THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — After reading a number of hateful rants on social media, and along with a quick glance at the transgender suicide stats chart, I feel need feel to share my two cents on this topic.
Detransitioning, or transiting back to one’s birth sex, happens. It’s rare, but it does happen. No doubt it is most likely a difficult and painful decision to make, but for whatever the reason, frankly, it’s nobody else’s business as to why.
A curiosity trip around the net revealed that approximately 1 to 2 % of trans people detranstion. It also revealed that detransiting does not ward off suicides — there are a couple of high-profile cases that ultimately ended up in suicides.
Nearly everyone reading this article is aware that the transition business is fluid. For whatever reason, sometimes things just don’t go as expected. It does happen and it is not news. We should just wish them the best.
Detransitioning should not be an opportunity for the press to exploit us, nor should it be open season for us to eat our own.
THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/
Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans
Your right, this is a private matter and should be kept as such… but what if the person chooses to make it public, very public? Then you have to expect people to talk and pass judgment on the individual regardless. It’s a nasty side effect of being human. Still, it is just one persons decision to make and we should honor their right to make it. It is their life, not ours.
Having said as much, I am worried about the effects this is going to have on discussions regarding Trans people in general. There are enough individuals who look upon us with hate, they really didn’t need the additional ammunition to attack us and attack they will.
I’m worried, too. Thanks for the comments Kira!
Keeping that statistic of 1-2% of trans people detransitioning handy and frequently recited should help give the would-be pundits on our experience a bit of a reality check.
Maybe, but ever notice, little things like “facts” really don’t make a difference to such people.
We just have to assert the facts, be our wonderful, accomplished, intelligent selves, and keep hammering home the truth about our lives, again and again and again.
I think what people don’t understand about how some media operate is what appears to be an “exclusive interview” is in fact content stolen or ripped from a facebook page or a private email, both of which happened to someone I know very well.
I’ve been interviewed by the media many times and boy, do they love to quote people out of context in order to completely distort your meaning. Others just outright lie, without any pretext of integrity. It all should literally be a crime.
Courtney, here is a disgusting example of the media destroying us over a detransitioning story. When I saw this article in yesterday’s New York Post about Don Ennis, I just got so angry and disgusted. When he came out as Dawn Ennis, the Post mocked him but not horribly, but they just couldn’t wait to dig their disgusting claws into this.
Ennis and people like him who do this publicly make the case for those that oppose transgender rights as frivolous and fake, and that we choose this struggle.
I knew the former Dawn. I didn’t hear the detransitioning news and am surprised, but I can also understand. I wish the best for Don.
Transitioning absolutely needs to be monitored and checked by a Gender Psychologist. One who specializes in GID. It has been established that any time during transitioning, that one could revert back to CIS gender. But also, there are a number of things that might stay in the way of transitioning.
First and foremost is your family’s acceptance of you still being within the family picture. Relatives and siblings can be the worst reactions. And there is a long trail of bitter divorces that follow as we transition.
The next great horror is the threat to your career and the possibility that your job is just paying you lip service, and given a few months the employer will seek to come up with valid reasons why they should terminate your employment. In Connecticut, transgendered people have guaranteed human rights by law. But that doesn’t mean they are forced to hire you. What we now need is to be placed on the Affirmative Action list which requires employers to hire and maintain a percentage of trans people as employees. I know that there are many companies, and retail stores, who have accepted Transsexuals transitioning at work, but that doesn’t mean that they will hire a Transsexual person as an entry level employee.
The last transitioning pitfall is your personal health. If your health takes a turn for the worse, you may have to get off hormone therapy. Further more, you may not be a candidate for SRS because of your health risk. No surgeon would touch you, even with a 10 foot pole. Thus changing your gender marker on your birth certificate will not be allowed, thus giving you future employment problems and bathroom issues.
And yes, the churches and the secular moralists may use a detransition as an argument to thwart anyone from doing it. I’m also aware about this former Transsexual who detransitioned after many years of living as a Transsexual, and who wrote a book against transitioning, of which many churches stocked in their book store libraries. If you ask me about this person, I’ll show you what the result of having lots of money that one can have to throw at the doctors in order to fast track the transition time. I wish these people would honestly shut the hell up about making their detransition public, like this book author did. That, and the quack Psychiatrists who want to nix the idea of transitioning for anyone who walks into their office.
Yes, my thoughts are along this line. My partner has been transitioned for seven years, and her family sees it as a choice. I can’t advocate suppressing de-transitioning stories, but they feed fuel to the “choice” argument, and also give the family hope that LeeAnne will just snap out of it at some point. I like all of them, but they are not supportive, and I think they do believe that she might see the error of her ways, and go back to living male.
Just for the record, I’m also trans, but I don’t choose to live full time as a woman. That part of transgender feeling IS a choice–how far to go in following one’s feelings. Having the feelings in the first place is not.
Here is my take on detransitioning: It is none of anybody’s business even if that person “makes it public.” Remember, we had to go public when we “transitioned.” So, in reality it is the same concept, only in reverse. Are these individuals to cloister themselves? I think not. I have an acquaintance who went through the entire transitioning srs M2F and within 2 yrs realized it was not what he wanted, and transitioned back. He is now married. What ppl tend to forget is it is difficult to reverse surgery. So, in a lot of ways that is what accounts for the suicide rates. I keep in touch with this individual, and yes suicide has/had come up. I believe he is in a better head space now, but in the first cpl of years it was hard. The trans community was the worse for the way he was shunned and gossiped about. That needs to stop NOW.. Sorry for my rant..Y’all have a great day.
