No Regrets, April 2018

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Despite the nonsense being spouted by the Christian right (a) transition greatly improves the mental health and happiness of transgender people and (b) cases of individuals who regret transition are very rare.

One of the primary causes of suicide in trans people is being unable to transition. I used to wake up every morning with not wanting to be alive any more on the back burner of my mind. I had quietly worked out how I could do it. I didn’t kill myself mainly because I was concerned about how it would affect people I cared about. Yes, gender dysphoria can hurt that much.

Although my life since transition has certainly been difficult at times, I have not had even a single day when I wanted to throw away my wonderful new life as myself!

“We identified 56 studies published since 1991 that directly assessed the effect of gender transition on the mental well-being of transgender individuals. The vast majority of the studies, 93 percent, found that gender transition improved the overall well-being of transgender subjects, making them more likely to enjoy improved quality of life, greater relationship satisfaction and higher self-esteem and confidence, and less likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicidality.

Only four studies (7 percent) reported mixed or null findings, and none found that the transitioning created more harm than good. Despite recent media focus on anecdotes about “transgender regret,” actual regret rates across numerous studies were minuscule, generally ranging from 0.3 percent to 3.8 percent. Our review of primary research confirmed the positive findings of at least 16 previous literature reviews.”

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Some Transgender Women Would Like to Breastfeed

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The New York Times just reported the first well-documented case of a trans woman who has been able to successfully provide an infant with full nutrition from her breast milk for several weeks. The breasts we grow on the feminizing hormones have the tissues to produce milk and route it to the nipples, all we need is an additional drug to trigger lactation.

I have talked to several young trans women who would very much like to become mothers. Not every transgender woman has such maternal desires. Neither does every cisgender woman. This is something every woman should be able to decide for herself. If I were much younger, this is something I would definitely consider!

Getting Sick While Trans in a Town You Don’t Know

Every transgender person has experienced rudeness, cruelty, or a flat refusal to provide treatment by a medical provider or knows a trans person who has.

I was once denied care on faith-based grounds by a licensed so-called professional. I have no sympathy for the religious right to be smugly cruel to someone whose life is already hard.

Right now I am a thousand miles from home. Yesterday afternoon I realized that I had an infection in my right eye, and, after a few Google searches,  found one of those walk-in medical clinics.

My legal name is a traditional woman’s name, and I  went to a great deal of trouble to get my ID and medical insurance cards to reflect my gender as female. I am lucky and grateful that these days I am rarely read by strangers as anything but an older cisgender woman.

I was going in for an eye infection, which I didn’t think had any bearing on my history of having been perceived as male in my earlier life. The infection could be dangerous if left untreated.

I couldn’t take a chance on being kicked to the curb. So I went “don’t ask, don’t tell.’

Perceived as just a sick old lady, I experienced nothing worse than a little ageism: being  called ⁿdarlin’ ” and being talked down to a bit.

It is far better than the alternative.

I must confess I hugely enjoyed being asked whether I was still having my monthlies!

With a straight face and complete honesty.  I answered, “No, I’m not.”