Controversial Topic…

Trigger Warning: I am about to lay out some of what I see and feel about young people transitioning and the huge issues that are starting to surface surrounding this very touchy subject. I invite anyone interested to this conversation, as long as we can maintain decency and mutual respect for one another, understanding that every individual is completely entitled to their own opinions. No one is wrong, even though some of us may disagree.

Reference: Youtuber Arielle Scarcarcella from NYC recently did a video discusssing this topic and had some interesting points and statistics that were pretty surprising. She also has other fairly current videos on this topic in her playlist. Now, I do not always agree with this particular Youtuber, who I’ve watched for about 10 years now, but I respect that she is not afraid to take up some pretty controversial stuff on her channel and she catches a lot of flak because of it. To understand what sparked my interest in writing and doing my own videos about this topic you should give Ariellle’s vids a watch. Here’s the main one I am referring to: “Thousands of “Trans” Teens Want to DETRANSITION...”

Transitioning and De-Transitioning

This topic has come up between myself and several of my Butch buddies. It’s often suggested directly TO us by other people, who do not understand yhe Butch identity,

“Why don’t you just transition? You want to be a man anyway, right?”

You don’t even know how many times I have had that exact statement directed at me. I don’t feel any need because I am not unhappy with my gender. I’m just fine living as a Butch woman and thus do not need or want to transition and change my gender marker.

I have no problem with those who DO choose to transition and for those who it works for and who are most happy they have undergone the processes and procedures to make themselves at home in their bodies and minds. I have several trans friends (mostly MtF) who I have mad respect for, fully support and love dearly. I do understand that it IS the right thing for those who consider it carefully, understand all of it and are consenting adults.

I am LESS comfortable with young people choosing this path at too early an age. I believe that there should be a minimum age requirement. Let the kid grow up, mature both physically and mentally and experience life before performing irreversible changes to their bodies. I personally believe a person should be a minimum of 25 years old and have gone through at least 2 years of intensive therapy and medical testing before undertaking this monumental process.

I am in no way saying or suggesting that any kid who claims that they are trans are not. I’m just saying I believe it should be handled very carefully. I believe many younger Butches often go through the “I wanna be a boy” or “I think I am really a boy” phase. And yes, for some – like me personally – it’s just that – a phase. I went thru it and once I realized that I could love other girls even though I AM a girl too and the world may not “like” it, but as long as I was true to myself instead of thinking that only boys could love girls, I didn’t have that desire to change my gender any longer. Sometimes I think that is the bottom line thinking of a 14 year old. That YOU have to change, when it’s really the WORLD that needs to change. YOU should just be YOURSELF and make yourself happy. The world will catch up one day. And THAT is my PERSONAL opinion.

I am 58, so perhaps my view and experience in observing what has been happening regarding transitioning, and how much it’s increased and progressed in the last 10 years is different from the experiences of the younger generation who does not recall a time when this wasn’t even considered by almost anybody – and oft times not even known about as an option. Transitioning from female to male (MtF) seems to have been discovered and has become epidemic among younger people because the concept and procedures have received far more exposure in the last decade than ever before.

As a statistic, 75% of those transitioning are female at birth who choose to transition to male, thus it has become more popular with young women comparibly than with young men in the same age brackets.

The topic is really taboo in the community. No one wants to talk about it because they think that others will view them as “transphobic” Thus, it’s not being discussed and studied as it should be right now. I think this is something, transitioning/detransitioning, should be discussed much more – especially with our younger community. Many times it’s children who discover this idea and convince their parents to allow them to permanently change their bodies with surgery and hormones in an attempt to become the gender opposite of what they were born.

I definitely understand that there ARE individuals who ARE legitimate in transitioning. I am in no way saying that trans people are all confused or doing anything wrong. Transitioning is a very personal choice and one that should not be taken lightly, done quickly, done unsupervised by good medical staff, and really considered with some good therapy before it’s undertaken by anyone.

My biggest concern with transitioning is that many children are convincing their parents to let them do this. And some with very little medical diagnosis, or a very quick “diagnosis”.

Doctors are afraid to say “no” or even “wait” now because they are so afraid of being labelled “transphobic” This is dangerous to the patient and often results in an unhappy individual down the road who decides maybe this “isn’t” what they wanted and then they go through the process of “de-transitioning” which is pretty tough as well.

Transitioning from one gender to another is a long process, a heavy mental process as well as physical changes. There’s not enough room here to dive deep into the processes – and there are actually a few ways to do it. Should you wish to know more about transitioning and what it’s like I highly recommend doing some basic online research to get more of a grasp on the topic.

