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Pique Resilience Project - young detransitioned women sharing their personal stories

(48 Posts)
BettyDuMonde Wed 13-Feb-19 12:47:32

I found this really moving - not so much their words, but the strength they are finding through each other.

Woman to woman friendship is incredible (and far more empowering than itchy knickers).

Video 1 ‘Detransition Q&A’

Video 2 ‘What Do Detransitioned Women Think of Social Media’

AbsintheFriends Wed 13-Feb-19 13:35:38

I've watched the first video and am bookmarking it. Thanks for sharing Betty

I thought what they said about parental involvement was so interesting. On one hand, early on in the video, one of them said she wished her parents had stood firmer against beginning medical transition and not facilitated her. Later, they all say that they were automatically resistant to the detransition videos and information (even other detransitioned women) their mothers put them in touch with - because these things came from their mothers. And then at the end, they said that they deeply resented their parents for trying to stand in the way of them transitioning. The message that came across was that mothers (in particular) probably can't win!

The other thing that comes across clearly is that this is a developmental phase. A very intense one, about profound identity issues, but transgenderism is a socially acceptable sticking plaster that covers it up without solving anything. The answers, all 4 accept now, lie in self-acceptance, maturity, looking outwards and finding other interests, other friends, instead of allowing self-obsession to take a stranglehold.

It's a really valuable insight into the cultish aspect of transgenderism (anyone questioning anything or raising doubts would be labelled a TERF - 'I know because I did it!') and its social contagion. These are courageous young women who will hopefully make it easier for others to reject genderism and live at ease with their female bodies.

SisterWendyBuckett Wed 13-Feb-19 13:52:20

Yes Absinthe - you've summarised this exceptionally well.

Thanks for posting Betty.

BettyDuMonde Wed 13-Feb-19 13:55:28

The social media one starts off quite stilted but becomes really quite insightful as they relax into the discussion. Lots there for parents of ROGD teens to think about.

Mum’s of teenagers really can’t win - I know I gave my mother hell, luckily I was only a striped-tights green haired grebo - no life altering surgeries required!

I think all 4 of the contributors really are brave - it’s great to see them owning their versions of womanhood, (young) adult human females, with a myriad of interests, ambitions and opinions.

SisterWendyBuckett Wed 13-Feb-19 14:50:07

Yes, I think they're remarkable young women.

Bebstar123 Wed 13-Feb-19 16:10:21

Well done them, brilliant as they are. So much of this is bringing back memories of my teenage obsession with boob and nose jobs. 19 seems to be a good age for girls to find self acceptance, it was around then that I put that notion to rest.

Popchyk Wed 13-Feb-19 16:20:16

I've only watched the first so far.

Really bright, funny, self-aware young women who were talking very honestly about identifying as transgender when they were younger.

I liked when they were laughing about how having crushes on girls at school meant that they felt that they were really "gay transmen" and how that led into them believing that they had always been men and it really messed up their own feelings towards their own sexuality. But they worked it out in the end thankfully.

Will watch the other vid later.

AbsintheFriends Wed 13-Feb-19 16:27:29

I wanted to add that I found it really moving too. And quite a testament to young women's strength in the face of a lot of social and structural shite.

Looking forward to watching the other one later.

happydappy2 Wed 13-Feb-19 16:46:46

bravo to those 4 beautiful women-I hope they have happy fulfilled lives.

Lolasaurous Thu 14-Feb-19 01:40:48

thank you for sharing

terfsandwich Thu 14-Feb-19 02:42:12

Just watched a bit of the first one. I agree that it seems that mothers can't do right.
However, on the other hand, maybe these specific women were able to extricate themselves from the cult because they had been exposed to other detransition stories? So in the end, their mothers were successful?

Lolasaurous Thu 14-Feb-19 03:43:08

They all talk about getting influenced into this on Tumblr. I knew it!

Without social media influence, how many people would think they're trans? Numbers have gone up absolutely massively since social media became a thing. Especially with teens and young people.

Lolasaurous Thu 14-Feb-19 04:44:30

I posted the other day specifically about Tumblr, have thought for ages this transtrend seemed to come from there. As did the furry stuff, and apparently the MAP stuff. That's how it spreads. And then it comes to Twitter.

I'm glad these women got out of all of this eventually.

In the first video one of the girls said their thinking at the time was it was better to transition to be a straight man than be a lesbian woman.
Someone on here posted a story about another girl who transitioned and the two reasons that were given was that they fancied girls and if I remember correctly, didn't wear dresses. I can't believe this is happening in this decade.

