoughtfulness. I’m glad that my experience was meaningful to you.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Cari, thank you so much for participating in this interview. As a parent of small children who’s worried about the cultural and legal environment they’re going to encounter as teenagers, I find it very reassuring to hear from a medically transitioned teen who matured into an articulate, thoughtful adult and is able and willing to put her own experiences in perspective.

    I particularly appreciated this observation, because it speaks to my own fear that both professional therapeutics and contemporary youth culture are encouraging “you’re really the opposite sex, transition immediately or die” as a one-size-fits-all solution for an entire range of teens who for one reason or another don’t fit the stereotypical gender role boxes:

    My counselor did not explore this with me, other than what seems to be the standard, cursory question of “Would you be able to be happy being a butch lesbian?” or something along those lines. It seems like everyone asks this question, thinking it’s somehow going to help dissuade people who are transitioning for the wrong reasons, but with all the other positive things that are said about transition, it doesn’t really work. Since I’m not a lesbian, it wasn’t really all that helpful of a question in the first place…

    You go on to say, in response to 4thwave’s question, that “online forums did play a significant part in my decision to come out as trans,” and what you said in your replies to Dorothy and Nervous Wreck lines up with my own impression that the trans subculture encourages questioning young people to interpret any and all discomfort with gender roles, or with their bodies, as evidence that they must be trans. If you’re comfortable sharing more about this, could you talk about the online experiences that led you to interpret your own particular experience of gender as “being trans”?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I think this is an interesting response, primarily because it broadly reflects the attitudes of those women who I’ve known who had rejected their femaleness, as well as those of my own. For me, as a child, the desire to be male manifested with regard to my body because of *how* that body was treated regarding expectations and limitations *because* of being female. “Becoming male” and attaining those physical characteristics attributable to males became the material, concrete representation of rejecting the perceived flaw of femaleness, itself. Further, it’s pretty clear –despite recent *professional* claims to the contrary –that there is a direct relationship between this rejection of the body and physical or sexual trauma (one study of 45 female transpeople noting that 60% had experienced one or more types of severe child abuse http://web.uvic.ca/~ahdevor/Abuse.html ), and much of that abuse relates directly to the *condition* of being female.

    I don’t like to use the term “dysphoria” to describe my own experience not only because it was not a term in use at the time, but also because I think that its current usage has created a false dichotomy between those women, such as you or me, who have experienced our desire to opt out of female by ideating on maleness and those many girls and women who have experienced similarly sourced bodily rejection which materialized in other forms, such as anorexia or self-harm or severe anxiety and/or depression. The emphasis on particular symptomatic differences, to me, fuels the notion that others, outside of our own *specific* experience, are incapable of understanding our own degree of discomfort which I believe contributes to an even greater sense of alienation and isolation which may, in turn, contribute to an even greater sense of bodily rejection. For myself, a recent (angry) blog post by Glosswitch https://glosswatch.com/2016/04/13/the-right-way-for-women-to-disappear/ drove this point home: there is a broader context under which we as females experience rejection of female, and recognizing how it takes shape in other women can diminish our sense of alienation and allow us to direct our desire for change outward, away from our bodies, towards the true source of our distress. I thank you for your voice however much it can contribute toward this end.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That link was a great read. I keep thinking about this issue with my daughter as feeling like a rejection of femaleness rather than a genuine desire of maleness. It has so reminded me of my friends daughters who have been diagnosed with anorexia. Thanks for the information.

      Liked by 2 people

    • That glosswatch link was very interesting. You see a lot less anorexic girls and more trans ones these days. You can see how one has taken over the other, but they are essentially the same. Unfortunately, being trans is an acceptable way of escaping being female. This was very enlightening. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, thanks very much for that link – another great blog to follow. I remember when getting into the trans thing coming across a very positive, outspoken trans man – I forget the name – who had a history of serious anorexia before transitioning, so much revolving around body-hate. It was a situation in which it really seemed like transition – and it was a full transition – may have truly improved this person’s life.

      I do appreciate how glosswatch so poignantly points out so many of the reasons behind this body-hatred, however. I often think the greatest struggle we have against the popularity of transition is that it’s so much easier to hand out drugs and surgeries than it is to try to change such deep issues in our society.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “The emphasis on particular symptomatic differences, to me, fuels the notion that others, outside of our own *specific* experience, are incapable of understanding our own degree of discomfort which I believe contributes to an even greater sense of alienation and isolation which may, in turn, contribute to an even greater sense of bodily rejection.”

      YES. That is really insightful and important. And, BTW, not just in regard to trauma or illness in relation to isolation, but to focusing on personal experience as isolated and unknowable to anyone else. This is just an enormous problem and, frankly, I think attributable to the idea of decontructivism seeping out into the culture-at-large.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Cari,
    I’m so sorry for the difficult path you’ve had to walk and I want to thank you for having such a clear and honest dialogue about it… a dialogue that now, with the rise of social media and “trans” is very desperately needed!

    First off, because its relevant to the conversation, I’m a woman with a transsexual past. (The semantics needed to talk about this now-a-days make my head hurt!) I was born male, “transitioned,” had surgery then went on to live the majority of my life as a fairly normal female. Marriage(s) kids, grandkids etc, my history, now a footnote in my past.

    The only reason I mentioned it is, it was our narrative, that of the young desisting transsexual girls which was hijacked four decades or so back by transvestites feeling patriarchal shame, rewritten as transgender, and turned into, as one of the other mothers said, an instruction book… for_____?

    God fordid any child is ever born with an actual sex dysphoria! And having lived it, it’s a fate I’d wish upon no one! As far as transitioning being the cure? The physical act of one “changing one’s sex” should be the ne plus ultra of last resorts! One reserved for those, and only those who actually suffer from an intractable sex dysphoria… that it’s not, and that they are removing the gatekeepers is quite disturbing!

