Laura Becker, a Wisconsin native who has struggled with autism, premature puberty and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), embarked on a painful gender transition journey at the urging of the medical community, which Becker recently decided to reverse.
Diagnosed with autism and PCOS at a young age, Becker was a prime example of the condition’s common comorbidity. She recounts, “Brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, showering, all of these things that are considered basic, I was very sensitive to that physically,” adding that feminine clothes were intolerable, hence her adopting a tomboy persona.
Her story unveils the profound influence of internet communities like Tumblr, where the prevalence of queer ideology and disregard for traditional wisdom may have catalyzed her curiosity about LGBTQ issues. Laura mentioned, “There was a general attitude of nihilism and complete distrust of any traditional wisdom.”
Her struggles further escalated as she began identifying as genderqueer in high school, developing a masculine demeanor, and struggling with self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.
Becker’s feelings of worthlessness amplified during her unrequited love experiences with queer-identifying friends. She recalls, “They led me on and used me emotionally as a steppingstone to realize they were homosexual. I had a breakdown because I felt so unlovable and worthless in my body.” This painful period led to severe gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia, propelling her into fantasizing about life as a gay man.
At age 19, she transitioned to a transgender gay man, kick-starting her transition with a high-dose testosterone prescription that exacerbated her mental health struggles. The process was rapid, with Becker stating, “Throughout the entire process, the clinic, the psychiatrist, and the surgeon rushed me through. There were no questions asked.”
The following year, she underwent a double mastectomy, but the transition milestones she once aspired to failed to provide lasting relief. Instead, she was left with permanent side effects and a profound sense of loss over her inability to breastfeed. Three years later, at age 26, Becker decided to detransition, expressing resentment towards the medical professionals who overlooked her preexisting conditions.
While Becker hopes to have a family in the future, she is still dealing with the grief and anger of her experience. Becker said, “When you wake up and realize, ‘wow I hated myself that much that I pursued this,’ and this world is evil enough that this was allowed to happen, and it was said to be a positive thing. It’s a really rude awakening.”