The Detransitioners: They Were Transgender, Until They Weren't

Comments

1
Great article: Even-handed, nuanced, and very educational. Well done!
2
I have to question the use of "detransition-" in this article. Many of the people interviewed admit to being gender nonconforming, and as such are refining their concept of self more than regressing to a prior gender state. A pronoun does not a gender make. I feel that if I got my gender marker changed from M to F and then to X (one can only hope), I would be considered "detransitioning" by the definition of this article. The other odd benchmark that seems to be used is pharmacological, which is also confusing and troubling (not to mention irrational as many transgender people never take hormones). While the topic is interesting and needs to be addressed, this binary cisgender approach to the topic does not do it justice, and is damaging to TQIA+ communities.
3
@2: I wonder where one draws the line between being "detrans" and being "trans." There are people who transitioned to fully living as one gender, then eventually transitioned to living as neither (the X option that you mention). The people I know of who did this choose to identify as "trans." Not "transmale" or "transfemale," just "trans." I think it's an elegant way to describe that person's gender identity without making it sound like they somehow became the man or woman that they never were in the first place. It doesn't seem that what the detrans people are doing is reverting, but continually refining how they live in their bodies. Why do we require that people pick a side and stay there? If I change my clothes it doesn't mean I'm rejecting the outfit I wore before, it just means I want a different pair of pants today.
4
Really well-written, thoughtful, and balanced. Well done.
5
Forcing people into an ill fitting gender concept hurts us all. If our culture was more accepting of variety, we would do a hell of a lot less damage to each other.

Imagine what it would be like if little children were free to be who they see themselves to be, without negative judgment from adults.

Very well researched article.
6
@3, it seems like we agree more than we disagree.

As far as where one draws that line, that is an incredibly personal experience. I don't think greater society has any business defining sich a thing.

I agree that most of the people in the article are refining rather than detransitioning. That is my main complaint with the article.

The group of people you know who define themselves as simply trans define themselves as nonbinary, genderfluid, or gender nonconforming in my circles. I feel this article contributes to their erasure, which is a large part of my critique of this article.
7
Well. Finally. This reflects what I see in my own medical practice and among the teens I know (patients as well as my kids and friends of my kids). The old construct of "I've always known I was not (insert birth gender) and I've always felt I was (trans gender)" is a relic of the old gatekeeper system. It needs to go. Magnus Hirschfeld, the founder of the Institut for Sexualwissenschaft (you saw him on 'Transparent'---he was a real person) always said there were a thousand genders. As various as our experiences were, so are we. For a book-length discussion of the complexities of identity and transitioning, I strongly recommend Susan Faludi's "In the Darkroom." It doesn't fit in anyone's neat box. And neither do you or I.
9
Little kids are very concrete in their thinking, slightly older kids get mean when people deviate from the boxes they're supposed to live in, and in some ways gender roles have actually hardened in the last 20 or so years (especially when it comes to children's clothing and toys). I have absolutely no doubt that there are people who feel like they are in the wrong body, and who are going to be happier and more fulfilled their entire lives if they're allowed to define their gender as something other than their chromosomal sex. But are we really surprised that some percentage of the people who identify as trans very young are responding more to the gender ROLE that is being thrust upon them rather than the gender itself?
10

This was a well researched and informative article.

Also, TERFs can die in a fire.

11
I'm someone that is critical of trans politics regarding youth because most gender dysphoric children grow up to be gay or lesbian, not trans. I have been researching this topic thoroughly from all sides for over a year. Yes this will help the majority of kids who really are trans. I'm not a radfem. I'm a left of center moderate and try to be a rationalist. I was initially supportive of youth transition because the screening was better than it is now in many cases. This blog post sums up the dangers to gender non conforming children that could outgrow dysphoria. In summery, social transitions will likely prevent kids from desisting that would have and hormone blockers likely affect the psycho-sexual development of a youth and they are giving hormone blockers to 11-year-olds. Most quotes are cited from peer reviewed journals from gender clinicians themselves so please drop the accusations of concern trolling.

http://www.thehomoarchy.com/do-youth-tra…

"The desistance myth was promoted by reparative therapists, concern trolls, and charlatans," trans advocate Brynn Tannehill wrote on the Huffington Post. "It's time for the 80 percent desistance figure to be relegated to the same junk science bin as the utterly discredited link between vaccines and autism."

This is a dangerous lie being promoted by trans activists. It's a fact even very gender dysphoric children grow up to be gay not trans. These activist just don't care, nor do I expect them to. I can guarantee the push to transition youth is going to result in pre gay and lesbian children being unnecessarily medicalized for the rest of their lives. Which unfortunately is medical child abuse and counter to the hypocratic oath in those cases and a human rights violation of the gay and lesbian community. And there is a new late onset presentation of teenage females, often with serious mental health issues flocking to gender clinics at a rate of 2 to 1 to males or more at some clinics. There has never been anything close to a 2 to 1 ratio of dysphoric females to males in the adult population, supporting the social contagion argument. This is something teenage girls are know to be prone to in terms of eating disorders, cutting, and suicide ideations. I'm aware of multiple cases of lesbian teenagers with late onset dysphoria, Idying as trans long enough for an official diagnosis, protected from permanent effects of T only from cautious "transphobic" parents. You can get a mastectomy at 15 in Oregon. I've also witnessed the genderqueer youth culture that is literally glorifying gender dysphoria and females hating there bodies and being women. I don't mind change if its liberating. Aspects of this aren't.

I'm not saying there aren't amazing benefits here for trans people. But there are downsides here, mostly for people who care about the diversity of expression of the gay and lesbian community.
13
@6: I think you misunderstood my tone. I was agreeing with you, and elaborating a bit on what you said, not trying to argue.
14
@13, it did come across as mostly supportive, so I would chalk it up to a standard internet miscommunication.

@8, I am sad to hear about your feelings of erasure. I hope in the future a balance can be found that acknowledges the truly detransitioned and the self redefined but still TQIA+ at the same time. I am glad that this troublesome article has resulted in a less troublesome discussion. You are valid, regardless how you choose to live or define yourself.
15
Thank you for writing such a nuanced and compassionate article.  I was born female, privately considered transition for about eight years, spent about a year exploring the decision within trans support groups, and realized that it wasn't what I needed.  In a way, I'm a success story on avoiding unnecessary transition.  I was a person who didn't need to transition but thought I did, and I figured that out before having surgery or taking hormones.

One thing that struck me about my time in trans support groups was that the older folks, the leaders who had been around a while, encouraged me to take my time and reminded me that this is a complex issue.  The younger people who were just starting on their own transitions were more likely to discount my feelings of doubt and tell me that transition was definitely the only thing that would solve my problems.  If I had less of a strong sense of self going in, and my group had been more populated by people with that second mindset, it would have been more likely that I would have undergone an unnecessary gender transition.

If I could add one thing to people's understanding of this article based on my experience, it's that I had a very clear and definite perception of myself as a man, and a clear and specific desire for a male body, and that's a common experience for detransitioned and reidentified women.  I would feel mild shock when people referred to me as "she" (even if I presented myself as "she"), I would wake up and temporarily wonder where my penis went, I would look in the mirror and either be confused about why I didn't see a male face, or actually would see a male face.  When I described how I felt to my support group, without putting labels on my own feelings, everyone I talked to in the trans community (which was a lot of people) said that I sounded just like any other trans man they had ever met. 

The language used in this article is more vague - she had an unease with her body and thought that transition would fix it.  Not saying the article is inaccurate - maybe this person's experience with dysphoria was more vague than mine.  But I think it's important for people to know that you can have these very specific experiences with gender dysphoria, and they can shift over the course of your life, or have emotional origins that you might not be aware of.

