Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
15 - One Detrans Voice: A Conversation with Carol

15 - One Detrans Voice: A Conversation with Carol


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Carol is a 40-year-old detransitioned butch lesbian. She transitioned at 34 and is part of an often ignored group: adult lesbians turned trans men. Carol tells us about the initial highs of transition and how things took a turn for the worse…


Extended Notes

  • Where is the space for de-transitioners?

  • Carol is a lesbian who is no longer taking hormones. She is beginning to detransition.

  • What was Carol’s childhood like?

  • When Carol was 9, she was told she was acting like a boy and needed to change.

  • Carol’s mother lost her mind on her pastor when she found out Carol played football with his boys.

  • Carol suspects that her mother was a closeted woman.

  • Why did Carol choose not to go to high school?

  • Carol thought it was really cool to see women who didn’t shave their hair. She saw what “normal” women were supposed to look like.

  • Alcoholism is a big issue in the lesbian community.

  • What makes someone trans? Carol checked all the boxes. But the boxes were wrong!

  • “I don’t feel like a girl.” is just another way for someone to say that they don’t feel pretty.

  • Carol has a younger sister who has blonde hair and blue eyes, and everybody just fell over themselves for her growing up. Carol felt like an ogre.

  • At 17 years old, Carol had a nervous breakdown.

  • The butch lesbian is often the butt of many jokes in the media. It was difficult for Carol who had more masculine traits.

  • When did Carol first think about transitioning?

  • Carol received different treatment for being a butch woman.

  • Being a guy — is it easier?

  • Carol tried twice to transition. In her 20s and her 30s. What was that experience like?

  • Carol did not know the side effects she would have from taking testosterone. It was so experimental.

  • Taking testosterone, especially in those large amounts, it’s like a drug.

  • Carol’s mental state started to deteriorate about a year and a half into her transition as a man.

  • By year four, Carol was paralyzed in her room and she didn’t want to leave because her anxiety was so high.

  • Carol’s female anatomy was deteriorating as well from lack of use, so a new set of problems would have arisen if she had kept taking hormones.

  • When did Carol decide to de-transition?

  • Carol’s gender struggles were a form of distress and she was not given that many options to solve that distress.

  • People often throw “transition!” into the fold as the only option when there are other pathways to explore. We need other options and education around that. Transitioning isn’t the only solution.

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:

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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.