    4th Wave Now is quite right, our children are at risk! Trans, has been morphed by social media into this all consuming thing for which I’ve simply no words! And those at greatest risk of falling prey to are the young girls trying to escape the horrible constraints which come in this patriarchal world with their being female!

    Pity is, as you noted, it’s all come now to a place where there’s no discussion, there is no dialogue. Once the words “trans” leave ones lips, everything that follows, if the listener is to be taken as anything other than “a hater and bigot” must be considered sacrosanct, no matter how bat shit crazy it sounds! Daring to point out that 99% of these self appointed internet emperors are buck naked is something done at risk of life and limb!

    I’ll admit, I have a dog in this race, and that’s to see that the kids who truly are transsexual get the appropriate treatment, and as early as possible! No child should ever be thrown under the bus! But that said transsexual kids, and I think the term here is “desisters” are, thankfully, rare as hens teeth. They always were, and they always will be.

    Which begs the question, what’s going on with all these other kids? Why are the numbers climbing so instead of falling? Why are the females suddenly outnumbering the males, three to one? Why is there next to no research into comorbid conditions? Or the role autism plays, or the effects of social media? Or for that matter, that actually causes a sex dysphoria? That such a thing exists is clear, but they why seems now to be of little import!

    But most of all.. why is there NO research into any form of solid diagnostics? As it stands, for those like myself, the only treatment is still surgery and homones… the earlier started the better… but for kids who arent, which is most, that same recipe is an unmitigated disaster! And the crux is figuring out which are which without sacrificing either!

    MKIA

    Liked by 5 people

    • I so appreciate what you’ve said here, because it speaks to the huge conflict that I have in speaking out about this–if someone really cannot resolve their sex dysphoria any other way but transition, then of course it’s best they do so as early as possible. I don’t want to prevent those people from transition. But as I’ve discovered more and more as I’ve started talking to other detransitioning women, is that it doesn’t seem like there’s as clear of a difference as you might think between people who will be happy and fulfilled in their transition, and people for whom it will ultimately not be a sustainable long-term choice for whatever reason. It’s a hugely complicated issue, and I honestly couldn’t tell you what I think the solution is. But whatever it is, there needs to be more research into alternatives before we decide transition is the only course of treatment for anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable with their sex characteristics.

      Liked by 2 people

      • What I’d like to see is this: Instead of scaring kids and parents, insisting that kids must be diagnosed as trans and medically transitioned ASAP or they will kill themselves, activists ought to help minors feel OK about being gender nonconforming; not encourage them to reject and hate their bodies when they are still young. If by adulthood, the kids still really feel they want to medically transition, then so be it. The rush to transition kids younger and younger is the problem as I see it, and the reason this blog was created. I have a really difficult time believing that trans activists actually care about other people’s children as they claim to, when their whole MO seems to be alienating kids from their bodies–and their families, if they aren’t sufficiently “supportive” and “affirming” that the child is really the opposite sex. Finding alternatives to lifelong medical treatment should be a no brainer for anyone who actually cares about children. It seems to me that most of these activists are essentially using their belief in innate gender identity and early transition as a means to justify their own choices–and their own pain. They have convinced themselves that these kids couldn’t possibly grow up to be self accepting–because these activists didn’t have that experience themselves. They should stop and think about why parents like those of us on 4thWaveNow are so alarmed. It’s not because we’re against gender nonconformity–quite the opposite.

        Liked by 8 people

    • I’m interested in what your source is for “…”desisters” are, thankfully, rare as hens teeth. They always were, and they always will be.” And how you would be able to tell the difference between a “desister” and someone who you would not see as deserving of trans gender treatment? Only if they detransition like the author? Or if they express any misgivings at all about their transgender status? Thank you and I look forward to your response.

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      • Maybe if you bothered reading through the blog, you would find that these sources about de-transitioners have already been posted several times, and no such people are not “rare as hen’s teeth.” They are a vast majority! Do your own homework. Read prior blog posts. Looking forward to you taking the initiative.

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      • Perhaps if you had read my comment and the one it was in reply to you would see that I was not the one who said “rare as hens teeth” but rather that was a direct quote from the above commentor.

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      • Teagan, glad you don’t agree that detransition is rare; it is not. Those studies are all over this blog.

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  13. Have you considered contacting the professionals that helped you transition to tell them your current experience? I think some good could come of making them aware that people detransition sometimes. Right now it seems like most people involved in trans services don’t believe that detransition is a real outcome for their patients.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was going to suggest to sue them for malpractice. You told them that you had a trauma and they didn’t make much of an effort to understand that. You were still underage for crying out loud. How they could push you towards doing something like that with the information that you told them is beyond comprehension (and doing it without your parents knowledge). This type of information needs to get out into the mainstream media

      Liked by 3 people

      • You know, others have suggested this to me, but honestly, I don’t feel the need. I’m not happy with the ways they treated me, but I’d rather try to be a voice for reason (especially if I can do it anonymously) than get into a highly personal and emotionally draining lawsuit that would cause a lot of unwanted public visibility, especially during this period of my life.

