Personal Testimonials

Post Trans Stories – English
Histoires Post Trans – Français

Testimonials from Members of Detrans Canada

Detrans Canada Member A
Detrans Canada Member B
Detrans Canada Member C
Keira Bell – UK
Anonymous American Associate A
Anonymous American Associate B

 

Detrans Canada Member A

I knew I liked girls from a young age. But I could never last in a long-term relationship. Since high school, when my gender dysphoria was most prominent, I would end relationships without explanation. I would just tell them we can’t be together, without explaining that I had issues with my body; that I couldn’t let them see or touch my body. I felt like I was inadequate or incomplete as a lesbian. I felt like I must be a man to be legitimate, or I must have male parts before I can have sex. I felt like I was doing something wrong, like I was “converting” them to lesbianism, or “making” them lesbian. I felt as if it was awful to be a lesbian and it was all my fault, even though they were willingly dating me because they were attracted to me, and I had not fooled or coerced them in anyway. I hate myself for being a masculine girl, a lesbian, and I felt like it was all my fault, so I would cut and burn myself, and drink heavily, to make it all go away. A few of the girls who liked me, and would attempt to date me, would be sad and cry. They could not understand why I hated myself and my body so much. They would try to tell me that it was okay, that they knew I was a lesbian. They wanted to touch me, in the same way I touched them, but I wouldn’t let them. I thought I had to be a man to make them happy. I thought I had to be their husband, and have children with them, for it to be legitimate. I thought every girl was straight and wanted a heterosexual life, and since I could not give that to them, I would beat myself up about it.

I never got therapy for my internalized homophobia. No one made the connection. The symptoms of my internalized homophobia matched those of gender dysphoria, so professionals just assumed I was a man trapped inside a woman’s body somehow. They offered me transition, as a way to “correct” my body, instead of helping me cope with my emotions.

I started testosterone when I was 23. The therapist who wrote my letter was a trans man. He asked whether I had internalized homophobia, and I answered “no”. We didn’t delve into it any further. I honestly didn’t even understand what exactly he was asking. The endocrinologist who prescribed my hormones told me about the side effects: increased muscle mass, facial and body hair, voice drop – these were the effects that I wanted. He also briefly mentioned side effects like acne, increased blood pressure, and infertility, but I didn’t think about that. I told him that I didn’t want to have children anyway, and that I was happy to have all the good and bad that comes with being a man; I was committed. I began Androgel on my birthday that month because I saw it as a “rebirth”, as if I was going to become a new person, or as if I would be reborn again, in the right body this time.

The first few months were really good. I got everything that I wanted. My shoulders got wider, my hips narrowed. I began developing facial and body hair, and my voice dropped. I was already passing as a boy before testosterone, but this helped me pass 100% of the time. I had more energy and my mood improved. This is what is known to detransitioners as the honeymoon period.

After about 6 or 8 months, everything changed. I was constantly hungry and couldn’t keep up with my increased libido. My mental health worsened. Prior to starting testosterone I had been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. I became so aggressive at home that my parents called the police a few times, because I was shouting, threatening, and destroying their house. I dropped out of school, which meant that I had to switch to injections because my insurance ran out. I was not able to work and I went into psychosis, which meant I was in and out of the psych ward constantly over a period of 7 years.

While in the psych ward, I told them that I was on Hormone Replacement Therapy, and asked whether that could be affecting my mental health, but they dismissed it. They said the two were unrelated. I didn’t know at the time but have since learned that it is a well established that synthetic hormones can cause mental health issues in females. They continued injecting me with testosterone in the hospital, but gave me anti-psychotics to stabilize my moods. I was dysfunctional. I ended up homeless because I was misbehaving at home. No one cared about my quality of life. All the doctor’s primary concern was always whether I passed or not, as a male. I did, so they considered my transition a success.

I started to look up “detransition”. I wanted to know whether I could stop, or if there was a way back. I found a few detransitioners online. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror or photos. I looked as if I was my own male cousin. I decided to stop testosterone without telling my doctor. I was afraid how they would react. My endocrinologist had not taken my concerns seriously. My family doctor didn’t care which way I went in my transition. They acted like it didn’t matter; like any identity is valid no matter what it does to your health.

