The words Asktransgender commenters don’t want teens to see

Several times on this blog, we have seen how young teenagers who are confused about their identities get advice from adults on places like reddit.

Often they get advice that is very inappropriate, like advice on how to obtain prescription medications illegally, or advice on how to hide said medications from parents. They are urged to do this as soon as possible. It can take only weeks for a teen to go from confused about their identity to feeling like they absolutely need these hormones. Sometimes adults suggest completely inappropriate courses of action like in this post where a 42 year old offers a teen to come to his house and get “shots”.

Today we are going to take a brief look at what kind of advice is not allowed on online transgender forums. A 14 year old posts in AskTransgender, asking “Is this real?

Hey guys, So, currently I identify as MtF. However, I keep thinking that I may not actually be, or that I am exaggerating, or that I simply want to be, so to not be “common”, or to be special/unique. I know it sounds silly, but I have OCPD, so these thoughts are constant 24/7, and I get very worried that I may not be trans. When I see a pretty girl, I wish I could look like her, not just be with her, and ever since I was a kid, I would often play online as a girl, and would Identify well with the character (not sure if relevant). It is getting annoying. I am 14 years old, and I don’t think I can get to a gender therapist soon. I don’t know what to do or think, as I have exaggerated “symptoms” before, and I also think I am a hypocondriac (not saying trans is an illness) which has lead me to believe I am gravely sick before, even though I am not, and I worry that this is what my mind is doing to me, any help?

There is a removed comment:

deleted comment
Deleted comment with replies

What did the deleted comment say? Must have been pretty bad, judging by the aggressive reactions, right? Luckily, since one of the replies mentions the username who made the deleted comment, it’s possible to find out. Clicking on the username of “pyre105” reveals the following comment:

allow yourself to be who you are
“Allow yourself to grow up as who you are”

So that was the comment, downvoted by other posters to -1, and then deleted. “Allow yourself to grow up as you are, away from labels and expectations. There’s really minimal difference between boys and girls in terms of personality, behavior, things we like, etc. Identifying with a girl character doesn’t make you a girl.”

These words  were so offensive that the  other commenters tell the author to “get the HELL away”, and that what they are doing is harmful, and then the comment is deleted. These are the words the posters on AskTransgender do not want 14 year old kids to read.

Meanwhile, comments urging them to obtain medications illegally, hide them from their parents, and go to the houses of 42 year old men, are not deleted. Food for thought for parents whose children are questioning their identities. Be extremely skeptical of the advice they are getting online.

“I hide my meds in my saxophone case” – self medding advice to minors

On reddit, a website where kids as young as 13 are allowed, and many are even younger, anonymous people, often adults, give minors tips on how to obtain prescription-only medication illegally, and hide it from their parents.

In this post, a 15 year old asks for advice, saying that “I have came out to my mom and she does not support me and thinks I should just stay how I was born.”

estrogen is cheap
“estradiol is pretty cheap”

“Estradiol is pretty cheap,” chimes in a 44 year old adult, and provides a link to various online pharmacies where this medication can be bought. Estradiol is a medication that can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, if you smoke, or if you are overweight. It is also recommended to get blood tests and physical check-ups while taking this medication, none of which a 15 year old would necessarily have access to.

In this post, reddit users are giving tips to minors on how to hide from their parents that they are taking DIY hormones (“do it yourself”, meaning without a prescription) (archived post)

DIY tips
tips for minors who wish to take prescription medications behind their parents’ backs

The advice comes complete with dosage advice.

In this post, a 16 year old is uncertain about starting hormones:

I am 16 and not getting any younger. I would rather get hormones sooner than later if I’m going to get them at all, and I don’t feel equipped to make that decision at 16. However, I am worried that I won’t be able to make the decision until post-puberty, which would be disadvantageous.

What is the way out of this dilemma?