        I wish that I hadn’t needed to transition, but I believe it was the best decision I could have made with the options I was presented. I feel fairly content with where I’m at with that, all things considered. So it just doesn’t seem worth it to me to sue them. I don’t want to punish them, I just want them to change their practices.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think a letter written to the staff about detransition as a treatment outcome would likely be discussed with the lawyers for the clinic. It is not such an ordeal and may cause more caution to be used in the future. Lawsuits are very painful and don’t always end well, I think it is wise to avoid them if possible.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Hey cari; I know this an old article, but I just found this site (through feminist current) & felt compelled to say something. #1. You have a lot of courage. It’s really hard to go against the grain & criticism. Which i know you probably had to do twice! #2. I might not know exactly what you’ve been through, but I do understand what it’s like being a young female, disabled, & at the mercy of medical professionals (good & bad!)
      I get not wanting to get into legal battles. I’ve been fired unjustly, in car accidents, abused, and have been victimized by bad decisions from medical professionals. In most of those, I didn’t have the stregth to fight it.
      I mention this because of all the comments, with good intentions, that mention the legality of your situation. One thing I have learned to do when i have problems with medical treatment, is to go above. It keeps me safe from retaliation & doesn’t require much on my part. Example; trouble with the pharmacy staff treating me poorly. Called corporate after I had enough. They sure changed their attitude. My therapist also gave me information on how to report Drs to the state licensing board. At hospitals, I’ve asked for a “patient advocate” when nurses have abused me.
      This is just a thought. I believe health care providers & professionals need to have some over sight. Too often they get away with harming people, & the people that get harmed the most, don’t have a strong voice, are disabled (mentally/physically), can with hold treatment to manipulate (I have a condition that causes chronic pain, therefore unfortunately pain medication is one of the tools I need for treatment. Drs like to *force* patients into risky procedures by threatening to “cut you off” – knowing damn well what would happen!), etc
      I hope you continue to find happiness in life & continue to be a good advocate for yourself, and others with your Example!

      Btw : This goes for others too. I see lots of parents on here who are concerned. Reporting to a license board is a start. I can’t say for sure it will did everything, but it would at least led to investigations of these therapists & Drs. Keep them on their toes & let them know they are being watched.
      No major lawsuit required and the people who are supposed to look into these things, do their job. They can’t if no one contacts them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry, lots of typos from phone.
        *THEY can withhold…
        *I can’t say for sure it will DO ANYTHING, but it would at least LEAD to investigations

        🙂 (:

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you so much, Cari, for your insight and honesty. My question concerns your mention of being co-opted by radical feminists while still in transition. Could you elaborate on this? What do you mean?

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    • I’d rather not go into details on that, for privacy reasons. Suffice it to say that while I generally agree with the principles of radical feminism, there are some people who just seem like they are using it as an excuse to harass and shame minors, rather than directing their energies in more productive directions–the psychologists and activists who are allowing this lack of “gatekeeping” and banning alternative therapies, for example.

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      • I don’t think we can emphasize this enough: the young people who are or have been trans-identified are not to blame. As Cari says, our attention needs to be squarely on the adult professionals who are normalizing the medicalization of gender nonconformity. They should be protecting our youth, not making them feel like their only option is surgeries and hormones.

        Liked by 7 people

      • Totally agree — the language we use in dialogue needs to be kind. It’s hard enough for detransitioners to be publicly discussing their experiences, without having catastrophic labels stuck on them. That’s not helpful to anyone. (Cari, do take care of yourself during this whole process — I’m hoping you are in dialogue with other women who’ve been through it and can support/advise you, since the docs and the putative “trans community” have so little to offer.)

        I think our anger and our actions HAVE to be aimed at the people who are pushing the whole “trans child” narrative – the psychs and PDocs (mostly psychs), the endocrinologists and surgeons, the coaches, the media, and the transactivists. It’s all such a crude situation at present, so “one size fits all,” driven (on the part of the providers) by a mix of virtue-signalling and professional ego as far as I can tell. (Yeah, money as well, at least for the medical folk; the psych folk generally don’t make a lot.)

        As for the transactivists — the “trans kid” narrative has been formed and continues to be promulgated by natal males who transitioned as adults and wish they could pass better. They’re not 100% of the activist pool, but they’re a high percentage, and they’re loud. The notion that these people’s experiences are identical to the experiences of natal females who never wanted to go into society’s “girl box,” and who become appalled by their own female bodies during adolescence for various reasons, and who are vulnerable to what they were seeing online – that is spurious reasoning. Cardiac docs now understand that a male heart attack and a female heart attack are different things. Yet the gender docs blindly are assuming that these kids/adolescents are all afflicted with the same thing, regardless of their sex. It’s insanity, and … I’m so sorry that it’s going to be incumbent on you, Cari, and people like you to make noise about your experiences. It’s not fair to you, but your voices are going to carry more weight than anyone else’s. I don’t have a feminist political axe to grind, “rad” or otherwise. (Like a lot of the parents here, the only axe I’ve got is the axe of a mother who is outraged at a movement telling her kid that self-harm is the road to wholeness and inner peace. A mom who’s trying to walk a fine line between supporting her kid’s expressive explorations and rubber-stamping choices that I believe are physically and mentally detrimental.)

        You take care of yourself, Cari, OK? Take some breaks if we start to be wearisome to you. We all wish you strength and peace and good health.

        Liked by 7 people

      • Brilliant comment, Puzzled. You cover all the bases. Yes, Cari, you are a welcome and vital voice and member of the 4thWaveNow community now, but don’t feel obliged to interact more than is comfortable for you. We have your back, and as Puzzled says, your very presence and courage is what will help slow the child transition juggernaut. Thank you.

        Liked by 2 people

      • And I also want to add: I see Cari’s interview as very important bridge-building between parents and kids struggling with trans and gender issues. Cari’s words have helped me better understand my own kid–all of our kids. And hopefully we parents have helped with understanding on the other side of the divide. May this be the start of a fruitful coalition and continued healing for parents and their kids.