There is no support for detransitioning. Every time I went to speak to a doctor or therapist, they all concluded the same thing: that I was trans, and I must stay on my hormone regimen. Me wanting to desist or stop, was seen as me being unwell, and not taking my medicine. If I explained that the hormones seemed to be making my mental health worse, they would shame and coerce me into taking them again anyway. CAMH approved me for top surgery twice, but both times, the funding ran out because I was not able to do the surgery in time. My mental health was so bad that my psychiatrist would not write the readiness letter for surgery. CAMH kept pressuring me to get surgery. They would say: “we have approved you twice. How come you are not getting the surgery?” Or knowing that I had not gotten the surgery yet, they would push for more surgery. They would ask: “when are you getting your hysterectomy? What about bottom surgery?”

When I first detransitioned, I was very confused, and was trying to live as my birth sex, but using female washrooms was impossible, since I now passed so much as a male. From my perspective, living as my birth sex was impossible. I tried to go to school again, and the school counsellor came to the same conclusion: “You are transgender. This is why you are having these difficulties.” At every step they affirmed my trans identity, and they kept sending me back to the same doctors or the same organizations that had transitioned me the first time. In order to detransition, I had to change my entire health care team. It was only then that any doctors could look at my medical history critically and comment on the pattern of taking hormones leading me to experience several mental health issues.

I lived as a trans man for 10 years and took testosterone. I am thirty one now, and this is the first time that I am starting to see the connection between my internalized homophobia, and my desire to be a “straight man” or rather to pass as a straight man in society. I will never truly be a man in the way that a natal male is a man, as I was led to believe when I began my transition. I will never have functional male genitalia or be able to father children. I have a female body and experienced female socialization, and no matter how I try to alter my body with hormones and surgeries, I could only ever be an approximation of a male while running from the reality of being a homosexual female. For the first time in my life, I am in a lesbian relationship with someone who is attracted to me exactly as I am, and that has made a huge difference. She doesn’t wish I was a male, so I don’t wish I was a male either. This lesbian relationship where I am seen as my true self, where I don’t have to make any alterations to my body, and can just exist as I am, has been tremendously healing for me. I wish other gays and lesbians with extreme internalized homophobia like myself can find self love without feeling the need to fit into the heterosexual world through transition.

Detrans Canada Member B

I’m a bisexual man with a history of obesity and bullying in puberty, when I fantasized about transforming into a girl. I suppressed my attraction to men due to internalized homophobia, and did not question my gender until a few years ago, when a close friend came out as nonbinary and inspired me to learn about transgender issues. Everything abruptly changed when my sister was killed in a car accident. I suddenly became obsessed with the possibility that I was transgender, developed intense gender dysphoria, feminized my appearance, and booked an appointment with a renowned gender clinic within two months.

I explained to the doctor that I wished to try feminizing hormones to address my gender dysphoria, but also wanted to speak with a therapist to address my uncertainty about this process. I was concerned about my mental health, and disclosed that I recently lost a loved one and had also experienced depression and psychosis in the past. However, my doctor did not investigate these issues further nor refer me for a psychological evaluation. The therapist I met at the gender clinic unquestioningly affirmed my femininity, and after a total of four consults with my doctor over four months, I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, deemed capable of expressing consent, and given a prescription for estrogen and testosterone blockers.

Within a few months of being on hormones, I began to experience intense anxiety, mood swings, and suicidal thoughts, which culminated in a psychotic break and a visit to the emergency room. The attending psychiatrist suspected my symptoms were medication-induced, but when I consulted with my doctor, she said this was improbable, despite such side-effects being listed on the consent form I had signed. I independently chose to discontinue the testosterone blockers and my symptoms subsided within a month.

I stayed on the maximum prescribed dose of estrogen for another year, but also pursued private psychotherapy to explore my uncertainty about my gender identity and transition goals. The therapy helped me process the trauma of my sister’s death, and made me aware of experiences in childhood that likely predisposed me to difficulties with my identity, body, and sexuality. I eventually realized that I was not transgender, stopped taking estrogen, and began presenting as more masculine. I notified my doctor that I was discontinuing hormones and asked if we should book an appointment to discuss this development, but she responded that there was no need. I subsequently did not hear from the gender clinic for a full year, until they called me to schedule a regular annual checkup.

I now believe that the medical and mental health professionals at the gender clinic were patently negligent in their management of my case, as they failed to properly evaluate my psychiatric risk level and assess the origins of my gender dysphoria—despite my own repeated efforts to have these factors addressed by them. I view this negligence as symptomatic of a broader institutional move away from adequate medical and mental health procedures originally designed to protect the public from harm. I believe this has resulted from cultural and political pressures predicated on weak scientific evidence to uncritically affirm transgender identities and steer vulnerable individuals on a path towards irreversible medical harm. I am currently scheduled for chest surgery to remove excess breast tissue resulting from the hormones, and cannot begin to describe the harm done to my social and professional life due to this entirely preventable experience.