One of the replies is this:

why not

“Why would you not be equipped to make that decision at 16?” this poster asks, and continues:

you wont regret it
“It’s almost completely certain you won’t regret it”

Another poster chimes in:

youll pass worse
“you’ll pass worse”

Finally, the poster is convinced:

getting aas
“I’m going to go bother some people about AAs”

The commenters have successfully convinced this young teen to get anti-androgens. The most common one is spirolactone, which can have side effects like  uneven heart rate, severe skin reactions, numbness, muscle weakness, vomiting, shallow breathing and confusion.

A magical pill to bypass suffering: how teens are persuaded to start transition

As ever on  reddit communities for transgendered people, young teens uncertain about themselves post, and these young teens are overwhelmingly told to start taking hormones in order to try to make their bodies resemble the oppsisite sex.

A 14 year old boy posts: “I think that I might be trans and am unsure about what to do and I need some advice.” There are two replies, none of which try to get this child to reflect on what he means by “being male”, or why he might be uncomfortable with puberty.

your body is in prime shape for transition
“Your body is in prime shape for transition”

No, instead they tell him that his body is in prime shape for transition! Implied of course, that it will not stay in prime shape forever. The commenter also assures the child that since he has been uneasy with the start of puberty, he will surely keep being uncomfortable with it. As if being weirded out with the start of puberty is some sign of illness, instead of being a completely normal experience.

In this post, a 15 year old child is told exactly how to obtain hormones without a prescription, including dosages. This commenter advices the kid to get prescribed the medications he wants under false pretenses. (Archive link for the entire post)

danish kid being told to obtain hormonse illegally
“High blood pressure”

Another 15 year old wants to know how to go behind his parents’ backs and obtain prescription medications illegally.

Today my parents said some things that make me unable to come out to them. The problem is Im 15 and need thier consent for treatment.

How can I get hrt without my parents consent. I know diy is dangerous, but it isn’t a choice. It’s something I need to do. The thoughts of how I’m getting more masculine each day are eating me away on the inside.

So whats the safest way to diy. Also what dosege should I use.

Some of the replies:

get on horemones now
“Get on hormones now”
almost harmless
“DIY is almost harmless”
get a PO box
More advice on how to obtain medications illegally
you need this to pass
“Pressure your mother by telling her how hard your life will be”
money and relationships
If you wait, you will lose thousands of dollars, your life will be stressful and you will have a hard time finding love
magical pill
Calling hormones “magical pills”

Yet another 15 year old, asking what the appropriate age to start hormones is. And the replies:


Another teen, this time a 17 year old, posts.

Is waiting six months going to harm my transition in any significant way, or is it a good decision to just wait half a year?

And there are plenty of replies urging him to start as soon as possible.

as soon as you canit will make a huge differencestart soon

Even though there are a few voices of dissent, the majority of the replies to these young teens tell them that they should look into hormones, and it is not difficult to get very concrete advice on how to obtain them, often illegally. Very rarely do the commenters talk about other possible explanations for the feelings these teens have.

Another young person, this one in her early twenties, asks for advice here.

I first came out in 2011 but being ‘trans’ still seems surreal to me. As a child I was mostly indifferent to gender and don’t think I understood it well, I climbed trees, played with chemistry sets and built things. The feelings began roughly after puberty, around 13, when I began developing breasts, hips and a menstrual cycle. It was at this point I was diagnosed with major depression and put on Prozac. I immediately noticed that the menstrual cycle felt un natural and it still does. I felt very uncomfortable having breasts and wore clothing to conceal them and my hips. I starved myself so that my figure was more boyish. I was jealous of guys, thinking I would feel so much happier in that body. Looking at my face, I felt extremely ugly. I felt like a dude in makeup with a face that was neither quite male or female. I also have no ‘maternal instinct’ whatsoever. I find babies sort of cute, but that’s it. I have no drive to reproduce.


My teenage years were depressing, mostly due to my distraction with my physical appearance and illness. I avoided mirrors like the plague. I also disliked my name because it’s super feminine, but feel better when people use the short form (which is masculine). I feel much more comfortable wearing clothes for men and not wearing makeup. In 2011 my GP dx’d me with GD but I still ask myself if I really am trans and I feel scared of what I’m going to do to myself. When I imagine my face and body looking masculine, I feel happier about it, and more confident. According to my digit ratios I was exposed to very high testosterone levels while I was developing as my ring finger is almost an inch longer than my index finger.

