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One man's painful gender detransition journey

Thursday, February 13, 2020, 21:59 (IST)

This is an abridged version of The Christian Post's report. Read the full report here.

Fitz*, 41, is originally from the Midwest and now resides in California. He is among the rising number of people known as "detransitioners," having identified as transgender for over a decade. Fitz lived a "mostly stealth" life and frequently lied to coworkers, neighbors and new friends about his biological sex.

Now suffering from a host of medical complications as a result of years of hormone treatment, including phantom pain in his groin and bouts of severe depression, he is five years into his detransition journey and is reintegrating with his anatomically male body.

At his request, he is using a pseudonym in this article and other identifying details have been removed for fear of harassment. He believes it's important that people learn about the deceptive practices at gender clinics that push cross-sex hormones and transgender surgeries, which he says have left him psychologically scarred, physically mutilated, and with a severely compromised endocrine system.

Growing up in the culturally conservative Midwest, school was always hard for Fitz, as he was frequently bullied throughout every grade.

"I was not the most masculine boy. I had effeminate traits, was called homophobic slurs ... and this was well before the age of developing any sense of sexuality. So I grew up with this idea that gay was bad and not something that I wanted to be," he detailed.

Fitz was not raised in a religious home, calling his upbringing "secular" but with "good Midwestern rural values." Politically speaking, he has always leaned to the left but considers himself an independent and not an ideological purist.

It was at a public university in the Midwest in the late 1990s and early 2000s where he first heard about transgenderism, recalling a moment when he read an article in the student newspaper written by someone who said he realized that being effeminate made him a woman despite actually being physiologically male. Seizing on this, Fitz thought: This is the answer! I'm not gay, I'm just actually a woman.

Thus, a relocation to the West Coast was in order so he could figure this out in an ostensibly more supportive environment. Upon graduating from college he sold all his belongings, said goodbye to his family and headed to California. Not long after he settled in, he went to a community free clinic in the city where he talked to a clinician who, he would later find out, was not a licensed therapist and was serving in more of an intern role, a student volunteer.

"I spoke to her maybe four times. She was fascinated with me," Fitz said, noting his earliest memories of exploring transition.

Much of what she said during those sessions was along the lines of "discovering your authentic self" as the opposite sex and other transgender jargon Fitz now considers to be nonsense.

She ultimately referred him to a local gender clinic so he could seek medical transition, which he did. After waiting an hour at this new clinic, he had a 15-minute appointment with a registered nurse who immediately affirmed him as the opposite sex. At the end of the appointment she prescribed him hormones.

"If you think you are trans, that means you are trans," Fitz said the nurse told him, adding that those were her exact words.

Fitz was prescribed estradiol and spironolactone. Estradiol is synthetic estrogen in pill form. Spironolactone is an anti-androgen, a testosterone suppressant, also in pill form.

He started taking the drugs, began dressing in women's clothes part time, and consulted pro-transgender internet resources, which he says contain "all sorts of horrible advice."

As Fitz became more serious about becoming trans he realized that there was only one way to go: cut off all ties with family, and change one's name, wardrobe and sex marker on all of his official legal documents.

"This whole [transgender] thing became kind of intoxicating, socially and physically. It was kind of a thrill. I felt I was treated better. People were smiling at me on the street, holding doors open for me. I was getting all this positive attention," Fitz recalled.

"And estrogen in males, it kind of dulls our senses, mellows us out ... and it feels good."

Every time Fitz went to the clinic for an appointment, the office staff would try to sell him on the idea of surgery, he said, marketing it to him as though it was the next logical and necessary step in his journey.

"Every appointment began with: 'How are your prescriptions and would you like any surgery?'" he said.

"It was like going into a restaurant and the waiter offering you the menu," he said, describing the office staff as reading from a sales script. "It was an up-sale."

Being a "free" clinic, the office had a sliding scale program that was government-subsidized.

"I would go in and they would ask: 'What is your income, what are you assets?'" he recalled.

"So if you're making nothing and you have maybe $5,000 in your checking account, you don't have to pay anything — not for the appointment, not for the pills. If you're making $10 or $15 dollars an hour and you have $10,000 in your checking account, then maybe you have to pay $15 dollars as a co-pay. But it was never very expensive at all," he said.

Additionally, the surgery was relatively inexpensive — only $1,000 — and would only take 20 minutes to perform.

He agreed to the surgery, though he asked if he should get a second opinion. He was told he did not need a second opinion.

"Just get this letter and take it to a urologist," he was instructed.

Fitz called up a urologist and had a consultation with him. The urologist asked him if he was sure he wanted to proceed and if he had spoken with his doctor. The urologist signed off on it and an appointment for surgery was scheduled for six weeks later in November.

In 2015, when he began detransitioning, Fitz looked back at the experience and recalled being amazed at how quickly it all happened.

"And when I went to my doctor for a follow-up, the doctor was gleeful, celebrating the surgery as a wonderful metamorphosis," Fitz said.

Extremely depressed and in agony, he imagined and researched ways to kill himself, wondering how he might cause his death in a relatively painless way.

He said he had it all planned out but ultimately balked.

As he pursued legal recourse, he also finally found a physician who was willing to help him detransition, a doctor who advised him to get therapy, which he did. Fitz also opened a Twitter account and began tweeting under a pseudonym. He was frequently attacked by transactivists and their left-wing cheerleaders.

As it became clearer he was detransitioning and rejecting a trans identity, many of his local friends started distancing themselves because they either felt outwardly offended or uncomfortable around him and stopped talking with him. These supposed friends considered him a political liability.

Around this time, existential questions were besetting him. "Am I trans? Is anybody trans?" he would wonder. Compounding the confusion was the emergence of news stories about Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce, and Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who worked for the NAACP who claimed to be black.

As transgenderism was being mainstreamed, his peers would excitedly ask him if he was happy to see positive coverage of transgender-identifying persons.

"And I would say: 'Well, actually, no. The whole thing is a fraud and it's starting to fall apart for me and I bet it will for everyone else too,'" he would respond.

Such exchanges were awkward and he found himself not getting invitations to parties and gatherings of friends. Others whom he thought were friends stopped taking his phone calls.

Fitz found the cognitive dissonance staggering that Dolezal was widely mocked and rejected for saying she felt like she was black but Jenner was enthusiastically embraced for saying he felt he was a woman.

The only people who offered him any meaningful help and support at the time were Christians and radical feminists.

"But today, a few short years later, support is more diverse, as more of the general public has become aware of how little sense transgenderism actually makes. I've got support from men and women, gay and straight, left and right," he said.

*not his real name

This is an abridged version of The Christian Post's report. Read the full report here.