        Liked by 4 people

      • I can’t speak to what effects will be permanent for me long-term, as I haven’t been off testosterone for long enough. This link might be helpful for general information, though: http://www.ftmguide.org/ttherapybasics.html#stopping. I have also seen anecdotal evidence that voice pitch can reverse a little bit.

        I will likely always have a deep voice (though my speaking register is still fairly androgynous) and quite a bit more facial and body hair than I started with. If I shave my face I still seem to be fairly recognizable as female, though. To my knowledge, I haven’t had any physical health issues from taking T, although I believe the psychological effects of testosterone contributed to some of the mental health issues I had.

        I was not on puberty blockers–by the time I started treatment I was too old for them to have made much difference. Testosterone can cause fertility problems, but there are also trans men who have gone off hormones to have a baby, like Thomas Beattie, and seem to have done okay, so it doesn’t seem to be a universal thing. I have no idea what my fertility status is/will be in the future. I’m not too concerned about it, personally.

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  15. Cari–Thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I so appreciate you sharing your experiences. I think it is so important for the teens who are considering transition to hear experiences like yours in addition to the cheerleading about how great transition is. The decision to transition is not one to be taken lightly or made quickly, and it doesn’t solve dysphoria for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Hi Cari,
    I thought of a couple of questions for you regarding the medical advice you received prior to medical transition. Do you think you were adequately informed by the medical professionals about the potential risks and side effects of testosterone before you made the decision to start taking it? Were you made aware of the fact that there haven’t been long-term (more than 10 years) studies of the effects of testosterone on the female body? Were you encouraged to discuss any medical treatments with family/friends to weigh the pros and cons?

    I keep thinking of people I know who have serious health problems that require long-term treatments. These people are told of the potential risks and side effects of medications they will take. They are encouraged to bring a family member or friend to appointments to have another person listening to the doctor. I think it’s a really serious decision to start a medication that a person will have to take for the rest of their lives that could have some pretty big health risks. I am concerned about these risks being glossed over when it comes to people who identify as transgender. No matter what a person decides to do, they should be given the right information to make an educated decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel that I was fairly well informed about the potential risks and side effects, and of the lack of long-term information, but this was partially because I did quite a bit of research myself. There is a LOT of misinformation out there about testosterone (such as that you can’t get pregnant if you’re on it, you absolutely CAN but I have seen people using it as birth control). I know that I do not feel my first doctor was well enough informed on FTM patients–she was recommended to me by TransActive and she basically put me into a year-long hormone imbalance. I agree that we need to have better trained and informed doctors for this, and that they need to be giving us a clear picture of what is happening to our bodies with hormones, and why.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Cari. I appreciate your responses. I find it extremely troubling that the patients are better informed than the doctors about the potential risks and side effects of testosterone, or that if patients want information they have to find it on their own. I can’t think of any doctor I know who is happy when the patient comes in and says, “I read on the Internet…” I would think that the doctors would want patients to have as much ACCURATE information as possible.

        It’s also really upsetting to me to think about the emotional rollercoaster that testosterone can cause in females. Once a female is on T, that also needs to be monitored. It seems like people are left to fend for themselves, and that has to be so so difficult when many are dealing with multiple mental health challenges.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. “I think our anger and our actions HAVE to be aimed at the people who are pushing the whole “trans child” narrative – the psychs and PDocs (mostly psychs), the endocrinologists and surgeons, the coaches, the media, and the transactivists. It’s all such a crude situation at present, so “one size fits all,” driven (on the part of the providers) by a mix of virtue-signalling and professional ego as far as I can tell……”

    I agree 100% The major issue as I see it is that the medical professionals, and more importantly their medical JUDGEMENT has been co-opted and essentially RE-WRITTEN by these politically motivated activists. Their motivation is obvious. These twans-whacktivists are trying to “normalize” and mainstream their fetish driven cross dressing.

    “As for the transactivists — the “trans kid” narrative has been formed and continues to be promulgated by natal males who transitioned as adults and wish they could pass better. They’re not 100% of the activist pool, but they’re a high percentage, and they’re loud…”

    Absoutely! This is hitting the nail squarely in the head.

    “The notion that these people’s experiences are identical to the experiences of natal females who never wanted to go into society’s “girl box,” and who become appalled by their own female bodies during adolescence for various reasons, and who are vulnerable to what they were seeing online – that is spurious reasoning.”

    In fact, this is far beyond just “spurious reasoning”. It is outright fraudulent…and harmful, especially when it comes to the harm caused to our kids.

    I honestly do not know what is the best way to get an honest dialogue going, but it has to happen. The way things stand now the cross dressers have taken over the conversation, police it viciously and attack anyone and everyone even just questioning their fanciful view of reality.
    Is it any wonder that well meaning liberals are taken agast that it is only the right wing conservatives that are offering even the bare semblance of reality.

    What is happening here is a beginning. Cari speaks from the “other side” of the transition process. So does apparently, MKIA. Is this not the basis of an alliance? Everyone here agrees that the current situation is completely out of control. Instead of reason and empirically based science being the basis of discussion, twans-whacktivists have taken over the discussion and…the welfare of our children.

    Like

    • Is this not the basis of an alliance?

      I believe that mizknowitall is a well-intentioned and honest person and I don’t want this to be understood in any way as an attack. However, when I read the statement: “I’ll admit, I have a dog in this race, and that’s to see that the kids who truly are transsexual get the appropriate treatment, and as early as possible!” I do wonder what exactly is meant by “appropriate treatment”, and also by “as early as possible”. I am not convinced that “kids who truly are transsexual” exist. If they do, it is certain that at present there is no remotely reliable way of distinguishing them from children who will sooner or later desist from wanting to transition/leading a life as a trans person.

