Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
77 — Desistance Pt 1 — Accepting Reality: Now vs Then

77 — Desistance Pt 1 — Accepting Reality: Now vs Then


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This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on desistance. The difference between desistance and detransition is quite stark and in this episode, Sasha and Stella focus on the complex experience of desistance. How might a child come to desist? What facilitates or hinders this process, and what complicated feelings go along with this experience? Sasha and Stella also discuss the changes that have arisen in recent years and how compared to previous generations, society today responds very differently to children with gender dysphoria. In the next episode on desistance, EP 80, Sasha and Stella will help answer the question: How can I tell if my ROGD child may be desisting?


  • Cantor’s analysis of the desistance literature: 

  • Follow-up study of boys with Gender Identity Disorder:

Extended Notes

  • The word desistance means a person no longer wants to transition.

  • Stella shares her journey of feeling as if she was a girl and also a boy.

  • It can be horrifying when people don’t understand how one feels about their gender.

  • Attempting to will yourself into a new reality.

  • With puberty comes consciousness of reality.

  • For thousands of years, people repressed their sexuality and gender and lived a lie.

  • Growing up in today’s technology-driven world is vastly different from being a teen in the past.

  • There is a correlation between gender non-conforming children and being gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual.

  • A 2021 study showed that 80% of dysphoric boys desisted and 64% were gay.

  • Stella shares her thoughts on This Is How It Always Is: A Novel by Laurie Frankel.

  • Desistance does happen and often teens are grateful they didn’t make permanent changes.

  • Desistance requires a reckoning.

  • Gender issues have been polarized in political realms.

  • Stella wanted to be powerful and feminine when she was 17.

  • A person’s peer group can make it easier or harder for them to desist.

  • People flip-flop their identities all the time.

  • Taking a deeper look into fluidity between identities.

  • Navigating the shame that can accompany questioning gender identity.

  • Desistance can be a coming-of-age process.

This podcast is sponsored by ReIME and Genspect. Visit and to learn more.

For more about our show:

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.