R0wantrees Thu 14-Feb-19 11:35:09

There was a young woman who spoke incredibly movingly and powerfully at the end of the recent 'We Need To Talk' event in Washington.

It was clear how profound the effects she had on the women on the panel and I'm sure all who heard her.

Thanks to the amazing PencilsInSpace her important words are here to read:


"My name is [Cas?], I'm 19 and I just wanted to - so I just wanted to talk, it's not really a question. Ever since I came out, in eighth grade I've been completely involved in radical queer and trans circles and I just wanted to talk about my experience.

So when you first come out nowadays in - every LGBT group is very ... inclusive, let's just say. It's just - you must respect everyone. When you're young, you're like, OK, I mean I want to be accepted by people, it feels bad when people are mean to me, of course I don't want to be mean to someone, right? And so if you don't really - and everything is accepted uncritically.

I know this transman, a trans identified female, and they got a double mastectomy at 15 and had been on testosterone since they were 13 or 14, and you're not allowed to raise questions about that because then you're evil and sort of being in this circle where any woman who's gender non-conforming is obviously not a woman. It's very easy to gain that idea. I think that even older people theorising about it can understand conceptually, but being in that space it's a very difficult mindset to get out of. And I've been really lucky, I have some radical feminist friends who've been really nice but since I discovered and understood radical feminism - I'm skipping around this story but it's fine.

I recently lost my entire friend group. So I go to college but I lost all of my friends because they were like, actually, you having three separate opinions from me means that you're unsafe and are equivalent to a nazi. Because obviously, saying that lesbians can have sexual boundaries is the same thing as kill all Jewish people. You know, it's obviously the same statement. I don't know how anyone can see it differently.

But - OK, going front to back - being part of that environment and being a lesbian and having it be not a socially acceptable thing in these spaces that are intended for same sex attracted people - it's just extremely damaging and you start to think, well, maybe I'm not a woman. I don't feel like a woman, I don't look like the women around me, you know. And being a woman is deeply traumatising.

I think almost every trans female that I know, especially detransitioned women like myself - I got a double mastectomy - we are all - a lot of us are autistic and don't fit into gender roles and don't really understand it and we're absolutely preyed upon in that sort of way. And almost all of us have experienced sexual trauma and just being a woman and experiencing things like that makes you disgusted with your body and not want men to think about you, not want to be - it's just so profoundly traumatising.

And when you're given this option of, you can escape misogyny, you can escape experiencing things like this again, even though that's not true - women who pass as men, as soon as men find out - I mean I'm friends with a lot of other detransitioned women and a reasonable number of them pass as men in their daily lives - and as soon as someone finds out they're going to be treated with violent misogyny, right? And so it's a complete lie, but it's a very enticing lie.

And even speaking about the potential side effects, even if you're like, I support the decision that you're making but I want you to take into account the ways that this will cause damage in a genuinely informed consent way. I mean I'm against - you know what I mean. That's just not something that happens.

Additionally - so when I was going to get my double mastectomy after identifying as trans for four years, I just had to go to a doctor, say 'I'm trans and I want top surgery' and then they're like, OK, you know, then they'll ask me some questions about my life, but there's no like, maybe you're a lesbian who doesn't want to be seen as a lesbian because you live in a homophobic area, maybe you're dealing with - you need to deal with some sexual trauma. Maybe there's other things, other than this sort of idea. There's none of that, it's just like, OK! And so then the next time they were just like, OK I'll write a letter to your insurance saying they should pay for it.

You know, it's just - women are really being let down, especially lesbians.

And I don't know, it's just very - going on what you were saying? I just feel so bad about my peers because it's very hard to get out of. It's such a cult-like mindset because if you talk to anyone different you are going to be excommunicated, right? You're just not going to be allowed to interact with people. I mean it's like my friends who just dropped me, you know, it's really difficult - I don't know if I'm over my time limit - I just, I don't know, when people were saying about how it's really hard as a young person to not be accepted by your peers - it is terrifying, it is so ... scary, but it's really an important thing because so many women I know, every lesbian I know in my day to day life who's not a complete normie who's never been online, has identified as trans, even if they haven't transitioned, has previously identified as trans.

Because it's just - being a lesbian sucks, guys.