      Sadly, one transwoman who was expressly opposed to transing children died very suddenly a couple of days ago. This was Jaqueline Sephora Andrews, an outspoken voice on Twitter:

      Jaqueline S. Andrews ‏@jsandrews1 Apr 24
      …these doctors have sold you a lie, and have made it so they won’t be the ones taking the blame as children are being

      Jaqueline S. Andrews ‏@jsandrews1 Apr 24
      …drugged, having puberty delayed because adults can’t handle children being “different.”

      Jaqueline S. Andrews ‏@jsandrews1 Apr 24
      …I am a transwoman and no I am not an actual woman; it’s common sense.

      Jaqueline S. Andrews ‏@jsandrews1 Apr 24
      …they don’t need hormone blockers. Puberty is a necessary part of life.

      Jaqueline S. Andrews ‏@jsandrews1 Apr 24
      …These are experimental drugs. Puberty is a necessary part of life. You need to wake up! And quit being a puppet.

      There are not many transwomen speaking out like Jaqueline, possibly because any who do encounter persistent hostility and aggression, not only from the transactivists but from their allies the libfems and ‘lefty dudes’.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Alliances are never perfect. Consider the devil’s bargain struck between the US, the UK and Stalinist Russia. We live in a highly uncertain world and all we can do is our best, especially when it comes to the welfare of our kids.
        Having said that, I agree wholeheartedly that there is no foolproof way to determine who would benefit from “early transition” and those for whom such a path would be an unmitigated disaster. I think the facts are pretty clear: the vast majority of kids presenting for treatment of GID do in fact desist from transition. I think it is that tiny minority that would benefit that are the subject of MKIA’s concern.
        Speaking from my own experience, I would tend to agree with the majority here, despite the obvious drawbacks. For one thing; unless the child can be somehow completely isolated from their peers, (a seemingly impossible task), they will be forever labeled as “trans”, or something less than male or female.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s difficult to reply to, or about the machinations of the trans cult these days for two very good reasons. One, the language used has become so amorphous as to be nearly meaningless and, social media has polarised the subject to the point of absurdity! You’ve conservatives convinced transkids are Satan’s minions, and liberals who postulate that you actually become female simply by uttering the magic incantation, “I’m a woman!”

        That said, I will try.
        First, as “worried” sumised, my first concern is primarily for that tiny minority of kids, the life long desisters, for whom an early transition is still the optimal treatment. That said, it’s clearly in their best interest, as well as it’s to the best interest of the other kids, that kids who are not transsexual are most certainly excluded from these therapies!

        How to tell which is which?

        This is where it gets sticky.

        First, you have to rule out the effects of patriarchy. In the kids born male, it’s easier… because in this world, sadly, it’s a step down to be female so it is somewhat self selecting. Which means if they have been trying to tell you since they became aware of body that there was a huge mistake, it’s likely that they are desisters!

        The reverse is true of those born female. That we live in a patriarchy makes it doubly difficult. How do you separate those who rightfully want to escape the effects of patriarchy from the kids who have a complete and intractable sex dysphoria…

        To that one, my guess would be carefully, very very carefully!

        Like

  18. I too have a 15-year-old who recently came out as transgender. My child is not a liar or crazy attention seeker. I do believe my child truly believes that she is a transgender male. I on the other hand know my kid very well. And again, I want to mention that she is 15, an extraordinarily impressionable age.
    She came out as being gay and then a few months later transgender. I do believe she is on the gay spectrum. Give me a flag and I will march in any parade!
    I am not against transgender or the options surrounding transition. Whatever makes a person feel good about themselves, do what you gotta do! But I can tell you, I know my child is not.
    That being said, for the purpose of showing our child our support and the possibility that we are wrong, we are on board (as far as she thinks) calling her “him.” We have given our permission for her to change her name. (not legally) We took her to get a boys haircut. She wears relatively androgynous clothing. Even ordered her two binders online.

    She has been seeing a therapist for the past year. She started off at a regular adolescent therapist as a girl with anxiety issues. It was during that time that she “discovered” she was transgender. Not in a theropy session… ONLINE!!! Once my daughter told me of her revelation that she was transgender, she asked me if she can switch to a sex therapist. Being in an absolute panic, I searched one out. Without going into too much detail, after a few sessions with the sex therapist, my husband and I felt that the therapist might have an agenda. Probably not the case, but when you are trying so hard to believe and understand what is going on with your child, you have to truly believe in the source that is providing you information. After many phone calls, I found another sex therapist. Again, she seemed quick to jump into the idea that my kid should join some transgender youth groups, etc. I didn’t need anything else to fuel my kids fire. After a few sessions with her, I was frantic!!! I started interviewing various therapists and doctors. How was it possible that psychiatrists, as a whole, knew so little about transgender??? How was it possible that not one sex therapist would say that the Internet and media (along with us parents allowing our kids to be subject to it all) could be the cause and not true body dysmorphia?
    After interviewing about 10-15 psychiatrists and sex therapist… Might I add, none on my insurance, I stumbled across our current therapist based on a conversation with a friend I ran into at the grocery store.
    While interviewing him, he was the ONLY sex therapist to mention what I was thinking…this could be a phase.
    My daughter has met with him a handful of times now. Luckily, I too have had the opportunity to confide and speak to him privately. He is a professional and does not tell me personal things they spoke about. He did however agree that she might be a (wording is not to offend) “lipstick lesbian.” He said we are lucky because she does not seem to be in a rush to start any hormones. The fact is, my husband and I had already explained to her that hormones were not an option in the near future. That much theropy and “living” had to take place.
    So why am I writing this? I believe that my daughter has been somehow unconsciously mirroring the behaviors and speech of the people she has been watching online. Her script is the same as so many teens that showed NO signs prior to the coming out day. Gay probably… Male… No!
    Now that the Internet/media mirroring (unintentional brainwash) has set in and taken over my teens head and body, what do I do to get those words out of my kids head? She is so convinced that this is her truth.
    What did you hear or experience to open your eyes and return to your female self? We will continue with this therapist… But I need more!! Theropy is only one hour twice a week. The media and web have 24/7!!!
    Thank you for posting your story and becoming a glimmer of hope for so many of us in this situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thank you for sharing your story but I am wondering: what is it about your daughter possibly being transsexual that scares you so much? What is the real tangible harm that could come from her identifying as male, that would not come from other people’s perceptions and bigotry? Thank you again.

