Brainwashed parents of “trans” kids tell us outliers to get some “counceling”

I started this blog because I could find nothing–not a single website or blog post–written by a mother like me. There seemed to be no other parents who were, at a minimum, skeptical or uncomfortable with the “Yay your child is trans! Get onboard the hormone train!” narrative that saturates progressive communities and online media.

Now that I’ve been at this awhile, it’s evident that there are plenty of us. Katisan, who wrote the comment below, is one example. I’m so glad she found her way here. Too many other parents look for advice and guidance from the numerous pro-transition sites (which I’ll have much more to say about shortly).

I am in the thick of this with an extremely strong-willed, difficult teen (aside from the trans stuff) who is also diagnosed with anxiety and depression. We’ve been through two therapists already because my kid brings out the trans stuff and then that becomes the focus of her therapy. I feel like no on listens to ME, as the parent, about what could be going on. Or “honors” us, in trying to actually help instead of sending my kid on a path of chemical and surgical mutilation.

We’re not religious and we don’t care if she’s gay. But she’s a she. She’s not an it or a them or a he. We’ve never cared how she wears her hair or her clothing choices or policed her friends. But she has mood issues and she’s using this trans stuff as a way to amplify normal teenage issues — I hate my body; I’m exploring becoming a sexual person; my brain isn’t fully-finished, but I think I’m always right.

We feel that the anxiety and depression and strong-willed/ODD stuff is causing her to seek out things to obsess over to relieve her anxiety and to control everyone around her. The professionals all seem to think that we have it backwards — that the anxiety and depression and need for control stem from the fact that she’s trans. Do we just have to forego any therapy or support because the therapeutic community is so at odds with sane parents? She’s on medication which has helped with acting out destructively and controls the depression and anxiety enough that she’s happier. But the trans stuff is destroying our relationship with her and breaking up our family.

And, we’re terrified to talk about it since everyone else seems to be on the trans-is-terrific train. The last thing I need is a bunch of judgmental people screaming for my head in social media because I won’t kowtow to this fad.

It’s all here: the underlying mental health issues, the lack of support from psychologists, the profound doubts that her child is actually “transgender,” the impact on the family, and above all, the fear of talking about it. To anyone. Think of it: a mother in 2015, worried sick over her child’s welfare, with no one to openly discuss her concerns with. Seemingly everyone is against her. These are strange and terrible times we live in.

Where are the other worried parents? They’re either patting themselves on the back for getting with the program (despite their grief and confusion), or being told to get on board–ASAP. Here’s a typical site called Transgender Child, run by one “Jody C., the parent of a trans child with support from two gender therapists.” It bills itself thus:

This site offers information, support,  and more to help the issue of transgenderism become more visible and more accepted and to help you understand and support your trans child. 

Parents, you want to make transgenderism “more visible and accepted.” Your only task is to “understand” and “support” your “trans child.” (The site owner already knows your kid is “trans.”) Critical thinking? Prior knowledge of child? An intuition that this trans thing is just one more identity your teen is trying on? Nah, that formerly time-honored parenting wisdom is useless now. Who needs a brain to parent anymore? Seems our role could be performed by a well-programmed robot, reduced to saying “Sure, dear, whatever you say you are, you are!” and opening our wallets to the endocrinologists and gender therapists.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again and again): “Supporting” one’s gender nonconforming child does not have to mean simply going along like a mindless android with everything that child says or does. Loving a child can mean saying “no” (duh–hello? Didn’t we know this in like 1940?), though to listen to the trans activists and their enablers in the media and medical professions, saying “no” to hormones and/or surgery is the equivalent of handing that child a bottle of cyanide. Katisan is a supportive parent. She loves her daughter. She’s fine with her being a lesbian, with being “gender nonconforming.” She just hasn’t drunk the trans KoolAid herself.

ANYwho, let’s take a stroll through the Question and Answer section of the Transgender Child site to get a few tastes of what the moderators and indoctrinated parents have to say to the newbies who’ve come there for help.

S says

My 18 yr old child just came out as female to male transgender. I have always known something was different but now I realize that my daughter always felt like a male. I realize now that when she told us that she was gay, that was her confusion about who he is. My husband and I are fully supportive and just want the best for our child. I wish I could take the pain away that my child feels every day when he looks at his body. This is the hardest situation to deal with because we don’t know what is next. There are no support groups near our home. We have sought out help for him, we need help!

“That was her confusion about who he is.” Who’s confused, again?

M. says

My story is so familiar except my daughter is 17. I have known now less than a year she came out at 15 as lesbian first. She has not come out to all her friends and family, We live in an area where there is no help or support and actually travel 2 hrs to get to a transgender doctor and 2 hrs back again. Feel free to contact me if you wish I don’t have a vast knowledge although I am strong for my daughter I do my grieving in private. She is my only daughter with 3 brothers so that is really hard on me.

Ksays:

Hi M, I just wanted to check in with you and see how you were doing. I also have a FTM son. My house is now filled with testosterone!! URRGHH! (it’s a good UURGGHH!!) My house is now filled with Males. I’ve already told my sons that now this means I have 2 sons to take care of me instead of only one. Of course they both grin! LOL! Anyway, I just wanted to reach out and see how you were holding up. I do understand the crying behind closed doors.I do really well for awhile and then my wall starts to fall. But having support is really helpful. I hope you’ve been able to find something since your last post. Take care and God bless you and your family

says:

Our daughter came out as Lesbian at 15 after spending 10 days in the hospital after cutting. She has recently told us that she is transgender. I’m not sure how to handle this other with understanding (on the outside but confusion on the inside) and the unconditional love the we have for our kids. But she wants us to address her in the male pronouns and this is so hard for us. We have no friends or know of anyone else who has ever gone thru this or is currently in the process of having their child go thru this. We accept our child for who she is, unconditionally, but we don’t know how to handle the current issues. We’re looking for support to ask questions and understand what she’s going thru. And help understanding our feelings as well.

Predictable themes emerge. “He” thought he was a lesbian. Cutting. Parental suffering–behind closed doors.

R says

Please I am in need of help! My daughter continues to tell me she is pan sexual and she keeps trying to dress like a boy. She is my only daughter and I love her deeply. I was a tomboy growing up but she takes it further then that. On the outside I am trying to be supportive but on the inside I am so upset and don’t know how to help show her that it’s just a phase teens can go through.

“Pansexual”–often the first identity stop on the trans railroad (Tumblr and YouTube told me so!). Mom was a tomboy too, but hey, this girl is doing more than that–even though mom wants to tell her daughter it’s a phase! Predictably, she gets no support for exploring this potential phase more.

H says

About four years ago, my ‘lesbian daughter’ explained to me that she was really a straight man. It definitely took time for me to process that statement. Lots of time. Parents go through a transition, too.

Right. “Lesbian daughter.” Because you see, that “lesbian” stage of life was not real.  There are no quotation marks around the words straight man. Because that’s what “he” really is, and was. And parents? Just “process it.” Go through your own transition. Yours is not to question why.

And lest you think only moms and dads of teens are learning how to correctly parent their “transgender child” on this site:

S. says:

Hi there i think my 4 year old daughter is transgender, she wants to be a boy will only wear boy clothing and refuses to use the girls bathroom, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said she wants to be a dad, I have two other daughters and she is defiantly different, I think this goes way beyond being a “tom boy”, her dad and I except her for who she is and will love her no matter what I was just looking for some advise or other peoples options on this.Thanks

As we might expect, none of the online experts step in to say, um, she’s only four years old. Maybe, um, she’s just exploring? How about you just leave her alone?

Hi, I am having the same issue as you with my daughter. This past Christmas she wanted cowgirl boots and girl stuff. All of a sudden she wants to be a boy. She hangs out with other kids who are troubled, all in their own ways. One of her friends goes back and forth on being a girl and straight, then she’s gay, then she’s trans. I am confused. My daughter still shows interest in boys as well. But I to add conflicted. Don’t know if I should support her or what to do? I keep feeling she is being influenced but she seems to feel very strong about being a boy, the thing is, she doesn’t seem all that boyish. But she is wearing “boy” clothes and shoes and it seems she is trying so hard? She is 13, can anyone help me out?!!

