Q&A With Jade

Age 18,

Virginia, USA

Interviewed February 2022

 

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?

The stereotypical “girls play with barbies, men play with trucks”. Even as a trans person, gender stereotypes were reinforced to me and I basically lived under the assumption that all women have to identify exclusively with feminine things to be a biological woman.

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

I learned through Tumblr (as most people do). Everything I knew I learned through Tumblr. I felt my displacement as a woman was because of me being trans, but that’s nothing but a misconception. Cis people can experience dysmorphia, and feel as though they are not entirely female or male because they do not adhere to the stereotypes placed onto us as a society. I, however, as an impressionable 12 year old, did not realize that this is normal for a woman to experience.

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?

Tumblr posts, lol! (Social media has a huge influence on young minds) Gender dysmorphia was the biggest thing people said was the #1 thing to make you trans.

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?

The feeling that I wasn’t a proper woman, and so I had to be a man. I didn’t like skirts, dresses, or female hairstyles (I’m a black woman) so I thought that was just my dysmorphia, and when I socially transitioned, anything but being a woman made me feel euphoria.

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

Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you believe being transgender is. As a woman who socially transitioned to male, I was convinced that I had to be male because I hated my womanhood, not being a woman. Coming to terms with my love for my body truly helped me recognize self love, and internal happiness.

 

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?

Nope. Never had a therapy session.

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?

Nope

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

Speak to someone with the same biological sex as you.

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

Read up on internalized misogyny. Being trans is not the end all be all.

 

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?

This year. I really learned to appreciate my body and the little things that make womanhood so amazing.

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

See what makes them happy, and absolutely draw out your possibilities. Transitioning into the opposite sex could make you miserable…At first I thought it was just hearsay, but after reading other detrans’ers perspectives it really goes to show how horrific the experience can be, and how dysphoric you can end up being after transitioning. Sorry for the run on sentence!

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?

The embarrassment of socially transitioning, only to return to my birth sex! I haven’t told anyone just yet..but I plan to!

What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning?

It’s your body, do not feel ashamed for making a choice that will protect you in the long run.

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?

Pride and humility. There will always be “I told you so”‘s and people to mock your journey. Just know that in hindsight, it doesn’t matter because you are the only one in your body, and you do not need to be someone for the sake of others. The reward is fully embracing my womanhood, and feeling incredibly comforted in it! I love being a woman, it brings me lots of joy.

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

Love yourself. It’s corny, but after learning this important fact it should bring forth self love.

 

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?

Nope.

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

Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t right.

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

Listen to your patients, and do not make the decision for them. Suggestions are fine, but not end goals.