“She just gets in my head”

I recently took a tour of trans parenting Tumblr blogs, and they’re chock full of what you might expect. A very small sampler:

“Parents please please please talk to your children about gender identity. please teach children that there are more than two genders and that gender  is not what genitals you have”

“What my kindergartener taught me about gender”

“A mom and her 3-year-old explore gender”

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And of course, there is plenty of hate for parents who aren’t toeing the line. The milder posts are tips for how to educate parents about how wrong they are if they don’t immediately say “Cool!!” when their kid says he/she is transgender.

The general theme is: Kids ALWAYS know best. Defer to your child and their self-defined gender identity, with no questions asked, no matter how young your child is.

I’ve recently heard from three gender-critical parents of teen girls who want to transition, or who already have. All three are discouraged. They feel like they’ve stumbled into an upside-down reality where they are told to ignore their instincts and doubts and just fully accept the brave new world their children have created.

If there is to be a change in the dominant paradigm, parents are going to have to be involved. They’ll have to find a way to buck the trend. It won’t be easy, and they’ll need support.

What is different now from when I was growing up and adults were voicing legitimate concerns about stuff their teenagers were doing (like drugs, say, or unprotected sex) is that parents have basically zero societal or professional (psychologists or MD) support for even raising tentative questions.

I went through 50+ blogs this morning, There was only one teen girl who paused to consider whether her parents might have a point. Every other post consisted of jeers and ridicule at the transphobic, ignorant moms and dads who dare to put the brakes on even **medical transition**.

Here is an excerpt from the one post I found that even hinted that mom might have a point. And of course, in response to this agonized post, the strangers on the Internet convince her that they are the experts. They know. Her mother’s words should be disregarded

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But secretly I’m scared she’s right. What if I am making all this up? Yeah yeah, who would choose this right? But what if I did? What if I’m so “confused by everything” as my mom said that I’ve convinced myself Im trans?

It doesn’t seem right. I know what I feel, but she just gets in my head. This is so much harder than anyone tells you. How do you even get through these conversations and stick to your guns? I don’t know if she’s right and I’m confused or Im right and she’s manipulative. I love my mom, but I hate that she does this to me. I asked her to just support me through this and all she could say was that “I support you in everything else you do, but this is weird and it goes against everything about who you are. You don’t like to take Advil but you’ll pump yourself full of hormones. You’re terrified of surgery, but you’ll go through with getting rid of something that is a part of you. It’s not you.”

I don’t know what to do. Im so lost.

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Much more typical is this post:

it makes me so fucking angry when i see people like my friends with parents completely unsupportive of them being trans. i honestly don’t think parents should be trusted to make those kinds of decisions and they shouldn’t be allowed to have control. most parents deal with trans children in the worst ways possible and it’s sickening.

it might have negative health effects but i will totally advocate for other people self medicating when their parents aren’t accepting. at the point where nothing can be done to convince parents, you have to take things into your own hands. especially when dysphoria is too much to live with

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It might have negative health effects, but who cares?

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9 thoughts on ““She just gets in my head”

  1. parents have basically zero societal or professional (psychologists or MD) support for even raising tentative questions

    Here is a report about a psychiatrist who comes across as clear-sighted and responsible:

    ‘Bradley said she believes a child’s wish to change genders is a “symptom” of underlying psychological factors, which she treats.

    She takes the same therapeutic approach with child in the gender clinic as she does with children who have behavioural issues and eating disorders. …

    She rejects the notion that there is a biological or inherent reason in the child for gender identity disorder, or gender dysphoria, and says that those who do believe that have no evidence.’

    http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/1325388/prominent-psychiatrist-speaks-out-against-conversion-therapy-legislation/

    It is clear, though, that doctors and academic researchers who refuse to sing from the trans activists’ hymn sheet risk coming under shocking pressure, and some are reported to have experienced career damage as a result. It seems to be primarily due to political pressure from trans activists and their supporters, rather than clinical concerns, that the work of the youth gender identity service headed by Dr Kenneth Zucker, with whom Susan Bradley works, has currently been halted. I have found it impossible to find an account of what has actually been happening that seems reasonably balanced, but there is a news report here:

    http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/1315743/outcry-prompts-camh-to-review-its-controversial-treatment-of-trans-youth/

    An online petition to have Dr Zucker sacked absurdly states that ‘Part of his dehumanizing practices include teaching transgender children to be “more content with their biological gender.”‘

    Another person who has experienced serious harassment by trans activists is the psychology professor and sex researcher J. Michael Bailey. There is an account of the affair here:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170124/

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  2. A couple more links that I hope may be helpful:

    ‘Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder. ..

    Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”.’

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change

    This article by feminist academic Sheila Jeffreys cites work by several mental health professionals who are critical of transgenderism (see pp. 388 [2nd col, foot] – 389):

    ‘The most swingeing critique comes from the psychiatrist Az Hakeem. He works at the Portman Clinic in London … he calls the notion of persons seeking to be transgendered that they are really of the other gender or sex an “overwhelming false belief” (Hakeem, 2007, p. 184). He criticizes the practice of treating transgenderism as a biological condition that resides in the body and can be cured through hormones and therapy, commenting that, “It seems strange that as psychiatrists we attempt to address an internal psychological conflict with an exterior surgical solution” (Hakeem, 2007, p. 183).

