Q&A With Ritchie

Age 35, Male

UK

Interviewed February 2022

Hobbies, interests, and/or favorite school subjects:

Geek culture, history, long form discussions, poetry

Dream job / dream career:

Running my own animal sanctuary

Favorite quote:

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson

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History with Transition and Detransition

Age when first identified as trans: 24

Age when first started cross-sex hormones: 26

Age of first gender reassignment surgery: 31

First surgery was: Penile inversion with scrotal graft

Age when stopped identifying as trans: 2020

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?

Emotions are the domain for women, a famous quote by my Dad. A highly homophobic environment both towards men and women. I was confused because I was same sex attracted and was extremely scared of being rejected by my family

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

23 someone else had transitioned in my life and I had no idea that was an option in the UK and I began looking into it. I found online communities where I told them about my thoughts and was quite convinced from that point on this was the only way and if I waited I would regret it.

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 told my doctor I was and despite all my psychiatric assessments I was never challenged because I had instances of childhood that showed a strong desire to want to be a girl. I was really gender non conforming as a boy but not effeminate.

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 had a strong desire from early childhood to want to be a girl and was often drawn to female activities and clothing. I think I was a gender non conforming child that was also gay and struggled to come to terms with it as I got older.

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

Get a second opinion from outside the trans community.

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?

Long term therapy. My therapist wasn’t insistent on anything on my identity and worked to help deal with a lot of trauma and attachment issues. I think more exploration about sexuality in younger years may help.

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?

6 times. 3 diagnoses contain factual errors because they weren’t properly listening to what I was saying. It felt like a tick box and 0 challenge was given.

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

Make sure you’re honest with yourself as you talk to them. Don’t tell them what you think they need to be hearing.

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

Dysphoria is a symptom of something else and not always because someone is trans.

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?

2018, after SRS. I had a good result, but instantly knew I made a mistake and shouldn’t have done it. Over time I realised the anxiety of needing to blend in and put on a voice was fake and it didn’t feel like me.

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

Take your time.

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?

Being overcome with regret, feeling like a failure, risking my health and considering ending it all. I found the reddit detrans community and it saved my life.

What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning?

Join the detrans discord!!!

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 am medicialised for life even in detransition. There is no prize for this, and after this is read I will be forgotten, but my reality will be there until I die.

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

Take it slow and do not rush to treat being detrans as another identity.

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 have been waiting for over 2 years to talk to someone about this.

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

Take a risk and tell them how you really feel.

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

Ask them if they want to be challenged.

Bonus Question: What is your spirit animal?

Sloth