I’ve been watching a lot of “Vanderpump Rules.” The plot of “Vanderpump Rules” is that there is this woman who was on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (Lisa) who owns a restaurant in Los Angeles and the serving staff at that restaurant date each other and drink and have insane fights when they drink. Especially the girls have completely unhinged fights, where no one has anything like a moral high ground, because everyone has been the shittiest version of themselves they could be the entire fight. I find shows like this very comforting. Everyone’s problems are totally self-created, and then even though everyone’s being awful they all keep waking up alive. Based on how they drink and fight at least a couple of the cast members should be dead. But no, they’re ok- they’re ripped and beautiful and young.
It’s so nice to watch whole seasons of nothing bad happening to these people who sort of deserve bad things to happen to them. In real life bad things just happen, regardless of who deserves what.
I let someone film and interview me for a weekend. I’ll let you know when the thing comes out. It was surreal getting filmed and the psychological fallout has necessitated lots of “Vanderpump Rules.” I know that I’m an over-sharer in the extreme, but honestly in my real life I don’t talk about all the weird shit that’s happened to me. It’s very easy to not talk about it in my real life. There’s so much other stuff to be talking about with people- the Cavs, Trump, who’s getting sober, who is overdue to get sober, weird health and dental problems people are experiencing, who’s planning a wedding, what people are going to do with their hair next.
Sometimes that’s lonely. When Ryan Anderson’s book came out that was lonely. Because how do you share that experience with the people around you? When the ADF was reaching out to detransitioners in the fall that was hyper anxiety-inducing and lonely. I mean, I’ve always had my detransitioned lady crew, we figure this shit out as it comes, but it is weird to begin a shift at the restaurant and Albert asks me what’s up in my life, and I’m all, “well there’s this fascist right wing legal group who is scouting my community for who needs a lawyer for a malpractice case and me and my friends are trying to figure out how to disrupt that from happening even though we definitely know people who have legit malpractice claims.”
I’m sick of my own story. But then there’s no REAL LIFE in how people talk about medical transition. There’s no hey people tend to be shitty, hey things tend to go off the rails, hey being poor sets you up for bad shit to happen to you, hey people have these high ideals they can’t actually enact, hey this isn’t reality tv, bad things happen regardless of who deserves them.
Believe me I’ve considered at length whether maybe I deserved all the bad shit that happened. I was really clueless. I was really clueless, really trusting, really optimistic, pretty goddamn stupid. So if clueless people deserve to have bad things happen to them, then I deserved it. But it’s more like bad things inevitably happen to clueless people.
People like the question “how many people actually detransition?” and the answer is we don’t even know how many people medically transition in America in a year, much less how many people detransition. We know that out of 681 Swedes that legally changed their names and genders, 15 of those Swedes applied to have their gender on their government documents changed back. That doesn’t tell us much about what’s happening in America. I have one friend who changed her gender legally and then changed it back. If I was a Swede living in Sweden from 1960 to 2010 I would not be counted as a “regretter” because I never changed my documents. So even if we take 15/681 Swedes in Sweden from 1960-2010 and believe that that ratio (2.2%) will hold for America in 2018, we have no idea how many Americans 2.2% would be.
I keep thinking someone who makes their money from mental health for trans people should’ve been on this. It’s just strange no one planned ahead about detransition. Of course, if trans healthcare trended to informed consent, there were going to be detransitioners. (Those Swedes were not going to informed consent clinics, by the way. My understanding is there was one central gender identity clinic every trans Swede went to.) It’s weird no one thought this through.
Then you think about James Caspian’s research being blocked in the fall and it’s like, guys. Let’s start thinking ahead. Let’s just start doing some research, getting some info about what people are experiencing, what kind of care they received, even just for that 2.2%. Since we’re counting on the ratio of Swedes to apply to the American context.
I don’t know what’s going to happen and I’m bewildered to be a public figure about this because there are so many ways I’m bad at being a public figure. I speak imprecisely about research. I swear a lot. I’m so transparently neurotic. I don’t like being filmed. I’m testy about boundaries, while also repeatedly getting way too personal. But let’s be real, why write about detransition and make youtube videos about detransition and constantly hang out in support groups for detransitioners if you’re not trying to speak publicly about detransition?
I don’t know folks. Real life is messy. In real life you need to plan for the worst. In real life you need to plan carefully and limit your optimism and expect people to suck. In real life people make dumb decisions because making dumb decisions is a lot more accessible than quality mental healthcare. In real life ideologues would like to argue that right and wrong is clear and simple, because it’s actually kind of terrifying how hard right and wrong is when you’re in the muck with someone struggling.
I don’t know folks.