No one “helps out.” Confused kid, confused peers, confused parent…

It’s kind of a relief to know that someone else is going through the same thing as we are. My daughter is also 13 and, although she’s never been completely girly, she’s never showed signs of wanting to be a boy. She has been seeing a therapist for over a year for various reasons (divorce, cutting, father not really in the picture, etc) and has never mentioned it. Out of nowhere she tells me she is transgender. This happened about six weeks ago and I’m having a very hard time accepting this, only because we went from wanting dresses and makeup and having long hair to wearing no makeup, short hair, jeans and t-shirts all the time…I almost feel like she has never fit in and she’s trying to find a place to fit in. I will love her always but I don’t want her to rush into this when she’s never expressed feeling like this before. She hasn’t asked us to using any male pronouns but she has picked a name she likes…it’s the name of a Ninja Turtle character. That just doesn’t seem like a decision that was made by someone who has struggled with this her whole life like the other stories I’ve read and researched and seen.

says:

We are going thru the same thing! Total girly girl our daughter was but has changed to a gender neutral name, binds her chest and wears men’s clothes. Just started two years ago and we don’t get it! She won’t talk to us either and usually lies to us (but we usually find out the lie very fast).

Cutting. Divorce. Abrupt shift from “girly girl” to “trans.” Lying. What about these underlying issues? These parents have doubts, serious doubts. But no one–NO ONE–steps in to say this child may not be “trans.” The best advice one peer parent (of an MTF) can do is suggest–wait for it–PUBERTY BLOCKERS:

If your daughter (at birth) is agreeable, perhaps she can talk with a counselor at her school or with a mental health person who has expertise so your DAB can figure out what she wants ….. as she is still young, and her “road” would probably be easier if her own hormones were blocked. Using blocking meds can be discontinued, and she would continue to develop as a female, but, just saying, as my son is 23 yo, and his facial features would need a lot of help to transition to be a female ….. laser treatment of the beard, “shaving” down of the adam’s apple, and other surgeries to “look” more feminine. I know, I know, this is all hard. I am having a hard time with it, mostly because I am concerned for my son’s safety, employment, housing, social issues …. though the younger generations seem more ready to accept these changes. I am open to listen and support, but I don’t have an extra $100,000 lying around to have the beard lasered.

Notice how this parent has the PC language down–daughter “at birth.” Having a hard time, but resigned to it–except for the wallet part. The skeptical parent responds:

J, She has been seeing a psychologist for a while now. I just don’t get the sudden change. It doesn’t make sense to me. We really think she is just following what her friend is doing. Guess we will see where this all goes.

Wait and see. That’s the ticket. Wait and see.

S, That’s about all we can do, isn’t it? I live in a metropolitan area that, I guess, is a major center for gender re-assignment, and I am baffled that I see very very few resources for the PARENTS of transgender children. And the web sites that are out there for local resources seem to be mainly interested in gathering financial support, when as a parent I am just trying to get my head around this, as well as be supportive. But my daughter is older, and doesn’t contact me much anyway.

Wow. What few resources this parent can find are websites that are “mainly interested in gathering financial support.” These parents are trying to “get their heads around” this whole thing, and they aren’t getting much besides “buck up and be supportive.”

I want to cry out and wave to these parents–over here, over here! One commenter does try to inject some critical thinking into the conversation, using actual research and a mention of this blog:

I urge parents to move cautiously. get your kid in counseling stat, but have the counselor thoroughly explore any underlying mental health issues as well as some of the many reasons why your daughter might feel the way she does about her gender. Studies show 70-80% of kids outgrow their transgender feelings. Again, I am not in the medical field, but just a parent who thinks it is sensible to proceed with caution, rather than put girls on the fast track to transition. Even though these girls are too young to vote, smoke cigarettes, sign contracts or legally change their name — it is easy to find medical personnel who will put them on a fast track to permanent body changes with hormones and surgeries to remove healthy tissue.

Google “gender critical feminism.” Femaleness is being re-defined as sexy, sparkly, pink, pretty, and subservient. Just because a girl doesn’t fit this stereotype doesn’t mean she is “really” a male. A girl shouldn’t need to have disfiguring surgeries and be pumped full of dangerous male hormones to be allowed to wear cargo shorts, hiking boots and a short hair cut. Let your girl wear what she wants and go by whatever name she wants — she is still female no matter what she wears or what interests she pursues.

Allow these kids to mature before allowing them to make such huge, permanent decisions. Explore underlying mental issues and read on 4thwavenow about the problems with the accuracy of the 41% suicide ideation statistic.

This is an important message that is not popular in the trans community. I hope my comment will not be deleted. I am not trying to cause trouble, but just want parents and doctors to be cautious and sensible before allowing a teen to make these decisions. For some girls, transition may be the lesser of two evils, but for others who hit the “regret stage” at about 6-10 years after transition, it is a devastating mistake. Make sure your daughter is not part of the 70-80% who are simply trying to escape the dismal propsects of being a female in today’s society.

And…the fact-based, reasonable commenter is slapped down forthwith:

L says:

In response to the parent that posted about girls not wanting to be females in todays society. I urge you to inform yourself a little better and perhaps seek counceling yourself. Being transgender is not a choice it is how a person is made. I felt offended by your post and lack of truth in the information you wrote. Research is the only way you will learn to come to terms with your childs situation and accept it.

Don’t question! Get “counceling” for yourself, you transphobic parent. You are just uninformed. Stop offending the brave parents with your “lack of truth.” Do your research (but don’t dare produce any actual research evidence yourself). Come to terms! ACCEPT your child.

So Katisan (whose story I featured at the start of this post), that’s all you need to ease your pain: A little “counceling” to do away with that old-fashioned, critical thinking problem you seem to have.

There is more, much more, at this link.

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64 thoughts on “Brainwashed parents of “trans” kids tell us outliers to get some “counceling”

    • Hello, I am 15 and trans, my parents love me but don’t even want to help me buy a binder, let alone get hormones. I have asked them to use neutral pronouns now, but I physically want to look male, and that’s not just about what clothes I wear. I want facial hair, I don’t want curves, I don’t want female fat distribution. I am not a lesbian, I have dated mr\ore boys this year than girls.

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  1. Notice that the Q&A page for the TransgenderChild website has now been closed to additional comments. One parent suggests a cautious, common-sense approach, urging parents to allow time for their kids to mature or possibly change their minds before making life-altering decisions, and the moderator suddenly announces that the page is closed because a forum is in the works. I hope the forum does actually materialize and the moderators will allow a variety of opinions. I am somewhat surprised the moderator even published the comments from the lone dissenting parent; that is a good sign that perhaps the forum will be open to all voices.

    Before the Q&A page was closed, a stepmom-to-be put up a long post outlining her concerns, and was looking for advice. The page was closed just after she posted, so her attempt to reach out was nixed. I hope she finds her way here. She does sound like she needs someone to talk to.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This (below) is an interesting thread on the UrbanBaby site. A mom has a ten-year-old girl whom she’s worried is transgender. The comments are running about 50-50, with plenty of people counseling Mom not to fall for the current hype–and keep her away from gender therapists. Critical opinion is out there, which is great. But it’s scary that a tomboy in 2015 could be diagnosed as transgender, while in 1970 she’d have just been encouraged to enjoy her childhood. I hope most parents are keeping their kids well away from the “I Am Jazz” reality show…
      http://www.urbanbaby.com/topics/55459020

      Liked by 2 people

      • The skeptical commenter quoted in your OP said that “for others who hit the “regret stage” at about 6-10 years after transition, it is a devastating mistake.” How that resonates with me; I was an oddball, gender non-nonconforming teen. When I found a welcoming, supporting community it meant everything to me; I identified with them with a ferocious intensity, and it changed the course of my life for about 7 years. Then I moved on, to completely different interests. Lucky me, the group that welcomed me were art students! I’m appalled to think what might have happened to me if I were 15 right now.

        4thwave, you are doing wonderful work here. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just wanted to say this is another remarkable article on a remarkable blog. I came here looking for particular information some while back – found it – and have continued to read here because of the superb critical thinking and excellent writing. If you switch subjects one day to… surfing? Japanese cooking? quantum physics? I’ll be reading that, too.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Completely agree. I was so glad to have found this blog. Very well-written and amazingly informative. It literally has saved my sanity! If I didn’t find 4thWaveNow, I think I may have become brain-washed myself (due to the suicide statistic that I now realize, thanks to her, is seriously flawed).

      4thWaveNow, many, many thanks for all that you do!

      Liked by 3 people

      • You guys keep me going. I get discouraged, because no way has this thing peaked yet, but having this little online community sustains and motivates me. Thanks to ALL of you who are participating here.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s 4am in my part of the world, nearing the end of yet another broken heart induced sleepless night… And then I googled, found the Trans Parent website you’d mentioned above, related to so many of the parents who wrote in about their shock and assertion of disbelief and figured I’d need to get in line… And why? Because I’d effectively be killing my child if I didn’t! I sobbed, literally and from the depths of my soul, just sobbed! I know in my heart, in my gut, wherever else truth comes from, that my daughter’a newly minted trans status is nothing more than a cry for attention that she simply does not understand!

