Like most everything related to transgender people, we don’t have good data on regret. Often the people who are talking about regret, have a specific agenda.
Often too, the people who are NOT talking about it have a specific agenda as well. I was unhappy I transitioned so no one should be permitted to transition. It’s all a fraud. Conversely, You’ll feel better if you transition. It really worked for me. I also have heard that MD’s have suggested transitioning to patients based on the MD’s own beliefs. Sometimes, these encouragements are from simple ignorance-wanting to be supportive and thinking that this is the best way to be helpful. Bad things happen. They just do.
No one should put all of their decision-making in another person’s hands. Not a therapist’s, not a doctor’s, not a best friend’s, not even a parents. The information you get from other people is simply information for you to weigh and consider. It is true that therapists and MD’s have a lot of power, but ultimately the decision is an individuals. A medical provider can prescribe, a therapist can approve or refer, a nurse can administer an injection, but ultimately it is up to to the individual to show up for that injection, to fill and take the prescription hormones or to choose not to. If medical or mental health professionals could make people do things, no one would smoke, we’d all be exercising, and eating better.
Sometimes people who regret transition move from one side to the other politically. There are important discussions to be had about feminism, about masculinity, about human rights, about identity, etc. They will not work when we are reactionary and polarized. We generally look at the world through the glasses we have created from our own personal experience. My experience is not yours, and vice versa.
Research-wise, even a therapist tells you that statistically most people do not regret their transition, it doesn’t mean that you won’t.
No one can predict with 100% certainty what their life will be like in ten years or how they will feel about themselves and their choices. It’s why older people panic when younger people make decisions that feel radical. We look at our own lives and realize we did not know ourselves at 20 the way we do at 40. Do we regret decisions we made in or youth?
Of course we do.
Does that mean we should try to limit other people from making decisions that they may regret? Of course not. Does that mean an 18 or 20-year-old can’t make adult decisions? Of course not.
It means that we all have to live with the decisions that we do make. A goal of this blog is to put out information that people can read and digest as they can.
Why do people detransition?
It was the wrong thing for to do entirely.
It was the right thing to do, society just want ready for the person.
It was the right thing for that moment, and now the person has grown and changed and it’s not right for them anymore.
They lost too much. The trade-offs were too great. They want their old life back.
Often it;s not regret that one transitioned but regret that they did not know something or had some other experience.
I’m glad I transitioned, I wish I would have known:
That I could have stayed more of how I was and made other changes and probably would have been happier
That transitioning is hard. Sometimes it doesn’t get better.
That discrimination is real and no one is invincible.
Many people who “pass,” experience a level of anxiety about being discovered.
Socially, it is often not easy for other people to adjust and accept a transgender person. A great loss for many people is their partner/husband/wife. Often, a partner may feel they will be able to handle transition of their partner and discover that they really cannot. People report losing their peer group and that loss can feel intolerable weighed against an individuals need. Many people have that same issue with their family. They would rather go back than lose their family. That it is worse if people are punished for their gender transition by not being permitted to see their children or threats of divorce/break-up.
As I go along I will probably add to this list.