A young woman who has struggled with depression, eating disorders, and who dislikes gendered stereotypes and makeup. Conclusion: trans, must immediately undergo radical body modifications.

Some choice replies:

you can become masculine and happy

No one asks about her getting treatment for depression, or eating disorders. No one talks about how it’s possible to be a masculine woman, how it’s possible to prefer men’s clothing and no makeup even as a woman.

This is the state of many online transgendee communities. People, often adults, willing to give medical advice, telling teenagers and children that they should start this medical treatment as soon as possible, and that the consequences of not doing so is losing money, not being beautiful, having difficulties finding friends and partners. Telling them that hormones are magic pills. Never telling anyone to wait, to question their motives, to listen to their parents. It’s very frightening.


“It’s not only what I want but it’s what I need”. On “gatekeeping”

Transgender people have gained more visibility over the last few years. From being non-existent to being exceedingly rare, today we hear of more and more transgendered people, and many of them are very young. Many of the young people who feel themselves to be transgendered, want to undertake body modifications, such as taking hormone blockers or hormone replacement, mastectomies for females, genital surgeries and/of facial surgeries. These are big decisions. How well are these young people screened to make sure there are no other disorders or reasons for wanting to transition that might cloud their judgement?

As is turns out, obtaining medical interventions has become rather easy.

This poster on tumblr, who is 17 years old, went from a general practitioner to a psychiatrist, who is referring them to an endocrinologist who will prescribe testosterone after just two sessions. “All in 1 week”.


How many sessions with a gender therapist did you go to before you got prescribed hormones?“, is the title of a post on reddit.


“Right away”, “three”, “after my first visit”, “2 months”, “after my second visit”, “4 sessions”.


“Zero”, “zero”, “4-5”, “Two”. This is not a lot of time spent getting therapy.

A poster has seen a therapist who has told them that they are depressed and might not be transgender, The solution is to immediately find a new therapist:


This 19 year old states in a post that “I’ve been in therapy for 4 months now and I’m ready to start hrt. It’s not only what I want but it’s what I need.”. Commenters advise the poster to lie to the therapist and say they are already taking hormones ordered online as a  strategy to get a prescription.


The same poster a day later reports that “I no longer felt like I really needed hrt cause if I could feel like this forever then it didn’t matter if I had a male body“. One is left to wonder how many of the young people who report feeling absolutely 100% sure of their decision come to change their minds later – and how many of them could have benefited from therapy that they will not receive, as the “informed consent” style clinics become more and more common.

“OMFG I HAVE WAITED SO LONG”. Teen goes from questioning to taking hormones in three months

It is starting to become a familiar story. Young teens come to transgender communities on pages like reddit, being confused about themselves because they don’t conform to sex role stereotypes. Within months, they become convinced that they are transgender, and start experiencing despair over their bodies.

Here is another such story. It begins three months ago.

Am I a familiar story?“, the kid asks, and proceeds to rattle off a laundry list of stereotypes:


The elements are very familiar to anyone who has read a few of these questioning posts. Painting nails, playing with dolls, being good at recognizing emotions, having female friends, and not fitting in as a guy, are all given significance in figuring out one’s identity. Conversely, liking science, Indiana Jones and explosions are considered signs of a “male” identity. This kid clearly has a very rigid perception of what being male and female is. Which is okay! Many kids and teens do, and who can blame them, growing up in a  sexist society where gender roles are rigidly enforced.

And some of the posters point this out to him.


However, the comment with the most upvotes does no such thing:


“Sounds trans. Sounds trans. Sounds trans”. This commenter wants the kid to know that liking nail polish and dolls makes him sound trans.

The exchange continues, concluding with this:


“My mom still seems to think I need to wait a year before hormones”. To most people this would sound reasonable –  after all, going on cross-sex hormones without having completed natural puberty can sterilize you for life, and is a major decision to make, especially for a 15 year old. But to this kid, that is not important. This is kind of why we don’t let 15 year old make big, life-changing decisions. They are not good at thinking through the consequences.

