Q&A With Daisy

Age 23, Female

United States

Interviewed February 2022

Hobbies, interests, and/or favorite school subjects:

Art, movies, hiking

Dream job / dream career:

Graphic designer

Favorite quote:

When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.

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

No

History with Transition and Detransition

Age when first identified as trans: 15

Age when stopped identifying as trans: 23

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 think I mainly got the idea that women were supposed to be beautiful, smart and good at everything. My parents let me express myself however I want. I knew that men could be gay when I was a young child but I didn’t know women could be lesbians until I was 11. Before this, I remember wishing I could have a cross-dressing boyfriend someday. I did not dislike gay or GNC people as a child but I got the message that most people did not

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

I learned more about trans identities and transition from teen Tumblr communities. I think I was drawn to the concepts because I had weird feelings about being a girl/becoming a woman that I didn’t understand and at the time I thought gender dysphoria and being trans could explain it and I felt less alone and like I found the answer to my problems

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?

Initially, online friends and tumblr posts and random web pages about being trans. I don’t remember what they said honestly, it was too long ago.

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 hated my large breasts (they made me uncomfortable in most clothing I wore), I wanted to be like male characters I liked, I wanted to have a penis, I didn’t like being a girl, and I felt like I could a better man than a woman. These feelings really came from sexual trauma, low self esteem, an eating disorder, sexualization of my female body, and just generally disliking myself and wanting to run away from trauma and the expectations put on women.

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

If you are AFAB and have an eating disorder, have large breasts, or just have low self esteem in general (because of weight or features), really think about if you want to be a man or be another gender or if you just feel like you aren’t a good enough woman because of gender roles and/or beauty expectations and feeling like you don’t fit them enough to be a “real woman”. Many women with large breasts hate them and feel less feminine because of them, even if others might view them as “ideal”.

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 never told my therapists about being trans because I thought they would just tell me it was because of my sexual trauma and not take me seriously and I didn’t want to deal with that. That is what my mom said when I told her I was trans and it made me very angry at the time and although it ended up being true, I wasn’t ready to understand that and it made me feel like I was stuck, vulnerable, alone and like nobody would take me seriously.

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?

No

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

Work with your therapist to determine how you feel, why, what your goals of transtioning would be, what the pros and cons of transitioning would be, if your goals are achievable and make sense, and if the pros outweigh the cons for you on a personal level.

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

Ask what dysphoria feels like for them and determine if they may have another condition that detrans people frequently cite as a factor for why they transitioned and then regretted it, such as PTSD, eating disorders, sexual trauma, OCD or body dysmorphia. At least make sure they understand that these conditions can really make people want to change their body, escape their trauma in creative ways and/or have big identity crises and that other problems can be mistaken as gender dysphoria

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 first questioned it all the way back when I was 17 and went to a mental hospital for a month and when I left I temporarily didn’t wanna transition anymore. I ignored the feelings though and persisted. I questioned more often after I turned 19 and started feeling like I liked my body sometimes and I didn’t want to be expected to conform to male gender roles. This first just led to me identifying as nonbinary and still desiring medical transition, but at 23 I realized I wanted to detransition.

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

Think about if transitioning has improved your life how you wanted it to or not. Do you feel like yourself or like you are playing the part of a different gender? Have the pros outweighed the cons of transitioning? Do you miss living as your AGAB? Also, questioning your gender does not automatically mean you are trans or cis and it is all about finding the right path for your life.

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?

Since I only ever socially transitioned, most of my challenges were internal like feeling embarrassed, being worried about how my trans friends would react, feeling regretful for lost time, feeling like I was betraying trans people, feeling overwhelmed by how much my life would change. I just tried to keep reminding myself that it was all going to be ok and I have plenty of time to learn how to be comfortable and be myself and I may not get all those years back but at least I grew from them.

What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning?

You are not betraying trans people by doing what is right for your life and it is not your job to represent all trans people. It can be embarrassing to admit you were wrong/changed your mind about something so big but it will be ok and it will be worth it. Loving yourself and your body after medically transitioning and regretting it IS possible, even if it takes a while. You will feel like you again in time, even if not everything is exactly the same as before.

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?

It’s all still new to me so I don’t know yet

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?

I had a couple of therapists over the years but did not talk about transition with them. I am not sure if there is one thing a therapist could have said that would have changed my mind. Maybe if they encouraged me to reallh dig deep into the other issues I was having, I would have realized I wanted to transition/desister sooner at least.

Bonus Question: What is your spirit animal?

Otter