    Oh what a welcome relief it was to read the contributors post about truly educating yourself! And she blessedly writes about you and this blog and the breath of fresh air in this swamp has renewed me! Thank you thank you thank you for your voice and your bravery and your general no nonsense stance on this! I can not tell you what comfort reading this one post has brought me!

    My daughter is 14 and I am convinced that Tumblr is the root of all evil! I keep seeing heartsick/skeptical parents bringing up Tumblr and it’s influence and I think “okay so I wasn’t crazy thinking social media has gotten it’s claws in my child!” I’m not stupid enough to think it’s simply Tumblr, she has a new friend who’s influence I have despised more and more and steadily rising levels… And guess what, said friend? Trans! Goes by Oliver and is a walking cliche! I feel like I am in a fight for control over my daughter and that 16 year old kid picked the wrong mother to cross!

    Sorry for my all over the place and super lengthy comment… I’m actually a journalist and most times I’m coherent when I write… It’s been an extremely emotional few weeks and I swear I slept more when she was a fretful non-sleeping baby than I have recently. I really just wanted to thank you! This blog is beacon of hope for me and I am so grateful to have stumbled upon the Trans parent site for no other reason than the fact that it brought me to you and every other parent here who sees past this phase! I am not an archaic, trans phobic parent… I simply know my child and I know her trans status is questionable at best!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hang in there, Carla. A lot of us have been there and clawed our way back to some sort of confidence and sanity and strength regarding our ability to say “no” to the trans express. A lot of us have cried those heart-wrenching tears — even the parents at that blog you mention admit to doing that, feeling they have to do it behind closed doors, due to crappy “support” from “professionals.”

      And, as 4thwavenow says … we know our kids. We know their history and we know influencing circumstances. We know this stuff in a way no anonymous internet “advisors” can know.

      That we should be “outliers” is a ridiculous notion and shows the degree to which Team Trans has been monopolizing the public conversation, despite all the flawed or nonexistent science upon which their contentions re “transkids” are based. I don’t even think we’re necc outliers; it’s just that families who choose not to run down to the gender clinic and embark on blockers/hormones/surgeries for minors are NOT news. They aren’t showing up in the media because … hey, that’s not a story. Not to mention the media’s fear of looking unprogressive/transphobic if they print opposing views. (Not to mention the fact that we’re trying to protect our relationship with our kids, including protecting their privacy as they work things out, which leads us to keep a low profile.)

      4thwavenow is chock full of important info, and as a journalist you’re going to appreciate it. There is stuff here regarding the fabled “41% suicide” stat, the putative idea of “brain sex,” and the “experts'” own admission that what they are doing in pediatric gender clinics is a gigantic dice roll. There is stuff here regarding the tumblr/reddit/youtube influence on our kids (at this site, mostly concentrating on natal girls) and regarding key research that indicates that MANY girls presenting at gender clinics turn out to have comorbid psych conditions.

      And of course there are stories from us “outlier” parents that are so damned similar in many ways. Always the “late” onset of the “I am trans” contention and always the heavy doses of social media feeding into that idea.

      I’m sending you a huge solidarity hug and wishing you some better sleep. You’ll find stuff here that will help you help your kid. Don’t miss 4thwave’s list of links, either, because there are sites that will also help you keep up with very helpful reports, blog posts, and first-person stories from people (particularly women) who clearly say that transitioning didn’t “fix” their bad feelings about their bodies. Many of them say they wish some ADULT had put on the brakes, because the med/pharma industry completely failed to ask probing questions and quickly signed off on hormones and surgeries without bothering to dig into their patients’ mental health.

      I wish you and your daughter all the best. I’ve found it helpful not to slam the door, but say something more like “if that’s the only way you can live in the world, then that is a decision you can ultimately make, but age xx is too young to be making such an irreversible decision. I know you believe with all your heart that this is who you are, but I have read too many tales from people who also believed that, sometimes for many years, only to come to an adult realization that they actually were simply gender nonconforming people, not transpeople.”

      Depending on your kid’s cognitive level and distress level, there is tons of even-handed information out there, written from a gender-critical perspective, that you can provide. The physical and psychological risks of treatment HAVE to be discussed in some way that is a lot more responsible than the cursory consent process the “experts” are currently providing.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Stay strong! I’m not a parent, but as a former member of Tumblr, I wouldn’t be surprised if it influenced your daughter’s thinking on this trans issue. Tumblr is an echo chamber of illogical pro-trans thinking. People saying anything with even a hint of descent get labeled “TERF”/”CIS” scum and are harassed or told to kill themselves. It’s really crazy…

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  4. A lot of distressed parents. Hopefully some will find their way here due to the helpful link.

    With the increasing trend ( https://4thwavenow.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/why-are-more-girls-than-boys-presenting-to-gender-clinics/ ) of trans children, will come an increase in the number of freaked-out parents. Not all of them will kowtow to the transition-or-bust mentality. They will instinctively know that it is wrong.

    The vast majority of the media portray transgender children and their “supportive” parents to be “brave.” They paint it all as sunshine and roses after the transgender diagnosis. That all of their problems will be washed away once they appear as the opposite sex. And they will live happily ever after.

    It is rare for the media to ever bring up the significant risks of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries. They do consistently bring up the 41% statistic of suicide, though, even if the study it came from was seriously flawed ( https://4thwavenow.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/the-41-trans-suicide-rate-a-tale-of-flawed-data-and-lazy-journalists/ ). It is meant to shut down any contradicting thought.

    Parents have a right to question whether this is the right path for their child to be on. It isn’t trans-phobic, it is responsible. If you are new here, this blog is a treasure trove of information for the concerned parent who wants to research. Welcome to our little oasis of sanity provided by 4thWaveNow.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. How terrible for the person who felt offended by the reason of the poster in advising caution when talking to a daughter who has suddenly decided to be a boy.

    I really wish there were a forum for parents of kids, feminists who think critically about what it means to women to be ‘trans’ and also people in general who find the idea of ‘trans’ to be not life affirming or healthy but instead a chemical and physical mutilation of people who are looking for a quick fix to their problems.

    If I knew anything about php or whatever scripting is used these days I’d do it in a heartbeat.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Katisan’s remark “We feel that the anxiety and depression and strong-willed/ODD stuff is causing her to seek out things to obsess over to relieve her anxiety and to control everyone around her. The professionals all seem to think that we have it backwards” really hits home with me. This sounds like our daughter to a T (sorry for the unintentional pun).

    Soon after our daughter announced she was transgender, I called our pediatrician’s office (to get a referral to a psychologist). I talked to a nurse that was quite adamant that the reason she was behaving in this way was due to her being transgender. Very infuriating for someone to come to this conclusion over the phone without ever meeting or even talking to our daughter. I attempted to explain to this nurse that maybe our daughter was confused due to x, y, and z, but her mind was already made up. Sadly, many in the medical field have been brain-washed as well.

    I saw this post on GenderTrender yesterday about an MD who regrets helping her transgender patients receive cross-sex hormones. Such a relief to hear someone in the medical field express doubt. https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/my-disservice-to-my-transgender-patients/ Hoping that many more will eventually join her.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I’m a mother of three young children and I love your blog.
    I remember being a rather depressed teenager. My mom said she never believed that PMS was a real thing until after I hit puberty. I can’t help wondering if the puberty blocking hormones make girls feel better just by ending that whole up and down of female puberty hormones, and I’m glad that I escaped teenage hood without getting sucked down the rabbit hole that teens these days face, where they are told that being accepting and progressive means believing in gender change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But gnrh agonists have serious side effects. Lupron for example causes depression, anexity, memory loss, bone thinning, bone pain and so on.
      Perhaps these children feel good for a certain amount of time but once gnrh agonists start to affect their health – they face new problems.

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  8. The shocking thing to me is, a transgender child really has no perception on what being an adult without normal genitalia is like. I doubt they could really understand the context of genitalia and sex, and don’t think they should have to. A teenager, though? They are old enough to begin to understand the implications. It’s ghastly that being suicidal has become a “normal” part of being trans. It’s not normal for anyone, and for people to think no further psychological treatment is required for anyone trans… Well, it reminds me of someone I knew whose parents, and the hospital staff, wrote off a serious suicide attempt due to “bad acid”. Yes, they were on acid, but no one else who took the same acid tried to kill themselves. Perhaps they didn’t want to face their child had a mental illness, and fifteen years ago I suppose this carried more stigma than now. Unfortunately, their child committed suicide the next year, at the tender age of 20, and sober. I can’t help but feel like this is the same situation!! It’s not okay for any percentage of the population to feel suicidal and the treatment isn’t treating the underlying problem, mental illness! There is no panacea in a new gender identity. You can never really run away from yourself.

