First woman, then man, and then back again until reunited with the original chrysalis. Three hundred people and their respective suspended bodies gathered in Manchester last November the first conference dedicated to Detransition, that painful process up to the unimaginable that leads the mind to live in an eternal house of mirrors, in search of its most corresponding reflection. Men and women who, after having struggled to obtain the reassignment of sexual characteristics, changed their name, identity and role, have finally found neither peace nor adhesion in their finally transformed body, and wish to go back. A percentage still small compared to the many affirmation and fulfillment stories told in recent years by FashionTrends Italia. But still an avant-garde that cannot be ignored, especially for those who want to tell the universe full of nuances, but more slippery than expected, of gender issues.
According to Detransition Advocacy Network founded in London by Charlie Evans, a young Englishman lived as a man for ten years and then reunited with the original genre, the theme of detransition is emerging clearly: «It is certainly not about people who are aware and then repentant, but rather about transsexuals who at the moment they were not in possession of their faculties, victims of eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia and bipolarism “. A shortage of “filters at the entrance and consent” which in recent weeks has led NHS, the British health system, to blame for blaming the puberty blockers too easily, medicines that can slow down puberty to preadolescents at taken with the doubts related to gender fluidity. And also, not to subject those who request the final operation to adequate psychiatric reports, according to a general wave that worldwide would push doctors and psychologists, worried not to incur the charge of transphobia, to oil too quickly processes that should instead be long and verified.
Charlie Evans echoed it Miroslav Djordjevic, one of the most important plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the world, who said how over the past five years he has been “shaken by the number of people eager to reverse the process”, reaffirming his perception of a growing trend during the World Minds conference in Zurich. “The detransitioners come from all over the western worldmostly men who became women, “she said. “When I told them that recreating the male organ is a complex and heartbreaking procedure, they didn’t blink. They told me about paralyzing levels of depression with intense suicidal thoughts. “
Trans cultural associations for the moment are minimizing the phenomenon, certainly not out of silence but fearful that the emergence of second thoughts may weaken the community and be used instrumentally by conservative and Catholic think tanks. Yet new stories come to light: the alarm launched by The Tavistock and Portman Nhs Foundation Trust in London is recent, which has seen tenfold increase in a yearrequests for psychological intervention by young teenagers determined to start the transition. The fear of the experts is that at the base there are no real gender dysphorias as much as the desire to escape from lesbianophobia, combined with the belief that life as men would be easier and added to a certain ease of approach made viral by social media.
“In twenty years of activity and with two thousand cases treated, it has happened to me only once”, points out Giorgio Maggiulli, referent for the surgical reassignment of gender at the San Camillo in Rome, “a man who became a woman who asked us to deduct following a mystical crisis ». At the basis of everything, even in this case, there would be an undiagnosed psychiatric pathology: «But compared to other countries, it is difficult for the phenomenon to grow in Italy: before proceeding with the operation, the subject remains under observation for years, consolidating the his will ». The opportunities to go back successfully are also conditioned by nature, explains the specialist: easier for women, considering that in phalloplasty the vagina is simply “hidden” to make room for the male prosthesis. Very complicated for humans, where the organ is completely dismantled.
But faced with the persistence of existential pain, the first detransitioners do not stop. There are those who sought refuge in femininity because they were bullied as a child. On the contrary, those who became man by not accepting their homosexuality or following sexual violence. And who has undergone dramatic ups and downs like Robyn Kenner, who first went from man to woman, then turned back after a sexual assault, and then again a woman after a psychological therapy that made her regain confidence. “If surrounded by a support network, people are successful,” explained Laura A. Jacobs, a New York psychotherapist specializing in gender phenomena. “In my experience, there are more men and women who regret not having done so, rather than the other way around.”
Top: photo of the A-Gender collection by Francesco Russo