Detrans Awareness Day
Last Friday was Detrans Awareness Day, a day designed to raise awareness about detransition and to tackle the stigma that is often associated with it. As the day went on, the #DetransAwarenessDay feed on Twitter filled up with stories from detransitioners and words of support from others. It’s well worth looking through the tweets to get a sense of the experiences of and difficulties faced by detransitioners.
Detransitioners are people who have decided to stop or reverse a social or medical transition in which they were living out an internal sense of gender and have instead decided to acknowledge and accept the reality of their biological sex. The experience of detransitioners has gained greater public prominence in the past few years, especially through the story of Keria Bell, a detransitioned woman who was the lead claimant in a 2020 High Court case against the NHS Tavistock and Portman Trust who run the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). I’ve written previously about how Christians should respond to the reality of detransition and the increasing prominence of detransitioners in the cultural conversation about transgender.
To coincide with Detrans Awareness Day, Post Trans, a project seeking to support female detransitioners, have released a booklet called Gender Detransition: A Path Towards Self-Acceptance. The short booklet is a great resource for those wanting to understand detransition and to support well people who are questioning their gender identity.
The booklet opens with the stories of three detransitioned women, and the authors then draw on the words of many detransitioners to tackle some common misunderstandings about detransitioners and to paint a picture of how a better future could be created for those who detransition. They also give a brief overview of some of the potential impacts of detransitioning medically, including an interview with Dr William J. Malone, director of the Society of Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM).
The booklet also talks about alternative ways to deal with gender dysphoria. One of the points the authors seek to make, and an important point to understand, is that detransition does not mean that the experience of gender dysphoria is not real or has ceased for those who choose to detransition. Rather, detransitioners recognise that transitioning has not been the best way for them to deal with their experience of dysphoria and that other ways of handling it should therefore be explored. Sadly, other ways of handling gender dysphoria have been little researched and are rarely offered by medical professions, but this booklet shares some of the alternative ways that detransitioners have been able to deal with their dysphoria.
Gender Detransition is a great way to understand more about detransition and is rare in its openness about the factors that sometimes lie behind transgender experience and alternative ways of responding to gender dysphoria. If we’re going to help and care for people well, we’re going to need more resources like this.
Youth leaders and parents, as well as those involved in pastoral care, will find the booklet particularly helpful.
Gender Detransition: A Path Towards Self-Acceptance is available to download for free on the Post Trans website.