Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
115 — How Online Communities Shape Thought, Desire, and Doubt about Transition: with Eliza Mondegreen

115 — How Online Communities Shape Thought, Desire, and Doubt about Transition: with Eliza Mondegreen


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In this episode, Sasha & Stella chat with graduate student and Substack author Eliza Mondegreen, who is dedicated to the study of online trans and detrans communities. She also studies the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs underpinning affirmative care.

The conversation with Eliza begins with a deep dive into what led to her intimate exploration of gender. She shares how her history with eating disorders, an early interest in the study of totalitarianism, advocacy work around women’s reproductive health, and her relationship with a close friend during their transition experience all helped pave the way for her intense interest and curiosity about gender, specifically the psychological experience as it relates to projecting distress and the medical interventions for managing the distress. Eliza shares how she explores these concepts in depth through her engagement with online communities (like Reddit) where she observes and reflects on the stories, ideas, and reactions shared by other members inside the internet-based groups.

Eliza also speaks about her attendance at both the EPATH conference recently in Ireland, and the WAPTH conference last year in Canada for a fully immersive experience and a first-hand account of the affirmative approach to trans healthcare and medicalization. Eliza writes extensively on her Substack about her encounters and observations, and her first-hand exposure from inside the online and medical communities indulging the identity that is “trans.”


gender: hacked by Eliza Mondegreen

Graduate student researching and writing about all things gender identity

FTM Over 30 | FTM Over 30

A place for FTM/FTN/FTX folk over 30 to come together for support and discussion. If your life experiences better align with those who are usually over 30, you're welcome here.

FTM Men | FTM Men

A support and community-oriented space for binary FTM men.

r/detrans | Detransition Subreddit

Welcome all detransitioners/desisters and self-questioners.

r/actual detrans | detrans_support

An alternative to r/detrans that provides support to detransitioners, reidentifiers, retransitioners, and questioners in an environment free from gender-critical ideology and rhetoric.

r/ftm | A place for the guys

Support-based discussion place focused on trans men, trans-masc individuals, and other people assigned female at birth who are trans.

Egg IRL Community


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Extended Notes:

  • Eliza had anorexia in her teens.

  • She had a fascination with Totalitarianism in school.

  • Eliza’s friend who transitioned was under pressure from her family. They were uncomfortable with same-sex attraction.

  • Eliza has comprehensively researched all aspects of gender and transition therapies.

  • In 2016, Eliza started observing online communities but never created an online persona who engaged with others.

  • Eliza says children who are online in any capacity will be prompted to question their gender.

  • Eliza explains the Egg IRL community and its connection to transgender topics.

  • Eliza explains that online communities set expectations for how users may be treated by their offline families.

  • Eliza summarizes her experiences attending gender care conferences.

  • Clinicians who present at conferences seem to lack curiosity about differences in gender care.

  • Eliza explains the differences between those who attended EPATH’s conference and other conferences.

  • In the past year, Eliza has noticed a lot of radicalization in online spaces.


“Now, if you are a kid and you play Roblox video games, on social media, or join a social network you are going to be prompted to question your gender. It’s almost unavoidable for kids online.” — Eliza Mondegreen [27:56]

“Kids are being presented as what sex you are as a choice. If you are a girl, and you say 'Yes, I'm happy to be identified as a girl' it is taken as consent to be sexualized, and diminished.” — Eliza Mondegreen [29:58]

“I don't understand how people can come into contact with the subject and not be fascinated. And yet, you go to these conferences and you listen to these clinicians and researchers and there is this remarkable lack of curiosity.” — Eliza Mondegreen [53:10]

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender's psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.