First, I want to thank my readers for being patient with me. A lot of personal issues have been going on. But the waiting is over...
Earlier on, I wrote two other parts to this series. The first part can be found <here> and the second part can be read <here.> This is the third part of that series.
Say you have a friend who has told you that she is expressing doubts about her transition, and even doubts about her own so-called "gender identity." You might hear her mention that she's been experiencing side effects of the testosterone that she doesn't like (these side effects could be physical or mental). She could be mentioning that in addition to negative health problems (high blood pressure, reproductive failure, etc) that she isn't feeling great about the transition changes. She doesn't like her new high libido or her porn habit. There could be other issues going on as well. If she is pre-operative, she may express doubts about getting surgery, or keep coming up with reasons not to have surgery. Basically, she is just very unhappy at this point and she's coming to you for advice.
There are a few things you can say/do at this point.
1. DO remind your friend that she can always "go back." A common lie that trans rhetoric spouts is that transition is "PERMANENT!" and that you can NEVER go back, and that feminists are EVIL and lesbians are EVIL and will NOT WELCOME YOU BACK.
This is a flat out LIE perpetuated by MtTs and even some FtTs who have never really researched or spoken directly to lesbian feminists. Remind your friend that while mistakes are often punished by the trans community, that feminists don't feel that way.
2. DO direct your friend to the (very limited) amount of resources available, such as Dirtywhiteboi67's blog, my blog, get her into contact with Sheila Jeffreys, Lierre Keith, etc. Get her connected to feminist friends that can comfort her.
3. Ask your friend if (and how) she intends to quit hormone treatment if she is still currently on HRT. If she is, advise her to talk to her doctor, however, at this point your friend might be HIGHLY skeptical of doctors for enabling this type of "treatment" in the first place. If that is the case and she is apprehensive of seeing the doctor, encourage her to see a different physician or even preferably a female herbalist practitioner. It is NOT RECOMMENDED to quit testosterone cold turkey as this can shock the system. When ceasing hormone treatment, it is best to taper off of the drugs (as with most other big-pharmaceutical drugs).
4. DO encourage natural healing. On the subject of herbalists, many herbal stores sell tea blends and tinctures that contain various herbs known to help repair the female reproductive. Ask for tinctures that help with the female cycle and with menopause. Some women who have never transitioned ever and just go through natural menopause sometimes don't want synthetic estrogen, and so they take the herbal route, which honestly seems to be a lot safer in the long run than synthetic man-made lab-created bullshit.
5. DO be prepared to help her with backlash as she WILL be met with hostility and she will be turned away from her former trans community. She might lose a few friends over this. She might get harassed in person, on the internet, etc. Be supportive of her and help her deal with bullies. Get law enforcement involved when needed.
6. DO explain to your friend that it will take time for her body to heal and to be patient. Hormones take about a year for everything to regulate itself again. It takes 7 years for every cell in your body to become a brand new cell. In terms of binding, despite what the trans cult says, there is no such thing as safe binding. It doesn't matter if you wear a properly fitting binder. It doesn't matter if you only wear it 8 hours a day. It just DOES NOT MATTER. No matter what, you will still find yourself with rib damage and rib pain. Binding is ONLY supposed to be a short-term thing. Binding is supposed to in theory keep you "passing" until you can afford and/or want top surgery. Usually this is a timeframe of about 5 years and definitely no longer than 10 years. The only difference between "proper binding" and "improper binding" is how long it will take for your ribs to become weakened and warped. No different than corsets to be completely honest.
7. If your friend is scared or doesn't know what to do, the best I can say is just keep being there for her. Keep encouraging her to make healthy choices. Offer kind words of support. I know for me, there have been some very distressing days in which I was barraged with harassment from morning to night and it was kindness from my friends that reminds me why I put up with the crap in the first place.
I do this to help. Others may not want or care about my help but I'm here because I'm living proof that people make mistakes and there is nothing wrong with me trying to help otherwise healthy young women NOT make those same mistakes. I was a teenager too not very long ago and I thought I knew everything too. Not being stubborn goes a long way because in the end you're only hurting yourself.