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  9. You are doing a great service, 4thwavenow. I had similar doubts as a kid as the 4 year old mentioned, and ended up a lesbian with a shaved head and a lot of flannel men’s shirts 🙂 When I think of the wee girls getting pushed into trans, it’s so horrifying a thought, and it’s happening at younger and younger ages.

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  10. My 17 yr. old daughter recently explained to me that she is transgender and wishes to transition to a male. The only thing she wanted to hear from me was complete acceptance and willingness to “help” which means providing the financial/medical/etc. means to start her transition. I tried to ask non threatening questions, but was met with extreme anger and accused of manipulation. I feel very deeply in my gut that she has other serious mental health issues, mainly a mood disorder which I share as did my mother and my maternal grandmother. The transgender community on Tmlr (misspell intentional) is so loving and supportive and understands their pain so well that I believe many people are feeling validated and supported for the first time in their lives. They are mistakenly blaming the trans issue for the very serious mood disorder which causes intense psychological pain that outsiders do not understand and that we have no effective means of treating except jumping on the bipolar train. Our family is not at all religious and my husband and I are totally fine with our children being gay or expressing themselves through clothing, etc., however this idea of permanently altering your body chemistry and willingly joining a community of individuals who face a high suicide rate and social isolation outside of the internet has made us anxious and heartsick. The longer I sleep on this, the more wrong it feels. There appears to be only one acceptable course of action for parents (as many have commented) which is to show unconditional love and support despite our strong gut reaction that this course of action will not address the underlying issues and will result in much more pain in the long run.

    Thank you for this site and my heart goes out to all of you who feel as I do.

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    • Welcome caparbor. Please take a look around the site, particularly comments on “About.” Many of the parents here have found their way to the same conclusion you have: Continuing to love their kids, supporting them in their “gender nonconformity” but finding a way to stand firm and not fall prey to the dominant trans paradigm the whole society is awash in. Feel free to comment here as often as you like.

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    • Hi and welcome, caparbor. I agree that the mental issues are probably driving your daughter’s dysphoria and/or desire to transition. I see parents mention over and over again that their teen trans kids are depressed, bipolar, have OCD or Aspergers, or PTSD, or have been sexually assaulted or gone through some other sort of major trauma — and that these problems were evident BEFORE the trans issues started, so it is not the trauma of being trans causing the mental problems. It is the other way around.

      If you haven’t already, call around and see if you can find a therapist/psychiatrist who is willing to work on the mental issues first. The gender stuff may not be so important to your daughter once she is in a better situation mentally. It sounds as though she is not in any sort of mental state to be making major, permanent, life-altering decisions, and any sane professional “should” realize this and “should” nix her request for hormones until she is doing better mentally.

      Also, the more time you can buy, the better. It stands to reason that the older she is when she makes the hormones/no-hormones decision, the better decision she will make.

      Best wishes to you and your daughter.

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  11. As a transgender teen myself, I’d like to insert my side of the story, even though it will probably not get read and those that do read it will tell me that I’m crazy, brainwashed, etc… First of all… I will agree with you that the media is running with this. It’s hurting the trans community just as much as it’s hurting all of you. It’s enforcing stereotypes that we are having to bat down time and time again. Most people don’t know their trans when they’re five. It’s just not practical. Second, blockers pose many benefits. I am mostly opposed to the administration of hormones themselves until the late teen years. I think by then time will tell if a person is really transgender. Blockers allow for this to become evident without the child suffering serious side effects from developing like they were, or from developing like they aren’t. As for the topic of this, the “good” gender therapists do not just hop on board the hormone train. Parents are not just expected to “accept and deal with it.” It really is a transition for parents too. They have worries and concerns which are needed to be worked through. A “good” therapist will sit down with the parents just as often as the child. And they will have joint sessions where the child and parents are together. You say you are afraid of the children joining a group where the suicide rate is so high. They aren’t joining it. They are part of it. Many of those teens that do commit suicide commit it because of parents that deny them who they are. It is proven that anxiety and depression in some trans teens is because they are trans. There may be other contributing factors but transgender people are at an increased risk of depression and anxiety. I have them. And it’s not me trying to justify being trans by using them. They are caused by me being trans. They started around my middle school years, when my body began changing in ways I knew was wrong and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. There have been nights when I have considered taking my life because I just couldn’t deal with what people saw me as. The suicide rate is not flawed. It’s there. And it is so much higher in trans people whose families don’t accept them or try in any way to assist the child in becoming who they are. Also, we understand the implications that being trans comes with. I can not speak for all transgender people as I am but one person, but most of us have prayed night after night after night for these feelings to go away. We have tried our hardest to fit into the mold everyone says we should be in. This only worsens our moods. We know that it will be hard. But we don’t choose this. We don’t choose to be trans. We’re not doing this just for attention. There are far better ways to get attention. Ways that don’t include being bullied, ridiculed, or physically assaulted. Also, the number of people who detransition is incredibly low. Most of the people transitioning or who have already transitioned are perfectly happy. They face the same problems cis people do. Finally, it takes incredible bravery to come out to your parents. Friends are difficult too. But you can make new friends who do accept who you are.You only get one set of parents. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Not trying to understand or accept your child is harmful to your child. It adds stress to them. They wouldn’t come out to you and risk that if they weren’t sure. As I said, I can’t speak for all trans people. Just myself. So listen to me. Don’t listen to me. Call me brainwashed, call me whatever you want. I don’t care. I know who I am and no one can tell me who I’m not except me because no one else is me. Just… for the sake of your children, don’t deny them.

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    • I’ve read your post and feel like such a complicated subject demands more than just a short comment in response. I’m going to submit something longer to 4thWave that I hope will help you understand that many of us are not as clueless about this subject as you assume.

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    • Luvina, you say that can’t speak for other trans people, and at the same time, you -are- speaking for them. You’re claiming that they all have the same experience that you did with friends and family and gender therapists and the feelings they have about being trans, etc… but for those of us commenting here, we know that’s not true. We know trans people who don’t say those things, seen studies that deny everything you’ve said, or in many cases, been parents that have different experiences with their own children. It is disrespectful and arrogant to demand people listen to your experiences while refusing to consider their own. Everyone has their own reason for their beliefs, and part of being seen as an adult- as you clearly want to be- is learning to listen to people who disagree with you.

      As for “good” therapists, it does absolutely no good to speak about ideal situations while ignoring the reality of not-ideal situations. Whoever the good therapists are, they clearly aren’t making up for the bad ones- from what I’ve learned from listening to the people commenting here.

      I don’t think you’re crazy or brainwashed. I do, however, think that you are young, and not quite capable of distinguishing between adults with your(or other children’s) best interests in mind, and those that just want to manipulate you for the sake of their own ideological beliefs. It takes a lifetime to develop a sense of “self”, and a truly whole person will never stop growing or changing or rethinking beliefs they have currently. By the time you’re in your middle to late twenties, you’ll only just have begun to understand who you are and what you want from life- maybe not even then. The danger of identity politics is the cementing of ‘self’ in this adolescent phase and never allowing someone to reconsider without facing dire social consequences.

      So you believe you’re trans? That’s fine, but it doesn’t prove that you’ll always feel that way, or that the children of the commentators will always feel that way, or that gender is “innate”. Everything we know about development and gender says that none of that is likely. I sincerely hope, though, that you’ll continue to follow blogs and posts that disagree with you, for the sake of your own growth and maturity. I do the same, because there’s no other way to the truth and to know that your beliefs can hold up scrutiny and argument. Best of luck to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have no way of knowing what your situation is other than what you say. But, you are mixing up a lot of your own personal experience and then projecting and catastrophizing to try and influence people who you obviously haven’t read seriously or you would know that most of us have very individual and unique stories.

      So, I would suggest that you work your way through some of the guest posts and also read some of the comments very seriously. Almost all of the parents here have our own teens. (There is at least one parent of a preteen and some parents of young adults.) Surprisingly, we’re probably all well-aware of what our kids think and feel and I haven’t read any posts where parents have dismissed their kids opinions as fake or lies or simply attention-seeking. But that also doesn’t mean that those opinions and emotions and identities are as set-in-stone as teenagers everywhere assert.

