One of the sadder parts of being detransitioned and public about it is that the parents find you. They’ve been told by a doctor or a social worker that the only route forward that protects against suicidality is to affirm their kid’s trans identity. That they need to be open to the possibility their kid may need their pubertal process disrupted, may need to begin what could within a couple of years turn into a life time commitment to cross sex hormones, and could need surgeries to socially function. They’ve been told asking questions about the impact of their kid’s peer group, internet use, drug use, co-morbid diagnoses, internalization of sexism, or family dynamics is transphobia. …


Grace is a detransitioned woman in the Midwest who you can follow on Twitter @hormonehangover. She recently spoke to the doctor that prescribed her HRT and wrote the referral letter for her top surgery. She’s exceptional for doing so- in my circle only a handful of detransitioners have gone back to inform their doctors about their detransition. We spoke about her decision to initiate the conversation and the consequences of the experience, with the hope it will help other detransitioners consider whether they’re up to have the talk.

Why did it feel important to talk to the doctor who enabled your transition?


I often resent the expectations made of detransitioners. In my dream world when you detransitioned there would be therapists you could actually access who have experience with patients going through detransition, you could say (publicly!) whatever you wanted about your choices and why you made them without being made into a symbol, and people wouldn’t demand much ideological loyalty out of you, since fundamentally you’re just a person who went through a weird, hard thing.

The main responsibility I wish detransitioners could opt out of would be being assumed to be a potential resource for helping other gender dysphoric patients discern what medical interventions they should get done. People immediately think that’s what we should be doing with the experience. …


This is a guide for after the moment when everything gets weird, when the background noise gets muffled, and the pace of the world slows way down. This is a guide for when you might be having a very bad dream, but that would suggest the last couple years of your life have been a bad dream, which is not comforting to consider. …


Guys, this essay is a failure. I was thinking, “Hey, trans people with big audiences are saying detransitioners should have thought harder before transitioning. Maybe that will lead some people considering medical transition to ask where they could get a more structured, comprehensive process than one session at an informed consent clinic. Maybe I can point them on where to go in North America to get that process!”

This was more ambitious than I knew. Trans healthcare is guided by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care, now in its seventh edition. Here’s what’s interesting about the SOC: no one studies provider compliance with the tasks it requires. Whether your medical and mental health providers complete the tasks of the SOC is pretty much on you, the patient, to track. There is no organization that visits these clinics and investigates. The only negative consequence a doctor, therapist or clinic could encounter for failing to fulfill the tasks and standards of the SOC would be if the failure was documented and utilized in a malpractice or negligence suit. …


Hi Carey,

I am a transgender identifying teen who feels caught between the ultra-affirming trans culture and transphobia. I’m terrified by stories of detransition, and want to make sure I don’t make the wrong choice to transition, however the need to transition is very compelling. I guess I’m looking for any advice you would give to a young trans person on avoiding having to detransition.

I’m so relieved to hear you’re terrified of detransition. Recently the backlash to detransitioners’ heightened visibility in the media have been opinion pieces which argue “De-transition is rare and not as bad as people think.” It’s easy to make such a sweeping minimization when the research into detransition consists of case studies of individuals, and survey research is shut down for being likely to cause controversy. Minimizing the negative psychological, health, social, career, and financial consequences of inappropriate transition and subsequent detransition is unfortunately what we should expect from the doctors who earn money and professional acclaim through pediatric transition. …


In 2012, about two months after I attended the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference (red flag) where I had made a group of new friends (red flag) and had fallen in love with a non-binary person who lived with their polyamorous partner in Brooklyn (1,2,3 red flags), me and my new sweetie had a conversation about the possibility I may regret the testosterone injections my therapist had recently written a letter clearing me for.

I had scheduled with the therapist shortly after returning from Philly, so I had seen her for about 5 sessions total (red flag.) She had administered only one assessment to me in the course of treatment, tracking anxiety and depressive symptoms. We did not discuss or assess for the possibility of OCD, body dysmorphic disorder, PTSD, dissociative disorders, autism spectrum disorders, borderline or schizotypal personality disorders, all of which are conditions in which a patient may have the strong sensation of their body being incorrect and wanting to escape from their body (red flag.) Assessing for these conditions is recommended by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care. However, drawing from the recommendations of the presentations I had seen at Philly, during my first session with my therapist we had talked about our shared philosophical stance against “gate-keeping.” We agreed that the authority to deny me from deciding what I should do with my body should not be granted to her just because she was a licensed counselor, as that hearkened back to traditions of medical paternalism (red flag.) …

Carey Callahan

LMFT/LPC, detransitioner, advocate for taking it easy

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