The dysphoria resolved for me when I worked on some deep-seated internalized misogyny: essentially, I saw myself as worthy of a level of respect that I only saw given to men, so I identified as a person who was worthy of respect in my mind, which meant identifying as a man.  I was a devout feminist even during this time, and I would have never consciously thought that I believed that, but when I really started to work on myself, that belief was there.  There was some body stuff, too: being in a male body felt safe, because I saw men as having less of a risk of sexual violence.
16
@15, that is profound. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
17
Marlo Mack talks fantasy,
No way a 4 year old talks about medicine to prevent growing a beard.
Sheesh.
18
This article is a gem.
19

Awesome article. It's sad to see this being the result of the dichotomous view we have of gender. People should feel free to express themselves however they wish and change it up as often as they'd like. Some of us never fully have ourselves figured out, and that's okay.

20

Ah yes! Do you know why there are so many "Detrans" teenagers? Because they are transTRENDERS and we're never trans to begin with. I am sure it was fun for a while to say "look at me, I am trans! I am special too!" but when it came to actual transitioning, they cowardly admitted to being a fake by conveniently "detransing". What a convenience! That is the reason why hot Teen trends are all bullshit. When I was younger it was trendy being bi, so a lot of teens pretended to be. Same with trans. "Detransing " is just a convenient excuse for them to get back to their cis existence and avoid being laughed at like they deserve.

21
@16, thank you! I've found that when I tell people about my history but don't go into detail, one of the first responses is usually "oh, so you wanted to live as a man, but you didn't feel trapped in your female body the way a trans person does." Or, "Oh, so you wanted to live as a man for some reason, but you didn't really feel inside that you were a man." I've seen a pattern with other people with my history where when we are considering transition, people will hear our descriptions of our own dysphoria and say that it sounds like transition will be a solution for us. Then for those of us who detransition or end up comfortably identifying with our birth sex, the message changes, and people will try to point to something about our dysphoria that was supposed to be a clue that we weren't really trans. If there is something fundamentally different about the way dysphoria presents for someone who will eventually detransition or reidentify, versus dysphoria for someone who will permanently transition, it would be helpful for everyone if that difference would be explored and watched for in clinics, therapy, and support groups.

I'll also mention that I'm skeptical of the low rates of dissatisfaction and detransition reported by clinics, because I've heard from at least two people who reported their dissatisfaction to their original clinic and weren't counted in the statistics. One of the detransitioned women's original clinics continued to advertise a zero dissatisfaction rate even after she contacted them.
22
“Now what if it doesn’t work?” was one of the questions that came to mind when I considered a hormonal treatment.
The relatively old age when that became an issue also included others, such as practicality and cost that some youngsters may overlook.
@11 brings up some very valid points, so does @ 15.

Non-binary “genderian”, something I only learned about during that period, seems to work just fine despite having to explain this position to well-meaning friends who may inquire about hormones and operations, and the need to “detransition” almost every morning.

Boogie @ 20
Your trendy analysis is an insult to your intelligence, possibly an indication.

23
First world problems. And are you planning on using your ACA health insurance for all this surgery?
24
@21, wow. This is so helpful to me to hear. As I said in my original comment, the transition story we've been hearing for decades (almost a cliche by now) was a by-product of the gatekeeper model of care. People told that same damn story ("I'm like this, I was born like this, I need my outsides to match my insides") because that's what it took to get a desired outcome. You told the story, you jumped through hoops, and you got hormones and surgery. The reality of lived experience is vastly different and clearly more varied than that old story would indicate. Keep talking: you and people like you are writing a new chapter in our understanding of gender.

I have to say, as a non-conforming cis-gender woman (who doesn't think her gender is even particularly relevant to anything but the fact that I bore children), the way you tell this is (for the first time!) a gender-identity story I can identify with. I too was uncomfortable with femaleness which I saw as being soft, round, and vulnerable. I worked that out with a fairly disastrous eating disorder....but now I'm soft, round, and armed with a scalpel (I'm a surgeon). Once again, thanks for sharing.
25
@23, why is it any of your business what transgender people plan to do?
26
I went through the transition of my several-decades-old FtM partner... inside and out, top to bottom. I struggle with my utter confusion: believing people/knowing not everyone transitioning IS trans... seeing the amazing relief after surgeries/know just how "mutilating" they really are (and they are)... being really angry at TERFs/wincing when the subject of transitioning comes up. I was diagnosed with PTSD after my now former partner's surgeries (many graphic details not included here) and continue working through the inner pain and confusion. He and I remain loving friends, but he is not the Butch Dyke I fell in love with anymore. See how screwed up I am?!
27
Very interesting and informative, thank you. I think that the more rigid ANY ideology becomes, the more people it will exclude. How about we respect the individuality of each person their experience? Of course there are some people who have always strongly felt they were mislabeled at birth, and there are also some people who drift around gender identities trying them out, especially during the early adolescent years. One of my daughters had a short period of time when she decided to try out being a boy. She made a damn cute boy, too, but it didn't last. A year later and all we have to remind us of that time period is an eighth grade school picture that she wants me to throw away (I won't). At the time, I had no idea if she would "stay" a boy or not. Nobody did, not herself either. Turns out, she didn't.
28
I transitioned at 25 to live as a woman. Lived as a woman 8 years then began living neither as a man nor woman. For any trans person to think where they are right now is where they will be in 10, 15, 20 years...get a fucking grip. Don't assume you have a clue where you will land down the road.

I am absolutely against young kids transitioning hormonally and physically. Socially, go for it. There ought to be ZERO permanent changes when a person is under 20, at least.

One thing about the article I do find bothersome is this presumption that if you detransition you therefore regret transition. I don't regret transition. I am just clearer about how I am, and what I am more comfortable with with regard to how I live, and who I live as.
29
BTW, just because some in the trans community is struggling with coming to terms with the reality that young folks detransition, and even adults detransition, doesn't mean these things shouldn't be investigated.

Findings like these aren't a condemnation of transition, some who are vocal about it, and asserting the folks who detransition weren't really trans, are doing a disservice to the community. Who the fuck are you to say I wasn't really trans when I decided to stop living as a man and a woman?
30
Even if someone goes back to identifying as their birth gender it seems wrong to say they were "never trans." If they transitioned (which most people in this article did) then they still lived a trans life. I'm in favor of stronger gatekeeping to prevent situations like this, where people end up changing their minds. There doesn't seem to be a reliable way to tell who will stick with transition and who won't, who will stop transitioning but still consider themselves trans, etc.
31
@10 " Also, TERFs can die in a fire. "

Why do you want to kill women who question without violence a narrative wherein being a woman or a man is just a feeling? If the theory is completely solid then it should hold up to scrutiny and you would not have to for want of a better phrase 'burn the witches'.

I would suggest that you direct your ire to the men that actually hurt and kill trans people rather than just question their logic
32
I came from a liberal "hey can't we all just get along" mentality that accepted everyone, until I started to examine the MtT movement, and witnessed oppression and an erasing of 'female' as a distinct political class suffering oppression.

As I proud leftist TERF, I am glad to see this article has finally hit the mainstream (if that is what Savage Love is)...people mutilating their bodies as opposed to fighting the dominant gender paradigm is sad. The Trans movement is very regressive, it's either BOY or GIRL! I find David Bowie and Annie Lennox to be MUCH more progressive than the dichotomous Trans movement. I am 100% in support of Gender Queer, 100% against the misogyny that is present in transmen and transwomen.

33
Honestly, I'd be surprised if there WEREN'T people who detransition. Or people who didn't evaluate transition and decide, ultimately, it wasn't for them. Most of the 'trans regret' cases I've known were people deciding they didn't have enough information when they began a binary transition to know that they could stop when they were somewhere "in the middle." So the biggest problem, it seems to me, is that we need more information to be available earlier in the process. But even then, there will be people who detransition. We have to allow that and we have to support that when it's right for the individual.
34
Well said @31!
I don't agree with TERF's but I abhor anyone who threatens violence on someone who contradicts them or that they disagree with. The whole AntiFA punch a Nazi thing makes me incredibly uncomfortable because it sounds remarkably like fascism.
36
@24, I'm really glad it was helpful! You can ping me at mary.celia.green at gmail if you feel like chatting. (Invite open to whoever else might be interested in conversing based on my previous posts 15 and 21.)
38
I agree that most detransition stories I've heard (and there really *aren't* that many) are actually transitions to a non-binary end point that "swung wide," the next largest number seem to be people who faced social difficulty completing the transition and sort of backed off and found a comfortable middle ground (often with a fairly strong underlying wish that they could successfully transition.)