I categorically denounce conversion therapy for sexual orientation, but fear that the proposed legislation which unjustifiably includes gender identity in this category will only exacerbate this unfolding public health disaster in Canada.

 

Detrans Canada Member C

I’m a 30-year-old detransitioned lesbian woman. I grew up in a fundamentalist religious
household with extreme homophobia and sexual abuse. As a teenager, I was diagnosed with
PTSD from the sexual trauma I’d incurred, as well as schizoaffective disorder. In my late teens, I
struggled with anorexia and had undiagnosed body dysmorphia. In 2012, I met a transwoman
who suggested that my extreme discomfort around my body was due to gender dysphoria. I
sought out a gender therapist who I thought would be able to help me resolve my gender
questioning. My therapist dismissed my previous diagnoses, stating that I’d been misdiagnosed
and that what was actually driving my declining mental health was gender dysphoria. In my
sessions with my therapist, she repeatedly said that my mental stability would only continue to
decline if I didn’t go down the path of transition. I consider it coercion to tell a person with
serious mental health incapacities that, without only one method of treatment, that that
person will undoubtedly attempt to end their life.
After three sessions with this therapist, she referred me to a primary care physician that she
had personal connections to, who prescribed cross-sex hormones. The physician did a general
exam and took my blood for testing. We waited for the results from the testing and I continued
to see my gender therapist. After six sessions, my gender therapist wrote a letter detailing my
intent to medically transition. At the time, in order for a physician to be legally able to prescribe
cross-sex hormones, the patient had to have had psychological care regarding gender dysphoria
for at least six months. I had not been in therapy that long, but my therapist lied on the letter
so that I would be able to access cross-sex hormones sooner. Upon signing the letter, I went
into the physician to discuss my blood test results and to proceed with medical transition. The
physician told me honestly that she had no long-term knowledge of the side-effects of
testosterone on a female body. But, she told me that the only negative side-effects I’d likely
experience were balding, increased body hair, lowering of voice, and acne. She also told me
that, other than hair loss, all effects of testosterone would be reversible. There was no mention
of bone density loss, hypertension, cancer risks, organ failure, vaginal atrophy, or the myriad of
other unknown risks. Due to there not being enough long-term tested results for side-effects
and risks, I feel that I was not able to properly consent to this treatment.

After about two months of taking cross-sex hormones, my physician told me that she was going
to stop refilling my prescription for testosterone if I did not make an appointment with a
surgeon for a double mastectomy. I had told her from the beginning that I had no plans to have
either a double mastectomy or genital surgery. She persisted, though, that this was the next
step in my transition and that my mental health would decrease into suicidal ideation if I didn’t
pursue surgery. So, I made an appointment with a surgeon, without any intention of going
through with surgery. This seemed to satisfy my physician enough that she continued to refill
my prescription. Ironically, however, this same physician told me that a hysterectomy was not a
requirement and that I could continue taking cross-sex hormones as long as I wanted, without
repercussions. A few years later, this physician stopped practicing in transition-related medicine
for unknown reasons, so I stopped seeing her. In all the time that I saw her, I had maybe three
or four blood tests altogether, and, after the initial one, had to persistently request them, as my
physician repeatedly said that they weren’t helpful or necessary.

It is concerning to me that Bill C-6 would incriminate those who propose alternative options for
treatment of dysphoria. Considering that there are so many co-morbidities that can exist in a
person’s mental health journey, while struggling with anxiety around their sex, it requires full
examination to discover and narrow down what needs treating and how. It is dangerous and
lazy to assume that medical transition is the healthiest treatment plan for all who suffer body
dysmorphia or even gender dysphoria, as it is currently broadly defined.

Testimonials from International Associates

 

Keira Bell – UK

I am someone who began medical transition years ago as a 16 year old girl via Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic in London, UK. I was affirmed and welcomed as a boy almost immediately from my first appointment which reinforced my false conviction that I was meant to be a boy. Before long I was prescribed hormone blockers (Gonapeptyl) which set me on an inevitable path to cross-sex hormones and a double mastectomy to remove my breasts.