      Like

      • What is it about a mother who cares for and looks out for her daughter that you think needs to be challenged by YOU? What interest do you have in a stranger’s child? Why do you know something you think her parent doesn’t know or understand?

        Like

      • How about the idea that being transsexual means becoming a medical patient forever? It means going through major surgeries to remove healthy body parts, with those surgeries having the potential for serious complications. Why is it such a problem for you to understand that we don’t want our daughters experimented on by doctors who can’t tell who really needs this kind of treatment and who doesn’t?

        Liked by 3 people

      • I am not scared by the prospect of my beloved daughter’s being MtoT. I wasn’t scared to have her in the first place, and I haven’t been scared to send her out into the world, to have all the different learning experiences and life choices and chances that I did. What I am angry about is that I feel she is being fed a narrative, a story line, by people who are doing so for political purposes, and to validate their own disastrous choices, What I am angry about is that those same people don’t care about her the way her family does, and won’t be there for her if she winds up changing her mind. What I am angry about is that the fact that she may lose the chance to birth and nurse her own children someday, before she ever knows what she might be missing. And I am incredibly angry that the real risks of all these medical procedures are glossed over and minimized, by people who have every incentive to do that. I love my daughter with all my heart and soul and that’s why I’m angry.

        Liked by 3 people

  19. Also, do you believe that by my husband and I going along with her transgender revelation, that we are inadvertently empowering her and allowing her to think something is in fact wrong with her body?

    Like

    • Welcome, LorenzosOil. I wish I had easy answers for you. I can tell you that many of us with daughters have found that giving in to the trans identity just a bit, as a show of support for our daughters, but not drinking the Kool-Aid, can be a decent approach. In other words, let your daughter defy gender stereotypes by wearing what she likes to wear, and cutting her hair how she likes it, and following her interests and hobbies, however stereotypically “masculine” they may be.

      I personally have never called my d “he” or a “they.” I use the name her dad and I picked out for her. I mostly try to speak directly to her, so as not to rub my feelings in her face, but I (quietly) never call her he/they or a boys’ name. I don’t make a big deal out of it, which is easy for me because she is not pressing it.

      Every situation is different, and we are all figuring this out together. Personally, I don’t bring trans stuff up at all. I find the less I bring up the subject of trans, the less adamant my daughter is about being trans. She has not desisted completely, but she is slowly backing away (she started this at 15, is now 17 going on 18). My d is very stubborn and hates to admit when she is wrong, so I am leaving most of my critical thoughts unsaid, so our door is wide open with a guarantee that there will be no “I told you so’s” from me or her dad.

      Very occasionally I will throw in a choice observation about how men/society in general are screwing over women, and how women need to fight patriarchy. This seems to appeal to her sense of justice. I think she believes deep down that she really is female.

      You are off to a great start by digging for and finding a therapist who is not drinking the Kool-Aid, and by telling your daughter there are no hormones in her near future. I think this is very important. There are so many possible reasons a girl might want to escape girlhood or womanhood, or become someone else. I hope your therapist will work with your daughter to ferret out her own personal reasons.

      Read all you can here, and you might also like to visit reddit’s GenderCritical and Gender_Critical subreddits. Support for parents like us used to be nonexistent, but thanks to 4thwave we now all have each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Pingback: Supporting and Protecting . . . Youth Transitioners – identitypoliticsblog

  21. As a trans woman I would just like to ask every person here one meaningful question. What is it about transsexuals that you find so appalling that you would do flips and bend over backwards (Such as consulting with 10-15 therapists as one commenter claimed) to prove that your child is not trans? Thank you all for sharing your stories as I find it important to hear all sorts of trans narratives.

    Like

    • What makes you think you know ANYTHING about our daughters? Seriously, I am curious. Because my teenage daughter has almost zero in common with YOU. And, if you don’t understand why parents would want their perfectly physically healthy children to not undergo needless damaging hormone and surgical treatment, you should figure out why you are asking US questions.

      Also, many of us have children with other issues which are being conflated by them and by therapists with being trans. Kids with autism, kids with psychiatric illnesses, kids with developmental issues.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I find nothing appalling about transsexuals. Most were given the chance to grow up and make the decision to transition as adults after (hopefully) a lot of careful consideration. What you do with your body is your business.
      I think many of us are trying to give our kids the chance to grow up, to look at what they want to do to their bodies and understand that they will become lifelong medical patients. I think many teens are looking for an easy fix to feeling bad about themselves, as teenagers tend to do. They ignore the potential side effects and long-term health risks because they want to feel better now.
      As a parent, I want to take away my child’s pain, and I want to do it now. But I can’t. There is no easy solution. And because I know my child, I know that testosterone would not be the solution she thinks it is. So my goal is to do what I can to help her find happiness in her healthy body. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with YOU and what you choose to do regarding your own health.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Teagan, have you not read any of the blog entries here? All the reasons are covered in the blog posts here. I don’t have much time at the moment, and its hard to answer briefly as there are so many reasons, but I’ll try:

      It’s not that transsexuals are scary people, it is the surgeries and treatments and their irreversible side effects which are scary. Blockers have a slew of side effects, testosterone is linked to heart trouble and cancers, and seems to be more dangerous for women than giving estrogen to males. Blockers and testosterone work together to render children permanently sterile.

