Response to Lost Boys.
Male detransitioners and toxic masculinity.
This article republished with kind courtesy of @STILLTish (twitter handle). The original post can be found at stilltish.substack.com. It was a response to a series called The Lost Boys written by @TullipR (twitter handle) and his original posts can be found at tullipr.substack.com. We suggest giving them both a follow.
I am inspired to write this in response to a gay, male detransitioner who penned a piece on the role narratives about toxic masculinity played in his rejection of his sex. My own, gay son is following the same path. There are some commonalities in their backgrounds.
Some of we parents of gay boys intuited this from a young age. Many of the signs are cliches which some gay men may find irksome. For my own one I got a clue when the neighbourhood boys were having their regular dispute about whether to play football or cricket. My seven year old enthusiastically suggested “let’s do neither and put on a show”! His idea was not favourably received 😂 by the neighbourhood boys.
Later his favourite film was the little mermaid; the name adopted by the controversial charity who proselytise the idea of “trans kids”. He also had a theatrical bent which led to him joining, for a brief time, a youth theatre. He is a lover of old movies and Judy Garland. At same time he was hyper active, a serial escapee from his cot from around 9 months old. He would escape his cot but could not surmount the baby prison gates so we would often find him curled up with his sheet, like a little refugee behind bars. Later he overcame this last barrier and would turn up to claim his place in the parental bed and I never had the heart to evict him.
Eventually he graduated to supermarket escapee. A momentary lapse in surveillance would necessitate a tannoy announcement and a frantic search. He was particularly enamoured of the forbidden areas and more than once he had to be retrieved from the staff /storage areas. On a trip to Canada, I finally resorted to toddler reins, only to be told these are considered child abuse over in Tranada Land. (Oh, the irony from the country that promotes double mastectomies for teens). I was much frowned upon by the Canadian mums.
At primary school he played only with girls and loved to bake. He spent hours preparing for his school “master chef” (with his Dad who is the better cook) which his team won. His love of baking persists to this day. It was not long before the bullying began. The school did not know how to deal with it. They seemed to think calling him “gay” was not an issue because we had reclaimed the word. However, it was certainly used as a perjorative term by his tormentors. Finally one charmer graduated to faggot ; this provoked a backlash from my son and we were called to the school to discuss. We went to the school way more times than my son knows but it continued all the way through Primary and onto Secondary School. Sadly, I think he stopped telling us.