Ok ok so I’m sure everyone already knows the answer, but I wanted to do my thought experiment anyway because I want to A) have a written record of what I’m thinking right now and B) share my ideas just in case they help somebody. I have entirely too many thoughts jostling around in my head which is probably how I ended up in this situation in the first place lol.
Fact: We don’t have evidence that being trans (born in the wrong body) is a distinct biological phenomenon. The only proof that being trans exists is self-reporting of symptoms (dysphoria).
Person “A” has dysphoria, based on the given definition of the phenomenon. They report it and transition based on having dysphoria, which is the recommended treatment.
After having recommended medical interventions thought to help with dysphoria, A subsequently comes to understand dysphoria as a type of intrusive thought.
One of the main recommendations to deal with intrusive thoughts is to practice mindfulness: recognizing the thought for what it is and rationalizing it away. It is not recommended to attempt to repress or appease the thought.
A concludes the existence of dysphoria (intrusive thoughts) is not sufficient evidence that a person can be in the wrong body. It is only proof that a person is having intrusive thoughts.
A detransitions while still experiencing dysphoria. In other words: A actively meets all of the criteria for being trans, but does not accept that a person can be in the wrong body (trans) due to lack of evidence. Being physically healthy, A has rejected the diagnosis of having an incorrect body.
One of the following statements MUST be true:
A was wrong about being trans. A was not experiencing dysphoria. A was misdiagnosed.
There is no such thing as being trans: born in the wrong body/having an X mind in a Y body.
If there is no such thing as being trans, then we must completely re-think the way we treat dysphoric people. We must reconsider which surgical interventions are allowed and when. We must determine whether it’s ever appropriate to treat intrusive thoughts with opposite-sex hormones. We must figure out what it means when people claim to be trans without dysphoria. This is not a comfortable conversation to have. This is not an easy conversation to have.
If A was wrong about being trans, it’s an isolated case and the fault lies with A. This is a much cleaner explanation. A is not trans and therefore should not have been treated as a trans person.
However, A had (and has) the exact same evidence of being trans as people who continue claiming to be trans: dysphoria, therapy, hormones, surgery, documentation of legal name and gender marker changes. It cannot be proven that A is wrong any more than it can be proven being trans (born in the wrong body) is real.
I am A. I do not identify as trans. I am trans, based on all of the observable criteria. My body bears the marks. It’s no one’s right to tell me that I did not have The Authentic Trans Experience. It’s no one’s right to invade my mind that way. I also do not believe that I am trans, because I don’t think that being trans is a legitimate condition. I do believe that dysphoria is- I have had it for years. I also believe that people who believe they are trans, believe that they are trans.
One of the things that gave me pause when I was originally thinking about detransition was the thought that I’d committed so much of my life, energy, time, etc. to thinking I was trans. It was literally the sunk cost fallacy in action, and I saw it, and it still made me hesitate.
Detransitioners are unnerving, I think, because we DO commit to the idea that we are trans. There’s really something physically wrong with us- with our bodies! It’s not just our brains gone haywire! We’re not mentally ill! I’m not crazy- how could I be crazy?
That’s some stigma, friends.