Trans and gender-nonconforming people may express themselves in gender-affirming ways, such as choosing clothing, changing their names or pronouns, beginning hormone replacement therapy, and undergoing surgery. “Detransitioning” — reverting to representing oneself as one’s sex assigned at birth — is often incorrectly conflated with regret by the media.
In a study published in LGBT Health, researchers of psychiatry and health policy examined results from the US Transgender Survey, which includes responses from 27,715 transgender and gender diverse adults, and found that very few people detransitioned due to internal regrets. Of 2,242 survey respondents who detransitioned, 82.5 percent did so because of external factors, such as pressure from family, threats of violence, or losing employment or education opportunities. Only 2.4 percent of respondents who reported detransitioning attributed it to doubt about their gender identity.
This result characterizes a relatable, human experience: wanting to be safe and supported by one’s family and community. People who choose to detransition may remain part of the trans community and may later seek gender-affirming care.