The Hard Questions About Young People And Gender Transitions

Andrew Sullivan
nymag.com
2019-11-05

Earlier this week, I met a group of women in their early 20s who are not supposed to exist.

They’re women who, in their teens, realized that they were actually men, socially transitioned to the other sex, and then underwent hormone therapy to change their bodies, faces, and voices to become transgender men. After varying amounts of time, however, they all realized they had made a big mistake, stopped testosterone therapy, and “detransitioned” back to being who they were before. They are now embarrassed, they say, but not ashamed. “I don’t identify as anything,” one of them told me. “I just have two X chromosomes in the bag.”

These women are not anti-trans, or religious nuts, or members of the far right. They expressed not a smidgen of transphobia, just a pressing concern that many teenage women, particularly lesbians, struggling with gender dysphoria, have been convinced too quickly that the only solution is to change their sex. They worry that any kind of therapy apart from affirmation of transgender identity is now seen as transphobic, and that teens are able to get hormones far too easily.

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