Sexual and gender minority youth are in crisis. Just as we have seen an exponential rise in youth pursuing medical cross-sex hormones and surgeries, in the next decade, we are sure to see a wave of detransitioners following behind them. And it won’t be pretty. It will be a major medical, mental health, social, and existential crisis.
These young adults are in desperate need of help, perhaps more than any other population right now. Growing up is hard enough as it is; add to the mix emerging into adulthood with the terrifying realization that you permanently altered your body before you knew what you were doing, and the adults responsible for your care did nothing but enable this? What a disaster.
But the mental health community has neglected detrans youth at best, harmed them at worst. Unfortunately, many therapists are too busy trying to prove their wokeness to take this seriously yet (or they avoid sticky subjects altogether). Many questioning youth have felt pressured by therapists into transitioning. (See my recent article, An analysis of striking, brand new data on detransitioners.) Therapists eager to demonstrate their support of “gender-affirming care” have been unwilling to take into consideration the actual prevalence of detransitioning, the lived experience of detransitioners, the chilling reality of rapid-onset gender dysphoria as a social phenomenon, and the impacts of these medical treatments on the brain. Detrans youth have no reason to trust us. We have yet to show them that they have our support.
If you are considering detransitioning or already have, you are welcome here. It is an incredibly brave thing to do to listen to your inner guidance, allow your mind to change, admit that you made a mistake, turn around, go against the current, risk ostracization from your peers, and face the reality that you may have to live for a long time with the consequences of actions you took when you were young. Regardless of what the particular issue may be, it is far more common for people to get so wrapped up in their egos that they will stick to their guns and double-down on their positions even when it becomes increasingly evident they may have been wrong. We could all learn from your examples.
Detrans youth, I am here for you. I want to hear your stories, learn from you, support you through this incredibly rough time, and teach other therapists how they can help your peers. If you are in Oregon and seeking a therapist, even if my practice is full, I will do my best to get you in. With enough interest, I could also form a support group for you and your peers. Alternately, if you are outside of Oregon and would be willing to share your story on my upcoming podcast, please let me know. I want other therapists to hear whatever you have to say to us.