“You’ll be miserable and unhappy with your body for the rest of your life”

This post shows a few more examples of young teens coming to online transgender communities and being convinced to take hormones and/or puberty blockers.

A 16 year old boy who has been questioning his gender makes a post, stating that “even when I was young, characters in the games I played and protagonists in my imaginary stories and worlds were almost always female”, and that he wants to be “a social, somewhat nerdy, somewhat scene, girl who is tomboyish in attitude but not in looks”. He also plans to “get more into fashion and socialize a lot more” as a girl.

The commenters jump in to stress the importance of immediately transitioning:


“If you won’t do it you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”


“Yes, seriously don’t wait! (…)  it’s best to start as soon as you can. These feelings will never go away”. Note that the commenter in the above screenshot is twice the age of the poster.


“Puberty ends around 17. If you don’t do it when you’re young. You’ll be miserable and unhappy with your body for the rest of your life.”

Less than a month later, the same kid posts this: Getting told to wait until 18, don’t know if I can survive that long


Another poster, confused and distressed, asks “I want to be female so much but is that even possible?”

And is told that yes, it is possible:


“What is there to be afraid of? You’ll be way cuter after HRT. (…) The longer you exist without HRT, the more your body’s natural testosterone will fuck you up. So don’t be afraid of it, embrace it!”

In this post, another 16 year old wants to know how to get medications to halt puberty, and receives advice regarding specific subreddits, as well as concrete advice on how to order and obtain packages with a PO box, as well as offers to chat via PM:


And finally, yet another 16 year old looking for advice on obtaining hormones, behind parents’ backs. In this comment chain a person twice their age offers advice, and ends the conversation by asking “mind if I PM you?”


This is what trans people are saying online. This is what happens to kids who stumble onto “helpful” adults online.

“Just tell her to shut the fuck up”

One of the ways in which cultlike behavior is especially striking in the online trans community is the way they encourage people to cut off contact with friends and family that do not agree with 100% of their ideology.

This poster’s mother has pointed out that if he goes through with transition, he might end up looking like neither male nor female.What should he do? Slap her.


Someone apparently disagrees, but their comment was deleted. We can still see the replies though:


Slapping someone for questioning your decisions is self-defense.

Other suggestions: Tell her to “shut the fuck up”:


Another poster posts a letter his father wrote him after he came out as transgender. The father expresses concerns that the transgender thoughts may have come from the poster’s therapist or from his friends, and warns him about making such a drastic change. He also tells the poster that he loves him and wants him to come home.

One commenter says that “it would be difficult to call that person […] a father”:


Another says “doesn’t sound like a father to me”:


They also call the father abusive and hateful:



It’s not just reddit either. We see the same phenomenon in this tumblr post, where a young FtM who wants to have her breasts removed posts screenshots of text messages from her mother. The mother is asking her to reconsider such drastic changes to her body. These text messages are labeled “cruel”, “hateful”, “bullying”, and “toxic”.

This poster’s girlfriend wants him to try antidepressants before going on hormones, just in case his issues can be solved with something less invasive. That’s controlling, and you should dump her!!!


In this post, people share things their families have said to them about transition. One commenter’s mother told him that being a woman is difficult and not something one can really escape. This viewpoint is seen as poisonous.


In this post, the poster’s father is concerned about his son’s motivation for starting hormone therapy. A commenter jumps right in, advising him to bring up suicide as a bargaining chip for unquestioning acceptance. Note that the poster’s father was not cutting him off, not throwing him out, he was even driving him to his doctor’s appointments! But he was being less than 110% accepting of the need to undergo radical body modifications at the age of 18 as a way to happiness. Time to bring out the suicide threats!


This poster wishes to come out as transgender to his parents, and has written a letter to his mother stating his intentions to get hormone therapy and “live life as a woman”.

Here comes the inevitable inflated made up suicide statistic, used as a bargaining chip:


“Cis people never question their gender”

The statement “cis people don’t question their gender” is a common trope in many online transgender communities. When a female poster asks r/asktransgender about her feelings about her gender, stating that she wants to dress in male clothes and be “suave and dapper and charismatic” instead of “cute, bubbly, and adorable”, she gets this reply:


It’s that simple apparently. Being uncomfortable with female clothes and stereotypes = trans. The same sentiment comes up over and over again in various posts:






This post, where the OP, a male who loves his penis but likes to dress up as a woman because he “gets off on the humiliation”, asks “is it normal for a cis male to even question his gender?”.