Hormone blockers were discussed with me in a flippant manner and I was told they were “fully reversible”. This gave the impression that they were not a big deal and would not affect me in any way long-term. The NHS recently admitted that “little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria” . In reality, these drugs were an imperative point in my transition and have had a detrimental affect on my health and development in many aspects. Without medical intervention it is a strong possibility that my gender dysphoria would have resolved. I would have continued to develop physically and cognitively, therefore naturally becoming comfortable with my body. Today I still experience negative effects from the treatment, including issues with my cognitive function, mood and bones/joints. I now realize as an adult that the “consent” that I gave as a 16 year old was not and could not have possibly been informed.

I am now in my 20s and have since detransitioned, begun to reconcile with my sex and have come away from gender ideology, which I and many, many others have found to be harmful. Recently the NHS here in the UK have announced that soon they will be conducting a review into the services offered by the GIDS, noting that their approach had changed from a psychosocial and psychotherapeutic model to one that is now more medicalized. Additionally, I am a lead claimant in a judicial review against the Tavistock to challenge the idea that minors can give informed consent to hormone blockers. It is a case that has brought worldwide attention and I hope the result will ultimately benefit those dealing with gender dysphoria.

Anonymous American Associate A

During my transition as a teenager, I was met with no questions or any kind of pushback. Checkups were brief and in particular when I spoke to my doctor after a year about the fact it felt like transition wasn’t helping me, he was only affirmative. I was a confused teenager wondering if I wasn’t getting enough testosterone. I was also confused as to why suddenly I was feeling awful and disconnected from my own experience again, wondering if I could “really” change my sex. I was kindly told that trans people doubt themselves all the time, it was nothing to worry about. I was told to keep pushing through and that this doubt would fade with time. I was even told that if I stopped transitioning, I would probably regret it like older trans people who wished they had transitioned as teen and I would be angry I threw away an opportunity to guide my body in the direction I desired. Instead of any investigation into whether continuing testosterone was the best course of action, my doctor just was giving me the answer I wanted at the time; that the doubts would go away and transition was the right answer for me. I was continuously told as a teenager, that it was never the wrong option.

My doubt didn’t go away though and in later visits, I’d bring up the question and begin to doubt if my dosage was actually doing anything. It should have been obvious that I was seeing transition as a magic bullet solution to all my problems. I started to curse the little girl I used to be and stressed how much I hated her weakness and didn’t want to be her again, that I was even scared of being her again and I wanted to be the opposite of her. I even brought up the strange pains I was starting to feel when working out and I wasn’t informed about what was going on with my body. My doctor gave me a recommendation to a therapist after barraging me with questions I couldn’t answer that hung around gender stereotypes, asking me if I was beginning to doubt I was a man or if I desired to be feminine. While questioning me wasn’t exactly his place, he assured me it’d be fine and that all young trans people go through this phase of questioning even insisting that non-trans people never question their gender.

As I went through therapy the questions I was given were focused on my dysphoria, they were also focused on how I felt about being feminine which I was greatly opposed to. I made it clear I hated who I used to be, that I never wanted to go back and I had no interest in doing so. However, I was also distressed and scared of being seen as her, as a weak girl. Yet instead of investigating why her teenage client was panicking, the therapist in question encouraged me and told me I wasn’t that weak girl, I was a strong young man. My masculinity and desire to be strong was reaffirmed much like my gender identity and it was assumed that my fears were caused by my peers being “transphobic.” My therapist concluded I didn’t have any other issues and that hating the female characteristics of my body surely just meant I was trans, it was unrelated to this frustration I had toward being perceived as a weak girl.

I was even encouraged in my desire to get bottom surgery to tell myself I was doing the right thing.

Even as I really began to verbalize my regrets and doubts, I was still affirmed that I was a man. That if I really wanted to be feminine, that boys can be feminine and that I wasn’t a girl. I was told that I was, “nothing like a girl,” that transition was the right answer and people don’t regret it once they start down this path. I would openly put out my frustrations that I just wanted to be a normal girl or boy, I hated everything about my transition and I just wanted to go back. I felt like I made a mistake and instead of being helped in understanding why I felt this way, I just got fed the same line about how trans people doubt themselves and I was nothing like a girl. Reluctantly I was pushed to be more feminine as a trans guy which just made the feelings worse. I stressed how it felt like I was fake again, similar to when my old friend pushed me to be more feminine as a girl. Being masculine as a boy felt wrong, feminine as a boy felt wrong. Feminine as a girl was wrong, I started to question if I was just broken. I was fed a line about not giving it enough time, but I was beginning to fall apart at the seams. Eventually it became clear to me, on my own, that this therapist wasn’t helping me and neither was my doctor. I wasn’t guided like I should have been and as a result my mental state started to fall apart as I continued to doubt myself, despite the constant reaffirmation of my gender identity and transition.