Thank you for your take on this Courtney. I do agree with the majority of comments; if someone in the public eye like Ennis makes their story public- the lense then reflects on all of us-unfortunately.
There is regrettably too much badge wearing in the Trans community “Are you with us or not?” (something more often seen in another arm of LGBT). When people identify with a group it becomes exclusive by its nature and the individual, no matter what their personal needs, subsumed into it. As trans we should be doubly careful against such lazy thinking and cheap comments made without thought or we become as guilty as any reporter not checking the facts first.
I beg to differ. Transition is inherently very public business and the rare de-transition is going to be at least as public. Aside from that, those of us within the community should absolutely discuss it because every transsexual that “changes their mind” opens all of us up to ridicule. Every hard core crossdresser that considers transition needs to know that this is serious stuff and there will be no achievement medal for just giving it a try. I am notoriously difficult to offend yet it is offensive to me as a real trans woman who faces the trials of being such every day when an alleged transexual just gives up and runs back to CIS safety. This is a choice real transexuals don’t have. In a perfect world it wouldn’t matter, but in our world where conservatives vilify us for our “decision” to transition, we need to be critical of those who suggest that our heartfelt need to be free is nothing but a choice and if its too difficult, we can just go back.
Well differ we must over this. I fully understand your concerns but you have to consider the individual, not the act, and show compassion rather than vengeance. I wouldn’t for a second imagine that anyone who has transitioned does it on a whim and it is to grossly oversimplify an incredibly sensitive and difficult issue to brush off as a ‘simple change of mind’. I suspect that these individuals are not running scared from public rejection but face for more complicated identity problems that deserve, at very least, the benefit of the doubt.
It’s not that easy as just changing your mind as you put it!! That’s lije me saying to you you changed your mind to have a different gender to the one you were born with. I have had all the surgery top and bottom and and lived as a male since 2000 I am trying to go back to female not through just changing my mind I didn’t wake up one day and say oh I am now a woman again I have been living in turmoil for the past 7 years!! As I came to realise I had made the biggest mistake of my life it’s took me till 2016 to admit it to my family and to try and get support from GP and Gender Psychologist I am just glad there are people out there who do understand and are there to help .
Thanks for the comments everyone.
Don’t think it’s too disrespectful to mention that media positions seem possibly to be very hard potentially traumatic places to transition in. Mike Penner/Christine Daniels comes uncomfortably to mind.
Mike Penner was a Sports Writer. That being said, when he was outed as transgender, he decided to transition. During her transition as Christine Daniels, her newspaper employer and employees were supportive, but I feel her dilemma was with the various sports athletes. I think their rejection to talking to her as a columnist must have been fierce. Sadly she felt she had to detransition to save her career, but the cat was still out of the bag. With that being said, Mike/Christine chose to commit suicide. May God give her soul peace.
Hi, just my 2 cents worth and thoughts. I totally agree it is a private affair and should remain such. we should not be passing judgement as we all know just how tough it is to go through transitioning as it is, we have no idea what might be going on in a persons life that would force them to make such a choice. I do mean force, not one of us would choose to detransition just wouldn’t happen but if we are forced into a corner we believe we can’t get out of then things have to happen.
Personally I had a period in my journey wereby I had to detransition for my own safety and wellbeing. I had suffered a mental breakdown due to stress and family issues surrounding my transition. It took me another year or so to regroup myself before moving away and starting again. This was not a choice I wanted to make but in order to get through and survive I had to make the choice.
Now 7 years later I am in a different state and trying to rebuild my life and get through my journey as best I can.
the choice I made was not done lightly nor because I wanted to, but in order to solve one problem I had to make the choice and start again else where. It is what probably saved my life, making that choice. So if someone has to detransition, don’t bully them nor ridicule them unless you are fully aware of the person’s circumstances and situation. These actions only lead to more serious issues like suicide, if I had not moved away when I did it is possible thats what would have happened to me.
Just one persons experience and thoughts.
P.S; as a community we need to be more supportive and nurchuring to those around us in the community in all aspects. Take the time to answer a question if someone ask’s for example. Most people ask questions because they are curious not being rude. how can they understand and accept what they don’t know. If we do not take the time to inform otherwise of what it is we go through things will never change.
just a thought and opinion
There was an interview with a model named Van Burnham, who had spent a three years transitioning to female but felt it didn’t quite fit and then moved into a more androgynous identity, which generated accusations of de-transitioning. Van said that transitioning implies a linear path from point A to B and that simply isn’t the case for some Van had a dear friend who committed suicide when her transition wasn’t fulfilling what was hoped for, which is why Van has been so public in saying that an identity that’s more androgynous or genderqueer is valid too. Here is Van’s interview with Queer Voices http://youtu.be/y6-eF5LeQg4
(edited) There was an interview with a model named Van Burnham, who had spent a three years transitioning to female but felt it didn’t quite fit and then moved into a more androgynous identity, which generated accusations of de-transitioning. Van said that transitioning implies a linear path from point A to B and that simply isn’t the case for some, and in Van’s case it just took a different path. Van had a dear friend who committed suicide when her transition wasn’t fulfilling what was hoped for, which is why Van has been so public in saying that an identity that is more androgynous or genderqueer is valid too. Here is Van’s interview with Queer Voices http://youtu.be/y6-eF5LeQg4
Third gender/genderqueer identities absolutely must be seem as valid. There’s no reason to put a new set of confines on people, now that us more binary folks have achieved higher status.