Youtube is a great place to start as there are literally thousands of videos by individuals who have gone through the transition process. And there are also thousands by people who have chosen to reverse the process and “detransition” I will include a few links at the end of this article that I feel are good places to start.

Note: Please try to have an open mind and a kind heart. This is a very serious thing for those who suffer with feeling that they are living in the wrong body, have body dysphoria and are going through transition for their own personal reasons. It’s a very tough thing to go through, emotionally as well as physically. Suicide rates among young people who identify as “trans” are alarmingly disproportionate. Trans kids commit suicide at 3 times the rate of kids who identify as “gay or lesbian” – which is also a very high rate as well. It is not helpful to be judgemental and you’ll learn more if you keep an open mind and ask questions instead of assuming. It’s not easy living in a world where you don’t feel like you “belong” or “fit in” because of your sexuality or gender presentation – believe me, I experience is all the time with just being an openly, visible very Butch lesbian.

To me it feels like that ever since the introduction of personal computers and cell phones to our lives, around 1990-95 lots of things in life changed, particularly in the realm of communication with the birth of “e-mail”. As time passed they started to become available and somewhat less costly and less ugly, but it did take a while! In the beginning they WERE pretty damned expensive still. If I recall correctly I paid over $4000 for my first desktop computer which was an Apple. Laptops were not on the market until a few years later. And dial-up connection was the only way to get “online” which confused the hell out of just about ALL of us – Haha…admit it, you were baffled too, unless you were under 20 and were just getting into adulting and were less paranoid about pushing the “wrong button”. That “blue screen of death” was a very scary, real and costly occurrence!

When I got mine the sales guy set it up in my office – back then that’s how it worked, you didn’t just buy one at a store. You had to call a computer sales company and they would meet you and pitch their product, figure out what you wanted to use it to do and try to match you up with the correct equipment. Yup, quite an ordeal. Buying anything short of a car or house, that cost over $4K back in 1990 was considered a major purchase and nlicot to be taken lightly. And the desktops were HUGE, awkward looking, had tiny black and white screens and made a whizzing, humming noise which you became accustomed to pretty quickly in my experience anyway. We were all just overly fascinated by the damned things that we thought all the noises, humming, clicking, whizzing and the dreaded going down the drain sound that would happen when something went wrong!

So, yeah, the whole world shifted when we discovered the personal computer and a telephone that you could carry in a big ass pouch slung over your shoulder. Those were some clumbsy and ugly as well. But hey, nothing is really beautiful in the very beginning….gotta have room for improvement! Now, where I was going with this…was getting to how much these devices changed our lives in so many ways. Good thing I had taken typing in high school and was pretty proficient at 160wpm, so adjusting to the keyboard was a pretty slick event for me. I do love to type and I can type far faster than I can hand-write anything.

Once computers became our “go-to” communication and working devices with email and the world wide web they continuously improved. When they finally got rid of “dial-up” and that screeching noise it made connecting – and invented fiberopticsd, then satellite, broadband, and faster and faster ways to connect to the world – we stared using them most all day long to do business, communicate with clients, friends, family and eventually the introduction of the wonderful snake pit called “social media” ! Now THAT got everyone’s attention like real quick! And it’s become and ever-expanding worlds where you can interact with just about anyone, anywhere in the world – oh, maybe except like No. Korea and China where it’s restricted or just non-existent due to that over-extended hammer of communism, sadly.

So, social media plays a big part in just about all of our lives – unless you live under a rock with no cable access. We’ve made friends, found long-lost relatives, fallen in long-distance love, had fights with people on far away continents, and looked at photos that you just cannot “un-see”..hahaha…those are fun! And for the LGBT community it’s been a great point of access for many of us to connect with our own community, which is spread far and wide and often operates on a stealth platform to avoid the sinister amount of taunting, homophobia, hate and violence oft directed at us.

It’s become a great way to stay in touch and discuss things that we don’t always have like-minded people in close proximity to talk about with. This is the part I love about the internet. I’ve met some awesome people – and some real dopes as well, but hey…gotta have a little bad with all that good! 😉

The internet definitely became a huge gateway of access to information, and in the topic of this blog I am writing – transitioning – the internet has been a huge plus for millions I am sure. It’s a place where you can privately search and read about anything – especially stuff you don’t know how to discuss with anyone in a face-to-face situation. It’s a great tool for this, and for keeping communities together in a cyber kind of way. I believe it’s been the best thing that’s happened for the LGBT community next to the tenuous huge, very important issue of legalizing same-sex marriage.

