Perspective: The Atlantic Talks to Trans People With Regrets

The trans community doesn’t seem like much of a “community,” at least not if you regret your transition. They only care if you advance their agenda; no matter how miserable you may be. Carey Callahan, interviewed for a documentary with The Atlantic, experienced it first hand when she decided to go back to her biological gender. She’s not the only one. The Atlantic July/August cover story written by Jesse Singal, “When Children Say They’re Trans,” dares to feature Callahan and a handful of others who regretted and reversed their transitions.

In the video, Callahan was angered when a “prominent trans writer wrote an essay about how rare detransition was.” She decided to “come out” online telling her story. As others like her started telling their stories, she started getting backlash from the trans community. She was told that being public about detransitioning is “unethical” because “fundamental Christians” can use it as proof against medical treatment for gender dysphoria.

Some of those who went back to their biological gender believe that children are sometimes pushed by society or the medical community to transition instead of getting to the bottom of the problem. The GLAAD site has articles about transgender awareness week and how positive hormone blockers are for kids. But, according to Singal, has “little about the complicated diagnostic and developmental questions faced by the parents.” And nothing about people who regret transitioning.

They tend to ignore that they exist or use false statistics that don’t tell the whole story. “Only 2.2 percent of people who physically transition later regret it,” is frequently cited by the trans community but it doesn’t “paint a complete picture.” According to Callahan, the study “examined only those people who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery and legally changed their gender.” This would have excluded Carey and many of the others she knows. Who had never taken that step or stopped before getting there.

The medical community isn’t any better. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, the medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development, is against requiring therapy sessions and mental health evaluations before transitioning. “I don’t send someone to a therapist when I’m going to start them on insulin,”  she said. Because there isn’t a major difference between a mental issue and diabetes?

Many of the people who decide to detransition argue that their problems were caused by “mental-health problems, trauma, social misogyny, or some combination of these.” But if a patient isn’t allowed to work out these issues with a therapist, they may make a rash decision and regret it.

It seems like the trans community doesn’t care because that may discredit their beliefs. But they harm people in the process.


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