I mean it's wonderful once you're able to accept it and interact with other women, but this is a terrifying societal position to occupy and I'm completely proud and out now but it's just a really scary thing because these people who are supposed to be supporting you would rather you be anything but a lesbian."

flowers star

Bowlofbabelfish Thu 14-Feb-19 11:54:49

Seems like we need more gender non conforming women, and lesbians, in the public eye?

Last week I caught a repeat of an old Time Team from almost twenty years ago - it really struck me that the women on it were not wearing makeup, were dressed in a variety of practical clothing and had hairdos ranging from long and half down, to very short, and I remembered how normal all that was back then. They were on as experts, not as token females.

I’m trying to think of non gender conforming women on TV. Sue Perkins, Sandy toksvig, I cant offhand bring any more to mind. Where are all the women with short hair, pontificating about Anglo Saxon pottery and looking fabulous without a lick of make up? We’ve gone backwards since the 90s.

This idea that if you’re not a Barbie doll you’re not a woman is terrifying. It’s beyond regressive.

conform or perish. dark times

R0wantrees Thu 14-Feb-19 12:07:57

Seems like we need more gender non conforming women, and lesbians, in the public eye?

Definitely as well as some sort of antidote to the current all pervasive 'image is everything' culture.

Popchyk Thu 14-Feb-19 12:08:11

I posted this link yesterday in another thread. But it fits here also.

The latest BBC equality report states that 2.5% of its entire staff identify as transgender.

In senior roles, that figure rises to 2.8%.

Gay men account for 3.7% of all staff, with 5.1% in senior management roles.

Lesbians account for 1.0% of all staff, with 1.1% in senior management roles. And of course some male people could be identifying as lesbian.

Lesbians really are bottom of the heap.

R0wantrees Thu 14-Feb-19 12:12:06

Apologies for not including the link to the WNTT Washington Event with Pencil's transcription of the woman in the audience's powerful speech. You can hear her speak from 1:30:40.

R0wantrees Thu 14-Feb-19 12:13:16

It would be (more?) intereresting if the BBC figures were also broken down by sex.

BettyDuMonde Thu 14-Feb-19 12:16:38

I really hope this kind of narrative will be presented to the government inquiry into ROGD.

We are failing our LGB youth. It’s heartbreaking.

hellandhairnets Thu 14-Feb-19 12:28:39

BowlofBabelfish - yep, I see the same thing you do - it was pretty normal back in the 90s.

I think this is why so many of my generation (there are a lot of us on FWR, judging by the number of comments you get about Boy George, Annie Lennox, Bowie etc!) find this modern rigidity and obsession with gender boxes so utterly bemusing. And we're the ones who are apparently "biologically essentialist?" My arse!

We thought we had this. We had a culture where we were much freer to be who we were. But feminism has been so successfully demonised that we are indeed going backwards, all in the name of supposed "progress", all of which seems to focus mainly on medical pathways.

Heartened by this Pique Resilience group though. Great work.

Glad to see they are figuring it out for themselves and thinking critically - I agree that it seems that there aren't really any gender nonconforming female role models for girls who don't identify as trans. I doubt this generation's been taught much about the history of women's liberation or those ideas either.

littlbrowndog Thu 14-Feb-19 13:05:10

I watched first vid
Very good and how they said it was social media that influenced them
And how their whole lives durin* tha5 time was just focused on their identity
It was like they lost years to that
Also how is it that any surgeon can surgically remove young girls healthy breasts without not seeing that i5 is so wrong

At 15 you can’t smoke drink get tattoo
Ask to have your breasts removed. Yeah fine

Bebstar123 Thu 14-Feb-19 13:53:43

* know this transman, a trans identified female, and they got a double mastectomy at 15 and had been on testosterone since they were 13 or 14, and you're not allowed to raise questions about that because then you're evil and sort of being in this circle where any woman who's gender non-conforming is obviously not a woman. It's very easy to gain that idea. I think that even older people theorising about it can understand conceptually, but being in that space it's a very difficult mindset to get out of. *

Leah Remini talks about her indoctrination into Scientology at about the same age on the Joe Rogan podcast. Change a few minor details and she basically says this exact same thing.

Voice0fReason Thu 14-Feb-19 21:17:49

I love those videos. So honest and open, people really need to learn from women like this. Affirmation is dangerous, these women are proof of that. I am so glad that they escaped.