The same poster posts again shortly after, saying that “I think I may be gender fluid and I don’t want to be. I just want to be a normal guy. I don’t want to be two genders. I just want to be a man.”, and that “I don’t desire transition. I don’t need to. I like to work out, I want abs like Batman. I want to be a big strong guy. So maybe it is just me being insecure…but still…”

Some of the replies:


Another commenter disagrees:


However, this single sane reply does not seem to make an impression on OP, who posts again, asking “what does it feel like to be a woman?”. When someone suggests he might be “gender fluid”, he states that he is not happy with that, and wishes to be “a normal happy man who doesn’t think he is a woman”. The reply he gets is that this is not possible. “This is not something you grow or mature out of”, and “people who try the same things don’t get much better results”.


It’s not only on reddit either. The question is brought up on this forum: “Do cis people ever think they’re trans?”




The meme that is reinforced again and again is that questioning your gender identity means you are trans. And like we saw in a previous post, the only cure for this is transitioning medically and socially. It is worth noting that this idea is reinforced again and again not only for the poster, but for everyone who reads the post. If you regularly read communities like these, you get this idea hammered into your head every time you read these comments.

When feeling better leads to an identity crisis

A female who describes herself as AFAB (assigned female at birth) and calls herself “genderqueer” has started taking wellbutrin (an antidepressant), and her feelings of gender dysphoria have significantly lessened. She posts to r/asktransgender:

Ok, so I’m AFAB genderqueer/genderfluid and I’ve been experiencing an insane amount of dysphoria on and off (corresponding with fluctuations in masculinity/femininity) since about June. I realized I was genderqueer about 3 years ago, but decided not to anything about it until this summer because, as I said, my dysphoria got intense. I came to the conclusion that I needed a low dose of T to be more androgynous and more able to pass in boymode… and after much angst came out to my mother and brother and asked my PCP for T. She said she’ll look into it (she’s never had a trans patient before) and possibly start me on it in January.

In the meantime, I’ve been struggling with depression on and off my whole life, and it’s been made unbearable by the dysphoria, so I finally accepted her recommendation for an antidepressant. She put me on Wellbutrin (150mg 2x/day) 5 days ago, and I’m already feeling WAY better in terms of my mood, but I also haven’t experienced any dysphoria at all. I tried boymoding once a few days ago, and it felt good, but still no dysphoria. Now I’m really worried that all this gender stuff is just a side effect of my depression, and it’s not real. I mean, not having dysphoria is good, and I know that dysphoria isn’t necessary to be genderqueer, and I still want to boymode and aim for a more androgynous presentation, but I just don’t feel like shit about my body anymore. I never thought that feeling better would make me have an identity crisis. Help?

TL;DR: I’m genderqueer and depressed, went on an antidepressant that works too well and got rid of my dysphoria. Now I’m having an identity crisis. Help?

Note the casual attitude towards taking testosterone – a drug that can have drastic unwanted consequences for females, but that in many transgender groups online is seen merely as something you can take to help you get a certain “look”.

Note also that the poster describes the lessening of trans feelings as an “identity crisis”. Shouldn’t feeling better be a good thing? What do the posters in r/asktransgender have to say? Interestingly, there are a few that have similar experiences:


Interestingly though, many posters stress how this relief of negative feelings isn’t really a solution.


They tell her that her dysphoria is probably still there, just wait. This relief is probably temporary.


“Antidepressants helped me, but I still wanted to transition”.


“You are just treating the symptoms”.


“It may come back.”


The narrative that have been created in these communities is that being transgender is an underlying, physical condition and the only way to cure it is by transitioning – by which they mean taking hormones and often undergoing radical body modifications. When people report finding relief in other ways, the consensus seems to be that these things don’t really help – they are just treating the symptoms, or masking the problem. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We’ll show in later posts that this belief leads to significant perverse incentives pushing people toward dramatic, irreversible changes–making them alarmed or anxious when their negative feelings about their body go away.  It puts one in mind of the internet’s “pro-ana” communities, in which anorexic young women convinced one another that not feeling fat was a moral failing.  Having days when you feel comfortable in your own skin isn’t a sign of progress, even when it’s accompanied by a lifting of depressive symptoms, because it subverts the narrative that as soon as you start to question your comfort with gender roles, you’ve proven yourself to be destined for a permanent, fixed identity as transgender.

