Supporting Our Detransitioned Sisters on #DetransAwarenessDay

My sisters, did you know Friday March 12th was #DetransAwarenessDay? If you didn’t, now you do! But what is it exactly? The day was created to break down the stigma around detransition. It’s also a great way to let those who have detransitioned know they’re not alone. 

But one key reason for this day is to raise awareness around the specific medical and mental health needs of people who detransition. Currently, there is no established care model and mental healthcare is almost nonexistent. The unique medical needs of detransitioned people are not yet well understood. And it’s well known that a good number of women who detransition are lesbians. So what can we do to help? First and foremost, we can listen to their stories. It’s a great way to learn about their struggles and needs. And you know what, sometimes people just want to be heard. Even if you missed the day, you can still spread awareness. 

Even though we’re walking in late to this event, we had good reason! AfterEllen was lucky enough to speak to Carol of Detrans Voices US

What do you wish people would take away so they can spread detrans awareness everyday?

We want people to know that although its not what the mainstream media presents, detransition does happen and I believe it happens more often then people might believe. Detransitioning is not as simple as just going back to the way you were. For most of us there is no going back to the bodies we had before transition. Most have taken cross sex hormones, which permanently changes your body, especially if you are female, and have undergone some form of gender reassignment surgery. Our task is often a difficult one and as it stands now, there is little if any support from the medical establishment for detransitioning/detransitioned people.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge when it comes to detransitioning?

I have heard from the many detrans people I have met that loss of community and emotional support is one of the biggest issues many detrans people face. If you detransition and regret your transition, there doesn’t seem to be a place for you in the trans community or the LGBT community at large. Our stories and experiences seem to be inconvenient. We also have a great need for mental health services from therapist that can be open minded to our stories and experiences. This is a huge problem right now. The vast majority of therapists are trained in the affirmation model of care when it comes to people who identify as trans. This means if someone says they are trans, the therapist is only to affirm the person’s identity and not ask any questions that might challenge the client’s belief. Unfortunately, this has led to most therapists not being able to believe some detrans people who regret their transition. Finding a therapist that won’t try to downplay your experiences as a detrans person is almost impossible. (Detrans Voices has a set of interviews with four detrans women about this subject.)

The post mentioned mental health and alternative therapy, what other types of support do you think is important?

Support from the LGB/LGBT communities would be very helpful. Especially since a good portion of detransitioned people are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. We also need proper medical care. We need an actual standard of care for detrans people. As it stands right now, there is no care model for people who detransition.

And do you have a message you want to share with detransitioners out there?

You are not alone. There are others who have been through similar things as you and we are here to help. It can be frightening when you decide to detransition and have no support anywhere, especially from the community you use to call your own. Its why we do the work we do and why we started detrans awareness day. We want to provide other people who have detransitioned a place to land, a place that most of us didn’t have.

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  1. Aren’t all transgender males, lesbians who have decided to transition, therefore detransitioning biological females will tend to be lesbians.
    I’ve never heard of a straight female coming out as transgender or non-binary!

    1. No, there are many straight women who ID as trans and non binary. Check out Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier for a break down of the trend among teenage girls, she includes the typology of heterosexual girls.

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