For me, every now ans then, usually after i've missed a dose of testosterobe, or when sometjing in my life has gone very very wrong, the thought of the lack of effective bottom surgeries for transnen can send me on a spiral of depressive thinking which leads to thoughts of de-transitioning. But I always feel better in the morning -- literally. Sleep, food, doing things I enjoy, treating the sadness and hopelessness of dysphoria immediately brings me back to the mostly-pretty-great place I'm in now. The miserable place is actually where i *normally* was before testosterone.

I find that interesting.

Mostly, though, I think we should all just *not worry* about others' gender so much. So what if people are having to face tough choices about how they will present and to what degree they might alter their bodies? Honour the bravery people show in coping with their transgender status, regardless of how they choose to deal with it. Remember that it's virtually impossible to live at an acceptable standaed of living as a non-binary person unless you happen to work in a friendly industry -- and those are not usually large ones with tons of jobs.

And if someone asks you for help -- and then try to do your darndest to meet them where they are and help them take their next step. *Their* next, imperfect step. Trans lives, even the best trans lives, are generally less perfect than pretty messed up did lives. We make compromises, almost all of us, in order to survive.

Also, I kinda think every kid should have a genderqueer phase. Right of passage just like the "why why why" stage and the "don't hug me in public" stage and the "you're so lame, dad" stage, and the.... you get the picture

39
@38 I strongly disagree, most of the detransitioned women (I admit that I only know female detrans people) I know are people who were in transgender scenes as young adults/teens and have since desisted and identify as their birth sex. Most of us are lesbians. Please do not call us nonbinary, it reduces the struggles we have been through. We did not just mess up and 'swing wide', we are victims of a deeply misogynistic and homophobic medical institution that cannot offer any relief from dysphoria other than through frankly drastic surgeries and hormones. We are women and most of us have really earned it at this point. And we are growing in numbers.
40
@31, TERFs are actively violent against TQIA+ individuals. They demand exclusive space and will fight anyone who they feels violates that space. There are bars in Seattle trans women are afraid to go because customers have been overheard calling the space "only for true, real women". Just look at @32. That is the type of behavior you embolden. One where every GCS is a mutilation, and everyone who supports anyone getting it a misogynist. One that sees women in terms of a political movement rather than human beings, and excludes anyone who has an oppression narrative not identical to their preconceived notions.
41
* if you are not Non binary, you're not. Clearly there *are* cisgendered folk about ;)

Also don't erase the actual non-binary folk, though!

Both exist.

I think almost all binary-identified trans folk *do* swing a bit wide at first. I don't have the experience of being non-binary, just second hand stories from friends and aquantances.

I like to point out that there could be a butch woman who is exactly identical to me in every way, except that she's a woman and I'm a man -- and that's just the way it is. One cannot count on being able to tell easily who is who, at some point you gotta trust the person.

Anyway just wanted to clarify that I wasn't trying to call *you* non binary -- I've never even met you!
42
@40 Acknowledging biological sex is not violence. Wanting safe spaces for women is not violence. Understanding that the basis for women's oppression is in our sexed bodies is not violence. Finding the notion that arbitrary preferences or personality traits can determine whether you're "really" a man or a woman inside abhorrent is not violence. Identifying the sexist appropriation of womanhood by MtFs, objecting to the idea that anyone socialized as a man could possibly know what it "feels like" to be a woman is not violence. Refusing to indulge a fantasy, to say that the emperor has clothes when he clearly does not is not violence. Disagreeing with you is not violence.

Telling yourself and repeating over and over that feminists are violent against trans people won't make it true. The death threats, the no platforming, the hateful insults aren't coming from women. They're coming from males who are furious that a few women dared say no to them. TERF is a slur.
43
Just when I think I'm out... articles like this pull me back in to reading the Stranger.

It is not suffocated by smugness, nor dismissiveness and misrepresentations, nor does it retreat from complex realities in favor of pseudo-intellectual jargon or hyper-emotional vernacular. Wonderful piece, one of the best I've read on the subject (is it the compassion?), thank you.
44
@40 would love to read examples of this violence you speak of, I googled it and could not find a single incident of a radical feminist attacking a trans woman. All that came up was multiple reports of violence by men against trans women and by trans women against women.

Given how liberal Seattle is, I would imagine that trans women being afraid to go to certain bars would get media attention, I'm not denying it happened just that anecdotes don't make for evidence. Is not being welcome in a bar violence? There are plenty of places that I would not feel welcome in like a biker bar, my perceived exclusion does not mean that that type of establishment should not exist?

Are trans only spaces allowed? If I went to a trans support group as a non trans person I would not expect to be welcomed.

Some people will never believe the rhetoric that man or woman is a feeling and that is their business, as long as they are using their words and not their fists or in the case of @10 fire.

I don't think I had anything to do with the comment below mine as the person describes themselves as a proud leftist TERF but I hope I continue to embolden people to speak out against people who seek to use actual violence against people they disagree with rather than logic.

Everyone should be free to live life on their terms but that includes not putting restrictions on freedom of speech, if someone describes getting a nose job as mutilation, I wouldn't agree but its their right just the same as someone describing GCS as mutilation
45

@42, aggressively distinguishing between cisgender and transgender women is indeed violence. In fact, in this state it is a hate crime. Calling transwomen not women because they have a different female experience is a reprehensible act and appropriation. Saying that a transwoman is less a woman because they were socialized as a man is also appropriation. Calling transgender life a fantasy is beyond the pale.

Seeing TERFs trying to beat women out of "their" spaces and hearing other TERFs say they would do the same is violence and true personal experience. TERFs throw orders of magnitude more insults, invective, and shade than the trans community does. Don't believe me? Go look in a mirror.

TERF is no more a slur than cisgender is. Take your hate to a different state. It is not tolerated here, and 1552's defeat will prove it more loudly than your caterwauling could ever hope to achieve.

46
@44, lmgtfy. First link, first search:
https://www.google.com/amp/www.nydailyne…

I'd go on, but I think I've made it clear you didn't do much googling at all.

I can't speak to your comfort levels in bars. I had no fear as a skinny white person drinking at Oscar's 2. There is also a difference between not being welcome in a place and violence against one just for walking in.

Violence against trans people doesn't get reported on. Less than year ago, I watched a man try to beat a transwoman at a bus stop (outside Seattle, in East King County, west of the Snoqualmie Valley). The police threatened to arrest her if she pressed charges because she gave better than she got. Violence against trans people is a daily occurrence, even here. It just never gets reported on or prosecuted.

Trans people really don't have their own spaces. At Seattle's largest and longest running trans support group, cisgender SOFFAs (significant others, friends, family, and allies) are there literally every week. They are welcomed. Constantly.

#10 never mentioned lighting people on fire, just a desire that some people die in them.

You have the luxury to deny you have emboldened anybody. I, and others, have to live the reality of being in the same place as those people. We'd appreciate it if you'd be so kind as you choose your words more sparingly. Our lives might just depend on it.
47
@45 WTF does that even mean, "agressively" distinguishing between MtFs and natal women?? Deductive reasoning skills are agressive now? As in literal violence?

And please, tell me, what exactly is this "female experience" if it isn't being lived by an ACTUAL female? I don't think you understand what appropriation means.

Women are not "beating" males out of women-only space, we're trying to defend women-only space from hostile invasion and appropriation. Are oppressed populations not allowed to congregate away from their oppressors now? Does Black Lives Matter need to start centering people like Rachel Dolezal?

