So many trans women I meet had worked hard to make men of themselves. I joined the Territorial Army, one was in the police firearms unit and had pointed her gun at a man, willing to shoot him if necessary; others were in the armed forces. The police are necessary, but I do not have the personality for that: I know myself well enough now, and am glad my application to join the Prison Service was rejected.
Here is thirdwaytrans pathologising gender identity. He has detransitioned. A therapist would think of a patient as a person with depression rather than a depressive, and encourage the patient to do the same. The patient is so much more than just the condition, but also thinking of the condition as separate- “That’s the depression talking”- is therapeutic. If they identify as “a depressive” they may feel they cannot change and become harder to treat.
He wants to treat gender dysphoria the same way, as separate from the person and not their authentic self. An identity is not authentic, but a summary, a short-cut to explain that “freezes things into place”. He is wrong, there: it can be a jumping-off point, an understanding which enables me to grope for further understanding, at first without words.
I feel he wants to justify his detransition. He has moved on, not “reverted”: it is new maturity, not failure. He says mindfulness is important in detransitioning, because it loosens identities and the holds they place on us. Strange: my Quaker worship was a way into accepting the need to transition.
I feel all decisions are acceptable, if the person knows the consequences. Yes, you can dress female, or transition; you can have testosterone suppressors and oestrogen, if you realise these may cause permanent physical changes and the risk of sterility is high; you can have vaginoplasty; you can revert.
I feel he pathologises the wrong thing. I have not read his whole blog, but I find little difference in this post from the ignorant person who says I am delusional and a man in women’s clothes is disgusting or sick. Transition let me be more me. I moved from tense, defensive and masked to soft, gentle and peaceful; celebrating my femininity rather than loathing it.
Possibly rather than transitioning a person could be freed from the mask of Masculinity. It is that idea that we must be extremely masculine to pass as men that imprisons us.
The rules of Masculinity are not just in my own mind, or my parents’ understanding, but in the wider community; yet a counsellor observed that trans folk have a very narrow concept of what is acceptable behaviour to be “manly” or “womanly”, where the unafflicted have a much wider range.
My identity is Clare, but seeing myself as soft, gentle and peaceful and coming to value that has been liberating, many years after transition. Though Ann saw me as a gentle boy full of humour and love when I was twenty, and others saw me as other than my self-concept of echt manliness.
The psychotherapist, rather than treating gender dysphoria as sickness or delusion, or transition as the only way of treating it, would attempt with the patient to find and value the human being under the shell of manly pretence. My problem is, I could only do that after transition.