My final course of action after around two years led to me internalizing my own failure; how a treatment that always works didn’t work for me. How I was a freak and not normal with my body ruined on top of it. I stopped seeing that therapist and my doctor while quitting testosterone independently, which wasn’t safe but I couldn’t take it anymore. All my providers did was confuse me more and make me feel more alienated by my own doubts and feelings, instead of actually doing their jobs. The doctor and therapist I saw didn’t challenge my feelings and they didn’t push me to critically think about my situation or why I didn’t want to be seen as female or to be female. Instead it was about my expression and the fact that I felt I couldn’t be a female was proof that I wasn’t a female. That because I didn’t want to be seen as female due to trauma, I wasn’t “really” female. The affirmation hurt me in the end. Had they done their jobs, I could have quit testosterone and begun to accept myself as a female. I could have realized sooner that my trauma was not my fault. Perhaps I could have even been discouraged before permanent changes medical changes to my body as a youth and not live with regret. As an adult, I now wish I had never transitioned as a teenager.

Anonymous American Associate B

I am a 40-year-old detrans lesbian. I was an adult when I began my medical transition. I did everything I was told was right. I did my research, I thought I understood the risk of surgery and cross sex hormones. I sought out a therapist who had experience with people questioning their gender to help me make sense of my feelings. I had been suffering from gender and sex dysphoria since my early teens. I met all the criteria set out by the American Psychological Association. I was a perfect candidate by most accounts for transition. Yet here I am, a detrans woman. With a damaged body and trauma from my medical transition.

Hindsight is truly a horrible gift. Now I understand what led to my dysphoria and my belief that I was really meant to be born male. However, for most of my life I had no idea why I felt the way I did. It seemed to have been something that was always there and my attempts to feel comfortable in my female body always seemed to crash and burn. I truly thought I had no other options but to transition. I want to make this very clear, because often when I tell my story and talk about the things I know now that caused my gender and sex dysphoria people seem to assume I knew these things going into transition, but I did not. These are discoveries I have made on my own with difficult introspection and the help of other detrans woman’s stories.  I could write a book on all my experiences and why it led me to identify as trans. It is a complex mosaic of experiences but for the sake of this essay I will keep it brief and to the point.

The main factors that contributed to my sex and gender dysphoria are as follows.

  1. Internalized misogyny
  2. Child abuse
  3. Gender non-conformity starting as a toddler
  4. Homophobia
  5. Internalized homophobia

These factors might seem simple and straight forward and we all like to think we will know them for what they are when we see them but sadly most of us do not. I sure didn’t.

Internalized Misogyny: I was raised in a very religious Christian fundamentalist family. As a child I was not allowed to wear anything but long dresses that fully covered my body. I was taught men were superior to woman and women were sinners. I was raised to believe I was a flawed human just for being born female. Even my extended family believed men were worthy of anything they could want and women were here to take care of men. Later in life it seemed clear to me that the only acceptable way for me to be a woman was to be “sexy” and have men give me attention for what my female body could bring them or be a mother and wife and take care of a man. Neither sounded appealing at all.  I resented that, I resented being born into this female body that would not let me be myself.

Child abuse: I was physically and emotional abused from the age of four until adulthood. Both by my step-father and my mother. I was beaten often and always had bruises on my body. It was when I was very young that began dissociating from my body to avoid the pain of the abuse. I never felt my body was my own because it wasn’t. As any abuse survivor will tell you, the violations are sometimes more than one can handle.

Gender nonconformity: Since I can remember I didn’t like girls’ things. I preferred boy clothes, toys, and activities. I didn’t want to be a wife and mother when I grew up I wanted to be a cowboy a firefighter or a football player. I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and be a cattle rancher. But again, and again I was shown that such behaviour made me somehow flawed as a girl and later as a woman. My mother saw my gender nonconformity when I was very young and would often yell at me to act like a girl, walk like a girl and not do boy things. My sense of self was almost nonexistent by the time I reached puberty.