      I would tell you what I have told each of my children — all of us adults were teenagers; none of our teenagers have been adults or parents. If we’re honest, we remember how exciting and also upsetting being a teenager was. Also, how certain we were of everything and how flat-out annoying it was to be dismissed. But, looking back — I think many of us would agree that our parents knew much more than we gave them credit for at the time.

      So, you’re not stupid or brainwashed, but you do have a developing brain and you’re not actually an adult. But, you aren’t my problem. You are your own parents’ responsibility and my kids are MY responsibility. I already know how and what my “trans” teen thinks. I don’t need to be lectured by another one.

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    • I’m going to respond to the portion of your comment regarding suicidality, Luvina. Others have responded quite eloquently to other aspects.

      The suicide angle is usually the conversation stopper when it comes to discussion of “transition.” No one denies that gender dysphoric and gender nonconforming people are more at risk for self harm. But there is no evidence that medical transition is a cure for suicide attempts or actual completed suicides.

      Here’s the kernel of truth in your comment about parents being responsible in some way for a child’s suicide: a parent’s **non acceptance** or rejection of a child who does not conform to gender stereotypes is a factor in increased suicide risk in adolescents. But supporting one’s child’s gender nonconformity is not the same as helping them become a permanent medical patient. It’s not the same as colluding in a delusion that it is possible to actually change sex. You, like many people, conflate gender nonconformity with being “transgender.” And that is a faulty conflation.

      Are you aware of the cluster of teen suicides that took place in San Diego this year? In at least two of those cases, the young people were fully supported in their transition by family, friends, and teachers. They were admired as leaders. Earlier this year, Blake Brockington, a North Carolina teen, was crowned the first “homecoming king” at high school. Blake was looked up to as an activist leader.

      “Transitioning” did not prevent suicide in these cases. We need to do something about suicidality and the urge to self harm in young people. But to say that “transition” is the answer ignores the very real pain that persists after “transition.” And couldn’t it be possible that contemplating a lifetime of drug treatments, surgeries, and other aspects of “transition” might **increase** a teen’s feeling of despair? Why must a gender nonconforming teen resort to such extreme measures to be accepted?

      Please see my earlier post about the commonly cited 41% suicide attempt rate here.
      https://4thwavenow.com/2015/08/03/the-41-trans-suicide-rate-a-tale-of-flawed-data-and-lazy-journalists/

      My post about Blake Brockington is here:
      https://4thwavenow.com/2015/03/25/teen-suicide-and-the-chilling-effect-on-dialogue/

      Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, I believe that an apology is required. I wrote this under an extremely emotional time and under a deadline, and it appears that it did come across as demanding, arrogant, disrespectful, and just plain rude as I had so feared. I am so deeply sorry if I may have offended anyone here. That was not my intention, and I’d appreciate it if everyone would give me a second chance.
      As many of you picked up on, I had some conflicting points in here… The big one was dealing with me saying I don’t speak for all Trans people and my words saying something totally different. The whole “actions speak louder than words thing” really applies here. I am very sorry if I may have offended any of you parents on here with anything I said under this guise. The truth is, I can’t. You all already know that, and were right for calling me out on it. I just see the pattern repeating itself many times over with the Trans people that I know that it is very hard not to generalize. I shouldn’t generalize. No one should. Everyone’s experiences are different. It’s just the way things are. I’m sure many of us, all people, have times in our lives where we wish we could just get all the answers from somebody else’s life. (I’ve been there quite a few times myself, and I’m only 15) As a consequence of different experiences, we all have different viewpoints. I’m very sorry to anyone to whom I may have tried to eliminate theirs. That was wrong. Each viewpoint is just one piece of the puzzle. The more viewpoints you have, the more visible the bigger picture will be. LC, you have a point. Not everything is going to be ideal. One of my more bothersome traits is that I am an idealist. I often tend to completely take away the negative side in situations, which I am working on currently. I do understand that not everything will work out like it should. In fact, it rarely does, which is where you get greedy or self-centered people in medicine like it seems so many of you have encountered. I do encourage you to maybe look around for different gender therapists. There are good ones out there. And honestly, it doesn’t always have to be a gender therapist. Maybe just a therapists that does work with gender nonconforming people but doesn’t exactly specialize in them. You may have better luck there.
      I see your points in that we are constantly developing as human beings. There is the whole debate on the nature vs nurture for pretty much anything. I believe it is a bit of both for most things.Some things, we are born as, but over time, that can change with a lot of work, i.e. someone impatient who has always been impatient learning how to appreciate things taking longer. I am not sure if I believe in the whole Trans “ideal” as gender being something innate. Most of our experiences as how we see ourselves are shaped by the events in our lives. If we were to follow this idea, this would mean that being transgender is something that is both given to us, as a base starting point, but is then able to grow off from that, such as an oak tree sprouting from a small seed.There are differences in the way we are raised, the community we grow up in, the environment that we grow up in, that can affect gender as well as any other part of our personality. A lot of people, not all, but a lot of people that I have met in the transgender community say that gender, like sexuality, is fluent. Often times, not all, probably not even half, I don’t know, based on experiences of myself and people I know, someone tends to lean toward a gender but the level they lean towards it tend to change.
      I understand what you mean about parents knowing more than teens, katiesan. I know that my parents, and other adults for that matter, have experienced more. Because of this, I often view them as learning devices. Not that that gives me any reason to disrespect them, but because that way I remember that they know more than I do and I’m able to learn from them. I did not mean to come across as though I was lecturing. I’m sure that that is what it came across to be like though, and I apologize for that. I do hope that this isn’t turning out to be another one. That is not my intent and if it does, I sincerely apologize for that. I would like to point out though, that it has indeed been said by others that we are shaped from experiences. Everyone has different experiences, so wouldn’t parents have had different experiences than their teens, and vice versa? Particularly in this age when we have all of this modern technology that wasn’t around when you all were kids, most likely. So wouldn’t you say that maybe your child may think differently than you do? I do not know you or your child and am not trying to insist that you or your child is wrong here, just present some food for thought.
      As for the suicide statistic, 4thwavenow, I realize now that in my emotional state, I must have inflated how I really see that statistic in a horrible attempt to persuade people. That was wrong and I’m sorry about that as well… I, actually, believe that the statistic is so swelled up by the media to make a better story. It really is a shame in this world how the facts are changed to make better stories. I believe I should have elaborated more on what I mean by transgender, or trans, when I use it. Transgender is a term regarding most things that would be seen as anything outside of the binary. It’s an umbrella term. It really is quite vague. This differs from Transsexual, which is a person who has already physically undergone surgery. There is a difference between a boy who plays with dolls and one who believes that they are a girl trapped inside a boy’s body, or any other feeling a transgender person may have. I personally dislike gender stereotypes, and not just because I identify as a transgender individual. I think that they just open up people, and boy’s and men in general, to more physical and emotional hurt from their peers since, in the case of biological males more so due to “girly” things being too “girly” for guys to like. Unlike the impression that you may have received from me, I do not actually believe it is possible to change one’s sex, more so the physical aspects of one’s sex to make it more like the other’s. No matter what transgender individuals do, or how far science advances, I seriously doubt that we will be able to change the genetic makeup which dictates which sex we are.
      I was not aware of those suicides until you had brought them up, no. And I fear that my idealism took hold in that the depression and everything was always caused by being transgender. It is in some cases, but in others not. With me, for instance, my depression is caused by multiple reasons. They are not necessarily in this order, but here they are: 1. I’m transgender and am EXTREMELY uncomfortable with the way I look and the social expectations that are placed on me for the way that I was born. 2: Depression runs like wildfire in my family. I suspect that genetics may be part of the cause as well. 3: I am a huge perfectionist. I believe the depression to be a result of how hard I am on myself and all the self-deprecating thoughts I maintain as a result. I realize that not everyone gets their fairy tale ending just by transitioning. And transitioning isn’t right for everybody. Only the child and the family can decide if that is the right course for everyone involved.
      Again, I am deeply sorry if I offended anyone here before. That was not my intention and I do hope that I cleared up some issues that resulted due to my clouded emotional state at the time of that posting. If you read all of this, thank you for giving me a second chance. I wish you all the best in everything that you may encounter in life.

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      • Luvinia, there’s something that most of us know that you don’t, and that’s what it’s like to be 16 and 18 and even 50. Indeed we have different experiences, but what we do recall are the highs and lows of being your age and how hard it can be, and there isn’t a one of us (I’m pretty sure) who hasn’t condescended to adults who didn’t agree with our youthful pronouncements however misguided or on point we might have been. We also know how things changed as we grew older and matured and also how you will change in what you feel and believe about many things. This is why many of us worry about you making decisions now that will affect the rest of your life.