      On top of all the scary side effects is the large percentage of kids who outgrow their desire to become the opposite sex — approximately 60-90% of kids will eventually drop this idea by the time they are adults. There are so many reasons why girls might not want to be girls in today’s society — and girls sometimes can’t articulate that they would rather be given the privileges and freedoms boys have rather than actually becoming a boy (becoming a boys is impossible for a girls, anyway).

      So the odds are very good that if we push our kids into transitioning, or allow them to quickly start transition treatments like so many medical professionals are advocating, our kids will become lifelong medical patients and suffer undesirable side effects for no good reason, especially if our kids are among the majority who eventually decide they are not trans after all.

      The stakes are so high, as is the chance that this is a temporary problem. Yet, so many in the medical profession and in society in general seem to be pushing and rushing kids to transition, and/or convince them that they will surely kill themselves if they don’t undergo these treatment as soon as possible.

      Right now it is “cool” for kids and teens to claim they are trans. Transgender is also the “cool” progressive movement of the moment. It is a dangerous combination because the treatments are so risky and permanent — not like green hair, black nail polish or even tattoos.

      Kids need to wear the clothes they want and play with the toys they want. Just because kids don’t fit society’s sex stereotypes doesn’t mean they need surgeries and hormone treatment.

      More time and a more careful approach needs to be taken with kids who say they are trans. Also needed is more psychological therapy, including more of an effort to get to the root of why the children feel as though they do, rather than doling out blockers and hormones after only a couple of sessions. .

      Liked by 5 people

  22. Pingback: “I Was Not Given Options Other Than Transition:” Another Open Letter to Therapists from a Detransitioning Woman – First, Do No Harm: Youth Trans Critical Professionals

  23. I find it interesting that it is so often mothers convinced that their natal female kids who claim a trans identity are “really women”. Even if you don’t believe that someone can “change sex”, given how much mothers know about how the patriarchy causes pain to anyone identified as a woman, wouldn’t a part of you feel some relief that, should your daughters successfully transition and integrate into society as a young man, not only could they escape some of the horrible things you no doubt have suffered as (mostly) heterosexual/bisexual wives and mothers, but will also be fighting patriarchy in a presumed male role, and therefore will be more likely to be given an ear when sexism is discussed?

    Prior to transition, both men and women alike laughed at me when I talked about rape culture, the horrors of pornstitution, the incorrect assumption that every natal female is a masochist, that no one really waxes their labia or wears painful heels for “themselves”, etc. This, coupled with excruciating SEX (not gender!) dysphoria made me just want to stop fighting and become a hermit, which still wouldn’t help the fact that I had the wrong primary and secondary sex characteristics.

    Post transition, I feel less dysphoria and have more energy to express my rage at a society where natal females and, yes, trans WOMEN (ie, not “non binary” natal male hipster sorts who are seen by the world as your average artsy dude)are treated as subhuman. Note: women treat others they view as women as subhuman too. Now, for instance, when I tell a woman that if being penetrated hurts, she SHOULDN’T DO IT, it seems like common sense to her. Before, I would get looked at as if I had two heads! None of this is a good thing, in fact, it is indicative of how deep misogyny lurks in ALL of us no matter our sex or gender. At the same time, it is a known fact that under radical feminist tenets, everyone born into the sex class should do what they need to do to minimise their suffering. For some, this may mean choosing femininity to avoid being fired or harrassed. For others, it may be choosing transition to escape gender dysphoria.

    Note: when one has SEX dysphoria, I think transition is a necessity, not a choice. But I would not begrudge any natal female transitioning to escape the submissive role, and would actively welcome natal males being eschewing toxic bodily masculinity forever through hormones and genital surgery.

    Like

    • The answer is social change, not “transition.” Can’t ever really be something you are not. Born female? Still female, down to every single cell in your body.

      Liked by 1 person

    • What you said here is NOT something most women would want for their daughters:

      “wouldn’t a part of you feel some relief that, should your daughters successfully transition and integrate into society as a young man, not only could they escape some of the horrible things you no doubt have suffered as (mostly) heterosexual/bisexual wives and mothers, but will also be fighting patriarchy in a presumed male role, and therefore will be more likely to be given an ear when sexism is discussed?”

      I agree that society isn’t doing our daughters any favors by constantly telling them they need to look and act certain ways. But you don’t rebel against these messages by opting out of your sex, by switching teams. Changing your body is caving in to these expectations.

      There is so much time, money and effort spent by trans activists pushing for acceptance of transgenderism. It would make more sense to use these resources to change societal attitudes, to expand what is acceptable. Promote that it is OK for men/boys to wear dresses and make-up and to pursue conventionally feminine activities. Make it OK for women/girls to dress in clothes from the men’s department if it makes them comfortable. Let them know it’s acceptable to play video games and get an engineering degree.

      During my childhood there was a strong feminism current and I didn’t feel as restricted by gender roles. But society has regressed to the point that daughters like mine, who reject conventional femininity, feel the need to to change their sex to fit in. And there seem to be droves of youth just like her.

      This isn’t a “gender revolution,” a way that our society is improving. Further down the road, medically transitioning of our children/teens/young adults will be seen as another horrific medical fad.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Most of our kids do not have sex dysphoria.

      I think trying to change society by having men and women surgically and hormonally altering their bodies is literally insane. Most especially championing this idea with children and teens. Instead, encourage society to be more accepting of all presentations and preferences and personalities in people regardless of biological sex.