Cis is a slur. Implying that I'm comfortable with the roles ascribed to women under patriarchy, that I identify with my oppression simply because I don't wish to be male or stop being female is incredibly offensive and sexist. I am not cis. The social expectations forced upon me as a women do not "feel like nothing." Ascribing privilege on the basis of not being deluded about the immutibility of one's biological reality is insane.

Insult me all you want, say I'm "caterwauling." Men have long disparaged any woman who protests the ill treatment she is subject to as shrill, catty, shrewd, shrieking. Are you going to say I'm hysterical next? What other sexist vitriol are you waiting to sling?
48
@46 thats terrible and obviously shouldn't have happened but why do you think that woman is a radical feminist? If TERFs are so actively violent why does this security guards radical feminist agenda not mentioned? I googled "radical feminist violence trans woman" and variations of the same, nothing came up.

I have no doubt that violence is committed against trans women and that it must be frightening but will you concede that the overwhelmingly vast majority of violence is committed by men and not radical feminists?

Words matter, the term violence matters, I have been on the receiving end of physical violence and when people claim that words are "actual violence" it drives me crazy. Someone saying that biological sex is real and there are differences is not the same as a punch. If you claim that then every biology book is committing violence against you, every dictionary, medical text book etc

I do not wish you or any trans person anything but luck and support in your journey but I also have to live in a world where you embolden people like @10 to say that because I believe that biological sex is real I am a TERF should die in a fire
49
@47, denying a trans woman access to a female facility is discrimination. Saying you will physically deny them that access (as in physically stop them or kick them out) is saying you intend to commit a hate crime. I can't help it if you can't figure out what aggressively distinguishing between a cisgender and transgender woman means.

Your use of actual female, implying that transwomen are not women, tells me all I need to know. My use of appropriation is linguistically accurate, and tbe fact that you can't see that only shows your hate even more.

TERFs are beating transwomen out of female spaces, especially bathrooms. I already provided a link to that effect. Trans women are not hostile invaders, and you do not own the female narrative. No matter how much you may think you do.

BLM doesn't congregate away from white people. There are plenty of white people at BLM meetings. They may not become members depending on the branch. Their speaking time may be limited. But they're not excluded. Will I be seeing you at the next meeting?

Immutability of biological reality. You're decades behind on your science. An MRI scan of the transgender brain reveals activity more similar to that of the chosen gender than the assigned gender. There's your immutable biological reality. That's why acting upon the ideals you espouse here have been a hate crime in this state for a decade. It will likely stay that way, too. Don't like it? Tough it out or move to North Carolina.

You're disparaging transwomen who protest your ill treatment of them. You're the sexist monster slinging vitriol. You've fought monsters for so long you've become what you hate most. If your words did not endanger the lives of millions of women, I'd pity you.
50
@48, the guard repeatedly used terms like he-she, terms that are considered discriminatory slurs. That is evidence of someone being a TERF. This guard was charged with criminal assault for her actions. That seems radical to me.

I will admit that per capita violence against transgender individuals is more likely to be commited by males than females. But that does not mean that TERFs are not violently forcing/keeping transwomen out of female spaces.

Violence is not just a physical thing. Many forms of discrimination are inherently violent acts. Psychological harm and damage are often considered violent from a legal and criminal point of view. It is why we have verbal assault and malicious harassment laws.

Biological sex is real. Our genitals do not decide our biological sex. Our brain does. To equate biological sex with genital configuration is dangerous to me. I only pointed out that #10 did not openly say they wished to light you on fire. I never said I supported lighting you on fire. As you point out, words have meanings.
51
@50 there is a difference between a transphobe and a TERF. One hates trans people on the basis of their transness the other questions the existence of gender and believes in the existence of biological sex. Calling someone a "he-she" implies hate rather than someone who is thinking critically about gender.

Again you are redefining biological sex in ways that do not accord with their actual definitions. Biological sex is "the fundamental distinction, found in most species of animals and plants, based on the type of gametes produced by the individual; also the category to which the individual fits on the basis of that criterion".

Scientists are repeatedly saying that there is little to no difference in the brains of men and women and that the different pathways that are formed in men and women relate more to hormones and socialisation. If they do find out that there is a neurological basis for being trans and a way to test people would you require anyone who doesn't have the brain scan of a trans person to detransition? Dysphoria is absolutely in the mind and can be crippling, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy but claiming that there is a such an objective standard of transness would leave a lot of people out to dry

Do you really believe that someone making statements like "trans women and women are different " would constitute verbal harassment or malicious harassment? Firstly as far as I am aware, verbal harassment is not a crime in the state of Washington except for in the case of verbal domestic abuse, the definition of malicious harrassment involves violence or the threat of violence "Malicious harassment—Definition and criminal penalty.
(1) A person is guilty of malicious harassment if he or she maliciously and intentionally commits one of the following acts because of his or her perception of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap:
(a) Causes physical injury to the victim or another person;
(b) Causes physical damage to or destruction of the property of the victim or another person; or
(c) Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of the specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to person or property. "

I hope you notice that no one in this thread has wished violence to occur to a trans person but you are repeatedly making excuses for someone who says "TERFs should die in a fire"
52
Please do more diligence when citing science. The Amsterdam childrens clinic study is on gender non-conforming kids, not transgender kids. They basically asked about behaviors/feelings, and there was a very low threshold for being tracked. If you were a "sissy" kid, and your parents took you to this clinic, and you later came out as a gay man, you would be considered "detransitioned" according to that study and your misinterpretation. That's very misleading. The way it's presented sounds like these are kids that socially transition and change their mind after puberty. The real finding is that if your kid is gender queer, they are most likely gay and not transgender or straight.
53
This is by far the best article the stranger has published in years.
54
the 'terf' line is so bizarre, the same lines in these comments as for decades and so few yet so much vitriol and no power except in the wake of the right. if it was used for something other than alienation "kill fundamentalists" would be common too but no it's "kill terfs" and "die cis scum" because the repercussions are nil; believing women are oppressed because of their biology is irrelevant to violence against trans people. it's not about 'te' but 'rf' by which is meant 'f', with blinding ignorance like "front holes" and "genitals don't determine biological sex" that work actively against honesty and inclusion.
55
@51, both the transphobe and TERF hate transgender people. The heart of the TERF's reaction to transgender people is the exact same as the transphobe's. It is a rejection of something they do not understand because they do not understand it. It is the same from a psychological point of view. Whether you call it questioning vs. hate or anything else, it bouls down to a fear of the unknown. If you will, the TERF is the white moderate version of the transphobe. On the surface better, but in the end much more dangerous.

The secondary sex characteristics that define biological sex are controlled by the brain. While genitals create sex hormones, the amounts and timings are controlled by the brain. Similarly, the brains of men and women are physically identical but functionally different. Their brains use different regions to different degrees. These specific patterns fire more readily and easily in different biochemical "stews". When a transgender person receives hormonal treatment, the transgender brain fires more eagerly and readily in the new biochemical stew than the old one. This is a physical sign that the brain and therefore person was not the gender assigned at birth. Science does not yet understand how or why there can be a brain/genital mismatch, although there are theories. The lack of an objective standard has more to do with an insufficient numbet of trans MRIs to develop a baseline and the extreme lack of transgender data due to a lack of funding. This is also not the only alternative form of brain/genital mismatch. Transgender is a nonscientific term that refers to a spectrum of mental, hormonal, and biological states.

"The legislature also finds that a hate crime committed against a victim because of the victim's gender may be identified in the same manner that a hate crime committed against a victim of another protected group is identified. Affirmative indications of hatred towards gender as a class is the predominant factor to consider. Other factors to consider include the perpetrator's use of language, slurs, or symbols expressing hatred towards the victim's gender as a class; the severity of the attack including mutilation of the victim's sexual organs; a history of similar attacks against victims of the same gender by the perpetrator or a history of similar incidents in the same area; a lack of provocation; an absence of any other apparent motivation; and common sense."

