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Thread: Sex Change Regret website

  1. #1
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    Sex Change Regret website

    I came across this site the other day (http://www.sexchangeregret.com) and have to say the stories leave me feeling somewhat uncomfortable. Up until recently I figured post-op regret was fairly low however this site states otherwise.

    Do you have any experience with trans women regretting their decisions?

  2. #2
    In transmission whowhatwhen's Avatar
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    Um, it looks like that guy is looking for book sales.
    That's not to say that some do regret transition but you're also never going to see post-op success stories there either so it's quite one-sided.

    Things like that are the reason standards of care exist and mental health checks are required.
    Even for me to get HRT my letter had to state something to the effect that I don't demonstrate [list of things] that would impair me from making this decision.
    Last edited by whowhatwhen; 03-30-2014 at 02:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member KellyJameson's Avatar
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    Most of my friends are in some way connected to LGBT and it has been this way since my early teens so in the real world I have known a number of people who have transitioned to one degree or another both in the U.S and Europe.

    I personally have never known someone who is post-op and experienced remorse or regret but I have read about some de-transitioning or who committed suicide during or shortly afterward.

    In my opinion you transition to ease the psychological suffering brought on by identity conflict between body and mind and in my case it was both a suffering with sexual and gender identity.

    I do think you have to be careful with what problems and suffering you think will end with transitioning.

    Suffering is part of life and is the impetus to make change but the impetus should not be the expectation that suffering and pain will end.

    In my opinion you transition to change the flavor of suffering to make possible the ability to survive it, much like how you learn to swim so you do not drown but you must still swim in the waters so make the effort to stay afloat.

    You step into a life that better suits who and what you are but transitioning will not "fix the past" as childhood trauma.

    It is important to transition for the future from what the past has taught you but not because of the past.

    You cannot CURE sexual identity as sexual attraction and you cannot CURE gender identity as who you know yourself to be but be sure you know yourself before you transition.

    Transitioning must never happen out of self deception but be grounded in the reality of how you experience yourself.

    It must be a truth based relationship you have with yourself with no room for fantasy or delusion or you will destroy yourself.

    You may find this link interesting to read. http://www.temple.edu/tempress/chapt...0/1520_ch1.pdf
    Last edited by KellyJameson; 03-30-2014 at 02:45 PM.

  4. #4
    What is normal anyway? Rianna Humble's Avatar
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    The author of the site reveals his bias in his introduction to an article about a 17/18 year old for whom RLE proved that they did not need to transition:
    it's refreshing to read that it is not "happily ever after."
    EDIT: If we accept the generally low figure that 3% of the population is transsexual, then the numbers that the author quotes to try to say that regret is commonplace represent 7 out of every ten thousand TS people.
    Last edited by Rianna Humble; 03-30-2014 at 02:49 PM.
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    trans punk Badtranny's Avatar
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    I believe it. I've met some really screwed up trannies in the last few years and I spend a lot of time thinking about why that is. Is it society? Passing issues? A misdiagnosed fetish? Delusion? Fantasy breakdown?

    Who knows, but it's a fascinating issue for sure.
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    I know lots of post-op trans people and none have detransitioned. I'm sure it exists, but... I have seen a few pre-ops detransition. Some in the media, and some I know. I am a firm believer in the traditional gatekeeping model, and its purpose of maximizing chances of success and minimizing chances of regret. Even then, some people may lie to themselves and to the therapist enough to get through.

    People who detransition, ironically, are often the ones most opposed to strict protocols. One acquaintance once told me that HRT had to be now or never. That means that her transsexuality was not essential, but a temporary state? He gave up on the idea, and that's a good thing.

    As for this particular site. It's interesting, but it seems self-interested. I don't see a lot testimonials apart than one man's sad story. Also, some regret stories in the past have been projections. Renee Richards even wrote a second autobiography to squelch rumors about her.

    To anyone who may be swayed by this stuff, I say "dude, don't transition."

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    Hon, that guy's website is pretty one sided.
    I believe most of the reason for unhappiness and desire to detransition after GCS come mostly from the often terrible conditions so many of us endure. There is real social prejudice against us.

