EXCLUSIVE: How making art helped Laura Becker detransition and embrace her femininity
Laura Becker is a detransitioner. But that’s not the most important thing about her, it’s not the guiding light in her life. She’s an artist and when she started to realize that she was not a man, that she would never be a man, it was art, that need to create, that was her constant companion. The act of creation helped draw her out of the lies and back to herself.
Becker’s transition story, how she came to believe that transition would solve her problems, when she was about 17 and was prescribed hormones, then underwent surgery at 20, is one that she’s willing to tell—and has told. How she came to the epiphany that presenting as male and expecting to be perceived that way was not the great fix she’d thought it would be is another part of her story and her journey back to herself. But the story of the artist she is and is continuing to become is the one Becker is eager to tell. It’s her present, and her future, that consumes her now, and that is what helps her lift the burden of her past.
She’d been making art since childhood, but was insecure about it. “I had so much anxiety about pursuing my artistic passions,” she told The Post Millennial. She was worried about the instability of making a life out of art. “And when you have trauma,” she said, “it’s just really hard to trust the process or to trust yourself.”
Realizing that she was an artist, and trusting herself to create, was a big part of bringing her back to herself and away from the trans cult. Instead of seeing herself as male, she began to envision a self that was an artist, and that vision of self was like a lightning rod around which she could eject the chaos of trans and coalesce around the idea of creation.
“That was one of the major turning points in terms of my healing. And I was… it took me a long time. I was 23 when I really started to accept myself as an artist,” she said. She’d spent so long in college by that point that she kind of ended up making her own concentration and worked in the mediums of digital art, graphic design and photography.
Over the summer, Becker was involved in an art show in San Francisco featuring women artists who had been censored. “This was a show featuring all female artists that had been censored, canceled or rejected because of holding gender-critical beliefs or speaking out about gender ideology,” she told The Post Millennial. “The show was called A Nasty Piece of Work: The art of dissident feminists.”
It was Becker’s first professional exhibition. “It was also the first time I ever wore a dress in my life,” she said. This was very meaningful to her, to express herself in a feminine way.
“I got to the point where it’s like, ‘no, I actually am okay with feminine expression,’ because it emphasizes certain, you know, beautiful parts of my body, as a female, right?” She was struck deeply by the contrast of selves, present and past.
Women are Real, which created the show, commissioned a piece from Becker. The piece itself is autobiographical. When she shared the piece on Instagram, she said “I’m very pleased to release my debut detransition self-portrait ‘Grace.’ This piece means a great deal to me for my confidence in sharing this with the world.”
Grace, by Laura Becker
“It really was very notable to me that I did, you know, wear like a dress for this event,” she said, “where I’m standing beside, the mutilation of my body because I couldn’t accept it as being female and I was afraid to have femininity forced upon me. And then, here I am, like, growing many years later to be able to accept my femaleness and then use it to its creative potential.”
She said it was her “wish that it be spread as far and wide as possible, posted and used for awareness. It is proof of true healing.” It shows Becker’s scars where doctors removed her breasts in service to the lie that she could change sex. Even though the scars are prominent, they are not the most eye-catching or notable aspect of the piece. Instead, it’s Becker’s gaze, her openness, her unashamed stare at the viewer that is most compelling.
This was the piece shown in San Francisco. It’s a work in which the artist reclaims her own body, but even more, it’s a piece in which the artist reclaims the view of strangers. So much of transition is focused on appearances, on making sure that the transitioner appears to strangers as though they really are the opposite sex. Even the use of preferred pronouns is about how a trans person is perceived of and spoken about by others.
When Becker, with arms outstretched behind her head, chest adorned with scars, looks out from the confines of the canvas to the viewer, she is not defiant, she is not demanding, she has no expectations of the viewer or herself. It is a perfect representation of simply being in present tense, existing in space with the viewer.
The piece, she said, is one she had been contemplating and wanting to undertake for years. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for several years now,” she said. “I’ve actually been planning, kind of like, how am I going to release, you know, images of the scars and you know, the nipple grafts and like, just the whole chest.”
“This was finally my opportunity to do that,” she said. “And I’m very happy with how it turned out. I think it was, it had a very successful reception, both, like, critically and I suppose, like, socially, politically.”
The piece was inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which is the replacement of small cracks in pottery with gold. Becker bathed her scars in gold, remaking herself, putting herself back together, with even more beauty than before.
The Antifa agitators who protested the art show didn’t see the beauty, the defiance, or the way Becker took back her own body and perception. Instead, they saw a dissenter to the trans cause. The gallery was vandalized, though the work inside was safe.
Detransitioners are considered betrayers of trans. They are women and men who believed so fully in the idea that one can change sex, in the quest for gender euphoria, and the solving of internal disconnects and strife through a blind adherence to gender ideology—and then woke up, shook the sand from their eyes, and faced reality. Somehow, for the true believers, this is even worse than those who were gender critical from the start.
Out in San Francisco over the summer, those Antifa true believers let the women know they didn’t like that they were speaking up, didn’t like that they were taking back the narrative of their own story. They vandalized the gallery, interrupted the Women’s Declaration International, and tried to intimidate the women into submission.
It didn’t work. Becker hasn’t stopped creating, and she certainly hasn’t been intimidated.
Even after her Etsy store was canceled for “violating some vague diversity, equity and inclusion policies,” she kept creating. The items that had been removed from her shop were entirely feminist items, designs like “funky human females” and “100% woman.” Now she has a store on Shopify. One of her designs reads “I <3 Reality.” A sweatshirt with Jordan Peterson on it is emblazoned with the words “Daddy Lobster.” She’s even got a “funky TERF collection.”
I heart reality tee, available at funkgod.shop
In the past, she let trans define her. But now, Becker is determined to define herself. “There’s going to be a lot of failures, there’s a lot of uncertainty, and it’s a lonelier path as well.”
“I’ve lost body parts,” she said, “I’ve lost a lot of friends. I had traumatic family relationships and romantic failures, I still have got all this grief. And the only thing I could do was to create something new because I could never get back what I lost.”
She’s gained something, too, and that, she said, is “the ability to articulate and express in ways that not everyone has, so all I can really do is kind of feel like my purpose in life is to be a truth teller, to be someone who goes through hell, and then articulates it to other people.”
“I mean, I still pretty much cry every day,” Becker said. “There’s a lot of pain, but you know, doing so, that’s why some sharing this piece in the way that I did was so important.” And that’s why she keeps making art.