      Regarding children and teens — there is nothing wrong with waiting. We make adulthood a condition for lots of activities and situations. These surgeries and hormone treatments are very serious.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. No actually I would really, really hate for either of my daughters to cope with the “pain” or “horror” of being a woman by trying, unsuccessfully, to turn into a man. Despite everything that I have been through as the result of having been born, and remaining, a biological woman, I have also found that the joy of being myself and all that entails to be more than worth it. I certainly do not want my daughters to permanently foreclose their chance to (among other things) experience pregnancy, birth, and nursing for some theoretical opportunity to more effectively espouse the feminist viewpoint. They can do that just fine without trying to change anything about themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: When the shoe won’t fit: transgenderism’s sticking points – writing by renee

  26. Pingback: Are you perpetuating sexism? An open letter to RainbowYOUTH and InsideOUT – writing by renee

  27. Pingback: #AskMeFirst: The left’s shameful response to Laura will push more women to the right – writing by renee

  28. I’m not going to delve too deep here. For one thing, it’s an old post, so I’m mostly writing a reply if anyone else should stumble past it looking for an answer, and there’s so much surrounding the trans discussing, I couldn’t possibly get into all of it now without writing a novel about my thoughts 🙂
    I wanted to address part of the comment/question presented by SNG:
    **”Even if you don’t believe that someone can ‘change sex’, given how much mothers know about how the patriarchy causes pain to anyone identified as a woman, wouldn’t a part of you feel some relief that, should your daughters successfully transition and integrate into society as a young man, not only could they escape some of the horrible things you no doubt have suffered as (mostly) heterosexual/bisexual wives and mothers, but will also be fighting patriarchy in a presumed male role, and therefore will be more likely to be given an ear when sexism is discussed?”**

    There seems to be a misunderstanding from those in the trans community that comment here. Maybe I’m wrong about SNG, but it comes across that they believe the *controversy* is over parents just not wanting children to be trans just because they don’t want them to – maybe b/c of personal feelings or beliefs against it.
    I’m assuming there are parents out there that feel that way. However, I haven’t come across that here, or even in other spaces where the topic is discussed. I’m going to just stick to my experience here so far though… the arguments I’ve seen have nothing to do with personal “hang ups”. The parents don’t even seem to care if the child wants to dress, cut their hair, or do activities, etc like the opposite sex. Parents are concerned when it comes to MEDICAL INTERVENTION. Especially, when it’s suggested before anything else.
    Medical procedures, be it medication, or surgeries, is nothing to take likely. Transition is also not a one time event, it is a lifetime of medical care, most of it irreversible, or difficult to reverse…not to be taken lightly.
    So called “Puberty blockers” & hormones are strong medications, with side effects. Not only are they needed for life, they weren’t designed to be taken that way. Then it’s children, still developing mentally & physically, that are being put on these drugs. One side effect of Lupron, is the strong possibility of signifigant bone density loss. No one would suggest chemotherapy on a person without cancer right? Well, these drugs have similarities: They kill cells.
    (Don’t care what advocates claim – this is confirmed from research & the actual manufacturer)We know that females suffer from osteoporosis more often (including spine difficulty) naturally. There’s so much, I could be here all day. (Cancer risk, affect on brain function..) This is without even getting into artificial hormones or the surgeries….
    Even if that is over looked, it leads to sterilization. Freeze sperm/eggs you say? Can’t do that if they never developed in the first place, b/c they didn’t go through natural puberty. Puberty is not just sex characteristics either, there’s other developing functions, like the brain.
    Speaking of the brain, if the way it develops is messed with, imagine a child that started off with developmental challenges to begin with! Many are diagmosed with adhd, ocd, autism, depression etc etc. They are now pushing gender reassignment as the child’s treatment, as a cure all. We also can’t ignore that besides age, certain mental issues, cause a BIG gray area as far as consent.
    I get the feeling that “passing ” becomes top priority, because puberty will bring out sexed features. But, Bone fractures, hip replacement, or wheel chair by 30? Don’t matter as long as you pass. I think it’s even worse than that, I think it’s getting as bad as girls targeted by the media, with weight and looks. It’s not just passing…. it’s looking good. Well not everyone does!
    They worry about say a boy, going through puberty, and developing male features. However, I’ve known 6′ tall women, with broad shoulders, women that are hairy (including nipple hairs!), “manly” features – like a prominent chin, nose, or even “flat” chest, even “Adams apples”. It’s actually offensive for anyone to believe that’s so terrible, that risky medical intervention is needed immediately! (Like 12)

    Anyway, back to the patriarchy. I don’t think it’s responsible to risk hiring children, especially those who aren’t truly trans (and if they are, that’s fine, they can wait), because society is shitty to women. I don’t think anyone can really erase their past and experiences. It would be similar to debating if dark skin people should bleach their skin… So that they are treated the right way. How about if disabled people stopped working to avoid inconveniencing employers. That’s denying our past existence, which defines our thoughts & beliefs. Maybe I could become a man, and people would listen, but I’d only be invested in that belief because I knew what it was like being a girl/ woman in the first place.
    People shouldn’t change to “earn” human rights.

    Honestly, I’m truly happy for those who found what works. I’m not against adults making choices. I’m not going to tell someone their experience is wrong. However, it works both ways. Children shouldn’t start off that way either. They should get to learn for themselves what works. It’s not worth sacrificing and risking their lives, because that’s what adults wish happened with them. They can’t claim they’d be better off if they had these procedures as children, so children should be able to do that, because they didn’t take that risk, or have the side effects. Whether they say they wound have or not, is irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person

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