    I do think the emphasis on GCS rather than FFS may be poorly serving many in our community. GCS is important - many of us face really serious and debilitating GD over our genitals. I certainly have. However, in terms of finding acceptance in society, a real issue for most of us, FFS is vastly more effective. For that matter, hair replacement or voice coaching can be equally as important. All of these procedures can reduce serious GD we feel over our masculine features.

    Spending your life as an "other" in society is a nightmare, and it's no surprise so many of us end our lives, do that without addressing your GD as fully as possible, and it stands to reason someone would give up and suicide.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    Good advice so far.o My contribution, beyond an echo, is that some may be looking for answers so desperately that they glom onto any answer that might theoretically resolve their pain....and some of them make mistakes. If you have doubts...don't. If you think transition will be a panacea, think again. But always be suspicious of advice offered by ideologues or religious fanatics. Truth to them is whatever conforms to their point of view.
    Last edited by kimdl93; 03-30-2014 at 03:44 PM. Reason: I actually can spell, my iPad cannot

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  9. #9
    Valley Girl Michelle789's Avatar
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    When a plane crashes, we hear about it all over the news. We never hear about the thousands of planes that make it safely to their destination. Plane crashes are rare, but they cause a lot of attention.

    The same thing goes for transition regrets. It's rare, and when they do happen we hear about them like we do with a plane crash.

    Sometimes you get people like Charles Kane who had no lifelong history of dysphoria. He was happy as a man, and successful as a man, and when he suffered a setback he thought the grass is greener on the other side, and decided to transition on a whim and quickly realized he was wrong. Why? Charles Kane was NEVER a transsexual to begin with. He thought he failed as a man and that that being a woman would solve his problems.

    I used to have fears like this too, but after joining this forum and going to my transgender support group, and speaking to a therapist, I feel like most people who transition are really TS and do so succesfully.

    This is why I feel it's important to see a trained gender specialist who can help you sort out your feelings. They have lots of experience with transpeople and can spot the differences between someone who is TS vs someone who is a cross-dresser, transvestic fetishist, gay man, or who thinks the grass is greener on the other side.

    What is scary is that both MTF transsexuals and non-transsexuals may experience some or all of these feelings:
    * Being a cross-dresser
    * Being a transvestic fetishist
    * Being a gay man
    * Hating being a man, thinking the grass is greener
    * Having a difficult time being a man, being a failure at a man
    * Being excellent at being a man

    My therapist has been very helpful in getting me to figure out what is going on with me. I used to ask am I just a cross-dresser or a transvestic fetishist or a transsexual. It became clear to me after a few months on this forum that I am more than just a CD or a TF. I am not a gay man, so that's not an issue for me.

    My last question has been am i really trans or do I just hate being a man? After four sessions with my therapist I am seeing that there are fundamental differences between me and someone who just hates being a man. Yes there are plenty of TS who hate being a man and plenty of cis-gendered men who hate being a man.

    My therapist made clear that me these feelings are all dysphoria.
    * having childhood feelings that I am a girl
    * voicing that to my parents at the age of 5,
    * wishing I could grow up to be a woman in third grade
    * cross-dressing from age 13 onward
    * every time I see a pretty girl I want to be her rather than sleep with her (age 12 onward)
    * hating my body and facial hair (age 13 onward)
    * identifying with female characters in fiction (age 13 onward)
    * feeling like I am a girl on the inside (age 13 onward)

    People who simply hate being men or feel like they have failed at men do not experience these feelings.
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  10. #10
    Silver Member Kathryn Martin's Avatar
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    I am also very much for a very stringent and traditional gatekeeping model. The psychological/psychiatric community since the 1970 has taken this as a whole new (money making) industry and the result has been that people are counseled through to transition when in fact the deal about counseling is an assessment to determine co-morbidity issues. It isin fact more of an assessment than therapy.

    If you consider prevalence rates which used to be 1:30,000 and since the advent of trans related therapy has become something like 1:1,500 then the guy's 1500 regretters is not so much. This is bullshit, because he is like a reformed smoker who tolls the virtues of non smoking and condemns the sin of smoking.

