Age 27, Male
Interviewed February 2022
Hobbies, interests, and/or favorite school subjects:
Hiking, Programming, Neurodiversity
Dream job / dream career:
“Success is making your own path, failure is taking the path that everyone else takes.”
History with Transition and Detransition
Age when first identified as trans: 19
Age when first started cross-sex hormones: 23
Age when stopped identifying as trans: 27
Age when stopped taking cross-sex hormones: 27
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?
Men are expected to be masculine and woman are expected to be feminine. Having a gender nonconforming expression or behaviors/interests was considered a mental illness or perverted/sexual. In my childhood I internalized that being gender non-conforming means being abused and harassed. I couldn’t understand why people who don’t fit those gender norms were so hated. I tried to conform to these expectations at the cost of my mental health.
How did you learn about transgender identity, gender dysphoria, and transition? What do you think drew you to those concepts?
I first learned about transgender in a TV documentary. I suddenly had something to attach to, something which seemed to make sense. I started to believe that I must be a woman trapped in a man’s body.
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 relied the most on my gender therapist and random websites on the internet (can’t remember specific sites anymore). I strongly started to believe that I must be a woman, because my femininity was overpowering my masculinity so much. I didn’t knew about gender stereotyping back then and nobody explained it to me, so I was convinced being transgender.
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?
Identifying as transgender and taking cross-sex hormones brought back some stability to my life for quite some time, but the good feelings didn’t last forever, I felt stuck and hopeless. I never had dysphoria about my body, it was a pure mental thing for me. I was wondering why I even take medication I don’t even need. It made no sense to me. I realized that my dysphoria I had was caused by trying to fit into gender norms and nothing else. I now accept my gender nonconformity and embrace it.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting to wonder whether they are transgender, or starting to wonder whether they should transition?
I would tell them about how gender norms are just harmful stereotypes and tell them about the possibility to embrace gender nonconformity as alternative. Transitioning should be the very last resort, if nothing else works. I would also offer to inform them about the risks and long life commitment of HRT. If they still want to transition I don’t stop them.
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 visited a gender therapist, had 40 visits and got my diagnosis to start HRT and legally change my gender marker and name. My therapist doesn’t believe in gender-nonconformity, and constantly affirmed me and told me how happy I would be as a woman. I never questioned my therapist which was a mistake. Overall the 40 visits were totally useless.
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 was (mis)diagnosed with F64.0. The process was extremely time consuming and painful and costed me thousands of euros. I believed now that I have the diagnosis I can finally start my life. I never saw my therapist again after I received the letter.
What advice would you give to someone with gender dysphoria who is working with a therapist?
Don’t go to affirmation therapy, or at least do some proper introspection and critical thinking and don’t blindly trust everything your therapist says.
What advice would you give to a therapist who is working with a patient with gender dysphoria?
That transition isn’t a “cure all” that works for everyone. Make them aware of problematic gender norms in our society and that alternatives exist. There is always the option to leave stereotypes behind and embrace gender nonconformity. At least medical transition should be the last resort.
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?
Some time after my 27th birthday I learned about non-binary gender identities. I had a short non-binary phase and then heavily started to question why “gender” as a concept even exists. I hated taking HRT for over a year already and it made me feel sick, so I made the decision to stop this madness.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting to wonder whether they should detransition?
If they don’t have dysphoria about their body they might as well just stop taking HRT due to health risks. But it’s up to them to decide what they should do or not.
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’m still in the detransitioning process. I stopped HRT some months ago and I socially detransitioned, living as male again. I changed my name again (not legally yet). The next process is to legally get my male gender marker back and my name changed. The legal part is the hardest. I have support from my very close friends and my family.
What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning?
Learn to forgive yourself what you did. I know very well what it means to regret a past life decision. You can’t undo permanent changes caused by cross-sex hormones, but your can learn to accept them.
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?
Rewarding: Accepting your birth sex and accepting yourself for who you are, and that you don’t need to “change your sex” to fit it. Challenging: Fear of discrimination again for being gender nonconforming, specially when you passed as woman before. I go to therapy again (a different therapist of course) to build up confidence and process a past childhood trauma.
What advice would you give to someone who is working on building a good life after detransitioning?
I honestly 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 go to therapy now to get back stability into my life.
What advice would you give to someone who is detransitioning, or considering detransitioning, who is working with a therapist?
I don’t know yet, still detransitioning myself.
What advice would you give to a therapist who is working with a patient who is detransitioning, or considering detransitioning?
I don’t know yet, still detransitioning myself.