‘Transition caused more problems than it solved’

Sep 17, 2017 by

by Joan McFadden, Guardian:

Elan Anthony knows more than most about trans identity issues. Born a boy 42 years ago, he transitioned from male to female at 19 and then detransitioned to male three years ago. While his story is enlightening, it is also immensely challenging and it took him a long time and a lot of therapy to conclude that he had made a mistake.

“There are definite steps and support around transitioning, but not around detransitioning, so I felt I had to make my own road in many ways,” he says. “And realising that the transition had caused more problems than it solved was hard.”

It was also a shock because, as attitudes changed over the last two decades, one thing that stayed constant with Elan was the idea that gender identity was fundamental.

“I believed that I was female and that could never change. There were times I wondered if I’d got it wrong and should actually be a man. The idea of fluid gender is relatively new in terms of public awareness but it did actually exist in the 90s.

“I started to realise that I could have dealt with my own issues so much better without changing my body because that has brought so many more difficulties. Detransitioning isn’t as unusual as you might expect, but it is underground, for a number of reasons, and the trans community isn’t happy discussing this.”

He now thinks he was rushed into transitioning by well-intentioned but ultimately misguided people.

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