    The issue with this website is that it lacks any critical reflection on how the regretters ended up having surgery when they should not have had in the first place. I have come across this guy for some time now. You should not transition unless you absolutely have to! Don't think that a supportive therapist is going to help you, they should critically assess you and if they don't then they are not good for you!
    "Never forget the many ways there are to be human" (The Transsexual Taboo)

  11. #11
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    And if I can offer two cents more of advice: there are intermediate options to full transition. One of the leading advocates for TG rights here in Houston is a woman who has not undergone HRT or SRS. One might characterize her as something other than TS, that's fine. She lives full time as a woman. It meets her needs and she helps others. So, my take away from meeting her was that I need to go at my own pace and towards my own destination. I may be somewhere in between...if so so be it.

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  12. #12
    Gold Member Kaitlyn Michele's Avatar
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    I recall seeing a show on somebody that detransitioned... one thing he whined about was that when he lived as a woman, he had to walk in a "certain way"... now he was comfortable because he could walk "normally"...

    what gets into people's minds I will never know...

    I agree that if the website resonates with you, then do not under any circumstances transition.

  13. #13
    Transgender Member Dianne S's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are people who regret transitioning, but there are also many (probably many more) who don't. You can see some of the happy stories at http://wehappytrans.com/

    Also, the "Victories" page of the sex-change regret web site looks suspiciously fundamentalist Christian. I think the Web site owner has a hidden agenda.
    Last edited by Dianne S; 03-30-2014 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Add note about the "victories" page.

  14. #14
    Asphalt Angel Donna Joanne's Avatar
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    When I finally realized that I have to transition to make the "inside and outside match" I also had to take responsibility for me. I can't transition because of someone else, nor can I not transition because of someone else. My transition will affect those I love and care about, but I must transition for me and me alone. They will be affected by my decision, but it will change my life forever.

    My psyche and physical body have never matched. And that has profoundly affected me. They are coming closer and closer. I had one of those "clarifying moments" yesterday. I had to take my pre teen daughter to a function that required me to present totally male. So I was bra-less. I was concerned that someone would see my breasts and notice that I need a bra. I felt 'naked' and 'exposed'. I am a woman, and physical transitioning will finally make me complete.

    My only regret is that I have procrastinated so long in making myself complete!
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  15. #15
    Silver Member Kathryn Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitlyn Michele View Post
    when he lived as a woman, he had to walk in a "certain way"... now he was comfortable because he could walk "normally"...

    I agree that if the website resonates with you, then do not under any circumstances transition.
    how bizarre is that.... and how right you are in your comment.

    I agree to some extent with his views to the extent that he believes that the assessments necessary are not correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by dawn03 View Post
    I'm sure there are people who regret transitioning, but there are also many (probably many more) who don't. You can see some of the happy stories at http://wehappytrans.com/
    Yes and there are significant studies that prove this. Outcome studies are not as numerous as they should be but they exist and the successful transition with surgery is around 80% of those that seek the surgery. Of the remaining 20% there were some satisfaction issues 5 years out and the actual number of those that detransitioned was one. The cohort size was 583 and the study was done in the Netherlands. Now if you consider that in my province prevalence rates based on persons seeking surgery is roughly 28 at any given time including those that have transitioned and had the surgery the number of those that detransition is close to zero.

    What this is really about is this in my view:

    As several psychiatrists and transpeople said to me patients who are isolated, dysfunctional, in bad relationships, etc will probably remain so after surgery without proper preparation, care and support.
    This is a quote from one of his articles.

    The psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Jon Meyer was already developing a means of following up with adults who received sex-change operations at Hopkins in order to see how much the surgery had helped them. He found that most of the patients he tracked down some years after their surgery were contented with what they had done and that only a few regretted it. But in every other respect, they were little changed in their psychological condition. They had much the same problems with relationships, work, and emotions as before. The hope that they would emerge now from their emotional difficulties to flourish psychologically had not been fulfilled.
    Another quote which demonstrates that if you have issues before with your life, how you relate and cope then having surgery and transitioning will not fix it. It fixes one thing and nothing else.
    "Never forget the many ways there are to be human" (The Transsexual Taboo)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rianna Humble View Post
    ...