He posts again, asking if he “has to be comfortable with public cross-dressing” before getting hormones. The answer is an overwhelming no.


Not just is it not a good idea, it can even lead to suicide!

This is worrying because it makes it so kids feeling this way are told to not even experiment with being gender-nonconforming. Maybe this kid would have discovered that he is in fact a boy who enjoys wearing fabulous clothes and nail polish, and settled into being happy as a feminine male. Instead he is told that hormones are what he needs, and urgently.


Any psychologist who tries to make a patient live in their desired gender role before administering sterilizing treatment should go to jail!

A month later, he’s taking puberty-suppressing drugs, but is still dissatisfied and wants estrogen:


And the commenters oblige, giving him links to guides for obtaining hormones without a prescription:


Then comes a rush of posts asking for advice on how to “pass” as female: (no direct links here to protect privacy, just screenshots of comments) Here is a commenter pushing him to get on hormones so he can become pretty.


After which he makes another post asking about estrogen:


More posts asking whether he passes, more commenters telling him that he needs to take HRT:


And now he starts to become depressed about his looks. The comments he is getting on his pictures, even the ones who tell him that he looks male, still tell him that he is cute, adorable, and rocking dresses and “girly” clothes. But because he has decided that only looking like a biological female is good enough, he still experiences distress. Like we have seen in a previous post on this blog, becoming determined to undergo radical changes to your body can make you feel worse about yourself, especially when your goals are unrealistic.

And then, not fully 3 months after first posting, he is starting hormone replacement therapy, and wants to know “how long estrogen takes to reshape your face“.


“OMFG I HAVE WAITED SO LONG”. Three months. This kid has waited THREE months from starting to question whether his love of nail polish as a 5 year old makes him “female”, to suppressing puberty and taking hormones that will sterilize him for the rest of his life. And he thinks these hormones will completely transform his face. What is going to happen to him when he realizes that actually becoming fully female is not possible? Instead of being happy as a boy who likes to be feminine and wear “girl” clothes, he is going down the road of obsessing over medical treatments.

“At least get on blockers. At the very least! You’ll regret waiting further”

We have seen previously here on Transgender reality that there is a lot of pressure to start taking either hormone blockers or hormones for young people who think they might be transgender. Sometimes it’s supposed to be a sort of diagnostic tool, the thought being that if you feel better on the hormones of the opposite sex, that means you are transgender. Often, the decision to start blockers or hormones is presented as something you need to do as soon as possible, even if you aren’t sure if it’s the right thing, even if you’re just 13 years old and confused. Going through natural puberty is framed as “watching your body get ruined”.

Kids going to reddit and the many large transgender subreddits there get presented with this over and over again. You need to start hormones now or you will never pass! Testosterone is ruining your body! It doesn’t take much for them to internalize this and start obsessing, as we have seen previously.

Anything I can do?” asks a 16 year old, and gets told by several commenters to “get HRT asap”:


Can I pass?” asks another 16 year old, and again HRT comes up several times:

hrt2 hrt3

What do I have to work with here?” asks a 14 year old. The second comment mentions hormones:


Other commenters talks about how it’s possible to get androgen blockers online:


“Get blockers”:


Note that this kid has not even seen a therapist yet, and still people are egging him on to get hormones.

“Is transitioning early really worth it?” asks a 15 year old. The commenters start talking about HRT straight away:


“Stop the damage of testosterone on your body”:


Do it now do it now do it now, you’ll regret it if you don’t:


This kid, who found out he’s trans less than a month before and has not talked to a therapist or even told his parents, wonders how hard he should “push for hrt”. The answer: very hard:

hrt10 hrt11 hrt12 hrt13 hrt14

This 19 year old wonders if he could pass. This exchange is very typical:


In a nutshell, he’s told to get on HRT as soon as possible. He mentions feeling stressed out because he’s not even sure he wants to transition, but worries that “I don’t have enough time to decide”. So obviously, the answer is to “start an anti androgen”. His concerns about fertility are handwaved away. Can’t worry about fertility when the more important thing is to become as pretty as possible!

