I was going to write a post titled “Why Detransitioners Disappear” using screenshots of the various abusive and disrespectful comments on the Atlantic video- the insults about how I look, being called a liar, being called crazy, the objectifying pity. Someday soon I probably will, just to document what detransitioners who go public have to be willing to take.
There’s double binds everywhere when it comes to being a woman getting hurt. If you show it hurts, you’re weak and crazy. If you brush it off, that means it didn’t hurt and that must mean it’s ok for them to keep doing.
I can endure a lot. I’ve been through enough rough things that my skin is pretty thick. My skin being thick does not mean that the disrespect is acceptable. But then everything about the situations other people create that detransitioners experience the consequences of is totally unacceptable. Whether those people understand the consequences to what they’ve created or not.
The universe let me visit with another detransitioned woman in real life last night. We got to talk about what other people have hidden, what they’ve lied about, what they’ve hoped we would keep quiet about, what they’ve hoped we’d forget. We got to talk about all the ways people are committed to getting us wrong. We got to talk about how overwhelming the sexism of the press coverage and reactions to us can be. We got to talk about how ridiculous every part of this experience has been.
The conversations between detransitioners are what matters. No other conversation comes close in importance. Not the conversations between us and trans people, between us and parents, between us and clinicians, between us and the gawking public. The only conversations that jump with creative power are the ones we have with each other.
We can use all those subsidiary conversations to locate each other. To draw each other out. To demonstrate to each other there’s a safe spot to gather- a safe message board, a safe meetup, a semi-safe way to be semi-revealed to the public. But those subsidiary conversations with trans people, parents, clinicians, the public, will be streaked through with disrespect, with pity, with objectification, with sexism, with entitled rage. All of that hierarchical garbage necessarily precludes the possibility of creating through those conversations.
All that matters is we find each other. All that matters is we build safety with each other. All that matter is we keep surviving. All that matters is we get together and talk. The right things will find their way to creation if we can just find each other and talk.