RCW 9A.36.078. You may also find RCW 49.60, specifically subsections .010 and .040 of interest.
56
Theres nothing surprising about there being a few detransitioners. It's bound to happen sooner or later. People get misdiagnosed with ailments and mental health diagnoses all the time. I myself was incorrectly diagnosed as bipolar at age 12 (!), only to finally get rediagnosed as having PTSD at age 35, and finally got treatment that actually worked. It happens all the time. It doesn't invalidate all trans people because a few detransition. Doctors are human, they make mistakes. It doesnt mean the process is bad. No system is perfect. People are human, they sometimes try things that don't work for them.

There may well be multiple reasons why people experience Gender Dysphoria. There are lots of studies pointing to biological causes for at least some trans people. Some gender and sex aspects are biological, some are sociological. There is no one size fits all model. Trans women are women, trans men are are men, and my enby friends can use whichever facilities they need to. In the end, we're all on a journey to understand ourselves. I don't care if someone detransitions or transitions for life. I owe them respect for their name and gender because they are human, just like me.
57
@55, regarding your "rejection of something they do not understand" comment: I assure you, radical feminists understand the trans phenomenon very well. Radical feminists understand that the concept of "gender" (i.e., norms and expectations that are arbitrarily assigned to the sex classes) is harmful and should be eradicated. Without gender, there would be no transgender. It's very simple and radfems are pretty smart, so no, there is no lack of understanding.
58
@56 so a TERF is more dangerous than transphobe because they use their words not their fists? The people who are committing actual violence and murder are less dangerous? I'm not afraid of trans people, I don't hate them or fear them as a group, I'm friends with a trans man hes a good guy, I have no problem with bathrooms etc but I do believe theres a biological difference between transwomen and women and would therefore be a TERF and worse than someone who goes out and murders people.

"The secondary sex characteristics that define biological sex are controlled by the brain. While genitals create sex hormones, the amounts and timings are controlled by the brain." Men and women are capable of creating both testosterone and estrogen according to your logic wouldn't a trans mans brain tell their body to produce more testosterone and limit estrogen and vice versa for a trans woman? I promise I'm not trying to provoke you or invalidate dysphoria, I'm genuinely curious about your argument on this because I've never heard it put this way and it honestly doesn't make sense to me.

The legislation you've pointed to in no way makes your point that someone saying that there are biological differences would in any way be construed as harassment outside of also being accompanied by threats of physical violence or slurs
59
@58 forget the things we think we know about sex and hormones, etc for a minute. Gender Identity does seem to be a biological brain feature that may well be part of our bio sex. Think about this for a minute; we know there are biological impulses that tell people whether they are right or left handed (or ambi). We dont question that really. People "just know". We can train people to use the opposite hand than the one they prefer. Yet, we know from years of study that it's never the same. Forcing use of the wrong hand never "feels right" to them, and indeed causes long term psychological damage. We accept that as fact today, but not in the past. We barely even begin to completely understand the bio mechanisms that control handedness. Yet it's a fact.

Gender Identity seems to be much the same way. There seems to be innate programming that is not overrideable. We don't understand why the brain doesn't fire off hormones, etc that match this identity, but that doesn't make it less real. It's no different than any other bio condition where the body doesn't work as it should.

In part because it's so poorly understood, and because much like rejecting left handers was popular because they were considered evil or not right in the head, trans people are forced to fight through a mess of information to try and figure themselves out. That's where detransitioners come in. There is a LOT of early research showing multiple potential biological vectors for Gender Dysphoria and Gender Identity; multiple genetic and epigenetic markers are being researched. (One comprehensive resource for this is a metastudy book called The Psychobiology of Transsexualism and Transgenderism).
60
Thoughtful article, but I wish it had gone into more depth past binary gender. As some people commented, it sounds like several of these folks initially thought "I'm not this binary, I'm that one" and later figured out they were something else. For these people the headline is really misleading (though I'm sure there are people it's on point for).

Some parts of trans communities do valorize binary gender and even traditional gender roles. Some people do reject their assigned role first and then their assigned sex. I have seen at least one person who seemed to want to escape the social situation of "woman".

But people who deny the existence of trans because they think gender can be overcome by the power of pure thought, they're like if Christian Scientists went militant and enforced "you can't have medical care because disease isn't real" onto non-believers.

Peer influence to be trans has to exist. Peer influence to maintain assigned genders and roles exists too. If gender policing is normal and invisible to you, then of course you see neutrality as pro-trans pressure... You want to see some social contagion? Let me show you some social contagion, we call it patriarchy.

I've known a number of trans children and now young adults for a number of years by now, and I don't know any who have "desisted" yet. Of course I don't count the ones who questioned but never came out publicly, and I wonder if they're getting counted in these peculiar studies.
61
what #55 is saying is that if brain firings are better understood, interventions can be developed to coordinate the body and brain without surgery. and we are to take it on faith that the still-sexist fields of science will show this, not a strong nature-nurture bond, not that behavior is often behavioral. a "detrasitioner brain" presumably changes over time to fire otherwise, showing trans is not by-birth but bio-chemistry. were "terf" about science, neurons, a "trans brain" or happiness, rather than maintainig gender categories and oppression, a common 'to the future' ground with "terf" and transphobe alike would be sought, rather than the annihilation of the former and patience with the latter.
62
@56 has posted the best comment in this thread. Life: your milage may vary.
65
Here's the kind of detransition story that's ten times as common but you wouldn't know that from this article: https://destroyedforcomfort.com/2014/09/…
66
@53 -- Agreed. This article feels written from a place of genuine curiosity and is executed very even-handedly compared to most of today's media, especially most content on The Stranger and Slog.

@38 -- The idea that we should just *not worry* as much about other people's genders sounds wonderful as a philosophy, but doesn't solve the issue of how to deal with dysphoria among kids. If giving kids puberty blockers and artificial hormones turns out to be harmful in the long-term, for instance, we should be worrying about that.
67
I feel like calling desistance against trans identity a "myth" is really silly when people are actually coming forward and speaking for themselves about it. Clearly these people exist even if it's not always convenient for someone else's politics.

Also the bit about gender critical people being anonymous. Everyone in this article is using an alias because questioning trans logic at all gets you death threats or doxed or something equally as bad. I don't feel like this article addresses enough the reaction the trans community has to anyone who questions the party line. I can't even take the term "TERF" seriously because people get called that just for asking questions. Organizations like WoLF are what I would call "TERF"s, but the term stops meaning anything when it gets applied to anyone who even mildly disagrees.
68
@67 Like anything, there is a small, vocal minority of a-holes. It's not like trans people don't experience insults and threats of violence online. There are a lot of trans people that feel like they have to remain anonymous online too, like myself. So, lets put the crazy people aside and talk about the real issues.

A lot of transgender people and those that professional work in the community feel that detransitioning happens in two cases. A) People decide they are really gender queer, non-binary, androgynous, third-gender, two-spirit, or trans-masculine/feminine. Their medical and social transition were on more of binary path, and now they are stopping or pulling back. A lot of people in the community would put these people under the transgender umbrella, and in essence, it's not that they are detransitioning as much as they are course-correcting. For example, a gender queer acquaintance recently stopped taking testosterone, but is perfectly happy with top surgery. They have determined the changes from testosterone were causing gender dysphoria, and they weren't binary FTM. While some psychologists, doctors, and transpeople may be more comfortable with binary gender (like most people), the community and community resources has plenty of space for the spectrum inbetween. In my FTM group, peers are supported whether or not they medically transition (not all do), and are supported taking baby medical transition steps, reassured they can stop at any point. There is no wrong way to be trans is a common refrain.

