Ask a Butch: I’m a Detransitioning Lesbian Headed For College



I’m a detransitioning lesbian headed for college.  Detransitioning as in right now: I am titrating off of my hormone treatment.  I will detransition socially upon entering college.  I’m doing so because my dysphoria (prof. diagnosed) has seemed to have melted away upon adulthood, which is wonderful but has left me in a weird place.  I figured out I was a lesbian just a year ago.  It has been grating on me more and more how separate I am from other women, and especially other lesbians.  I cannot blame them of course, right now I look male and though my friends are aware of my plans to detransition, my appearance warrants only small changes in view rather than large.

I worry, however, that this will extend into college.  I don’t plan on being more feminine or anything to somehow make up for the fact that I had been transitioned; I’m going to keep my short hair and hairy legs and flannels and boots, and just keep my face shaved.  I don’t regret my transition and I’m very consciously choosing to refuse to, but it will put me in a strange spot.  I think I will honestly look extremely, extremely androgynous as a result, and I worry I will stay lonely and separated.

I’m planning on trying to find groups to get involved with, perhaps if I can find any specifically for lesbians, but it is so scary to consider that I may seem foreign in any place I go from now on.  Being a lesbian is lonely by itself, I don’t want to be an island beyond that as well.  I don’t want to force anyone outside of their comfort though, either.  For example, I’ll probably get a single dorm room, and find neutral single stall restrooms as much as possible.  

Do you have any advice for helping possibly integrate myself into lesbian or women’s circles in college as a very androgynous person?

-Detra Blues


Hi DB,

First of all, congratulations on getting into college and for accepting yourself just the way you are. Those are two huge life milestones that most people aren’t fortunate enough to achieve. 

Meeting new people and being in a new place is always intimidating at first. When it comes to lesbians, sometimes we can be hard to find, or when found, we can be a tad “mean girls,” and that sucks. On top of all that, in this climate, it’s hard to just be a lesbian at all, especially a newly out lesbian, with some on social media touting the notion that lesbian is somehow “outdated” as it were. But I assure you, butch and androgynous lesbians abound, and you are NOT alone.

Unfortunately, we do live in a world that can be misogynist, that tells women to hate our bodies, and that fears strong women. I mean, what’s more powerful than a woman who can reject gender stereotypes and accept her body just as it is? It’s radical. And it’s why people will admire you in the long run (plus you will get all the girls, trust me!)

What’s more powerful than a woman who can reject gender stereotypes and accept her body just as it is? It’s radical.

Still, you’re going to be entering an environment where most young women your age haven’t figured themselves out, and it can get…weird. They may be shocked by you. They may be intimidated by your self-confidence and your decision to detransition. They may fear it because they haven’t figured out what to do with their own inner conflicts. But some will admire, and like you, and welcome you. I promise you that. 

My advice is to let your personality and your actions speak for you, and don’t worry about your appearance or others’ perceptions. I know – it’s easier said than done. But you sound self-aware and confident enough to do exactly that.  I also want to tell you about a group of young woman who are going through just what you are and formed a very cool media project called The Pique Resilience Project. They are a group of detransitioned lesbians and they’ve got your back. Check them out.

I recently gave some advice to a teen girl who was questioning the pressure to choose trans identity vs butch lesbian – even by her therapist. I realize that not many people in the LGBT “community” understand what is going on with this. But I get it. A lot of us DO get it, and we are going to be here, speaking out. 

Remember that you have a strong lesbian community behind you, even if we are spread out all over the world. And one day, you’ll be the older butch lesbian a baby dyke will be looking to for support and guidance. I’m going to thank you in advance for passing the torch.

In strength and solidarity,


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