Looking back at how far we’ve come

Mallory Moore
3 min readJan 15, 2023

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I just stumbled on an old thing I wrote down that I’d blanked out of my memory from when I was unemployed. My gender psychologist had written notes about me not dressing feminine enough and responded to me answering that I was currently unemployed at the time and a full time carer by saying that because of my interest in technology I should join the army. He then argued with me for much of the rest of the session about whether the army is an acceptable place to work.

I had in the years just before, come out of homelessness, during which time I spent a lot of my free time down with the peace camp in Parliament Square fighting the war and trying not to get arrested for it, feeling that if I was going to be on benefits I may as well give back something to the world.

It always felt like the reason he told me to join the army was to do with my queer looking gender presentation and not making the femininity requirements (which is hard when you’re impoverished and traumatised at the best of times even if you want to).

That psychologist was the one who around the same time forcibly detransitioned me off of HRT causing me to have the level of facial hair and my high hairline that I have. Because he didn’t like that I had partially shaven pink hair and wore jeans. I had to take illegal HRT via the trans grapevine before they would give it me back.

I have been thinking a lot about how throwing myself at fighting against conversion therapy is tied up in, maybe not having had conversion therapy, but not far off. Some trans girls my age who came out around the same time got sent for full on head games, doctor trying to get in your head and confuse you about what you know about yourself to the point where you can’t trust yourself or your own feelings at all because an authority figure has been trying to convince you you’re wrong. And that was only in the 00s.

90% of these people still have jobs. Some of them are quite senior.

The one thing I’m very glad of is unlike a lot of people, as soon as I knew trans people existed I knew that was me. I had a lot of things in earlier childhood where I got in trouble for picking the wrong things out of the dressing up box at kindie or got treated weird for sitting with girls at school making friendship bracelets or whatever, but at 12 years old watching Jerry Springer and seeing trans women on there I knew what I was. It was scary thinking "holy shit they pretty much only let people like me be hookers?" but I knew very clearly and it’s pretty much never really been in any question, in my mind as soon as I knew. So a lot of my experiences of efforts to stop me being trans have been upsetting, frustrating, have made me resentful, but I thankfully didn’t waste any time really second guessing my own mind on this. As a feminist who doesn’t really believe in gender essence or sexed brains I’ve done a lot of introspection on what I think about that experience of certainty Vs my belief that gender is largely a social construct enforced to normalise social differences out of existence, but I haven’t and don’t really waver in my understanding of myself.

Cutting a long story short, I now see a lot of trans women with short punky haircuts and I don’t hear lots of stories about being told to go join the army instead with the silent implication that it will sort your gender issues out. I’m glad we’ve come this far.

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Mallory Moore

Trying to develop a gender abolition worthy of the wider abolitionist feminism movement.