R0wantrees Fri 15-Feb-19 07:53:33

extended article by Hacsi Horváth
'The Theatre of the Body: A detransitioned epidemiologist examines suicidality, affirmation, and transgender identity'
"I am an adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). I’m an expert in clinical epidemiology, particularly in systematic review methods, epidemiologic bias and evidence quality assessment. As a researcher at UCSF, I managed the Cochrane HIV/AIDS Group for over a decade and on several occasions served as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) in their HIV guideline development processes.

For about 13 years, I also masqueraded “as a woman,” taking medical measures which suggest, shall we say, that I was completely committed to that lifestyle. Most men would have recoiled from this, but in my estrogen-drug-soaked stupor it seemed like a good idea. In 2013 I stopped taking estrogen for health reasons and very rapidly came back to my senses. I ceased all effort to convey the impression that I was a woman and carried on with life." (continues)

"I don’t believe GD [gender dysphoria] reflects any kind of problem or glitch in the human body. Here’s what I suggest, in broad strokes, is going on with adolescents and adults:

Heterosexual males (the vast majority of men with GD) have autogynephilia.
Homosexual males with GD enjoy “femininity” and mistakenly believe this means they are “trans” or even women.
Females with GD have internalized misogyny and/or internalized homophobia.
In my opinion—which is based upon extensive research, as well as my own 13-year-long experience in pretending to be a woman–GD is only superficially concerned with one’s sex. It’s more a disturbance of identity, of mistaking the signifier for the signified. Patients have whatever mental illnesses they may have, or that develop while in the ruminations and hypomanic states that typically precede “coming out as trans.” I propose that GD is a moody, brooding syndrome that accompanies these mental illnesses. People with GD have cultivated an idealized vision of themselves as the opposite sex. At a critical point of rumination, after the patient has sufficiently disparaged his or her actual life and idealized life as the opposite sex, he or she realizes that body parts of the opposite sex may be obtained through the services of doctors (Raymond 1979, Billings 1982). Actually transforming into the opposite sex starts to seem feasible. The self-conception “splits” in two, and idealization becomes identity. Having negated any value in their actual male or female presence in the world, and now feeling themselves to actually be the self-generated persona, patients perseveratively ask themselves, “what’s stopping me?” “Feasibility” seems to trigger the split. Here begins the acute phase of GD.

Patients become obsessed with “transition.” To the same extent that they can be energized by the belief that they are making “progress,” as their bodies morph via the hormone drugs and shop clerks address them by their preferred honorifics (i.e. Miss or Ma’am for the males, Sir for the females), they can also feel destroyed by any little delay or perceived setback—including being “misgendered” or identified by others as their actual sex. Nothing else matters but “transition.” The apparent certainty of these patients, as well as their zeal to continue, is seen by “affirmative care” doctors as evidence of “being trans.”

Gender is a hierarchal framework that stratifies and categorizes “masculine” and “feminine” attributes and behaviors. In the context of transgenderism, it is also a convenient rhetorical device to elide the problem of sexed bodies and to label oneself as endorsing one or the other sets of sex role stereotypes. Earlier articulations of GD as “gender identity disorder” made more sense, but it seems that most people understood it to mean “having an opposite-sex gender identity.” I would suggest that it may more accurately be understood as simply an identity disorder, a disordered or disturbed identity, with a fixation on gender.

I agree with the late French psychoanalyst Colette Chiland when she said: “Transsexuals stage everything in the theatre of the body, and nothing in that of the psyche” (Chiland 2003). It is true that persons in the driven, obsessed stages of gender dysphoria can seemingly think of nothing except transition. No-one dreams of asking them to slow down, to seek psychotherapy, perhaps even find a way through this work to prevent transition, which can be costly on so many levels. It would be like standing in the way of a bolting, bucking horse. The fact that people with gender dysphoria are like this is a sign that something is wrong, yet they are not impeded at all.

But doctors are doctors and patients are patients. These surgeries and lifelong hormonal drug regimens didn’t used to be given out like crackerjack prizes. Virtually no research has been done in psychotherapeutic methods to alleviate the symptoms of gender dysphoria, prevent it, or get rid of it altogether. The entire literature comprises a couple of dozen case reports and small case series, some promising, nearly all from before 1990, and all using archaic methods. Based primarily on the pronouncement of Harry Benjamin, the “godfather” of transsexualism, that psychotherapy with these patients was a waste of time, the medical profession increasingly found ways to justify surgical and hormonal transition as the standard of care (Billings 1982). I will get back to this near the end of the article." (continues)

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