Q&A With Karu

Age 23, Male

Canada

Interviewed February 2022

 

Hobbies, interests, and/or favorite school subjects:

Linguistics, Illustration, Biology, Exercising, Nutrition, History

Dream job / dream career:

Bioengineer

Favorite quote:

Do or do not, there is no try.

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

Lost a lot of my life from mental illness, repression, social isolation, and transitioning.

 

History with Transition and Detransition

Age when first identified as trans: 14

Age when first started cross-sex hormones: 18

Age of first gender reassignment surgery: 21

First surgery was: Vaginoplasty

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?

Early on I got an impression that boys were evil and our actions always spelled doom and inability to function properly. The first memory, I was 2 at a daycare centre. I got into a fight wrecked blocks they stacked for fun. We were all punished by getting tied up with ropes in chairs, pretty traumatizing. Over time I started to see females as superior, smarter, cleaner, industrious. My feelings and personality were crushed despite being a feminine boy, as well as being ostracized by other boys.

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

First heard about it on tv while I was about 6 I believe. I was happy thinking I could grow up to be a girl but I pushed that aside out of deep shame for wanting to be feminine. Later on at 14 I learned from the internet about being agender and started to relate to that heavily because I actually didn’t want to be a girl, but I did want to be soft. I tried to learn more from then on but my mental illness and issues made most things difficult so I only properly learned about transitioning at 17.

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?

Google search. Don’t remember websites. When I was 16 my psychiatrist also gave me some resources but I was too scared to look at them. Apart from that at 18, the clinic I was referred to helped inform me a lot on the medical side of things. My psychiatrist simply read the diagnosis and suggested I may have it but refused to formally diagnose me. It was all a process of affirmation through informed consent really, however I was absolutely not in a place to provide consent, well into adulthood.

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 wanted to be a girl since I was 6. I was very feminine and loved dolls and especially plushy animals. I never liked sports and I never fit it in with other boys. It all felt like an act I had to put up and I hated every second of it. Feminism taught me girls and women can be whatever they want so I must be a girl that needs empowerment. Later I found being agender or non-binary was more appealing but I suppressed these thoughts to be mtf instead. I later used these thoughts to justify further.

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

Seriously look into your personality. Forget “empowerment” and “abolishment”. Are you masc/fem according to those around you? To yourself? Do you feel ashamed/bullied for being gnc? Do you have issues with your body? Why? Neither biological sex has it worse or easier despite what feminists say. Conformity is alluring as either a normal “cis” or binary trans person, or to internet culture which includes abuse and grooming. Medical transitioning does not change your sex. Only your appearance.

 

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?

“Therapist disregarded diagnosed psychosis. I was scared about gatekeeping and tried my hardest to seem ok. Never questioned me apart from just staying on an AA which I knew was medically dangerous. Never challenged why I wanted bottom surgery so badly. Couldn’t admit I had internalized homophobia and misandry.
I needed a genuine challenge and introspection. Too much affirmation and fear of offending. It would probably be best to only allow psychiatrists or psychologists to allow transitioning.”

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 don’t remember ever receiving one but I was told I have the symptoms of it. It was something I searched for on my own so it didn’t change much I just wanted to transition and was searching for how to transition. Everything was voluntary on my part. I don’t remember much else about the discussions with my therapist unfortunately.

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

Beware some therapists may talk behind your back, even to your abusers, they should not be automatically trusted. Not all therapists are equal. Challenge yourself. Make yourself extremely uncomfortable and cringed with your body. Your body is fine. Way healthier as is than it would be transitioning. Why does it matter to be perceived as another gender. Why not gnc. Are you suppressing your sexuality? Talk about abuse if you trust your therapist. Dysphoria can disappear, transitioning can’t.

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

“If you genuinely care about an individual’s circumstance and are not just looking for a cookie-cutter diagnosis, reputation, or paycheque, start by looking into their history of gnc. Encourage expression of gnc if applicable. Try to edge your way into whether they have issues with their orientation. Sometimes dysphoria is sexual in nature. (agp, fujoshi). Remind them that transitioning doesn’t change sex. Don’t use male/female, talk about physical reality.
Be informed on hrt and surgeries.”

 

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 questioned it about 2 days before my bottom surgery when I discussed being trans with my partner. I was suppressing being gay a lot despite knowing it made me happy. After that point I cried a lot and felt suicidal from the surgery but in the end I coped, tried to be non-binary and masculine, but nothing really helped until a few months ago from this survey I just straight up admitted it to myself that I horribly messed up. I feel way more comfort now being a gnc male, but it’s tough.

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

Why did you transition? Do you like the effects of hrt? Do you regret surgeries? Do you like the social perception? Do you feel like you are conforming to a toxic standard on what being trans means? Are you actually ok with your biological sex or suppressing something? Keep in mind detransitioning may be impossible to an extent. It is for me and makes me quite unhappy, but I know I would be way more unhappy pretending I’m trans.

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 faced judgement for wanting to be masculine since my bottom surgery, for being ok with my body as is without grooming or other feminizing routines.
Overall I believe I have the support of others. I have no interest in being vocal about this in public, but I am worried presenting as female may make me break down to the point I have to come out. I’m confused as I’m in a murky grey area where I at least partly like hrt but deeply regret surgeries, I accept and am happy being male.”

What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning?

If it’s social, just beware of your unique circumstances and what it would mean. If it’s physical, avoid surgeries like the plague. I’m not going for any sort of phallopasty despite my dysphoria because I won’t make the same mistake again. Go off hrt if you want, you can stay on it but cancer may appear (research). It’s not about detrans vs trans vs cis. Cis doesn’t exist. Trans is a box and detrans is a situation. Find what you’re comfortable with, even if that’s retransitioning! Avoid surgery.

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?

“Too soon to tell. Probably nothing except street cred from normies who love “real” experiences over critical thought from those who don’t have experience.
I believe everyone else can understand trans and detrans experiences if they tried. All I can do is talk about my own experience in this regard.

I am just happy as I can be now. Best worst situation. Simply as that. Be trans, be detrans, whatever. Accepting reality is really liberating.”

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

Forget the community, forget politics, get a hobby, get a job, focus on personal growth. Forget religion too frankly. Don’t conform to ideology. Find the things that made you happy before transitioning. Interestingly taking lion’s mane and ashwagandha may have helped me accept my circumstance. Others have reported detransitioning with other legitimate but illegal psychedelics while lion’s mane is a legal psychoactive, and ayurvedic treatment maybe helpful in many ways.

 

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?

No, I worked with my partner to make sure this was the right choice. Maybe it isn’t, maybe it is, 99% sure it is. Hate “cisness” hate being trans. Scrap it all.

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

“This is something I have read about from others’ experiences.
Make sure they are not bought by trans ideology. Many are. They may accept your transition but mock or disregard your detrans questions or admittance. Be careful and take care of yourself first and foremost. Never trust someone just because they have a diploma, Dr. title, have a nice Joo Dee smile or any other manipulative or formal gesture.
Could try by offhandedly mentioning detrans people and see their reaction.”

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

Consider what led them to this point. Allow them to grieve. DONT EVER lie and say everything will be ok, especially if they went through irreversible steps. Discourage binary thinking. If you have no guidelines make up your own or research online, don’t back off out of fear. If there was a gonadectomy, detrans males would need bioidentical TRT, females bioidentical Estrogen and Progesterone. If they have a difference of sexual development (intersex), look for an expert on this matter if needed.

 

Bonus Question: What is your spirit animal?

Raven/Crow/Bat