        For the record, I too have a family history of depression. I was also convinced that I was born in the wrong body and wanted to change that very much because I felt that I didn’t fit in the way I was. The things that you have described about yourself could just as easily describe me at your age- even the perfectionism. But I was not trans. I am not trans. I was a girl going through a hard adolescence after a childhood of gender non-conformity who was having difficulty trying to adjust to being treated and looked at differently because of the changes in my body which made me extremely self-conscious and overly concerned about how other people saw me. (I think the same can be said for most 15 year old girls, by the way –gender issues aside –despite how comfortable they might appear from how you see them.)

        And I remember how hard it was, and I remember how low I felt –sometimes to the point of abject despair –but I also remember that those feelings did pass. It wasn’t overnight, nor even in a year. It was a gradual easing and adjustment and gradual change of focus towards the world outside of myself. It was learning to accept my body for what it *could* do, and myself for the things *I* could do well. It was meeting friends who understood and accepted me the way I was (and am). It is because of this that I have hope for you. Things can and will get better if you give it a chance. You are young. Don’t be in such a hurry. We’re all hoping the best for you.

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  12. I am afraid I don’t really belong to your target audience, but I somehow feel like contributing the little I can, I guess I hope my perspective can perhaps be of interest to you, your readers, or their children.

    First off I need to admit I really don’t know what you are going through as parents in that situation. If anything I would tend to identify more with the kids even though I am well into adulthood now, and I certainly am not trans in any acceptable definition of the term – which is kind of my point. I am just someone who has suffered a lot from other people’s expectations regarding who they should be, that’s mostly it. At the same time, I sometimes find myself wondering, if I had known about the concept of transgender when I was growing up, would I have wanted to transition? And would have I been happier if I had?

    I will never know the answer to either of these questions of course, but either way, as I said earlier, I am not trans by any fair definition of the term. I so happen to be female, but I never thought of myself as either a girl or a boy, just as a person. I’m sure by now that must have earned some medical label too, but really in this case I find it sadly ironic, because how I feel is precisely that I neither want nor need any label, but to be free of them. I’ve always felt that gender is something that shouldn’t matter beyond the fact that different individuals are typically attracted to different ones and that it involves going about the act of reproduction somewhat differently. If anything ever spoke to me, it was reading that Beauvoir had said “noone is born a woman, one becomes one”, which I took to mean that gender is a set of expectations society has of you, and you either sincerely like them and happily identify with them (which is a respectable choice, too), or you realize they’re really not for you and you do your best to try stop them from ruining your life. I still strongly believe that the vast majority of what we view as typical-female/male behavior is due to culture vastly exaggerating rather minor tendencies: say there may be some truth to the notion that more boys like sports than girls, next thing you know that gets generalized into “boys like sports, girls don’t”, and that in turn gets morphed into a social obligation “being a boy means you’ve got to like sports, those who don’t aren’t really boys” (and ditto girls)!

    So all in all, finding out that gender can matter so much to someone that they strongly feel they’re in the wrong body seemed surprising to me, it didn’t fit all too well in my world view. But it seems to me it is a fact, and well if it matters to them, I wholeheartedly wish them to fully become what they feel in their heart of heart is who they are.

    At the same time, of the expectations that have caused me pain and probably even failure, thinking back most have been gender related (some have had to do with class culture, too). I always had a very clear sense of what I wanted to do with my life, from a very young age, and these were not things easily accessible to females. When I see people discuss the issue of role models for women, I realize I’ve had plenty of role models, they just weren’t female. That didn’t stop me from viewing these persons as perfectly good role models and identifying with them. I really have no idea whether I am unusual in that, it seems to me we are all capable of identifying with other humans irrespective of gender, just maybe to different degrees? In any case, this has led me to question what I would have thought back then when I was a kid or teenager if I had known that some people are trans. I obviously would have wondered if I was, and I think it would have been a good and reasonable question to ask myself. What gives me pause is this: if it hadn’t been for bumping into Beauvoir’s quote and so enthusiastically agreeing with it, would I have concluded that I was, in fact, trans, simply because my tastes and desires are those that society has decided befits males? I sometimes wonder if I wouldn’t have been happier transitioning anyway, but really I just think it’s way beyond sad that I find myself asking that question. I’ve never thought of myself as a man anymore than as a woman, I just think of myself as human period, and try not to let the way others see me affect me too bad. Why should I have to go through the trouble of a biological sex change to be able to do what makes me happy (and avoid doing what would make me miserable), when gender precisely does NOT matter to me?

    I don’t know if any of you, parents kids or teens, can relate to that, but I thought I’d throw it out there just in case. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that 4thwave now is correct in fearing that, as well-intentionned and badly-needed the discussion we are finally seeing in the media about trans kids is, it may occasionally have the unintended side-effect of creating something of a fashion – which I feel would be all the more sad for the people who are truly trans. I would have hoped that psychologists are there precisely to help the kids tell the difference and figure out whether they are truly trans. I was under the impression that it was standard practice to give people medication to slow down puberty so they don’t have to make a choice until later, when they are sure, but from what you are saying I gather that hasn’t been your experience, hey?

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    • The problem with puberty blockers and social transition is that the child is being conditioned into believing they are the opposite sex. The gender specialists act like it’s a benign treatment, but it is anything but. Just leaving kids alone and not colluding in the delusion that it’s possible to change biological sex seems to me a true “wait and see” approach. Also, what the specialists rarely tell people is that puberty blockers followed immediately by cross sex hormones guarantees lifelong sterility. I personally don’t think anyone under the age of about 25 has any business making a permanent decision about whether they want to have children or not.

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      • Also, puberty blockers—like most medical treatments—seem to have been put into use with the male body in mind. Partly that’s just because that’s the classic idea of a transsexual (a boy/man who wants to become a girl/woman), which has yet to adapt to the 21st century where more natal females than natal males are presenting at gender clinics, and mostly because male bodies are default in medicine. So it’s quite possible that puberty blockers are indeed perfectly safe, for boys. (e.g. I personally was on them for 9 months with no ill effects afterwards… yet, anyway. Fingers crossed) For girls and women it’s a different story, chronicled on sites like lupronvictimshub.org or whatever the actual url is.

        (It’s similar to the cross-sex hormone problem—estrogen has few health risks, does not significantly change the body and its long-term effects on males are pretty well studied, whereas testosterone is much riskier, causes dramatic changes and its long-term effects on females are much less known. There’s a definite medical bias going on)

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  13. Why does it matter? Why do you seem to value a lesbian daughter more than a trans son? I dont get it, who the fuck cares. Im a transwoman, and transitioned at 19. Sure I went through a range of what I might be before ultimately transitioning. Its hard thing to do (especially in 1998). My life has been great, I am happy with the decision I made, Im glad I stayed away from people who would talk me out of it. Why are you so obsessed with them being lesbian? You are obsessed about their breeding capabilities it appears.. Again who cares…. JUST YOU. Besides there are plenty of people on the planet… and frankly if you think trans is so terrible, why would you want them to breed? Im 37 now.. its been 17 years, and I know it was the right choice. I wouldnt have been better off as a gay guy, because…. IM NOT.

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    • SIA — ya know, you just are not hearing what we are saying, seriously. We’re not talking about people like you. We’re not talking about what you’ve done as an adult. Glad you’ve had a good life, in all honesty, and I hope it continues to be that for the duration. To be at peace with your choice is a good thing.

      Breeding capabilities are not an insignificant thing, but to me, as a parent, the bigger concern is the long-term health effect of T on a natal female body. There is no long-term research on this, unlike info about spiro/estrogen on the natal male body. There is zero research confirmation that the side effects of T on natal females are negligible over the the long-term. But just looking at what excess T does in natal males, and looking at reports from natal women who’ve used T for a while — that info does not fill the parent with confidence that this is a safe thing to do. (Then there’s the blockers question. Again, unresearched for long-term pediatric administration. Giant dice-roll. Some parents are OK with that. Some, not so much.)

      I don’t know if you’re a parent — I’m guessing not. But this is not about “trans is so terrible.” And no matter how many transwomen come over here and insist that this is what we are about, “hating” trans, it’s honestly NOT what we are about. It’s not about trying to restrict adults’ choices. It’s about trying to keep our KIDS away from elective and irreversible medical interventions until their brains mature enough to weigh the consequences appropriately, and make adult decisions on their own behalf. At that point … they get to make adult decisions on their own behalf.

