“No one wants to silence detransitioners.”
For everyone’s sake, let’s assume that this is true. I think most people are well-intentioned. I assume no one reading this is Evil Incarnate.
I transitioned because I genuinely believed that being born in the wrong body was a Real Thing. In order to believe that transitioning is an appropriate, medically-justifiable treatment for a medical condition, you must believe that a person can be born in the wrong body. Otherwise, it’s just cosmetic surgery and while I don’t mind what other people do with their bodies, I want my body to be as natural as possible, as long as it’s healthy. It took 9 years of internal debate (on top of a lifetime of “what-if”), but I finally managed to game my own brain into believing this was A Thing. And that I had it.
At times, even during transition, I felt like I’d been hit with some black magic.
“How incredible that we can be born into the wrong body. How amazing- and horrible- it is that a man can be born in female form. How strange- absurd- and what are the odds that this should happen to me? Of all the rotten luck…”
I detransitioned because that core belief was shattered. If I still believed that someone could be born in the wrong body, then I would feel obligated to take Testosterone, because that’s Me As A Person. I brush my teeth twice a day. When I had surgery, I followed the post-op care recommendations to the letter. If I thought transitioning was best for my health, I’d keep at it, even though injections and routine blood drawings are a real drag.
If I want to discuss my experience, to really get into the icky-sticky feelings and thoughts I had while going there-and-back-again, it’s really not possible to avoid talking about how I changed my mind and what that means. “It wasn’t right for me,” doesn’t cover it. That works for some things, but we’re talking about the #1 recommended treatment for this condition. No, wait, the “ONLY” treatment that works. At all. I wouldn’t stop a course of antibiotics halfway through because it “just wasn’t right for me.”
But you have to believe in transition in order for it to work.
Having once believed in the benefits of transition as a cure for dysphoria, I felt horribly sorry for de- and non-transitioners. How masochistic, I thought, forcing yourself to live with dysphoria for the sake of being normal. Internalized Transphobia. How sad. It might have been their decision to make, but I still felt bad for them. I wanted to help them.
This is not entirely unlike how I feel now, although I am more interested in word-vomiting into the void and seeing what resonates with someone else. I have no particularly desperate investment in strangers’ transitions and I certainly don’t care to Ban All Transition Surgery, any more than I care about banning all nose jobs.
Want is the key word here. No one’s goal is SILENCE THE DETRANS HERETICS! It’s just that simplifying the whole deal to “just not right for them” and chalking up any additional complexity as “bad for trans people” happens to do just that. Regardless of what people want.