Internalized homophobia and Homophobia: My mother is an incredibly homophobic person. She always made it very clear that homosexuals should not exist. That they were disgusting and sinful. My gender non-conformity only drove my mother to be more abusive towards me as she tried to make me “act like a girl”. I think she feared I was a lesbian, and she was correct.

At 13 when puberty was in full swing I was not only devastated by my changing body and breast growth (which I pretended was a male chest until I could not anymore), but my sexual attraction seemed to be geared towards other females. I didn’t quite recognize it as such. However, I knew what I wanted to do sexually was only things that men were supposed to do. I began to imagine I had a male body. I would sometimes put rolled up socks in my pants to make it appear that I had male genitalia. I imagined I had a penis and a flat muscular chest. I believe this where my sex dysphoria began; a fundamental unconscious fear of being a lesbian.  As the years went by, I grew more alienated from my female body.

When I was 19 I came out as a lesbian and was expelled from my family and friend group. I lost almost my whole life, everything I loved just evaporated because I was a lesbian and people didn’t want me around. I felt like I had a sickness, a disease. I wanted to destroy myself. I did not feel like a lesbian. I felt like I should have been just a normal man. I felt normal, yet everyone else saw me as flawed and disgusting. How could I make sense of all the ways I was wrong yet I felt inside that I wasn’t wrong? I felt like it wasn’t me that was wrong, it was my body.

In 2014, when I was 34 years old, my state had informed consent for gender transitioning. I could walk into a clinic and get a prescription for Testosterone with no questions asked. I decided I had lived long enough with gender dysphoria and would explore transitioning. I did what I thought was a responsible move. I sought out a therapist with gender experience to make sure I was truly trans and would benefit from transitioning.

At no time in my therapy sessions over the course of 6 months did she ask about my past in any substantial way. None of my above issues were ever addressed. She actively encouraged me to transition. She affirmed every thought and feeling I had about my sex and gender no questions asked. This was fundamentally unhealthy for me. I needed to be challenged. I needed my trauma explored. I needed my depression and anxiety addressed. The assumption was that I was depressed because I had gender dysphoria and transition would alleviate that. The truth is the reverse was true. My gender dysphoria was a product of my depression, anxiety, and unresolved trauma. Her “affirmation only” approach meant that I transitioned without ever truly exploring the reasons for my feelings and desires. This also meant that I did not get treatment for my depression and anxiety which only worsened on testosterone.

I lived for 4 years as a female to male transsexual. I took testosterone to change my body, I had top surgery (double mastectomy). During those 4 years my mental health worsened my physical health worsened and it all ended with me having a mental break. I ended up leaving my wife and child to live alone, I was severely depressed, I had panic attacks daily, I was agoraphobic, pre diabetic, I had high cholesterol, vagina atrophy that caused me daily pain and rarely was able to sleep more then 4 hours a night. I was out of options and suicidal again, I agreed to take anti- depressants at the behest of my psychiatrist. I can honestly say the only thing helped by transition was my social dysphoria, my fear and anxiety around being a butch woman in our society. Everything else was made worse. The anti-depressants helped more than transitioning ever did. It was only when my depression and anxiety was managed well that I could begin to understand my feelings and fears around my body. I decided to detransition. I am happy I did. It has been a very hard road of learning self-acceptance and exploring my trauma, but it has made me a truly whole healthy person.

My experience with gender dysphoria and transition has made me very critical of how the mental and medical communities handle people like myself. At no time was I ever given any alternatives to medical transition. It seemed to be a given that because I suffered from gender dysphoria, transition was the only way to help me. I know now this is false. I know now that all my life experiences lead me to this place. But I had to learn that the hard way and I will never be the same again.

If I, an adult woman could make such an error in judgment and receive no true help from the medical community what does this lead me to believe about children and teens who struggle with gender dysphoria? I am against the affirmation model of care for gender dysphoric people and especially youth. I believe explorative therapy needs to be the first step in treatment. Questions need to be asked, reasons need to be explored and we need to be given alternatives for managing and treating our gender dysphoria other than medicalization and damage to our bodies. Puberty blockers, cross- sex hormones and surgeries are never reversible, they are permanent. Every other form of medical care starts with the less invasive method of treatment and works up to the most invasive if it’s truly needed and the benefits outweigh the risk. Why is this not followed in trans care? Why are people with gender dysphoria not given options? These are fundamental questions that need to be considered when it comes to the care of gender dysphoric people. I feel we have not been asking the right questions and I hope we can start or there will be many more like myself.  We were harmed by a system that said it was here to help.