      When thousands of young women are suddenly (and it IS sudden, this exponential increase in numbers) wanting to opt out of being female, IMO it justifies some caution and some deeper investigation into what is going on here from a societal standpoint. Especially when a lot of these young women make these announcements summarily after binging on laudatory FTM vids and blog posts on social media. Obviously we disagree on the level of concern that’s justified. “Who the fuck cares” about our kids? We do.

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    • SIA, it matters greatly. Every child who struggles with gender identity issues matters. MY child matters more to me than any other human being on this planet. You have the liberty to say “who the fuck cares” because it’s not your child. The thought of my child becoming a life-long medical patient and facing several major surgeries that are not medically necessary kills me. I see that as child abuse, and I can’t sign on for it.
      I think it’s interesting that you assume that all of our daughters are lesbians. Mine happens to be straight. She is just one of those girls who is not into dresses and makeup and other things that are more commonly female interests. Instead of being accepted as a really cool female who loves sports and video games, she is being told by trans cheerleaders that she should be a male. She should sign up for a lifetime of medical treatments. Why? She’s not suicidal. She just doesn’t feel like she fits in, and strangers on the Internet gave her a simple answer. My job as a parent is to find a way to help her be happy and healthy with the smallest amount of medical intervention possible.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Also, I, for one, have a seriously mentally ill kid. She is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and now with borderline personality disorder. These are serious conditions which compromise healthy reasoning and healthy interactions with other people. No, I’m NOT saying identifying as trans is a mental disorder, but I am saying that my kid is mentally ill ASIDE from her trans identification and that doesn’t inspire confidence in her ability to know herself, because she thinks we’re abusing her by taking her to therapy for problems we know she has. Not for being trans — for being very, very ill. She can’t separate those things. But, yeah, I should just drop the protection and let her do something she, even more than most teenagers, can’t fully evaluate.

      Using other people’s kids to promote an agenda is wrong. No one wants any kids to suffer, but waiting is not torture and words are not violence. Telling us we’re evil because we want our kids to grow into physically and mentally healthy adults who then can make adults decisions? I don’t know why that is some kind of abuse now. In fact, it’s not. It’s called being a parent. Shepherding them as complete and whole as possible and giving them that as a start for an independent life. It’s not anti-trans, it’s pro-healthy adult.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. To “Simply… I AM,” I am so glad to hear that you are happy with your transition, and remain happy nearly 20 years later. Perhaps your satisfaction with your transition is due at least in part to the fact that you were an adult when you made the decision to transition. What this blog and its readers speak out against is the transitioning of children.

    I don’t think anyone here is obsessed with our daughters being lesbians, but rather, many of us with daughters believe they may be lesbians who are feeling pressure, whether internal or external, obvious or subtle, to transition. As far as reproduction goes, children who go from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones become permanently sterilized. The owner and readers of this blog believe that every person should have to right to decide as an adult whether or not they want children, and that sterilizing children is child abuse.

    Rather than making a hasty, emotional, defiant, rash decision to transition as teens, we prefer that our children make the decision after they have grown into adulthood, armed with fully formed adult brains and at least some life experience as adults, preferably some experience with romantic/sexual relationships. Being older may also help these girls realize that transitioning will not actually turn them into males. Some kids don’t quite understand and seem to think it will.

    Additionally, we believe that many girls caught up in the trans trend find it attractive for reasons that are very different from the reasons boys tend to give. So while your own experience and that of other men is valuable to us to a certain extent, please know that comparing your personal experience to that of girls today is likely not a very accurate comparison. There are a variety of reasons a girl might want to escape from herself, or escape from girlhood or womanhood, or disappear, or transform herself into someone else — and often these reasons are rooted in the rejection of societal roles and female stereotypes rather than feeling driven to actually become a man. Some psychologists have compared transgender teen girls and young women to those with eating disorders. Each case is unique and complex, and may not have any similarities at all to your own story and the stories of other men who have transitioned.

    While our daughters may one day make the decision to transition as adults, some already have changed their minds — some of them while they still were minors. Read some of the personal stories on this blog from women and girls who have desisted. Wouldn’t it be tragic if the parents of these girls had earlier given in to the girls’ demands for testosterone and double mastectomies?

    I’ve done quite a bit of speaking for the group; I hope others will chime in with their own opinions if I have stepped on any toes.

    To “Simply… I AM,” I’m glad you transitioned as an adult. In my opinion, that is the only medically ethical point at which transition treatments should be administered.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Trans is complete b.s. As a person who would have been easily diagnosed as “Trans” as a child, I can 100% inform you that Trans is complete and utter b.s. All of these kids can learn to love and be comfortable in the physical body they were born in and they will not commit suicide either. As an adult “Trans” person, I am here to tell you that societal gender norms are b.s. and anyone who has transitioned finds out its b.s. but isn’t able to admit their own mistake.

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    • I seriously doubt that this comes from “an adult trans person.” If what you say about getting comfortable with their bodies is true then why do so many kill themselves when not able to transition or be excepted? I know a few trans adults and all of them are much more content with life now then before transition. Depression and other things like that go away. Being trans isn’t about following norms, some people fit a lot of norms and some only a few and some not many at all, just as with cis people. Being trans is about how your body should be and the kind of person you aim to be perceived as.

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      • Interesting slam, from a poster who apparently doesn’t understand the difference between the words “accepted” and “excepted.”

        The rest of it is typical trans gibberish. Has it ever occurred to you to that committing suicide is an incredibly dysfunctional way to react to not being accepted? “How your body should be” – according to whom? “Being trans isn’t about following norms” – except that in 100% of the cases, a trans diagnosis is derived from failure to adhere to “gender norms.” Ever devoted two seconds of critical thought to why someone might “aim to be perceived as” the opposite gender?

        Seriously, who are you trying to kid here?

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  16. Where do I start last year grade 7 she was a girl make up heels etc two weeks in to grade 8 and completely obsessed with Instagram and snap chat to people all across the states she has cut her hair lke a boy, won’t wear makeup to school and wants to be called NOAH. She is telling her school this and they are supporting it I guess. She tells lies on the social media sites etc. She is looking to be accepted and of course when you say that and go those sites they will accept. I have NEVER seen any sign of her wanting to be a boy and she refuses to listen to me when I say don’t set your self up you just turned 13. I’m pretty open minded not religious. I work with youth and support lgbtq issues. I’m at a loss is it realistic to take away the phone get a flip phone and remove the computer? She has access everywhere. I can’t always be monitoring her. I don’t know what to do. Feel like I’m mourning the loss of my daughter.

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    • First of all, (((hugs))). We’re right here with you.

      Here is what I keep telling myself when my daughter gets into one of her fits about not getting her way: I am the parent. I DECIDE what behaviors I will tolerate from my daughter–not her. When she is 18 and out of the house supporting herself, it’s her life. Until then, she will abide by my rules. PERIOD. My rules are not strict by any stretch.

      My advice to you is this (I apologize for being blunt): 1) Don’t give in to this crap from your daughter. YOU decide what is appropriate dress for her. YOU decide what is appropriate Internet usage for her. Maybe look into blocking certain sites on all of her devices? You have every right to block her from access to sites that you feel are inappropriate or are contributing to this problem. 2) Go in to the school and tell the principal that you do not approve of them using a different name and/or pronouns for your minor child, and if they do not immediately desist you will slap them with a lawsuit so fast their heads will spin.

      Believe me, your daughter will probably be pretty mad no matter what actions you take, but that’s par for the course with a teen. Just because they don’t like the rules, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have any. Every kid and every family is different, so you decide what is best for your child–don’t let the school and strangers on the Internet be the guiding forces in her life.

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      • Your rules aren’t strict? Please tell me what about not allowing your child to dress in the clothes they tell you they’re comfortable in and stopping other people from calling them whatever name or nickname they want to go by isn’t strict? Trans aside it is pretty fuckin strict and creepy to say “NO! You’re my DAUGHTER. You can’t get those clothes from the boys section, you can’t have short hair. Even though there isn’t anything revealing or unsafe about you dressing and acting that way I am going to force you into this dress and make you wear makeup.”

        Do I understand parents being very new to their kids coming out as trans? Of course. When you’re trans you have grappled with this secret your whole life and hopped from coping mechanism to coping mechanism, all that time your parents only see their son or daughter, maybe shy or depressed, but nothing else. So naturally once you tell them, most parents are surprised. They take some time to adjust; that makes sense, this is a new thing that as a parent you aren’t sure will stick around and yes in this time we have reached at this point it isn’t unheard of for a kid to think they are trans and be wrong, but this doesn’t inherently mean it is a phase and you have to make them stop.