The B) group are people that have been misdiagnosed or are mis-self-diagnosed as being transgender. Which is why the community doesn't see it as a trans-identity switchback. This is not common, as the whole premise of gender dysphoria is that you will also experience it if you start experiencing your body as the wrong gender. People can be trendy with names/pronouns, but looking in the mirror at a man/woman when your gender identity is woman/man is a horrible experience. You'd have to have some condition or extreme personality that could bully and steam you through that dysphoric experience. It's not for the faint of heart. As transitioning becomes more informed-consent with less gatekeeping, I can see some people slipping through the cracks. However, back when you had gatekeeping, you had many real transgender people slipping through the cracks. In the 90s, they would not let you FTM transition if recently/currently dated men. The system was setup in a way which lot of bi/gay transmen continued to suffer.

So while I hope the community can better ease non-binary identities into exploring their medical options (and non-options) in a non-binary way, and I hope the professional communities can better identify those misdiagnosed with gender dysphoria, I don't believe retreating to the old gateway standard is the way to go.
69
Thank you, Katie, for a very well-written, insightful article. I have always identified as cis female and straight, but was quite the dare-to-be-different tomboy back through public school K-12 where I was often bullied. With the exception of a few occasions, I have rarely felt that great in a dress. When compared unfairly to the small, petite body frame of my mother and older sisters, I felt more like a square peg being forced into a round hole.
It has been five decades since I have finally been able to more fully accept my body's strengths and weaknesses, plusses and minuses.
70
this is the result of not being fully educated on gender diversity when young your left to find yourself on your own alone and in the dark
everyone makes mistakes some bigger then others and i fear there still making mistakes im not saying detransitioning was wrong if transitioning didnt feel like them but theres more to this then just gender its ionterest they cant let something they like define there gender identity and i feel as that is what they did they had only a small handful of interests relating to the opposite gender so they feel they need to transition so they do but it doesnt feel right because they never truly were transgender a mistake driven by interest but i fear as if there going to avoid those interests because of there gender
you can not like or dislike something for the only reason of the gender its deemed to be for
like it cause its something you like hate it cause its something you hate dont let society choose your interests
71
Well done! Just one comment: radical feminist critique of current trends on gender politics have to do with the concern that they push aside analysis of structural violence against women in order to center the individual outside of society and its forces. They should never be lumped together with alt-right for any reason.
72
@11 JusK, @15 MaryCGreen:

These comments somewhat resonate with my experience as well. I was born female, and somewhat gender-nonconforming as a child (often mistaken for a boy, though that never quite felt "right" to me either). I attended an all girls Catholic high school, and during this period I also experienced a lot of dysphoria and general discomfort with my body. I do think some, or a lot, of it was internalized misogyny, especially because I had a close friend (who identified as some sort of nonbinary at the time, I think, but now identifies as a trans man) who was frequently very critical of femininity (that relationship was probably not healthy, but that's another topic for another day).

I am now in my early 30s and am more or less okay with my identity as a gay bio female. For whatever reason, once I accepted being gay, I was also more okay with being female. I do wonder if I would have tried to transition if I were going through that now. I still feel like I'm some sort of nonbinary/genderqueer (I still find it jarring when I am addressed as a group of "ladies") but I am okay with female pronouns and think any sort of presentation adjustments I make will be only external, not medical(hair/makeup/clothing etc). I don't think medical transition would have been the right choice for me, though I know a few trans folk who definitely seem happier and I am glad that they were able to get the medical care they needed.
73
@52 do diligence when citing science. the paper is about kids diagnosed with gender dysphoria. the diagnosis criteria is your peeve and by ignoring it so too is the science eliminated. it's about non-conforming only after the fact. http://­www.sciencedirect.com­/science/article/­pii/S0890856713001871

(and non-conforming is the problem; without gender expectations to fail and be excised from humanity or burnt to a crisp for, a result of the notion of gender, there is a person and their health.)
74
Correction necessary: WoLF is a single issue organization. They do zero work on abortion rights and access, though originally they had task forces set up for several women's issues. A public statement earlier this year claims that their goals pertain only to issues of gender identity.

It is my understanding from talking with radical feminists that many disapprove of WoLF's alliances with the right wing, despite agreeing that gender is an oppressive tool of the patriarchy. Most radical feminist women wouldn't touch the right wing with a thousand foot pole and do not wish harm to come to trans people, as the Christian conservatives seem to wish for whenever a group doesn't strictly conform to their idea of what men and women should be and do.
75
Great article!

@2 why are you misgendering the people in this articlee? Many stated explicitly they are a specific gender and yet you still describe them as non binary. Multiple times in the comments you stated misgendering is an act of violence yet you can't respect these people's gender?
76
bit.ly/transsexualism is a Google spreadsheet indexing a couple of decades' worth of scientific research and PubMed links concerning trans people, which I trust more than random ideologues using anecdotes and personal experiences to make broad-brushing claims about an entire demographic of people. "I tried rum a couple of times and it tasted bad, therefore no one else can like rum and rum is inherently evil!"

There are people who regret transitioning, people who regret coming out and identifying as gay, people who regret joining the military, people who regret going to college, people who regret getting married, people who regret having children, people who regret buying a house, the list goes on and on. Is there a rising tide of voices demanding the elimination of gayness/military service/post-secondary education/marriage/childbearing/homeownership/etc from our society, just because some people regret doing these things? For every action you can possibly take in life there are people who shouldn't take it.

Scientifically and medically speaking, transsexuality/gender dysphoria is a medical condition (in the DSM and ICD) that affects less than 1% of the population. According to diagnostic criteria, the dysphoria is centered around the body's primary and secondary sexual characteristics, not "my mom died and I'm grieving" or "people treat me bad because I'm a woman" or some other social aspect of life. Similarly, a woman who was sexually abused by men as a girl and decides that she's a lesbian because "no woman would hurt her that way" (and not because of actual sexual attraction to women) is not a lesbian. And honestly, speaking of medical conditions, do people care this much about their manager's diabetes, something that has absolutely nothing to do with their daily life?
77
Why now, seriously this is so fucked up that the Stranger would write this article now as a anti trans bill threatens for a November vote and many in the trans and lgbtq community pleaded not to write this bs now. It reads like a conservative hit piece wrapped in a far left newspaper with the intent to damage those most in need. As a civil rights leader in the lgbtq community I'm seriously disappointed with the Stranger for publishing this. It has brought much pain to our community. Shame on the Stranger.
78
The part that says under the guise of protecting girls and women. How is this a guise? So girls and women aren't allowed to have our spaces at all now without being called "bigot" and "terfs" and told "die in a fire"? And when you brought up I552 you specifically mentioned girls and women but never turned around to mention men sharing their bathrooms. Why can't they share theirs? Why can't men share their private spaces - locker rooms, etc? Why is it always girls and women expected to accommodate everything and everyone? Why aren't we allowed to be scared, especially after seeing someone like Libertine tell us to die then post a random story from Washington D.C. and claim a radical feminist did that to a trans woman? Don't you think women are the ones who are afraid in this situation? We aren't the ones who can physically defend ourselves here and we never have been. Libertine is here to instill more fear in women by completely lying about who we are, saying we attack trans women in bars?! How would I as a 5'4 woman with a disability be able to defend myself against a biological man? Just because someone "feels like a woman" doesn't mean all their physical advantages disappear. And it's men who are attacking trans woman on a grand scale. That's the first article I've seen where a woman has gotten scared and defended a woman's space, even if I don't agree with the way she said it. Usually trans women are murdered because they're involved in prostitution where the homicide rate is incredibly high. It's men killing them. Women aren't doing anything so leave us alone. We are allowed to defend our private spaces without this harassment and we are also allowed to be critical of men who say they "feel like women" because they like "feminine" things. Why would anyone think progressive women will just agree with being told they're a set of stereotypes? And I won't be answering anyone who gives me a bunch of circular "logic" and tries to tell me this isn't true. In the past all the articles about being transitioning were fully transparent about them doing it based off stereotypes. You can watch YouTube videos and read articles about this from the 90's and early 2000's but once society started to move on, we had to talk about it in very subjective and circular ways that basically say "trans women are women because trans women are women because trans women say they're women." I can't get a single objective response to "what is a woman?" and I'm exhausted at this point. I didn't ask to be born in a position where I would be systemically oppressed and treated horribly based off my birth sex so don't tell me I'm not allowed to feel a certain way about people calling themselves "progressives" then perpetuating these harmful stereotypes. I'm angry and I want it to stop.
79
Notice the image shows two people, one with long hair and one not but mostly notice the colors (blue and pink). I am not a color or the length of my hair. Are you? Tell me again how this is progressive.
80
@73 Please examine Table 1 (doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2013.03.016) cited by the article. The study encompassed both diagnosed with GID (80) and those that fell short of the criteria needed for diagnosis (47). Not surprisingly, almost all (93%) of those that didn't meet the criteria were classified under"desistence".

