News & Politics

Detransitioners Open up About How Transgender 'Medicine' Left Them Scarred for Life

YouTube screenshot of detransitioner Sinead Watson speaking about Detrans Awareness Day.

People who formerly identified as transgender and took cross-sex hormones or underwent transgender surgery have later come to regret their transitions and the serious damage they did to their own bodies, urged on by the medical establishment. On March 12, the Detrans day of awareness, these detransitioners have come forward to tell their stories.

“I experienced transition regret. I had injected testosterone for four and a half years, I underwent a double mastectomy, only to very gradually realize over time that I had made a massive mistake and wanted to detransition,” Sinead Watson, one of the organizers of the Twitter campaign #DetransAwarenessDay, said in a YouTube video.

“The people who experience transition regret are subject to an utterly undeserved stigma. We’re very often bullied, and insulted, and silenced whenever we try to share our experiences online, and it’s because people who discuss transition regret are often accused of having our stories and our experiences weaponized to harm our trans brothers and sisters. That’s not what I want,” Watson added.

Watson clarified, “We don’t want to take health care away from trans people. We want the improvement of care for people with gender dysphoria.” She acknowledged that transition has helped many people, but she insisted that “there are also a growing number of people who went through medical transition who deeply regret it, who were harmed by it, physically and mentally, and we deserve the right to talk about our experiences, just as much as someone who doesn’t regret it has a right to talk about their experiences.”

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She insisted that people who suffer from transition regret are terrified to speak out because “they will be insulted, they will be laughed at, they will be mocked… they will be told they’re hateful.”

She argued that the medical community pushes medical transition as a one-size-fits-all approach to gender dysphoria (the persistent and painful condition of identifying with the gender opposite one’s biological sex), but not everyone who suffers from gender dysphoria needs medical transition. She suggested there should be a broad array of different treatment options.

Watson partnered with Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman who was put on experimental so-called “puberty blockers” after having been referred to a British transgender clinic at age 16. Late last year, Britain’s High Court ruled in Bell’s case that young teenagers could not consent to life-altering transgender treatments. The two detransitioners teamed up with Detrans Voices, Detrans Canada, and Post Trans, to support #DeTransAwarenessDay.

“Detrans day of awareness (12th March) was created to raise awareness and break down the stigma around detransition,” Watson, Bell, and the organizations said in a statement. “We want to let other people who have detransitioned know that they are not alone. There is a flourishing community of detransitioned people who are finding peace, healing and fulfillment as they are.”

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The statement also urged the medical community to take detransitioners into account.

“Mental health care for people who have detransitioned is almost nonexistent,” Bell and Watson argued. “Alternative therapeutic treatment for gender dysphoria is not offered by the established medical community. Our unique medical needs are not well understood and medical professionals are often resistant to either provide medical care or accept that someone may need to detransition.”

Indeed, many legislative efforts treat medical care for detransitioners with disdain. Laws that seek to ban “conversion therapy” often frame any mental help for detransitioning as an oppressive effort to change someone’s gender identity against his or her will. Perversely, these laws would allow talk therapy to help someone reject his or her biological sex in favor of an opposite gender identity, but the laws would ban talk therapy for a person seeking to detransition.

Many detransitioners spoke out about their experiences.

A woman who identifies herself as “Helena,” a 22-year-old “detrans gender apostate,” posted photos of herself before and after her detransition.

“I identified as trans for 5 years, and took testosterone for 17 months. I began detransitioning [in] February 2018. [Transitioning] was a way to cope with my trauma and body hatred. 3 years later i’m thankful to TRULY live authentically, no longer running from myself,” she wrote.

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“I transitioned FtM with testosterone injections and a double-mastectomy,” a detransitioner named Grace shared on Twitter, showing pictures from before and after her detransition. “It was a bandaid for deeper pain, and I regret it. Detransition was humbling and healing for me. I’m so glad to have found hard-won peace and acceptance for myself as a woman.”

Another young woman known on twitter as @MediocreDruid came forward with her harrowing story. After nine years in gender clinics after transitioning female-to-male as a teen, @MediocreDruid told her doctor that she wanted to detransition. “When I first went to my [Gender Identity Clinic] about my regret in early 2020, I didn’t receive support. Instead I was met with resistance, they acted dismissive and told me they thought my regret was somehow a result of my [Autism], and that I should try to ‘consolidate my male role,'” she wrote.

“I told them I had stopped Testosterone and requested Estrogen to maintain my health as I had [sex reassignment surgery] and could no longer produce hormones myself. They told me no,” @MediocreDruid added. “I was made to go 8 months without hormones and suffered menopausal symptoms, low mood and low energy as a result.”

“I told them, ‘I am a woman and I regret my transition’ and they told me that I was not female anymore,” the woman recalled. “They said I could prove my ‘female identity’ by dressing femininely and wearing wigs. My gender non-conformity was used against me as some sort of ‘gotcha.'” Ultimately, @MediocreDruid did receive Estrogen after eight months, but this story is horrifying.

“I was sold lie after lie by the trans community, by allies, & by medical professionals,” another detransitioner, Maggie, wrote on Twitter. “Each one told me that I could only have a fulfilling life if I transitioned. It was never, ‘do you want to,’ but ‘when are you going to?'”

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These harrowing stories expose a serious medical scandal. As Jennifer Bilek has exposed, rich activists who made their fortunes in Big Pharma have pushed the medicalization of transgender identity, and the rush to transgender “treatments” for gender dysphoria has reaped big benefits for Big Pharma.

Doctors have pushed this movement despite the research showing that sex reassignment surgery carries significant risks, including potential heart conditions, increased cancer risk, and loss of bone density. Most “bottom surgery” procedures will take gender-confused males and females with healthy reproductive systems and make them sterile, replacing their organs with a simulacra of the opposite sex’s endowment. There is no evidence that transgender surgery improves the mental health outcomes of gender dysphoric people.

Some endocrinologists have warned about the negative effects of “puberty-blockers” and cross-sex hormones. “I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease,” Dr. Michael Laidlaw told PJ Media. The disease in question is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.

These detransitioners are not arguing against transgender identity or transgender medical “treatment,” merely insisting that they themselves made a mistake in pursuing medical transition.

However, I would argue that their harrowing stories demonstrate the lie of transgender identity. While “treatments” to affirm a gender identity opposite a person’s biological sex may appear to help that person’s mental health for a time, it is impossible to change a biological male into a biological female and vice versa. Males and females experience different hormonal chemistry from the womb onward, and that results in far more than just different sex organs. Medical transition can only ever paper over the fundamental truth of biological sex.

All people should treat those suffering from gender dysphoria with compassion, and the medical community should pursue gender dysphoria treatments other than medical transition. These detransitioners prove that encouraging transgender identity in opposition to the truth of biological sex can cause serious harm — and not just social harms like allowing biological males into women’s restrooms or males into women’s sports.

Whether or not medical transition truly is positive for some people suffering from gender dysphoria, the medical community’s rush to embrace transgenderism as the only solution to gender dysphoria is a harrowing scandal, and these brave detransitioners deserve praise for exposing it.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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