Detrans Awareness Day flyer with lizard

Detrans Awareness/Facebook

Why anti-trans advocates are celebrating ‘Detransition Awareness Day’

Detransitioners are individuals who used to identify as trans and transitioned.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Mar 12, 2024

Anti-trans advocates designated March 12 as “Detransition Awareness Day” to spread the word about what they say are the dangers of gender-affirming care.

Now, trans activists are calling out the campaign as hateful and cruel.

Detransitioners are individuals who, at one point, identified as trans and fully or in part medically transitioned. Not all detransitioners are anti-trans themselves, though many detransitioners have built a platform on opposing trans rights and healthcare. The rate of detransition among people who have medically transitioned is “extremely low,” at around 1%, according to a 2021 study.

It’s worth noting, though, that “the broader your definition of detransition, the higher the percentage is likely to be,” in the words of Evan Urquhart, a trans journalist who specializes in covering anti-trans propaganda.

The day was initially created by a group of detransitioners, but it is now backed by Genspect, an organization that opposes gender-affirming care and describes itself as “gender critical.” The organization also runs Beyond Trans, a therapy practice for people who say they have been “harmed by medical transition.”

Detransition Awareness Day’s website states that “upon transitioning, [detransitioners] felt an overwhelming degree of affirmation from doctors, mental health practitioners, and friends.” But when they decided to detransition, “those cheering voices are silent.”

Thus, the site says the Day was created for detransitioners to “cheer for each other” and advocate for “ethical medical treatment.”

Detransition Awareness Day was first held on March 12, 2021.

Well-known anti-trans advocates posted online to celebrate the day, including parental rights advocate January Littlejohn and anti-transgender and anti-vaccine activist Pamela Garfield-Jaeger.

“To all of the detransitioners, those who are public & those who are private with their stories: You are survivors of a horrific medical scandal,” Littlejohn tweeted. “I hope you find peace with your bodies & healing. It is possible. Please don’t give up. We are here to help you.”

“Detransitioners = hope,” Garfield-Jaeger tweeted. “#DetransAwarenessDay.”

Vocal detransitioners Chloe Cole and Hazel Appleyard shared their support for the campaign, too. Cole tweeted she would be appearing at an anti-trans rally in Sacramento, California, and Appleyard said she was “sending all of the love in the world to [her] detrans besties.” Appleyard spoke with the Daily Mail last year and “slammed gender ideology and cautioned against teaching children they can change sex.”

Cole appeared in conservative news outlet the Epoch Times’ anti-trans documentary Gender Transformation: The Untold Realities and Detrans Awareness Day itself posted a link to Affirmation Generation, another anti-trans documentary from right-wing company, Deplorable Films.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, also posted about Detransition Awareness Day. It shared a video of the Sacramento rally where Jay Richards, the Foundation’s Director of Life, Religion, and Family, spoke with detransitioners.

“I care about kids getting that chance to grow up whole,” one detransitioner told Richards. “They have a certain magic and innocence to them that deserves to be protected.”

The hashtag #DetransAwarenessDay trended on X thanks to detransitioners and anti-trans advocates, like far-right anti-LGBTQ group Gays Against Groomers, posting about the campaign. But tweets about the campaign also included somber reactions from trans advocates and allies.

“I’m seeing Detrans Awareness Day trend and I just wanna say: it sucks how detrans stories are so often weaponized against trans people,” @wolfnanaki tweeted. “Everyone should be allowed to figure out their gender in peace.”

“Saw detrans awareness day trending,” @creestab wrote. “Its ok to explore your identity. Its ok to decide if changes werent working for you. Its ok if you never stop finding yourself. Its all ok, you do you.”

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*First Published: Mar 12, 2024, 2:11 pm CDT