This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation with Helena. She is a 23-year-old detransitioned woman, well-known on Twitter and YouTube for her insights into the FtM trans kid mindset. The self-described “gender apostate” shares her thoughts on ROGD’s relationship with critical social justice, fandom culture, “shipping,” and the extraordinary fascination many teenage girls have with young gay men.
Aaron Terrell transitioned female-to-male in 2011. He wasn’t involved in social media or the trans community until roughly 2017 when he noticed some unusual anomalies involving the new cohort of females identifying as trans men and undergoing medical transitioning. Then, earlier this year, Aaron read JK Rowling’s essay and everything changed …
The listeners’ questions continue to absorb our interest and influence our discussion. The issue of power struggles between parents and children has been raised along with a special focus on knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. The script that trans-identified teenagers often use to declare their trans identification is outlined and Sasha & Stella discuss a kind of counter script for parents. Finally, we suggest a liberal parents’ guide to explaining your child’s gender-related...
Many children with ROGD seem reluctant to grow up. Sometimes this is related to the difficulties of an early puberty or the hyper-sexualisation of children. Other times the gap between the Disneyfied wonder of childhood and the grim hard reality of adulthood feels unsurmountable. Sasha and Stella delve into the psychology of the fear of growing up and how elements of both transition and transgender activist dogma may further infantilize and stunt development.
The New York Times describes Helen Joyce’s book, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, as “an intelligent, thorough rejoinder to an idea that has swept across much of the liberal world seemingly overnight.” Joyce reminds us that her book is not about trans people, but rather, it is about the idea “that people should count as men or women according to how they feel and what they declare, instead of their biology.” Helen explains the ways it’s more acceptable for men to “give up some privilege”...
Social transition is often the first recommended intervention when a young person begins questioning his or her gender identity. It entails changing one’s name, pronouns, appearance, and other identity markers to match the desired gender. In very recent years, schools, led by the current gender identity affirmative approach, have taken it upon themselves to support and sometimes encourage students with social transition. Families often feel pressured by professionals to make these powerful...
With the invention of the term “nonbinary,” we’ve seen an unprecedented number of young people claiming to feel like neither a man nor a woman. Today, we explore Ian Hacking’s concept of “making people up” and the creation of new classifications and “types” of people. Several questions also arise: does a non-binary identification require medicalization? What personality traits may correlate with this identity and is it different in males and females? For parents, how might one respond when a...
“Differences in Sexual Development” (DSDs) is an umbrella term encompassing a range of over 40 medical conditions that impact sexual development in humans. We speak with Claire Graham, an advocate for the organization, DSD Families and explore the intricacies of these complex conditions, which are often simplified and misunderstood. Claire also tells us how she became embroiled in heated debates about transgender advocacy and dispels common myths that are used to conflate “intersex”...
The founder of the Positive Birth Movement speaks to us about the birthing process and women’s health. A common theme of self-assertion and empowering women to speak up has characterised Milli’s work over the last decade. There were attempts to silence Milli last year when she said that the word “woman” has significance in relation to childbirth. Milli, however, decided to assert her boundaries and speak her truth; in this episode she explains why.
In this episode, Stella and Sasha talk to Carole about her new book, Testosterone, which explores the powerful impact this sex hormone has on the human body. This discussion revolves around a central theme: to make the world a better place, we must be willing to understand the harsh realities of our mammalian nature and take into account the biological drives behind our behavior.
We invite parents and children to listen to this episode together. Stella and Sasha alternate between the perspectives of the parent and their dysphoric child and attempt to translate what each may be thinking and feeling when communicating about gender identity becomes difficult. Discussing the emotions, the inner motivations, and the thoughts parents and children might experience when gender related distress hits the family, we hope that this episode might begin to build bridges between...
Sasha and Stella tackle the complex subject of suicide. They reflect on the many emotional and relational difficulties involved and parse out the differences between suicide risk and suicidal ideation. While terrifying, it sometimes offers an escape fantasy and desire for control, making suicide an existential issue. Furthermore, they point to the stark lack of data available relating to gender dysphoria and suicidality and discuss how the fear of suicide is used against families wishing to...
