People who formerly began gender transition procedures flooded social media with their de-transition stories on “DeTrans Awareness Day,” sharing stories of depression, anxiety, and fear.
The testimonies come amidst national controversy over whether children should be able to obtain such procedures. In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has drawn fire for calling transgender treatments for children “child abuse.”
Twitter users who spoke out Saturday said that they began taking testosterone as soon as they turned 18. These users, many of whom are biological women, describe how they did not feel that they “fit in” in high school or middle school and sought to find answers on the internet.
“I started taking testosterone at 18 because i was tired of not fitting in with other girls so thought i’d make a better man instead,” tweeted user Allie. “An autism diagnosis later and it all makes sense now.”
Allie, who does not use her last name to preserve her privacy, told The Daily Wire that “there’s a big problem right now with how hormonal therapy is being given as a rushed treatment for gender dysphoria in young people.”
That hormonal therapy “takes precedence over explorative therapy that might help dysphoric people understand why they want to be the opposite sex,” she added.
hi i’m allie and i started taking testosterone at 18 because i was tired of not fitting in with other girls so thought i’d make a better man instead. an autism diagnosis later and it all makes sense now #DetransAwarenessDay pic.twitter.com/LgN8i2Pqx5
— allie (@nervewrvcking) March 12, 2022
Detransitioner Michelle, a biological woman who told The Daily Wire that she sought to transition to a man, shared that she began transitioning in 2010 at age 22 and detransitioned in 2020.
“I grew up as a tomboy who didn’t fit in,” tweeted Michelle. “I was keenly aware of this by the time I was 7. I was too loud, too bossy, too impulsive, too emotional. The girls I made friends with felt conditional, like they would leave me the moment I did something wrong (and they did).”
I transitioned in 2010 (when I was 22 years old) and detransitioned in 2020.
left, 2015 // right, 2021 pic.twitter.com/7u0A28FEdl
— Michelle🦎 (@somenuancepls) March 12, 2022
“For years, I struggled with this,” Michelle continued. “I might have been set in my ways, but I certainly wasn’t mean. I had no idea why it felt like so many people just immediately didn’t like me. My parents enrolled me in social skills group therapy when I was 10.”
Michelle said she began to discover activist gender conversations on the internet, how her mental health was suffering, and how she became suicidal.
“I was vulnerable, desperate, and young,” tweeted Michelle. “On top of that, I had people online telling me ‘if you think you’re trans, you are’ and ‘cis people don’t think about gender this much.’ I heard the ‘only 1% regret it’ statistic, and I thought I’d be fine. That could never be me.”
She continued: “What reasons did I have to not trust them? Why would so many people tell me things that weren’t true? Why would my doctors go along with it if I weren’t really a man? Why would therapists risk my mental health if they weren’t sure whether I would benefit from transition?”
“That is the state of activist-controlled health care,” said Michelle. “There is one narrative that is acceptable, and every person who does not fit that narrative — who regrets transitioning, who returns to living as their sex, who talks about the potential for issues — is told to shut up.”
On #DetransAwarenessDay, I call for safeguarding measures to be put in place for those considering medical transition. An invasive treatment causing permanent changes should be the last resort for a psychiatric condition. That shouldn't be a controversial statement.
— Michelle🦎 (@somenuancepls) March 12, 2022
De-transitioner Helena Kerschner shared that when she was 15-years-old, “lonely,” and hated her body, she got “sucked into gender ideology online.”
“My school encouraged me and i was easily prescribed a high dose of testosterone at 18, and it was very damaging,” she continued, adding the hashtag “DetransAwareness Day” alongside two photos showing her at 19 after attempting to transition to a man, and her at 23.
“This is not rare,” Kerschner added.
when i was 15, lonely, and hated my body, i got sucked into gender ideology online.
my school encouraged me and i was easily prescribed a high dose of testosterone at 18, and it was very damaging.
this is not rare.#DetransAwarenessDay
me at 19, trans // me now at 23 pic.twitter.com/oNPF5J3Q7m
— helena (@lacroicsz) March 12, 2022
“Why are we doing this? Why are we talking about detransition,” detransitioner Twitter user “Watson” asked.
“Because it is important,” Watson continued. “Because it is *happening.* The stories will not be easy to accept – medical scandals never are. But that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Quite the contrary, actually.”
Watson cited a 2021 study by Dr. Lisa Littman, physician-scientist whose research is focused on gender dysphoria, showing that out of 100 detransitioners who participated in the study, 60% detransitioned after they became more comfortable identifying as their biological sex.
The peer reviewed study also found that 49% of that group detransitioned over “concerns about potential medical complications from transitioning,” and 38% detransitioned after “coming to the view that their gender dysphoria was caused by something specific such as trauma, abuse, or a mental health condition.”
“The majority (55.0%) felt that they did not receive an adequate evaluation from a doctor or mental health professional before starting transition and only 24.0% of respondents informed their clinicians that they had detransitioned,” the study’s abstract says.
“There are many different reasons and experiences leading to detransition,” the abstract continues. “More research is needed to understand this population, determine the prevalence of detransition as an outcome of transition, meet the medical and psychological needs of this population, and better inform the process of evaluation and counseling prior to transition.”
Why are we doing this? Why are we talking about detransition?
Because it is important.
Because it is *happening.*
The stories will not be easy to accept – medical scandals never are. But that doesn't mean they should be ignored. Quite the contrary, actually. 5/
— Watson (@ImWatson91) March 11, 2022
Another detransitioner and outspoken commentator Grace Lidinsky-Smith shared photos on Twitter depicting her transformation.
“On the left: me shortly after top surgery, 2017,” tweeted Grace. “This was the darkest time in my life. On the right: me recently. Life goes on, life gets better.”
My name is Grace and I detransitioned. On the left: me shortly after top surgery, 2017. This was the darkest time in my life. On the right: me recently. Life goes on, life gets better. #DetransAwarenessDay pic.twitter.com/ItTJbiLJpF
— Grace 💙🦎 (@HormoneHangover) March 12, 2022
In a February 2021 SubStack piece, Lidinsky-Smith shared that no other decision in her life has impacted her “so indelibly, or caused as profound regret, as my 2017 decision to transition FTM: female-to-male.”
“As I write this, the mastectomy scars are twinging on my chest,” she continued. “4 years later, I’ve grown older, wiser, and way more cautious. But the scars remain.”
“When I realized that being a trans man wasn’t what I wanted anymore, I fell into despair,” Lidinsky-Smith wrote. “My body was permanently changed. The surgery was the hardest thing to deal with. The scars hurt. I missed the feeling of having an intact, unscarred body. I was convinced my life had been ruined.”
Regret can be crushing for detransitioners, Lidinsky-Smith wrote.
“But somehow, eventually, even after the most catastrophic of mistakes, life goes on,” she said. “It’s still your only life, and you still have to figure out how to survive. It took me a while, and I learned I could survive.”
“Above all, I just want to say: you can come back from this,” she continued. “People have lived through a lot more. I am not a guide, I have no special wisdom, but I come to you humbled, scarred, and holding out my hand. You can get through this, and build a life.”