If you’re a detransitioned person and you’re thinking about being open about it on the internet, let me tell you, that’ll be a powerful thing you do. People will write you emails saying you changed their life. Kind of a lot of people. Very quickly progress will be made on getting people with some power to acknowledge your existence. Very quickly people with some power will ask you what they should be doing about their patients detransitioning. Shit will shift, quickly.
But also the haters will accrue at a rate you wouldn’t believe. Everyone will have something to say. About the way you look, the way you write, the way you talk, even the nice shit you say about them they’ll have an issue with. You will not come out swinging hard enough for them- for Michfest, for Jesus, for purity, for lesbians, for trans people, for women. You’ll hand them explanations- hey I look this way because of this, I date who I date because of this, I arrived at these decisions because of this, my money situations is this, what I’m recovering from is this. On some level they all think you’re dumb for your vulnerability. They think it’s not intentional, they think you must not be thinking this through.
It’ll be worth it. It’ll be worth it because it’s a powerful thing you’re doing. That’s actually why people gotta be shitty in response- why they gotta insist on simplicity from you and assume the complexity is pathological. All the ways you represent only yourself are their problem with you. All the ways you are not going to rep them, that in actuality they’re actually going to have to pony up and put themselves out there if they want someone to rep them- they’ll get real tore up about it. They want you to say what they would say, but they don’t want to deal with their face being on the internet saying what they want to say.
Things I’ve been criticized for: dating men, dating women, wearing makeup, having big arms, being motherly, using trans people’s preferred pronouns, moving around a lot in my twenties, dating someone younger than me, calling myself “gay” back when I was producing queer comedy shows, being a feminist, using lyrics from a rap song for a video’s title, saying I experience gender dysphoria, being gender essentialist, being a man-hater, not being enough of a man-hater, believing in gender dysphoria as a conceptual framework, saying there were a lot of gifted women in the detransitioned community, presenting at USPATH, criticizing the other presentations at USPATH, pursuing a therapy career, using other detransitioned women’s stories, not promoting other detransitioned women’s stories enough, talking like a therapist, talking in a manner no one who should be a therapist should talk.
That doesn’t even go into the criticisms I got WHILE I identified as a trans guy. Back then it was: I wasn’t interested enough in casual sex with women and that meant I hated women, I didn’t listen enough to women about what being a woman was like, I was too sensitive about how men treated me, I was too bro-ey because I didn’t do things like get manicures with the other enlightened hip transmasculine genderqueers, I had to man up and get tougher when people were hateful to me, but I should be a better kind of man than those cis guys. Oh and the fact that I couldn’t lead during the two step at queer two step made me a deeply disappointing person. Man, fuck queer two step night. Ugh. Oakland queer two step, where dreams go to die.
Oh, and then I said “sorry” too much. That’s been a criticism of me that has been consistent across genders and orientations- no one likes how often I say “sorry.”
All this to say, people are the worst. People want a lot from me and they get in their feelings when they get something else from me. But luckily I came up in a family of highly critical people who got a whole lot to say, and so I know this tribe quite well. There’s an inverse relationship between what you have to say about what someone else is doing, and whether you’re doing anything yourself. People who are doing shit don’t have the energy to look for what other people are doing wrong. People who aren’t doing shit got all the time in the world for offering up their consultation services.
So let them motherfuckers do their goddamn job. If your job in this universe is hating on me, if that’s what you want to get done with your time, go ahead and lean in motherfuckers. Make it an art form. My job is definitely not to tell people what they want to hear. Let’s all get to work.