I now believe that had we NOT had internet to introduce, explain, debate and discuss transgenderism and the challenges accompanying being trans or loving someone who is trans, supporting our trans community members and their partners and families on a wider scale, I bet that we would still be trying to educate about the issue via paper and snail-mail forever…it never would have happened as it did because the internet gave us the platform and tools that allowed us to have those very important conversations and connections that eventually made it all come together and happen for our community. Yes, the internet has had it’s finer good points, such as uniting communities in a faster and better manner with some sense of privacy when desired. It’s kind of amazing to take a look-back at how online access and social media have changed the scope of access to so many things in today’s world.

I’ve read articles that have been written on this topic. Some call it the “disappearing Butch” phenomenon. I can definitely see how it looks that way. Old school Butch femme dynamics are dying off rapidly sadly. Those of us who still love the life are still here though!

So, dear readers, what are your thoughts on this transitioning young topic?

I’m going to stop here for this chapter of this topic. I will be writing more I am sure.

Be kind. –MB

9 thoughts on “Controversial Topic…

  1. This is my opinion based on extensive scholarly research, helping out in a treatment facility after top surgery (FTM), and having a Beloved Butch spouse. The overwhelming body of evidence for people who want to detransition is fairly stable, between 3 and 8 percent depending. What i personally agree with is that children who have been properly screened medically and psychiatrically to be given blockers that suppress the normal bodily signal to begin puberty and allowing them to decide upon further action when they are mature enough to consider the risks and handle the choice. Obviously, they can choose for themselves upon turning 18 and i would definitely have set aside money over time for the surgeries. i have seen the effects on people who are quite young (21) and those who waited (mid fifties). As in any surgery, the younger you are the easier everything bounces back after a major surgery. i have seen people who i wondered if they were really thinking about if they might just be living in a society that only allows for two genders, discounting whatever they may be. i’ve seen those same people post op like a ray of sunshine had come into their world for the first time. i also know that had my Beloved been my child, i would have thought she was Trans because she was expecting to wake up a boy until she was 13. i feel a lot of guilt that i might have jumped the gun, and deprived her the experiences she has had because she is beautifully perfectly Butch. She feels strongly that everyone should take some time in the body they are in and see how it feels and has some sadness (like me) that Butch is disappearing. It makes my femme heart skip a beat. You Butches always make my heart sing and are full of value.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ll be the first to say I agree with everything you said, call me transphobic call me a gatekeeper, but I especially agree with the age restriction, no one under 25, and yeah, detransitioning is a real bitch, it’s mentally, physically, emotionally scarring, frustrating, and painful, not to mention expensive holy crap!followed by regret, lots of regret, and also for the record… life is no better or easier regardless of what gender a person is or thinks they may be… each has its pros and cons.
    It makes me sad to see so many Butch folks buy into that “well you wanna be a guy” anyway sh!t, or allow themselves to be pressured into starting T and shooting for transition, think the old school Butch is going extinct… what a shame.


  3. It might be worth noting, i know of several Butches who had top surgery because they simply did not enjoy having huge boobs. They continued to identify as Butch. They were exclusively over 50, which means they probably had access to other Butches coming up. That is the part that makes me sad. It’s like a whole generation of Butches is missing. 😦 i don’t care if Butches want whatever surgery they need to be comfortable, but i don’t think surgery is what makes someone Trans. Butches are born with more T in their brains, naturally. We have known this since the 60s. i wish every baby was screened in this way, so parents might have a clue immediately and not stuff you Bois into dresses. Very excellent testing exists that could be done immediately because the hormones in the brain are what you come with into this world. It would immediately reveal the inner sex kids too. We would have to back away from a two gendered stereotyped world. i saw an ad today for a gender reveal cabbage patch doll and felt physically sick.


  4. Thank you for continuing to alert me to things such as the video. At 72, I thought that the idea of sex stereotyping should have died by now. When I hear people totally confuse their gender with how they think they should look and act I am very sad. My little sister(65) is definitely Butch and always has been. She is attracted to women and always has been. I think if this whole arena had been open when she was a child it would have wrongly convinced her that she couldn’t be a girl and dress like a boy and become an electrician. That would have been very sad.


  5. Thanks for approaching a controversial topic with nuance and compassion. I hate the overly dramatic knee-jerk reactions a lot of people engage in and it’s nice to see people having a mature conversation. I’d love to see a world where everyone is comfortable being themselves. I hope you’re doing well, MB!


  6. Hi – we haven’t really corresponded but we’re following each other on the blue site – just want to say I’m sorry that people tell you that you “should be a man” based on their own entitlement and ignorance, everyone deserves more understanding and to be free of stereotypes like that. Also just wanted to point out there are lots of ways people can transition socially that don’t involve hrt or surgery – changing the name they go by, the pronouns they use, binding or tucking or wearing packers or chest pads etc. Having social support around these can be lifesaving! Sad to say lots of employers, doctors, social workers etc still discriminate against all kinds of lgbt people with no consequences, so I can’t quite see how fear of being called homophobic or transphobic is changing their behavior very much.

