Queries

The gays are asking: what does it really mean to detransition?

Ten years since the “trans tipping point” of 2014, trans visibility has improved in almost every area. Of course, that doesn’t mean that overall trans literacy has changed that much. While many cis people are aware of our existence as trans people, many still seem ill-informed about what it’s actually like to live as a trans person, especially during a political moment when anti-trans legislation is at an all-time high.

When trans folks face pressure to go back into the closet simply to feel safe in states that make their mere existence a crime, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t take away or invalidate their transness. Because when it comes to the topic of detransitioning, there’s a lot of (purposeful, right-wing spread) misinformation out there.

YouTuber Kat Blaque recently made a TikTok addressing this very subject, and it’s required watching for anyone who wants to understand more about folks who choose to detransition.

@katblaque

Most people who detransition are not right wing shills, and most of them were never “trans trenders”. Quite the opposite. #detranstransition #detrans #transtok

♬ original sound – Kat Blaque

In the video, Blaque breaks down some of the more harmful misconceptions around detransitioners that have been floating around in the wake of pseudo-documentaries like PragerU’s Detrans and The Atlantic’s Detransitioned. While right-wing pundits love to make an example of detransitioners to “prove” that transness is “just a phase,” that’s not at all the case.

“First and foremost,” Blaque explains, “most transgender people do not detransition.” While the detransition rate remains unknown, we do know that it’s quite low, ranging anywhere from 1-4% of trans folks. And while the subjects of rage-baiting films like Detrans have decided to ally themselves with anti-trans trolls, that’s not the reality for most folks who choose to detransition.

It’s also important to talk about what counts as detransitioning. For instance, Blaque explains, while some folks might consider going off HRT to be detransitioning, that’s absolutely not always the case, as many trans people simply have to try different doses of HRT to find out what feels right for their body.

In terms of people who have fully detransitioned, there’s often confusion around the motivation to do so.

“There are…people who stop transitioning because of…familial pressure, pressure in their communities,” Blaque explains. “For some people, they have to measure, ‘Am I going to survive, or am I going to be my f*cking self?'”

That’s an important point: while folks who might only know about detransitioners from bad faith shock docs like Detrans assume that they all become anti-trans after detransitioning, this is far from the truth. Many detransitioners end up re-transitioning when they find themselves in a place where transitioning feels less dangerous and more possible. And even the folks who detransition and never go back still remain allies: just because it wasn’t right for them doesn’t mean it’s not right for anyone.

Basically, if you want to know more about detransitioners and what they’ve been through, the best way is to listen to them and hear their stories firsthand, as Blaque explains.

The bottom line is that everyone should have the ability to transition, whether it ends up being right for them in the long term or not. “Access to care is something people should be able to have,” Blaque says, “and the idea that we need to create harsher rules around [transition] is ironically only going to perpetuate the cycle of people who detransition.”

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