A fine piece, Mary, thank you.
A couple of points. ‘transwoman’ is a single noun and is believed of transphobes as code for ‘yeah not really a woman’. Most of us parse it thus ‘trans woman’, adjective, noun. I am a woman. I’m also trans. But I’m also a white woman, a tall woman, a sassy woman. But still a woman. ‘transwoman’ allows us to be negated too easily.
And on detransition, you rightly point out there are those who do change their minds. And they should be cared for at every stage. However, what very very rarely features in the narrative (and is absent from your article) is that the majority of detransitioners eventually retransition. Indeed some people do so several times before fully committing (more usually to the gender they were transitioning toward, not from).
And further, it should be noted that most don’t detransition because they change their minds. Some do, for sure, bur for many it’s societal or familial pressure than causes them to pause transition. Transition is HARD. And it’s super long too. It’s a huge emotional, physically, social, and economic struggle. Even WITH support. When so much of society is against you I, as a trans woman, can see every reason why you’d consider desisting. I say this because it’s occurred to me. ‘What is I just stopped taking my estrogen and progesterone?’. For me personally those moments are short-lived. I don’t have a great support network but I’m a stubborn one and I know I’ve made the right decision. But I can still see why people waver. However it’s important to bear in mind that, as I said, many of those who detrans realise that THAT was the mistake and transition is still the right forward for them.
Retransitioners need to be heard.
Thanks again for a great article.