What does Desister mean?

I’ve heard of “detransition” but what is a “desister?”

“While the physical damage may be slight or non-existent, we don’t truly know the amount of psychological issues desisters face.”

Unless you have been under a rock the last few years you probably know about the increase of trans identifying youth (and adults) in our culture.  In this gender ideology the belief is that sex and gender are two different things.  Sex is biological while gender is a “social construct.”  Individuals that believe their gender doesn’t correspond with their sex are a part of the trans community.  This is a very basic rundown, but I believe most reading this have probably heard this already. 


Fewer, but still many know of what a “detransition” means.  These are individuals that followed through with medical (hormones, medications, puberty blockers) or surgical (gender reassignment surgery, “top surgery, etc.) transitions.  After going through these changes some wish to return to their sex.  Some will start taking more of their sex based hormones, undergo more surgery or return to using the pronouns of their given sex.  Individuals who do this are known as “detransitioners.”  This is a much maligned group.  Several detransitioners have spoken out on how they believe they were mistreated throughout their journey. 

Certainly, detransitioners have a big story to tell. Watch this video with Jordan Peterson and Detransitioner Chloe Cloe to hear one of these powerful stories. Many struggle with acceptance back into their natural sex.  Many felt a sense of community within the LGBTQIA+ community only to get spit out once they decide to detransition.  I am glad that more and more detransitioners are using their voice to shed light on some of the horrors this gender ideology leads to. If you want more perspective read this gut wrenching article from a gender clinic whistleblower.

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Who are Desisters?

Very little has been written or discussed related to “desisters.”   First off, what is a “desister?”  Desisters are individuals who identify as transgender who later go back to their natural gender.  A desister engaged socially as the other sex (changed pronouns, potentially changed name, potentially changed dressing styles) but did not engage in any medical treatments.  While this group did not receive any medical treatments there still could be some physical issues involved such as with the use of chest binders.  Chest binders are used on girls to help conceal their breasts.  While the physical damage may be slight or non-existent, we don’t truly know the amount of psychological issues desisters face.  This is a fairly new term and we simply have not studied this issue fully.  

That being said, many desisters struggle with their community similar to detransitioners.  The LGBTQIA+ community does not view desisters in a very positive light.  Many friends or family members they had before changing their identity might have distanced themselves from them previously.  This can be a very socially isolated spot to be in.  While I admittedly don’t have any data to back this up, from my experience I would not be surprised to see desisters with higher depression, anxiety and other mental health symptoms as opposed to their peers. 

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Who can Help?

I’m writing this post in part to help educate the Christian community of this term “desister.”  I follow gender ideology closely and this was a term I only recently had heard.  If you are a “desister” reading this and don’t know who to talk to then please reach out to me.  If you don’t want a Christian counselor to talk to then I can help you find someone else to speak to.  In the world of gender affirmation many counselors are guilty of pushing desisters towards transition.  I can understand why a desister would not feel comfortable talking to a counselor again.  

Know that I am not alone as a mental health professional to talk out to.  Please feel free to visit Genspect or GETA (Gender Exploratory Therapy Association) to find more therapists that would be more than happy to help you.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me via this form below.