This premise is most often left unspoken, but if you pay attention it is very pervasive. Passing as a woman isn’t enough, the desire to be an attractive, beautiful, sexy woman is very deep among many would-be transitioners. When you take this into consideration, the preoccupation with getting people on hormones in their early teens makes more sense. Here are just a few examples of this sentiment:






This is a recipe for disaster. Young teens go into these communities with problems that are incredibly typical, like feelings of not fitting in with peers, or liking clothing or activities that are seen as being “for” the opposite sex. They are told that even questioning their gender means that they are trans, and to get on puberty blockers or hormones as soon as possible. Again and again, the idea that taking one’s life is a natural and inevitable consequence of not being able to get these medications is reinforced.

What happens next?


Yeah. That post was written by Josh “Leelah” Alcorn, who committed suicide later that year.

From “Not Sure” To Sneaking Hormones Behind Parents’ Backs in a Week

A 17 year old posts to r/asktransgender to ask how he can tell for sure whether he’s transgender or not.

I have no idea where I stand on the whole “gender spectrum” if you can call it that. I know that the idea of transitioning is tied deeply to my sexuality, but I have no idea if it’s a fetish or something more. I tend to have no issue with the fact that I am male; in fact I would go so far as to say I enjoy being male, but whenever I contemplate sex or intimate relationships, I am either effeminate or female in my fantasies.

A teenage male having some confusing sexual fantasies, but having no issues with being male.

When I first found out about the term transgender around the age of 12 or 13, I did extensive research and found out that people who transition either [sic] tend to have better, more passable results. This resulted in me becoming extremely stressed because I felt rushed to make a decision.

This is a pervasive issue with many of the transgender groups on reddit and elsewhere – the preoccupation with “passing” as the opposite sex, resulting in questioners feeling pressured to start transitioning as early as possible. We’ve seen examples of it in earlier posts on this blog with the talk of testosterone “ruining” and doing “damage” to the bodies of the males who go through their natural puberties.

Ultimately, it culminated in me telling my parents I was trans, which I regretted immediately. Not only were they taken aback, but I felt like it all “got too real” too quickly and so I lied and said that I had only done it to get attention. Now I’m 17, no longer stressed about transitioning quickly, but I have no idea what to do. I know that given the opportunity to rewrite my life where I was a girl since birth, I would take it in a heartbeat.

What the poster refers to here is a question that is often posed to the people who are “questioning their identity” in these communities. The “magic button” question asks “if you could push a button and become the opposite sex, would you?”. The problem is that when you have no idea what being the opposite sex actually means (and how could anyone, especially a teenager), the answer isn’t really meaningful.

My worry is that I only ever think about it when I’m horny. After doing the deed, I immediately feel silly or ashamed about it, so I worry that it’s entirely fetishized (if that’s a word). I dunno, I also know that the longer I go from sexual release, the stronger the feelings become. Does anyone else have a similar story?

So. Male teenager has sexual fantasies about “being effeminate or female”. What advice does he get?


Among others, this. “A lot of us start off with sexual feelings”. And the “button” question again.


More sexual feelings beeing taken as a good reason to transition.


“Would I be happier if I was a girl? Yes”. Without any explanation of what “being a girl” means.


Again the same line we’ve seen before. If you want to be a girl, then you are one. There is nothing more to it.

Five days later, the OP posts again:

I’m in a position where I won’t be able to do anything drastic for at least a few years, and it’s killing me. Is there anything I could, say, add to my daily routine that would feminize or at least slow the frickin testosterone in my body. Diet, exercises, supplements, anything that a teenager with could acquire without suspicion?

Five days. That’s how fast he went from being fine with being male, to talking about testosterone killing him. Also note that he is going behind his family’s back with this.

Then three days later:


A few people tell him it’s not a good idea, but he also get this:



As well as advice about brands and dosages:


Notice again how insanely fast it goes. From a male with some sexual fantasies to asking about sneaking hormones without parental consent or medical supervision, in one week.