    Content warning for my own comment here, too – So many times I’ve seen psychiatrists harrass, bully, victim-blame and mislead me and people in my communities, use political disagreements with us as excuses to threaten commitment to violent jail-like facilities, and so on, that I’d never feel comfortable saying that more psychiatric involvement should be *required* for any of us. I think the best we can do is make sure people have the chance to hear stories from others who’ve been through similar life experiences – thanks for writing yours here. The freedom to decide what to do with one’s own body, does include the freedom to make ‘mistakes’.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is indeed a vexed question. My concerns are many – young women who would have been butch are now transitioning and that is a very permanent change which is why so many then de-transitioning. It is big business $$$ that is controlled by a small group of 5 gay men who are literally raking in the money. I read an article about how so many gender clinics are popping up world-wide supported financially by this group. Even in the bigger town near where the population is 50,000 there is a clinic where young people are being seen without parents. We have a landmark case if a 12 year old child winning a case against their parents in the Family Court to begin beta-blockers. How can this madness be seen as acceptable? When a Johns Hopkins Hospital who pioneered the surgery now step away from it there is a bigger question that needs to be asked rather than this blind following of transitioning.

    I live in a small town with my butch partner of 31 years so have seen ‘butch’ be in and out of favour in our own community as well as the broader community. Many times H is seen as a man and when we were in New York and San Francisco last year for world Pride she was called Sir the whole time we were there. At Macy’s she went to the toilet and the cleaner called security. When I went to the toilet the same cleaner tried to trip me over with her mop. Because I have silver hair and am older she did not expect me to tell her off – which I did in a very loud voice – it did bring the toilets goers to a standstill! Why should we have to put up with that?

    What this has led to is the demonising of anyone who disagrees with anything trans even when it is vitriol and violent. It is clear to me that it is a continuation of the erasure of woman…I chair a Board of Directors of an anti-violence service for the region and to continue to get State Govt funding we have to undergo the Rainbow Tick training. I am happy for us to do this, however there are a couple of sticking points. Firstly it is costly so small agencies will find this difficult; secondly the perennial question came up about our policies not from us but the trainers – use of the word woman – I was adamant that this must stay as many of the women we work with would have no idea if the service as for them so on that basis it remained. Bottom line is that as long as you call yourself a woman then you will be able to use live in refuge services…fortunately for us we have gone away from communal refuge living to flats or units – many services have not so this creates issues many of which are surfacing.

    Allowing children and young people to make what are life altering decisions such as this baffles me. My being called a TERF seems to have become commonplace – there is little opportunity to have a sane conversation and the violence that goes with this can have serious consequences. Thankfully I am at the last part of my career – as I can see that as an academic and an out and political lesbian my days would and will be numbered.

    I refuse to be silenced – even when it is tried so the battle hits up. Thanks for your writing as it is a place to read and comment without being put down. Virginia

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The topic you have presented may be controversial, but I think it is one we need to open up discussions about. I have more questions than answers. For instance, one takeaway I have from watching the video is that there seem to be more females transitioning to males than males transitioning to females. And another is that the amount of teens transitioning and de-transitioning is on the rise. Of course, if the amount of teen transitioning is on the rise, then it would follow that with a larger pool of people choosing to transition, there will be a larger pool of people who decide to de-transition.
    I don’t know if setting an age limit would be good or bad. First, who would decide at what age someone is ready to transition? Would setting an age limit, setting up more prerequisites to the transition process, in turn, cause more Teen suicides? Of course, correlation does not imply causation.
    I think your topic covers two things; one is the disappearing of Butches in our society. The other is, should we regulate further when someone can decide to transition. I do not think one is causing the other. However, I might very well be entirely wrong. It is excellent that we are exploring these issues. Even if we do not, at this time, have a definitive answer. Heck, in all likelihood, we will never have a definitive answer. But talking about all of this is a great start.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wish there were a space to talk openly and honestly about this. I can say it is a topic I discuss with other fems frequently when we are alone together, and it has been the cause of immense pain and anguish to fems. I have delayed writing about this topic because I kept getting caught up in trying to cover every detail, caveat every word, justify every thought… and it was hindering my writing. I’ve abandoned the topic for now and focusing on less controversial personal writing. there is a demographic of my local queer community that has designated me a transphobe and a terf because I keep attempting to have this conversation in an honest and nuanced way. it doesn’t seem to be possible. yet it is clear that we must talk about it. what’s it gonna take, I wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

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