    EDIT: If we accept the generally low figure that 3% of the population is transsexual, ...
    I have to call BS on this assumption. That would mean 9 MILLION transexuals in the USA alone. Not a chance. I don't think there are even 9 million cross dressers in the USA. You can't use crazy-ass stats to make a point, it defeats your purpose.

    "The National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, D.C., estimates the number of transgendered residents as being between .0025 percent and 1 percent of the general population. An estimated 500 to 1,000 people undergo a sex change operation every year, with male-to-female surgery more common than female-to-male." Additionally, in Trinadad, Co., the "sex change capital of the world,"... "Dr. Bowers, a gynecologist who herself underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1998, took over Biber's practice and the town's reputation stuck. On average, she performs 130 surgeries a year. There are perhaps as many as 25 physicians who have conducted a sex change operation, but five or fewer do it with any regularity." Based on this, the .0025% is closer to reality than 1%.
    Last edited by Jenniferathome; 03-30-2014 at 05:20 PM.

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    It's more like 0.3%, and that may be high. There are ~700,000 of us in the US, 3,000 in the DFW area where I live, at best estimates.

    I heard a speech from Theresa Sparks last night, who was one of the people who came up with and popularized the 2.5% - 3% figure. It isn't accurate. (Her assumption was the ratio was like 1:40 are TS, where the reality is much more like 1:3000 - 1:15000 for MtF, and 1:10000 - 1:45000 for FtM.) Even within the city of San Francisco, the figure of 1:40 is way too high.

  18. #18
    Silver Member Rogina B's Avatar
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    We were asked recently by a City Council member for a better approximation of the local T population and couldn't provide it...
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  19. #19
    Silver Member Kathryn Martin's Avatar
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    Really, if you look at the surgery figures (and they exist not in many places but in some they do because they are tracked based on surgery coverage, as in it's free) the number is more like 1:32000. So if you accept that transsexuals are those who have their sex changed (as the word says) then you have a pretty clear idea how many there really are.

    Gender variance (those that some form of gender issue) is much more prevalent, and approaches something of a 1:500 number.
    Last edited by Kathryn Martin; 03-30-2014 at 05:29 PM.
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    Aspiring Member Janelle_C's Avatar
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    I searched the person behind the Regret Website and this is what I found. http://www.transchristians.org/people/walt-heyer I don't know if this is true but it explains a lot. I think before you put to much into what this person thinks I would read what this site says.
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  21. #21
    Aspiring Artist Kelly DeWinter's Avatar
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    There were a couple of threads here about this website. I believe that someone descredited a few of the examples provided. I can't seem to find the threads.
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  22. #22
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    There's a lot of material available on this guy. He is a fundamentalist Christian, claims that Jesus saved him from transgenderism (as he calls it), and has a bad habit of completely and totally misrepresenting studies related to transsexuality.

    If you have the time and desire to deal with this level of complete bullshit, the best approach will always be to go directly to the source material he is citing and get the facts. ... which NEVER support what he says. I've been down the apologetics path before. It's never worth the journey.

    Pretty standard crackpot stuff. The same pattern as with conspiracy theorists, UFO believers, religious nuts of a certain stripe, and people in in weird political groups you've never heard of.

    Take his bit about regrets pouring out of Belgrade. Well, as it happens, a noted Eastern European SRS surgeon from Belgrade - Miroslav Djordjevic - will be presenting at this this year's WPATH symposium on ... SRS regrets! But what's the context? How about his position that THE most important doctor in the process is the psychiatrist! That patients be evaluated over a long period. After which he is apparently quite happy to proceed with surgery. And he's happy that Belgrade has become a center for such surgery. He supports WPATH.

    In other words, ol' Walt is full of shit. The message out of Belgrade is not about the horrible mistake of modern medicine foolishly attempting the impossible ... that the big story could only emerge from a place like Belgrade because, like all conspiracy theorist types, Walt believes it wasn't allowed to emerge in the West.

