Detransition III

Detransition is for losers. Detransition is second-rate.

Whether women are more feminine than men, separate from the influence of society and social constructs, I don’t know. Research shows we speak differently to babies depending on whether they wear blue or pink. Friends observe toddler boys swaggering round and sweet toddler girls wanting hugs; and they may just be reacting to adults’ subconscious approval or preference. Whatever, adults show a huge range of behaviour, including decisive women showing leadership and gentle men showing emotional intelligence, at least from the perspective of me, aged 50 in 2017.

It wasn’t my perspective in the 1980s. I remember seeing two wee boys in a bus station, one sturdy Scots, whose mother seemed quite happy with him bullying the other, who went for cuddles with his mother, and feeling a strong preference for the former. That was how boys should be, I thought.

Expressing female gave me the confidence to be myself, but now I want to use the whole range of my voice, not just above the break- and fear that makes me not a liberated person, who can be however she chooses, but a pretty rubbish trans woman who can’t even pass. Others often take you at your own estimation.

Transition is for losers. We don’t fit the social construct, so we go to all that effort. I don’t feel I have the ability or the right to be myself as a man, so I never reach the career my education fitted me for, never marry, and undergo the pain and expense of physical alteration. Be yourself, without the need to alter yourself. Self-confidence is the thing!

However if transition is for losers, detransition after physical alteration is worse. You decide transition was wrong, you were conned, all that effort was a waste- so you make the effort to revert. More effort, doubly a loser. That transition was wrong for you, even a betrayal of all gender non-conforming folk, a blind alley, a torture to conform to stereotypes- does not mean detransition is any improvement.

It’s second rate. It never made you happy. It never fitted you. But you are idiosyncratically you, from your nature and nurture, and no off the peg persona will fit you. Detransition is avoidance activity. Rather than becoming comfortable in your own skin, you enter another long-term change with a distant goal of a body and presentation the way you like; and this may involve painful, self-punishing procedures; and may even involve curtailing parts of you which don’t fit the new presentation.

I am feminine. I don’t fit, I feel ashamed, I try to fit, then it seems I might fit if I transition so I work very hard at that and still feel I don’t fit. All that effort is chasing shadows, chasing my tail.

What did I expect? There was another road you did not see. If I only do this, I will be happy, successful, congruent, integrated, life will be less of an effort. If I am not, well, there must be something I can do to reach that happy state. Happiness is somewhere to be had.

Don’t detransition. There is no point. Callahan gives all her energy to being gender non-conforming.

Or, we shall not cease from exploration, and each step takes us closer to congruence and understanding.

Just be you.

Other people are judging!
-No, they’re really not. Not nearly as harshly as I am, anyway.

That illusion. If only I do what I don’t see yet everything will be alright. It is possible, and therefore not doing it is proof of my inadequacy. The illusion is not true. Transition is second rate, but was the best I could do. This, right now, really is the best I could have achieved.

breslau-sitting-woman

7 thoughts on “Detransition III

  1. It’s pretty clear that you can not go back, so it would be another leap into the unknown. Sometimes when we feel unhappy or trapped, merely knowing another option exists can be helpful, but I get the feeling you’re in this for the long haul.

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    • I don’t know if you saw the polemic on the BBC, saying children are too much encouraged to transition. It included a person who regrets her double mastectomy and years of testosterone producing a broken voice and facial hair. She said she looked normal, could have been normal, will always be a freak and blamed her transition. Better words might be “acceptable” and “unacceptable”.

      More of Four Quartets means more to me, but this I loved from the start

      From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit
      moves, unless restored by that refining fire
      where you must move in measure, like a dancer.

      The fire is the Narrow Way Jesus called us to-

      I am acceptable if I believe I am acceptable. I am unacceptable if I believe I am unacceptable. If I believe I am unacceptable, (de)transition won’t make me acceptable. The problem is that while I am working on it, I can imagine that it will, just a little further down that path. It’s not another option.

      Transition liberated me to be myself, more than ever before, but I have to do the last part of the work myself.

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      • I’m travelling so I didn’t catch the BBC programme. I’ve not read much TS Eliot, who just didn’t chime with my way of thinking, but the quote reminded me of the last few lines of GMH’s That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire. You do have challenges and you wrestle with them, but it strikes me that having been born bright is a great blessing. I am sure that almost all women find some aspects of being a woman difficult: hormones or changing hormone levels being not the least.

        I have often thought it would be very educational for us all to have to spend some time as the opposite sex.

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        • I am blessed. Thank you for referring to the poem. That’s Beowulf’s metre, isn’t it?

          But quench her bonniest, dearest | to her, her clearest-selvèd spark
          Man, how fast his firedint, | his mark on mind, is gone!
          Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark
          Drowned. O pity and indig | nation! Manshape, that shone
          Sheer off, disseveral, a star, | death blots black out; nor mark
          Is any of him at all so stark
          But vastness blurs and time | beats level. Enough! the Resurrection,
          A heart’s-clarion! Away grief’s gasping, | joyless days, dejection.
          Across my foundering deck shone
          A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash
          Fall to the residuary worm; | world’s wildfire, leave but ash:
          In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
          I am all at once what Christ is, | since he was what I am, and
          This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, | patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
          Is immortal diamond.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post.
    “If only I do what I don’t see yet everything will be alright.” (Ooh, surprised this copy-paste had a words below it.)
    I think it’s a common human experience, but for people who don’t feel comfortable with their gender/sex combination in current society it’s a huge can of worms. Can society change to make everyone more comfortable? Can people alter their personality or their expectations to feel comfortable in the body to which they were born? Can changing your body make you more comfortable? Probably none of the above. None of us surely ever feels completely comfortable, and we’re all searching to some extent or another for the missing bits that will complete the illusion of comfort. I’ll have to watch that BBC documentary, slipped by me for some reason.
    Hope you’re well.

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    • Darling! How delightful, to see you here again. Thank you, I am well; hope you are too.

      The words were concealed with the HTML “span” command. It is a technique from TV Tropes, which writes spoilers in white on white. Select to reveal. Originally it was just random letters.

      We are uncomfortable, we see ourselves as freakish, we seek to fit in, first attempting a macho presentation, then transitioning, and in some cases reverting. As I see it now, we chase illusions. “From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit moves”. Possibly others chase different illusions- “all is vanity, and a chasing after wind”. Possibly we can find truth. Aging, some people find some consolation.

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