Puberty made everything worse

The NY Times has plucked up the courage to run a piece on detransitioners.

Grace Powell was 12 or 13 when she discovered she could be a boy.

Well, no, she didn’t discover “she could be a boy.” She discovered she could claim to be a boy, identify as a boy, pretend to be a boy. Let’s be careful about how we word things, ok?

Growing up in a relatively conservative community in Grand Rapids, Mich., Powell, like many teenagers, didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. She was unpopular and frequently bullied. Puberty made everything worse. She suffered from depression and was in and out of therapy.

“I felt so detached from my body, and the way it was developing felt hostile to me,” Powell told me. It was classic gender dysphoria, a feeling of discomfort with your sex.

What? How do we know it wasn’t “classic” discomfort with puberty? Why assume it’s “classic” gender dysphoria? Isn’t that how we got into this mess in the first place?

Reading about transgender people online, Powell believed that the reason she didn’t feel comfortable in her body was that she was in the wrong body. Transitioning seemed like the obvious solution. The narrative she had heard and absorbed was that if you don’t transition, you’ll kill yourself.

Yes, like that. It’s a socially constructed belief, fostered by “reading about transgender people online.” Hold that thought: it’s important.

At 17, desperate to begin hormone therapy, Powell broke the news to her parents. They sent her to a gender specialist to make sure she was serious. In the fall of her senior year of high school, she started cross-sex hormones. She had a double mastectomy the summer before college…

Well thank god they made sure she was serious first, and then a week or two later let her get her tits chopped off.

At no point during her medical or surgical transition, Powell says, did anyone ask her about the reasons behind her gender dysphoria or her depression. At no point was she asked about her sexual orientation. And at no point was she asked about any previous trauma, and so neither the therapists nor the doctors ever learned that she’d been sexually abused as a child.

So what did the “gender specialist” actually talk to her about?

“I wish there had been more open conversations,” Powell, now 23 and detransitioned, told me. “But I was told there is one cure and one thing to do if this is your problem, and this will help you.”

I guess her parents picked the wrong gender specialist.

8 Responses to “Puberty made everything worse”

Leave a Comment

Subscribe without commenting