r/detrans - Accidentally banned from r/asktransgender within 5 minutes of my first ever comment (2022)

Probably unlike most of you, I have had almost no contact with any online transgender communities until coming to r/detrans to discuss the thoughts and feelings that I have developed over the past seventeen years. My contact with transgender ideology was primarily medical in origin, at a time when transgenderism was not yet widely discussed in society and there were no websites at all for young trans people in particular, so to me it has been particularly strange to watch a massive cultural phenomenon raise itself into being on the same language that I once only heard psychiatrists use....

I've glanced at some of the trans subs on Reddit, but I don't browse them. I was searching recent mentions of the phrase "detrans", and came across this post. The post itself wonders if our stories here are faked, planted by "TERFs and transphobes", but many of the comments focus on the motivations they attribute to our feelings of pain and betrayal: A need to shift blame from ourselves and avoid accountability. This post was three days old, with a score of 7, and directly addressed detransition, so I thought it would be OK to comment and work out my thoughts, and that probably no one would pay attention to it anyway. I wrote a very long comment:

As one of the first males to ever be rushed through transition in adolescence, 17 years ago, before this sort of thing started to become common, I feel justified in blaming others for a large part of what I went through. I tried to take full responsibility for what happened to me, but I was only 15 years old, and under a lot of harmful influences, and ultimately taking responsibility also meant understanding how vulnerable I was to others, understanding their ideological and emotional reasons for hurting me, and accepting how badly I had been hurt by people I had been taught to trust. I've lived and breathed trans ideology my entire life, and saw directly how it was elaborated and transmitted by mental health professionals, older male transgender people, and my family, so it's a very clear and concrete thing to me. I have lived transgenderism for nearly 20 years and spent several years studying its history, all the way back to the sexologists of the late 19th century. I think I understand it better than almost anyone alive right now. I am in a very strong position to elucidate and criticize it.

The word "transphobia" should really be reserved exclusively for people who actually hate and want to harm or exclude transgender people from society. Instead it is applied to nearly everyone who doesn't want to use your pronouns or insure your transition or teach your ideology to schoolchildren. I don't identify myself as trans anymore, but regardless of how I think of myself I am a castrated male who looks like a woman now and there is not much I can do to change that. If I do try to detransition, my body, beardless and immature, will forever be recognizably trans, so unless I continue in "stealth" "as a woman," I am as vulnerable to actual transphobia as anyone else. My experience as a transgender person is not only valid, but frankly I believe it is privileged, and I won't back down from that. I did this first and I have learned a lot. I won't let anyone silence me by calling me "transphobic" for speaking what I've learned.

I don't believe I discovered I am "actually not trans, oops." I was as "trans" as anyone ever is, and nothing anyone says can take that from me. I really, really wanted to become a girl, which made me vulnerable to an ideology that told me I could become one. I really wanted to believe that through transition I had become woman and in fact always "really" was one. Because if I didn't become a woman, doesn't that mean I am just a eunuch who was so confused that he allowed his family and some old trannies and lesbian shrinks to manipulate him into genital mutilation and fractured identity? Doesn't that mean it was all pointless at best, harmful and abusive and deceptive at worst? Doesn't it just mean I was a person with a strange fantasy who was vulnerable to being scammed and fucked up? That's not a story anyone wants to tell themselves when just trying to get up and get through each day. Why deal with it? Why tell yourself your body is a horrifying mockery of the beauty you once idolized, when instead you can just find someone who isn't disgusted at touching you and thrill at the loss of your refractory period (yes, it's true! but guess what? it fucking gets old), then get on the internet and seek some validation? The pressure to be happy with one's decisions as a transitioner is huge. And it's not just external pressure. Once you transition, you hold on to the lie of your new identity for dear life, because without it you might die, seriously.

I've spent a lot of time in r/detrans this month and I have seen many, many people who made their choices as adults and fully take responsibility. A lot of them merely took hormones for a few years and then decided it wasn't for them, briefly post their thoughts and experiences and then disappear, leaving those of us who really have been betrayed and failed by others to mourn our lives together. Many of the stories are from very young detrans women who were prescribed testosterone with minimal guidance, supervision, and diagnosis, and who desist/detransition within a few years. Their experiences are very different from mine, but they are clearly a very vulnerable population. MtFs used to outnumber FtMs a great deal--male transgender people led the fight for trans visibility and rights and now the massive public celebration of trans ideas is hurting a lot of young women. This leads to a lot of overlap with GC, but even then if you actually look you can see that there is very little actual interaction between other subs and r/detrans.

There are various meddlers and voyeurs but I see the GC and Conservative meddlers and the pro-trans meddlers as equally presumptuous and annoying, personally. I'm very tired of feeling like a political mascot. I don't want to be used by anyone.

I drew the attention of someone who wished to interpret that my experience indicated that I was not really trans, because I don't have a female essence inside me, like real trans women do, which must be the reason for my current thoughts and feelings:

Or alternatively, maybe we are women, and you just aren't. It's awful that people pressured you into transition when it wasn't right for you, but please don't take that out on us. Maybe your identity as a woman was a lie, but that certainly doesn't means ours is, too. Being a woman is more than skin deep and just because you had similar medical procedures to what we get, and you've read books about us and our history, doesn't mean you understand us at all. You clearly don't.

My next comment got me banned. I guess I should have predicted this, because I do sort of understand how limiting the intellectual climate has become, but only in an abstract way, since I have avoided discussing transgender issues for most of my life.

I'm very sorry, but I don't believe you are a woman, and I don't say that as an attack against you, but as an important truth that I have the right to speak. If that truth hurts you I believe it is your responsibility to come to terms with that, and to be able to exist in a society that has the right to disagree with your claimed identity. I understand exactly why it feels important to you to claim that identity, because it was very deeply important to me, or I wouldn't have lived as a woman for 17 years. Those 17 years of experience have left me still identifying very strongly with women, of course, because I have in fact never lived as a man, only as a boy, and for fewer years than as a woman. I think it's important to speak out against the lies we tell ourselves as transgender people, because it is becoming very clear that we are causing harm beyond our own immediate lives.

I asked the mods to please not silence me, and to recognize that I was being very respectful, but they told me it was "not remotely respectful" to tell a trans woman I did not believe she was a woman, and then muted me for 72 hours. I assumed that the user I spoke to had reported me, but she initiated a private conversation with me and we had a respectful conversation. At the end, I asked her to see if she could intercede with the r/asktransgender mods for me. I don't plan to start browsing there or comment there again any time soon, but it would at least make me feel better to know that the comments I wrote would be visible in that one little low-rated post that specifically discusses this sub.

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