Stella and Sasha sit down with Jessie Mannisto, the Editor in Chief of Third Factor Magazine, a publication for and about uncommon people and their uncommon paths through life. Jessie expands on the many overlapping experiences of gifted, creative, intense, and gender dysphoric individuals. They explore some critiques and uses of terms like ‘queer’ and ‘asexual.’ Stella and Sasha ask Jessie about androgyny, loneliness, ordinariness, and exceptionalism in dysphoria people. And what’s up with...
Are stereotypes always harmful? Should we use stereotypes to predict and impose behaviors and preferences onto others? Some people believe transgender identities defy stereotypes while others believe they reify them. And where does stereotyping come from? This is a mental shortcut with complex roots and crucial implications for the gender debates.
Heather Brunskell-Evans is a philosopher and sociologist who studies the intersection of medicine and culture. She joins us today to trace the ways in which queer theory evolved in academia and moved into the broader culture, including the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in the UK. Explaining how a social justice angle is key to the ‘affirmative model’ of care for gender dysphoria, Heather recounts a few key moments when she realized there were authoritarian elements at play in...
Sasha and Stella answer listener questions… again! They start by highlighting recent episodes inspired by listener feedback. Next, they discuss the financial implications and complexities involved in adult children using their parents’ medical insurance. They reflect on the different roles that can emerge between mothers and fathers of gender dysphoric youth. Other questions address the similarities between body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria, OCD, and other ruminative anxieties.
Jungian Analyst Bob Withers joins us to discuss the differences between gay conversion therapy and gender identity conversion therapy. We examine the possibility of misinformed therapists “transing the gay away” and suggest that perhaps the dark history of conversion therapy may not be over. Bob delves into his view of psychosomatic symptoms and draws on his background in philosophy and medical history to understand our current fixation with one’s subjective sense of identity. Bob also...
As they wrap up their initial Behind the Curtain series , Sasha and Stella discuss important issues surrounding the termination of therapy. How do we know when the therapeutic process should end? Does a resolution of gender dysphoria mean it’s time to end the therapeutic relationship? Does the start of a medical transition indicate a good time to end? And how can therapists leave the door open for a client who may want to return at a later date?
Marcus and Sue Evans both worked as clinicians in the Tavistock Centre in London for many years. Noticing red flags since the early 2000s, Sue was the first whistle-blower in the Tavistock Centre and Marcus resigned as its governor because the concerns raised by therapists, parents, and managers were systematically dismissed. Marcus and Sue have recently released their book https://firingthemind.com/product/9781912691784/ (Gender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Children,...
Sasha and Stella continue their series which peers behind the curtain of depth work with gender-questioning clients. Today, they weave in philosophy and psychology to discuss the importance of authenticity, happiness, and connectedness. They also explore the value of art in the slow evolving process of an emergent Self.
After the therapist has laid the foundations of therapy and established a trusting relationship, the process moves into the middle stage. This is the meat of the therapy! In this episode, Sasha and Stella explore the dynamics that can elicit change in the individual. They consider the curious vs. fixed client, self-esteem issues, broadening the client’s focus, and how to speak meaningfully about gender in therapy.
This is the first episode in a short series which takes listeners behind the scenes of a gender exploratory therapy process. Although there has been plenty written about Gender Affirmative Therapy, very little has been written about a concept often described as Gender Exploratory Therapy. Sasha and Stella discuss the specifics of establishing a therapeutic alliance when a person is questioning their gender identity. They describe different strategies involving issues such as names, pronouns,...
In today’s episode, we begin to answer some of the many questions sent to us by listeners. Can we be born in the wrong body? Do parental role models influence children to reject or seek transition? What is the impact of a trans partner on a teenagers’ sexuality? How do siblings of trans people experience these changes in the family? Listen in to see if your question was answered and how Sasha and Stella plan to explore these topics in future episodes.
“Lauren” is a 32-year-old lesbian who has moved with ease across the gender spectrum over the course of her lifetime. Lauren offers a positive story about how being gender non-normative and having a complicated gender experience can be a pleasant and interesting experience. Cautioning against the heavy and urgent discussions about medicalizing gender expression, Lauren wonders if we can become more playful and even joyful about gender?
Continuing the discussion about the new type of boy who is seeking to transition, we speak to Angus Fox, author of a series in Quillette. Angus explains why he thought it so important to earn the trust of parents who participate in clandestine meetings about their gender dysphoric sons. We discuss the role of systematic thinking in ROGD boys and the encouragement of their female friends to transition. Angus also provides his insights as a gay man remembering his own challenging boyhood.