Glossary of Detransition-Related Terms
Per our rules, this subreddit does not require or prohibit usage of any terms that users may choose to apply to themselves or to theories and philosophies.
Many words used within and surrounding the detransition community are new and/or their definitions are in flux. This subreddit offers the following definitions in the spirit of neutrality and with intention for clarity, but we do not claim to be an authority regarding these definitions.
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🦎: Technically the "lizard" emoji, this symbol has been adopted by some detrans folk on social media to represent the salamander as a mascot for detransitioners, due to its ability to regrow/regenerate its tail when severed.
🏁: The checkered flag, adopted by some gender-critical/gender-free folk on social media to represent victory over or being "finished" with gender/genderism. Some detransitioners embrace this symbolism; some refuse it or may even find it offensive.
AFAB, AMAB, ASAB: "Assigned female at birth", "assigned male at birth", "assigned sex at birth". Relatively new terms for biological/genetic/natal sex. These terms were originally coined for the intersex experience, before being applied to the transgender experience. Some detrans folk may embrace these terms, while others may refuse them or find them offensive.
boy: A man below the age of legal or sexual maturity.
cis: Casual shorthand for "cisgender".
cisgender: A common term for "non-transgender". Some detrans folk may embrace this term, while others may refuse it or even take offensive from it.
desist: A generic medical term simply for "cessation" of any kind. Regarding gender, "to desist" may specifically mean to stop experiencing gender dysphoria, or to stop pursuing gender transition (whether that transition would be social, legal, and/or medical) and to stop identifying as transgender. The term "desist" is more common in medical literature than is "detransition". This may be because the word "desist" can be more readily used to refer cessation of specific steps within transition, while the word "detransition" can connote a broader meaning. The term "desist" may also appear less politically charged and therefore may feel politically safer than "detransition" may be. Some transition activists also use the word "desist" to discredit detransition and to divide detransitioners. The opposite of "desist" is "persist" (as in, "continue").
desister/desistor: A person who has desisted in some way. The term may also be embraced by some women for containing the word "sister". Desister also is often referred to someone who ceased identifying as transgender without undergoing any medical treatment.
desistance/desistence: The act of desisting. The term may be embraced by some for an association with the political term "resistance".
detrans: Casual shorthand for "detransition" or "detransitioner". Note that detrans persons might still fit the various legal and/or medical definitions of being "trans". Some do not still identify as "trans", they might re-identify as "cisgender", or they might refuse all such labels.
detrans female, detrans woman: a detransitioner who was born female (or "observed female at birth").
detrans male, detrans man: a detransioner who was born male (or "observed male at birth").
detransgender: A much-less-common term for "detrans" or "detransitioner".
detransition: To halt, to reverse, a gender transition. Note that, just as transition can be social and/or medical and/or legal, detransition can also be social and/or medical and/or legal. The term "detransition" is less common in medical literature than is "desist". This may be because the word "desist" can be more readily used to refer cessation of specific steps within transition, while the word "detransition" can connote a broader meaning. The term "desist" may also appear less politically charged and therefore may feel politically safer than "detransition" may be. Some transition activists also use the word "desist" to discredit detransition and to divide detransitioners. The opposite of "detransition" is "transition".
detransitioner: A person who is undergoing detransition, or who has reached a feeling of completion with their process of detransition (and perhaps has moved onward in life).
detransphobia, detransphobic: Extreme or irrational fear or dislike of detransition or of detransitioners.
ex-trans: A much-less-common term for "detrans" or "detransitioner". Commonly considered to be detransphobic, in that it was preceded by the term "ex-gay" (a term most commonly used by homophobic parties).
female: The sex that produces gametes that can receive mobile gametes (eggs or ova that can receive sperm) and that can bear offspring, assuming healthy development of the individual. Chromosomes are most commonly XX.
FtMtF: "Female-to-male-to-female". A detrans female.
gender: Either a synonym for sex, or one of the various transgender definitions of the word.
gender-critical, GC, gender-free: Someone or something opposed to gender as being innate or necessary.
gender dysphoria, GD, gender identity disorder, GID: The American Psychiatric Association (APA)'s "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition" (DSM-5, the current edition, published in 2013) classifies GD/GID as mental disorders 302.6 (in children) and 302.85 (in adults).
gender incongruence: In mid-2019, the World Health Organization (WHO)'s "International Classification of Diseases, Revision 11" (ICD-11) reclassified gender dysphoria as gender incongruence, which also moved it from being a mental condition to a "condition related to sexual health".
genderism, gender essentialism: Someone or something supportive of gender as innate or necessary.
girl: A woman below the age of legal or sexual maturity.
hormones: A substance produced in an organism and transported in tissue fluids to stimulate and regulate specific cells or tissues. Hormones affect our daily mood, they regulate our body temperature, they shape our bodies as we mature and as we continue to age throughout all stages of life (not just puberty), and they are necessary for the continuation of human life.
hormone blockers: Pharmaceuticals that counter-act a natural puberty. Commonly used to "give time" to young persons experiencing gender dysphoria. The use of hormone blockers is relatively new, not fully reversible, and not without risk.
hormone-replacement therapy, HRT: Any use of pharmaceutical hormones. Originally same-sex HRT was prescribed to elder women to ease menopause symptoms. Cross-sex HRT is now commonly used for trans people. Same-sex HRT may be necessary in detrans people, if medical transition left their bodies unable to produce an adequate level of natural hormones to sustain their life. Long-term HRT use is relatively new, not fully reversible, and not without risk.
intersex: A person born with a difference of sexual development, which can manifest as unclear/underdeveloped or mixed sexual organs or secondary sexual characteristics. Intersex persons are still either male or female.
male: The sex that produces mobile gametes (sperm), assuming healthy development of the individual. Chromosomes are most commonly XY.
man: Some detransitioners may only recognize the biological definition (adult human male). Others may continue to embrace a transgender definition.
MtFtM: "Male-to-female-to-male". A detrans male.
regret: Sadness or disappointment with transition. Some detransitioners regret their transition, others do not.
retransition: A term that some might use for "detransition" (with a slightly more positive spin), or which some might use for returning to transition after detransition, it is often used by those who halted their transition for temporary reasons.
sex: The state of being either female or male.
trans-exclusionary: Someone or something that excludes trans people from certain things (eg, from definitions of "man" or "woman", from sex-segregated spaces, etc).
trans-inclusionary: Someone or something that includes trans people in certain things (in definitions of "man" or "woman", in sex-segregated spaces, etc).
woman: Some detransitioners may only recognize the biological definition (adult human female). Others may continue to embrace a transgender definition.
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