But let's look closer, because there were GID diagnosed kids. Nearly all (94%) of those with "persistence" were GID diagnosed, but 55% of the "desistence" were GID diagnosed. So we can say that the DSM criteria for diagnosis was more or less necessary but not sufficient to predict "persistence". The big take-aways is they need better measures if they want to predict persistence/desistence.

So one might be like "Hey, okay, so if we look at the GID diagnosed kids we still get a 45% 'desistence' rate. Not as dramatic as the quoted number of 2/3rds 'desistence' rate, but still fairly high."

But before running to that conclusion, consider this: GID diagnosis on the DSM is just the beginning of a trans-child's path towards transition. A therapist still works with the child to assess whether the intensity of GID warrants making a social transition (e.g. change of name and pronouns) in addition to letting the child express their gender however they want (e.g. clothing, activities). The former children are considered transgender, the latter are just gender creative and TBD on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Now let's go back to table 1. There is a line there for "Social role" classified as no transition, partial transition, complete transition, which are not as intuitive as they sound. Partial transition only means the children was allowed to dress and choose activities considered "cross-gender". That's right, if you are a tomboy that likes softball, short hair, and to dress in jeans and a t-shirt, you are considered "partial transition" for the purpose of this study. Which, for the purposes of this article and most feminists, should be considered 0% transitioned. Only "complete transition" captures kids who have changed their name and pronouns. Those are the kids that have socially transitioned as defined by this article/discussion.

Okay, now we are getting somewhere. How many kids made complete transitions and ended up classified as "desistence"? Let's look at the table. Zero. Zilch. Nada. None. 0. That's right. Absolutely none of the kids that adopted a transgender identity (name, pronouns) changed their mind later.

That's odd. Why did I get the impression that this study was talking about trans kids changing their mind? Oh, from the author:

"There have, however, been almost a dozen studies of looking at the rate of "desistance," among trans-identified kids—which, in this context, refers to cases in which trans kids eventually identify as their sex at birth."

This is why, broken down in detail, I think the presentation of this study was very misleading. There are parts of this article which are well written and prompt great discussions. However, this particular section about studies and kids was very poorly written.
81
@78 thank you, when single occupancy is inefficint there should be an "anyone's" room and a "reparations for 'traditionally forced to bear children people'" room (it should have a better name tho).

@80 yes it's just as i wrote, the study was presented accurately but you have issues with the study and so misrepresented it to call it misrepresented, as you continue to do- "let's choose a different number to say the ratio is not what it says it is" ??? deluding stuff like that makes me grateful for the accurate reporting in this article; it's such a low bar but there's always people out puffing for suckers.
82
@81 I have no problem with the study. I think they could have used clearer labels for their variables, but they explain the variables and how they operationalized them. I am saying the article is misrepresenting those variables and the study's conclusion.

The author was suggesting the "desistence" count in this study represents trans kids that eventually identify as their sex at birth. However, that study found zero kids that socially transitioned (i.e. changed their name and pronoun) and then showed desistence from that trans-identity.

That's not my re-interpretation. It's right there in Table 1, page 584: Complete transition (row 13) by Desistence (column 3-4:). For both boys and girls the value is zero. Again, this study found nobody that socially transitioned (i.e. changed name and pronouns) later changed their mind.

I have a problem with how the study was misrepresented in the article. It is you who have a problem with the study (or a problem reading tabular data).
83
@78 It's never going to stop. Transwomen are women, according to medicine and according to law. You may feel about it however you wish, but attempt to do us harm and you will regret it entirely. Hate crimes are taken seriously, so don't commit any. Meanwhile, go forth and live your life in peace, as we wish to live ours, without threat, without harm, and without fear from anyone, man, woman, beast or TERF.
84
@83, you appear to think the statement "transwomen are women" is an important one. What's the definition of "woman" where the statement is true?

(spoiler alert: @83 will not be able to answer this question with a definition that's not circular or unfalsifiable.)
85
@84 A woman is an adult human female. A TERF is a trans exclusionary radical feminist. And you are a troll.
86
This is absurd. All of life is full of transition and you don't "detransition" as you move through all the many phases of your life whether related to gender or anything else.
87
@82 you're up to tricks i get it- you somehow have no problem with the study just that you need some sort of "absolute trans" category to be added, so a different understanding of dessiance is slapped on. you want it to say "no dessiant trans" (and let readers of the article infer as they will), when it doesn't attend such conclusion or category. it's presented on its own terms, not by the additional reading of the data which is fine but then you would've written "it should be noted that while the study sees identity/dysphoria as a sort of sliding scale, a lay understanding of 'transgender' is likely to misconstrue this as blah blah" or something instead you misrepresented it, implying it was about parents trying to fix their kids. trickery!

@78 i have now what i think is a better solution for inviting bathrooms: the Make Our Bathrooms Communal Again -- Nice! campaign. rather than men/women bathrooms when single occupancy is impractical, we have an ESPFEAF (everyone shared pottys for equality and friendship) room and a NIOPEOPSPFLATAAAEPOYOT (no instatiation or possible embodiment of patriarchy shared pottys for liberation also there's an anyone-and-everyone potty over yonder ok thanks) room, or feaf and yot for short.
"boss i gotta shoot one out in the yot real quick, brb"
"boss let's continue this discussion in the feaf, i gotta shoot one out"
A: "actually hold that thought; i use the feaf" B: "oh in that case I'll use it too ahahah"
B: "wow the feaf is actually cleaner" A: "what!" B: "...and so many tampons" A: "yep"
everyone is smiling.

we know rapists and thieves don't obey signs or laws (cf. the first refrain defending people using the m/f restroom they prefer), thus this scheme is inclusive and encourages seeing people as people, and also for women's liberation. a win-win.
88
Wow. This article seems like is was designed to be clickbait. Really brings everyone to the yard, doesn't it?

Is the author of this article transgender, herself? Though this writing is praised as being even-handed, IMO it comes dangerously close to discounting the experiences & even the validity of actual transgender people. There's a passing mention of a Swedish statistic showing a very small percentage of people with transition regret, but most of this seems to imply that people *choose* to be transgender; it's just a phase. Good grief, it was a scant few years ago we were saying that about gay people.

Is gender partly a societal construct? Sure. Would easing the restrictions that those constructs place on individuals make the world a better place? Absolutely. But by publishing an article whose TL/DR seems to be: "Trans people. Are they really real?" - at a time when things are so politically fraught, & the stakes are so high, as regards the physical safety of trans people - IDK. These words play into the views of the alt right & trans excluding radical feminists & gives fuel to people who want to argue that transgender people are mentally ill. The timing of the publication of this seems irresponsible of the Stranger. YMMV.

Gender is having a weird (& to my mind, happily) more fluid place in some areas of the country. Genderqueer young people confused my middle-aged brain for about five minutes, but y'know..good for them, that they have a word for those feelings, that flexibility. For some people it is a binary, though, & they feel alienated & alone on the wrong side of it. Their rights are being challenged, taken away & suppressed. I haven't heard of the experts quoted in the article, either. Will be Googling them.