    ‘The transgendering of children: Gender eugenics’
    https://genderidentitywatch.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/tgkidswstf.pdf

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  3. It’s interesting that people in the trans world use the phrase “self-medicating” as if it’s a normal neutral thing. I’m pretty sure that term was coined by doctors/psychiatrists referring to people using alcohol, and being alcoholics, to cope with some emotional or psychiatric problem.

    And because teens haven’t been alive for very long, don’t know that.

    It’s also interesting how these teens are talking about “trans” like it’s something whose existence is for sure established. And how clearly that rhetoric is copied off talking about being gay. When gay-rights started, and you can so imagine teenagers in the 80s making these complaints about parents who are hostile to them being gay, homosexuality had been recognized as a real phenomenon for hundreds of years. Transgender and especially the whole weird genderqueer model were invented by literary theory(!) 20 years ago.

    And because teens were not alive then, they don’t know that.

    Transgender is an offshoot from transsexualism. Which was invented in the 1960s by various people including the non-MD psychologist John Money, in response to and derived from heterosexual transvestite fetishism. There were very specific medical criteria that a person had to satisfy to get that diagnosis. Transsexualism was very rare. Under the auspices of Queer Theory the volume of people with transgender, which has looser criteria than transsexualism, has increased exponentially.

    And because teens were not alive then, they don’t know that.

    The only scientific justifications presented for transgender as a medical condition, versus as a lifestyle thing, use science that was debunked decades ago, ie “brain sex”. “Gender” in neither Money’s metaphysical version nor the 1970s feminist version refers to something biological and unchangeable.

    And because teens were not alive then, they don’t know that.

    And then there are all the colossal medical fuck ups from lobotomy to thalidomide to DES to the Dalkon Shield to leaking breast implants to HRT for menopausal women that allow those of us who’ve been alive longer than teenagers to have a healthy skepticism towards profoundly invasive medical procedures. And medical interventions that have not been fully tested.

    These poor gals don’t understand that all of their chats with others on Tumblr etc is actually a form of marketing. They are being convinced to buy medical products. But they think it’s about their “identity”. 😕

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  6. My 18 year old daughter, who identifies herself as a “gay transman” uses terms (including the first one – she thinks her boy friend is gay and therefore they are both gay men) like “deadnaming”, “validating” and “authentic self”.
    I, of course, am a “TERF” for not drinking the koolaid.
    This is exactly an online cult, sucking in gullible, lost and lonely young people and spitting out social gender warriors who suddenly “know” there is a long and we’ll documented history of trans people and even trans-animals (?not sure where she got that one??) In the wild.

    It is really terrifying that the media regurgitates the same crap and basically encourages people to shut down dissenters, including parents and concerned healthcare providers.

    How do we fight such a huge, powerful monster as the internet has become? Like the Dunwich Horror, it feeds off those who don’t know it exists until too late.

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    • My daughter, now almost 20, announced she is a male a little over a year ago. She started hormones without only a small two paragraph note from a grad student in psychology at her university and now is sporting a neck beard and has set up an online account to ask for donations to pay for her double mastectomy. No one in the medical or psychological community has challenged her, despite the fact that she was diagnosed with depression and possibly bi polar disorder before this sudden and surprising announcement. All of my efforts to talk to these “therapists” and MDs have been met with the same type of response. Any attempt to suggest that other less drastic options might be considered result in her attacking me verbally, and last year, physically. Our very close, extended family (including her younger siblings) have all been cut off from contact – by her, not us. She has called me and our entire extended family trans-phobe, etc.. She spends all of her time on line and spouting the lingo and is now dropping out/flunking out of college, because she is too anxious to do college work or attend classes because of worrying about being stared at, being victimized. I’m finally trying to accept, via my own counselors, that she is lost to me, at least for now, and because of the influence of the “therapists” and “doctors”, possibly forever. I have been heartbroken, depressed, blaming myself and our home for this for the last year and and half, based on the input from the “therapists” and from my daughter, but have finally turned a corner and am now just sick of it all and am focusing on my other kids and my marriage, which has almost failed through this. I pray, still, that she will be happy on this path or figure this out and go back to the path she had been on steadfastly for 18 1/2 years, but feel a great relief in putting all of this back on her shoulders.

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      • Hoping, I’m so sorry that this has happened to your daughter and to you and the rest of your family. The refusal by professionals to take mental health issues seriously and to try other means to help young people in this situation will be looked upon in the next five-to-ten years as malpractice, I’m sure. We, sadly, are on the bleeding edge.

        My daughter is a minor and it seems we’ve likely saved her from hormonally and surgically altering her body. I’m not sure, since she went off the rails and was abusive and violent and destructive to our entire family and we had to send her away for treatment, that I will ever be able to trust her or have a relationship with her.

        This situation is such a waste. You’re wise to focus on yourself, your other children, and your marriage. It is a loss like any other. The grief hits in weird ways and it always feels “wrong.”

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