This post is an interview with a 26 year old former MtF.
1.) First, could you tell me about your experience of dysphoria? I have the impression that this is probably experienced very differently by different people, so I am curious about the nuance of your individual experience. How did it feel? How did you know it was gender dysphoria? When did it start? Was it continuous? Or did it come and go? Anything you can share that would help me understand what that feeling was like.
I was depressed and suicidal in 2013. I saw someone in the counselling office of my college once a week on the recommendation of a doctor. I had recently broken up with a young woman I had lived with shortly, and the counselling focused on my repeated failing relationships with women including my mother. I blamed my incompatibility with the women in my life on the idea that there was a fundamental misunderstanding between us since I was actually a girl in a boy’s body. As in, how could I have successful mother-son or boyfriend-girlfriend relationships if I’m actually not a son or a boyfriend? That made perfect sense to me at the time.
2.) How did you learn about the term transgender?
I learned about the term transgender on the internet. I looked at a lot of trans stuff but I’m not very social online so I didn’t ask any questions or start any dialogue with members of the community I’d soon be sort of part of.
3.) How did you decide to transition?
I have been and still am embarrassingly narcissistic and obsessed with my identity. The first thing I changed was my name since I had already wanted to for the hell of it. My legal name is ironically a unisex name: Taylor. Ashley is another unisex name, which I chose as to ‘gently’ transition in the workplace and other real life situations. I didn’t show up one morning in drag. If I did it right it should’ve been a ~6 month morph into a somewhat female-looking creature.
4.) Tell me about your experience with the medical community. Did you seek therapy as you were deciding to transition? Were you offered alternative treatments for the feelings of dysphoria? What kind of assessment was done before hormones were prescribed?
I went to a walk-in clinic in my trans gear and said I wanted to see this doctor I knew of in town that prescribed hormone replacement therapy for people who identify as transgender. The doctor asked me less than a dozen questions and said okay. A week later I had a similarly short conversation with an incredibly suspicious endocrinologist who got me on estrogen the same day and I was off to the races. Less than an hour of face-to-face time with any sort of medical practitioner before I got my long-term hormone prescription.
I was 23 years old.
5.) What was it like to go on estrogen? Did it help? How so?
Estrogen was actually great. I admit I fucking love placebos, but I think the estrogen really made me super relaxed and calm. I felt happier and more optimistic despite still going through the weirdness of public transitioning, specifically at work.
6.)What was your experience being transgender? Did it help the dysphoria? Did you feel better overall? Worse? In what ways?
Transitioning made me happy in the sense that I felt I was changing parts of myself I didn’t like, but it made me even more obsessed with gender roles which were what I was supposed to be rejecting.
7.) Tell me about your detransition process?
I stopped taking the pills and stopped shaving. The doctor called once after I missed my next appointment, then never again. Then basically read nothing but radical feminist twitter for a while.
8.) What advice would you give to a young person considering transition?
Do not do it. Hating your body is a part of having a body. You can either live with it or not. If you change it you’ll still hate it even if you can tolerate it. You’ll brainwash yourself if you haven’t let others yet. It’s a cult based on sexual fetishism and pseudoscience. You’ll do something stupid or lose all of the people in your life then in 2030 when this whole thing is over you’ll never be the best version of yourself you could’ve been.