Congratulations, Stranger, on getting those hot clicks. When some trans person comes out to their family/job/friends/etc & this article is presented as proof to them they're wrong, I hope the ad revenue is worth it.

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@88 Brilliant. My congratulations.
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@87 In an article narrowly scoped to discuss people who've transitioned and then returned to identifying as their birth gender, why would you cite anything other than the statistic reflecting children that have transitioned and then returned to identifying as their birth gender?

It's not an article about the broad topic gender dysphoria or it's clinical measures/diagnosis. It's not an article about people questioning their gender and ultimately not transitioning. It is an article about detransitioning. Why cite a number that is not the most relevant measure in the study to the topic at hand?

If the author's intent was to narrowly talk about detransitioning adults, but then in the space of three paragraphs, have a broad topic about the gender spectrum and GID measures in kids, and then return to only discussing detransitioners, they did a poor job. Read the comments, several people here are quoting children's study as if it reflects kids socially transitioning and then detransitioning. Even if that was not the writers intent, that's the the result. If many people in your audience are misunderstanding your citations, then you have done a poor job as a writer.
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This is an incredulously irresponsible piece of journalism. Between this and the op-ed from Murray I'm really disappointed with the direction the Stranger is heading: the winds of huffpo-style clickbait. Articles like this are actually damaging to actual people. Even if a "counterpoint" is introduced later the damage is already done and this never should have been published in the first place. All I can see is a cis-woman giving credence to hateful TERFs. If you wanted to have nuance and credibility it should have been a trans person writing this article, from their own perspective. That is the kind of writing I used to see from this paper. But this is spineless liberal garbage. All the Bret Weinsteins of the world need to take a big step back and check their own egos. The movement is so much more important than the loudest, most privileged voices in it. Boo.
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@85, a woman is indeed an adult human female, but now you have to define "female." Under the traditional definition (one that relies on anatomy), trans women are not female. So in order for trans women to be women under your definition, a new definition of "female" - one that is not circular or unfalsifiable - must be proposed.

It's interesting that you would call me a troll rather than simply answering the question.
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@90 it's great that you are still saying the article failed when it's you who misrepresented the study, amazing even. there's too little science, too few long-term studies, and the methodological hurdles quite thick to cross.
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@92 Of course I answered the question, troll. It it you that refuse to accept the truth. Go back under your bridge now.
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@93 That's great you think you have successfully defended the quote from the study, despite not citing a single shred of supporting evidence from the study to contradict my criticism. To be fair, that's not surprising coming from somebody that thought all the subjects were diagnosed GID, yet the study states 37% of subjects were never diagnosed with GID. That's not exactly a rounding error, but I'm guessing math is also not a strong suit for you. But yeah, cool story bro.
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@95 thanks bro you're welcome glad you think it's cool, that's what it's all about. i didn't have to make any case because you made the case against yourself yourself, wrapping your own ribbon to your own misrepresentation balloons, as you continue to- i never wrote gid; check it bro. nor is the study about gid, but dysphoria, which is literally in the title dang bro. it's why they had the subthreshold for those who didn't meet the gid doidoible dang bro. it's like you're stuck on needing things to be a certain way when they demonstrably are not. were they trans kids? yes of course, until they weren't.

desistance and detransing are real as anything, and gender as we make it today is built to oppress. dig it bro.
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@94, let's be clear.

1. You said, "Trans women are women."

2. I said, "What's the definition of women where that's true?"

3. You said, "Women are adult human females."

4. I said (and to be honest, I did not spell all of this out, but I am doing so now), "'Female' traditionally means possessing female primary and secondary sex characteristics, female chromosomes, and female gametes." Trans women do not possess these.

5. Therefore, under the traditional defintion, trans women are not female. If one is going to claim that trans women are female, then "female" is going to have to be redefined. I am open to such redefinition, but such redefinition is the responsiblity of those who prefer a different definition. I am waiting for that definition. Without it, "trans women are women" remains nonsense.
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@97 Perhaps you should take your anatomy under your troll bridge and play with it, because I'm not buying any of your nonsense now or ever. There are plenty of instances of mixed sexual characteristics, prenatal exposure to opposite sex hormones, and a thousand other instances. Sex and gender are not binary, they are a spectrum. Like Trump and other lower animals, you only see black and white, when in reality there is an entire spectrum of existence of which you appear unaware. And now, troll, I'm done with you. Goodbye.
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As one of the detransitioned women ("Cass") interviewed for this article, I want to say I'm happy with how it came out and am glad women like me are finally getting more representation. I think it's a very balanced and well researched piece of writing and best of all gives a marginalized group of people a chance to be heard. I'm very excited that detransitioned people are getting more opportunities to speak about our own experiences rather than having other people talk about what they think we are and what we mean. This is one of few articles out there that actually represents my life as a detransitioned woman.

I'm dismayed but not surprised by how some people are reacting to the issues this piece has raised. My life is not transphobic and making lives like mine more visible is not transphobic either. Reading that experiences like mine should not be talked about in public is infuriating. I get to be open and honest about my life and I get to work to make my experience and community more visible. There are people out there who need to know that there's resources and support for them if they end up detransitioning. They need to know they're not the only ones.
I made a video in response to the article and people's reactions to it that can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuI5rBWD…

I would encourage people to also watch videos other detrans women made in response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqN_9rM8…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN6N6F6A…

I know all about non-binary identities and considered myself genderqueer for most of my adult life before deciding that woman is big enough to hold all my gender non-conformity and butchness. Hell, I started calling myself genderqueer when many trans people were still hostile towards genderqueer and non-binary trans people and few outside the community had heard about it. I was probably the first genderqueer trans dude a lot of people met. Going from seeing oneself as a man to seeing oneself as a genderqueer trans man is different than coming to a new understanding of what a woman can be and coming to accept one's femaleness. I know now that nothing about me, not my looks, interests, self-expression, not even my history of transition or the fact that I still often pass for male, makes me less of a woman. Women can break gender norms too.

Detransitioning is more complicated than one article, even a long, nuanced one, can explain. Hopefully more people will take the chance to seek out the blogs and youtube channels of detransitioned people and learn more about our experiences. I invite people to read my blog and watch my videos at: https://crashchaoscats.wordpress.com/
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Thank you for this article
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The "2/3rds of kids who identify as trans grow out of it" stat is falsely presented. The actual study was on all kids who got referred to the clinic. So that includes those who didn't meet the diagnostic criteria for being trans, and those who went because their parents were worried about cross gender behaviour. This stat shows the clinics are working, but you're presenting it in a deceptive way to imply that most children who are diagnosed and begin transition switch back
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@106 everydayfeminism.com says you can be trans without experiencing dysphoria.
http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/not-…
http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/05/tran…
you should think about this before referencing studies that only look at dysphoria and then saying they're about trans people, as that's apperantly not the case.
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@106 It's even worse than including 47/127 kids that are not GID/GD. This citation pretends like GD is a clinical measure of trans-kids. A childhood GID diagnosis is not considered by WPATH as a reliable diagnostic of transgenderism, only of gender-nonconformity. It's one aspect of assessing children. Also, a kid can meet GID/GD criteria and never have asserted trans-identity, ever.

The most hilariously sad thing about this inappropriate citation is that the study did track 4 kids that socially transitioned as kids in that cohort, and NONE of them detransitioned as adolescents.
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No REAL progressives believe in this gender essentialist bullshit, so even though you're out bullying people by piggybacking off the gay rights movement, while calling everyone "phobic" people are coming to their senses and quickly. Women are not a set of stereotypes and neither are men.
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My niece detransitioned by the way. This is very close to my heart. I was her biggest advocate and she was with me part time. I could see she was in pain because she was being bullied for being a "masculine" lesbian. We would have small talks about how she is wonderful the way she is, but I supported her social transition at the same time. She has since decided to stop transitioning and embrace being a lesbian and I'm so happy that she got away from this.