    Um, no ... it's more about a reputable surgeon talking about caution and gatekeeping.
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  23. #23
    GG / SO to a CD MatildaJ.'s Avatar
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    This paper estimates that 0.3 percent of adults are transgender:
    http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.ed...T-Apr-2011.pdf

  24. #24
    Just A Simple Girl Michelle.M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janelle_C View Post
    I searched the person behind the Regret Website and this is what I found. http://www.transchristians.org/people/walt-heyer
    Even before I clicked on the OP's link I had a hunch we were talking about Walt Heyer. Notorious for his views on regret, he has been shamelessly pimped out by Citizen Link (a Focus on the Family affiliate) without any sort of restraint. To say that he has been exploited by those fearmongers is putting it mildly.

    Dear Mr Heyer had (has) many problems, and like some others who have regretted he thought that GRS would fix them. He's the example I use whenever someone whines about the fact that their therapist is just taking her own sweet time and they're ready to go under the knife NOW, by golly!

    Dunno how Heyer's issues didn't get diagnosed, but Corinne is right. He's got books to sell and talk show appearances to make, and I'm sure that FoF is probably not giving him a living wage for doing nothing except agreeing with them whenever they get going on to some anti-trans screed.
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  25. #25
    Valley Girl Michelle789's Avatar
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    http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Warning.html

    Here is another site on sex change regrets. This one is more legit. I agree the one that OP found was started by a religious fundamentalist, which means he has an agenda against transpeople. I wouldn't trust such a site. The one I'm posting is more legit, and it talks about FAR MORE success stories than regrets. After reading about the regrets, I've noticed some reasons behind the regrets. They even suggest how some of the failures could have been successful. The only TRUE transition failure is Charles Kane, who was NEVER TS in the first place.

    1. Charles "Samantha" Kane was NEVER transsexual to begin with. He was a man who decided on a whim that being a woman would solve his problems when suddenly a crisis hits. He had NO SUCH childhood dysphoria or history of cross-dressing. He is 100% cis-gendered male who happened to be a guy with a history of doing crazy things on a whim and happened to have a lot of money. Transition regrets like this are exceptionally rare, and with the gatekeeping system this is extremely unlikely to happen. There are probably way more TS who haven't transitioned due to denial or because they were blocked by gatekeepers than people who transitioned and then later regretted.

    2. Two of the cases involved fetish cross-dressers. While many true TSes do have a history of fetish dressing, not all fetish dressers are TS. One possibility is back in the day there was less information and less experience on who should transition and who should not so it's possible that mistakes like this would happen, and with all the knowledge out there today and the gatekeeping mistakes like this would probably not happen. Another possibility is what Paula said before, there was too much emphasis on SRS (now called GCS). Keep in mind that the article suggests how the two fetish dressers could have still transitioned successfully. Hint: They should have got FFS instead of SRS. Some of us may need transition and FFS but should NEVER have SRS.

    In fact many people who know nothing about trans people often refer to us as being "gender confused" and refer to transition as a "sex change". This comes largely from the overemphasis on SRS. Most people who transition do so slowly, by doing hair removal, then HRT, then social transition, then FFS, and finally SRS. You may stop at any point. You may not need all the procedures. The procedures in place today will prevent mistakes like this.

    3. Renee Richards regretted transition because she chose to make a big publicity stunt out of it. She didn't transition to make a publicity stunt, but decided to use transition as an excuse for a publicity stunt. If you decide to make a publicity stunt out of anything you do in life, it doesn't need to be transition, you may end up regretting it. You could decide to post a youtube video of you singing Teenage Dream and end up regretting it. Transition is a much larger undertaking than singing Teenage Dream. Renee Richard's real regret wasn't transition, but making a publicity stunt out of it.


    Although there are rare cases like Charles Kane who are not TS, I believe most failed transitions were because of lack of knowledge on how to transition successfully and overemphasis on SRS/GCS.

    The only other case for regret I can think of us Christine Daniels. Her case was a real tragedy, and was very much caused by her inner conflict to become her real self and her love for her wife, and she couldn't have both. This I feel is a more serious concern than anything mentioned on any of the links mentioned on this thread.
    Last edited by Michelle789; 03-30-2014 at 09:37 PM.
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