Q&A With Allison

Age 20, Female

St. Louis, MO

Interviewed February 2022

 

Hobbies, interests, and/or favorite school subjects:

I love to hike, be outside, be a bit of a kid

Dream job / dream career:

Park Ranger

Favorite quote:

“Is that what you wanted me to do when you go? Just look up at the stars and make-believe that you’re not gone?” – The Little Prince

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself, to be included in your intro?

No thanks 🙂

 

History with Transition and Detransition

Age when first identified as trans: 12

Age when first started cross-sex hormones: 16

Age when stopped identifying as trans: 20

Age when stopped taking cross-sex hormones: 19

 

Early Life, Gender Identity, and Transition

What were some messages about men and women, or about gender expression and sexuality, that you received in your early life, before identifying as transgender? What were your beliefs about those things?

I was raised to be whoever I genuinely was. I got piercings young. I’ve been dying my hair since I was 11. My family was very open to whoever I chose to be, and I greatly appreciated that. There were no “men’s roles” or “women’s roles”.

How did you learn about transgender identity, gender dysphoria, and transition? What do you think drew you to those concepts?

My first boyfriend identified as trans, and I swore that’s how I felt. I grew up a bit of a tomboy, loved working on cars with my dad, loved mud, anything messy. I hated dresses and feeling girly. So I took being a bit of an outcast to an extreme.

What sources (friends, specific websites, specific social media sites, therapists, books, etc) did you rely on the most for information on how a person can figure out if they are transgender? What thoughts, feelings, or internal experiences did these sources say were evidence that a person is trans?

I mostly used Tumblr, I know, bad idea, but I was a kid! I ended up in Kik group chats with trans people, who all said I was textbook definition trans. Mostly everyone said that you don’t need dysphoria to be trans, and if you did have it, it could be a range of different emotions.

What thoughts, feelings, or internal experiences did you have that you believed were evidence that you were transgender? What do you believe now about the origins of those thoughts and feelings?

I stated previously the bit of being a tomboy, but I also suffered from some childhood trauma. I had been severely sexually assaulted at a young age, and it lasted years. I genuinely believe that a lot of my pent up anger to myself was caused by that trauma. I believe I had disassociated to the point I tried to make a new version of myself, one that hadn’t experienced that kind of pain.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting to wonder whether they are transgender, or starting to wonder whether they should transition?

Explore, it’s always safe to explore. But please, please think about hormones. Don’t just jump in. Please, make sure you see a normal therapist before a gender studies one, or even see both of them! But make sure there isn’t an alternative root to why you feel this way.

 

Therapy Before and During Transition

Did you work with a therapist while considering transition, or during your transition? What are some things the therapist said or did that was helpful, and what was unhelpful? Do you think there is something that a therapist could have said or done that would have led to a better outcome for you?

I did! I had a normal therapist who was incredibly amazing. She recommended a brand new transgender health center opened up by Childrens Hospital in STL. What she did was innocent and helpful, but what the transgender center did was a whole other story.

Did you receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and what was that process like? What beliefs did you have about what your diagnosis meant, and what did your therapist communicate to you about the diagnosis?

I did! 10 minutes into seeing a shady psychiatrist at Childrens. He spoke with me for ten minutes, barely spoke about my wants to transition, before he said I had the worst gender dysphoria he’s seen yet.

What advice would you give to someone with gender dysphoria who is working with a therapist?

Continue doing what makes you happy! If you decide later down the road that transition wasn’t right for you, there’s a wonderful group of us who will help you every step of the way. If you succeed and have a wonderful transition that genuinely helps you, then I’m so proud of you.

What advice would you give to a therapist who is working with a patient with gender dysphoria?

Don’t immediately reccomend hormone and surgeries, please just help the people you’re treating.

 

Detransitioning

When did you first start to question your trans identity or consider detransitioning? What factors do you think led you to no longer identify as trans?

I was 19 when I medically had to stop. I have PCOS and it was genuinely causing a lot of harm to me, it was either stop T or immediate hysto (hystorectomy). Thankfully I chose to stop T. I started questioning my gender again fairly recently. Probably about June of 2021. I have been seeing an amazing therapist, who helped me conclude that my transition was a way to run from trauma, that I made a whole new me to run away from the men who harmed me.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting to wonder whether they should detransition?

Trust your heart. Nobody knows you better than you.

What are some challenges you faced as part of detransitioning, and how did you support yourself in overcoming those challenges? Did you have support from others?

I have had a million issues, especially as I only just started presenting feminine. My partner and roommates have been a huge help! I’ve had to use nonbinary as a label just so one roommate doesn’t hate me, they’re extremely “progressive” and “detransitioners are evil terfs”.

What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning?

I know it’s hard, but try not to focus on how you look in the in between stages. Heal yourself, your inner child, the person you are. Heal yourself, and find yourself. It does so much help for when you’re truly ready to become you again.

Is there anything especially challenging or rewarding about life as a detransitioned person? How do you support yourself through those challenges, and how do you take advantage of the rewarding aspects, if any?

I haven’t found many of the challenges other than how I look weird right now. I haven’t had any rewards either. I’m still very new to this.

What advice would you give to someone who is working on building a good life after detransitioning?

Heal yourself ❤ therapy! Therapy does absolute wonders with learning to love yourself again.

 

Therapy Before, During, and After Detransition

Did you work with a therapist while considering detransition, or during your detransition? What are some things the therapist said or did that was helpful, and what was unhelpful? Do you think there is something that a therapist could have said or done that would have led to a better outcome for you?

Yes! We came to terms with my initial reason to transition, and we’re working on healing my inner child. Shes been amazing to me, and been an amazing help.

What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning, or considering detransitioning, who is working with a therapist?

Find the perfect therapist. You need one you trust fully! You gotta vibe, and once you find that therapist everything will be amazing. Don’t be an ass and go out of your way to find some weird TERFy therapist or anything, just someone open minded.

What advice would you give to a therapist who is working with a patient who is detransitioning, or considering detransitioning?

Be patient. Some of us flip flop, some of us have a lot going on. Just support us.

 

Bonus Question: What is your spirit animal?

I like to think its a bunny.