The fact that the poster likes being in “boymode” is seen as evidence that she is trans, no other explanation is considered. Could it be that she enjoys wearing masculine clothes? Many women do. Could it be that she likes being seen as a man because women are often catcalled, talked down to, or creeped on my males? Maybe it feels safer? No one asks her this.

Why does preferring a certain way of presenting yourself mean that you are somehow metaphysically the opposite sex? The traditional feminist view that we have bodies, we have personalities and preferences, and that these do not have to “match” seem to have disappeared somehow. Instead we get people feeling like they have an “identity crisis” when their negative feelings about their sex go away, because they somehow think that you need to have a condition to be able to present yourself in the way you wish.

When in doubt, transition

A poster on r/akstransgender is riddled with doubt. They don’t know whether transition is for them or not, and is questioning if maybe they just “want to be different”. Posters assure them that doubt is normal. Many of them doubt, but they choose to keep on transitioning anyway.


The same poster makes another post, bringing up the thought that maybe they just want to be a part of a community, and that is what is motivating their desire to transition.


If you want to be happy, you have to stop doubting. Doubt is “toxic”, according to this commenter.


If you want to be trans, then you are trans, this commenter states.


Taking hormones that can potentially make you sterile and having irreversible body modifications is compared to taking up a hobby, asking “why should transitioning be different”?

The poster makes a third post, asking if anyone has tried to put transitioning on hold to gain self-acceptance. The consensus is that this is a terrible idea.


Suicide is brought up as a natural consequence of trying to deny the desire to transition:



The poster pretty much get bombarded with the idea that it’s not possible to change these desires, and that not acting on them will lead to wanting to commit suicide.

The poster then makes an interesting post a while later, stating that

i avoided the trans community (subreddits, some trans people i know, etc) for most of the day while playing a game and i’ve had the most fun i’ve had in months. it is now 24 hours later and I still have no urge to transition and my dysphoria is almost 0. i’m also imagining myself years into HRT and feeling dysphoric about having female features.

what the hell happened? do i just not know how to handle enjoying myself or have I been delusional this entire time?

Wow. Maybe staying off the internet is the solution? Maybe constantly obsessing over the idea of transitioning is unhealthy, maybe there is a simple way of feeling relief? The commenters disagree.


“It never goes away unless you do something about it”, one commenter states. Never. And of course, “doing something about it” only means transitioning. The fact that taking an internet break seems to have helped the poster is dismissed. Again and again the idea is reinforced that this desire can never go away, that transitioning is the only solution, and that suicide is the consequence of not transitioning.

Questioning Reinforced, Again: This Is What Recruitment Looks Like


The person in this thread believes he could live as a male, doesn’t think he could consider himself a woman even if he transitioned, and believes he could end up suicidal if he started presenting as a girl at his high school.

According to him, he’s only been thinking about heading down this road for a few days:


So what are the responses he gets, this kid who’s been thinking about transition for a few days, admits to obsessive thinking patterns, and so on?


Yup.  “You sound trans.”  And sure enough, within a couple of days


Parents: if your child has recently come out as transgender and seems more depressed/anxious than before, CHECK THEIR INTERNET HISTORY.  Find out where they’re posting.  The forums we’re looking at right now are just one location out of many where these things are happening.  Your child may be being manipulated by adults into a situation that is making their mental problems worse, not better.

Reinforcement of Belief Systems


Online trans groups are not your friend if you are experiencing dysphoria.  Watch in this thread as literally no one tells this person that his feelings could be more related to depression or anxiety than being a “woman inside.”  Instead, they rush to tell him that there’s no such thing as normal and that this is just part of being transgender or a “crossdreamer.”  These are not people who have this man’s mental health in mind–they want him to want to be on hormones, they want him to feel dysphoric to stay in the community.