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      • Troll much? Changing your user name from “sketcher” to “sketcha” is not cool. Trolling aside, who said anything about forcing a kid into a dress and making them wear makeup? This is the typical trans activist red herring: Pretending that parents who don’t just accept the fiction that their kids can change sex are forcing them to dress like Barbie (or Ken, in the case of boys).

        This is your last comment. You’ve had your say, and like most who show up here to attempt to shame parents, you think you’re telling us something new. You’re not. If you were actually trying to engage in a respectful way, you might instead have offered, “There’s nothing wrong with a child dressing in a ‘gender nonconforming’ way.” But you’d rather make false accusations and peddle the idea that the only thing parents need to do here is “adjust” to the child who has “grappled with a secret their whole lives” (amazing how people like you think they know more about these kids than the parents who’ve **actually** known them their whole lives). At least you acknowledge that it isn’t “unheard of” (i.e., rare as hen’s teeth) for a kid to be mistaken in a trans identity. But given how you’ve couched that one concession in the usual “you’re a dumb parent; you just need to get with the program” rant, you’re done here. Your comment serves one key purpose: it illustrates the commenter’s point that “strangers on the Internet” sure as hell shouldn’t be the guiding forces in a kid’s (or parent’s) life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t reply to sketcha45, so I’m posting this as a reply to my own comment. Ha!
        1) My daughter wears gender-neutral clothes most of the time. Sometimes she dresses more “girly” if she feels like it. She buys women’s clothes because they fit her. It’s rare for her to buy something sparkly, but she does on occasion. My requirement is that clothes be clean when she leaves the house. Is it unreasonable for a parent to have rules about how their minor child dresses? If my daughter wanted to wear a short skirt with her ass practically hanging out, should I allow that?
        2) The length of my daughter’s hair is completely her decision. I have never told her what to do in that regard. It’s just hair.
        3) My daughter is not forced to wear makeup. She wears it if she wants to. She is beautiful with or without it.
        4) My daughter has never asked to be called by a different name. If she did, the answer would be no. I am not willing to erase the wonderful person that my child is. Her name is not “dead.” I will fight for her to be happy in her healthy body with every breath I have.

        Sketcha, you think you have ALL the answers about a kid and a family that you don’t know. We have gone from a society where people with issues surrounding their gender were given actual helpful treatment with transition being an absolute last resort, to a society where everyone who questions their gender must transition immediately. There is NO consideration for what is best for the individual. In the case of a minor, it is the parents’ responsibility to fight for the treatment that is best for their child. I refuse to sit back and let outsiders who do not know my child tell me what is best for her and tell me that I am wrong.

        Sketcha, one of the hardest things to do as a parent is tell your child NO when you know they want something, but saying YES would destroy their life. They don’t understand it. They think they are invincible. They think transition is a quick fix that will solve all of their problems. As their parents, we have the benefit of life experience and knowing them better than anyone. And we know the destruction that transition would cause.

        I assume that you don’t have children. If you decide to have children one day, I hope you never have to face what many of the parents here have had to face. I hope your child never comes to you and tells you that the person that you have cared for and loved with every ounce of your being is now “dead” and being replaced with somebody else.

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    • Hi, Carley, sorry you are in this situation too. I do think if you can cut back or remove her access to those social media sites, it would benefit your daughter. Right now she is in a bubble, only hearing validation for her being transgender. And she is likely being told that anyone who questions her self-diagnosis is a transphobe, forcing a wedge between you and her.

      If you haven’t read through 4th’s site, I highly recommend it. So much good information. I also suggest getting your daughter involved in an activity that keeps her busy, preferably something physical, which some parents (including myself) have found helpful. And some have tried getting their child involved in volunteer work, which helps redirect their focus to others, away from the constant self obsession with gender.

      One last thing, if you haven’t read this elsewhere. Please be careful of therapists. Unfortunately some that will only encourage your daughter’s trans identity and make the situation worse. I recommend interviewing psychologists/psychiatrists first before making an appointment for her.

      Like

  17. Not that there aren’t still issues, but I am far less concerned about post pubescent teens knowing if they are trans or not than kids of pre/primary school age. Kids this young are being introduced to these ideas in schools these days!
    I find this to be irresponsible&misguided at best, ideologically motivated and abusive at worst!

    Kids can go through a LOT of weird-ass phases that pass without even leaving a lasting memory…at the same time you also often see a child develop a long term interest in a subject they hadn’t even heard of before someone introduced them to it yesterday.

    Why in the hell would someone think it’s a wise or healthy idea to introduce these ideas to young children who’s minds are so malleable and absorptive? Why are we attempting to normallize and train fucking toddlers in a condition that is rarer than schizophrenia? Do we send 4 year olds to classes that teach them about schizophrenia, psychopathy, narcissism, depression, etc? Aside from maybe a basic health class that asks about some of these to help identify kids with early presenting physically based mental illnesses like childhood schizophrenia, we don’t have repeated classes in which we describe and normalize mental illnesses to 4 year olds!
    Iatrogenesis IS a thing! Psychological illnesses and disorders can be encouraged and even created by irresponsible professionals.

    I goddamn guarantee you that teaching four year olds about transgenderism and making them think about it for hours will lead to increased statistics of gender dysphoria & ill bet money other psychological problems as well.

    Imagine a 4 year old boy, who in the midst of a passing phase of fascination with his sisters dolls(they’re something new), finds himself in a goddamn class with some gender ideologue asking them shit like ” do you like to play with girls toys even though you’re a boy, like maybe your sisters dolls? Well that’s ok. You can be a girl even if you were born with a penis.”
    All of a sudden this poor little f**k, as Carlin would’ve called him, is aware that there is an issue related to his playing with the dolls, that they are gendered toys and that the gender that likes them is usually girls, but it’s ok cause he can be a girl if he wants…does he want to be a girl though? SHOULD he want to be a girl?….WHAT THE F*&K! LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE! They have whole lives ahead with which to ruminate, doubt their own sanity and morality, fight against myriad fears and worries….can’t you just leave them alone for the little bit of unsoiled happiness and magic they’ve got left?

    I don’t want to sound hard here, but if the price of creating more acceptance for the 0.001% of the population that end up trans is to subject all the other kids to this kind of foolishness…I’m afraid I’d have to choose the health and safety of the majority over support for the complicated outlier minority.

    I’ve probably come across harsher than I am in reality. I have trans friends with families and at least one of the kids has gender dysphoria. I offer nothing but help and support to them. I DO find myself wondering if the parents may have had unintentional involvement in encouraging this in their kids tho.

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  18. Well, Rambling, you make a lot of good points… no matter how you put them … and welcome to the board.

    After some time involved with all this, I’m coming more and more to the belief that there is a sector of the trans-activist community that is deeply invested, and very much in favor, of creating as many “trans kids,” “trans teens,” and “trans adults” as possible. The more trans-everything that appear, the more urgent and worthy of attention the phenomenon becomes, the more validated it is, and the more people can make some type of living or reputation based on it.

    It’s very far from the neutral “we want the best for everyone, whatever form that turns out to be.” And it’s certainly not, “let’s hold off with the heavy stuff until we’re absolutely sure it’s right for the person.” No, it’s “how exciting it is to enter the Brave New World of Gender!” and every body mod and drug that entails, and the slightest suggestion of prudence or caution is blasted as hateful and phobic.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature, but it sure is striking to see how many interests dovetail here. It’s the drug manufacturers, dispensers, doctors, nurses, surgeons, dermatologists, therapists, clinics for sure. And it’s the folks creating the videos, books, dolls, websites, and support groups. And it’s the creators of bizarre products like binders and packers, and the whole industry of clothing, wigs, makeup, and other costumes. And it’s the “professionals” and consultants who are paid to run around “setting the parents (and teachers, and cops, and coaches, and administrators) straight” “about gender.” Yeah, there’s money to be made, and more of it every day.

    There is no money to made, not one red cent, in advising caution or care around childhood and teen transition. Funny how that is, huh?

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  19. Pingback: Bathroom bigotry | The Catechesis of Caroline

  20. As a trans teen, this really hurts to read. Sure, maybe some kids are going through a phase, but when your child is insisting for years that this is who they are, you trust them.

    I wake up every morning, can’t look in the mirror when i’m getting dressed, go to the bathroom and feel disgusted because i have to sit thanks to the fact that i don’t have the right parts, and i carry on with my day, dealing with hearing “she” every five minutes. It really, really sucks. i don’t hate my body like a normal teen, i hate it because i have boobs and a vagina, instead of a flat chest and a penis.

    My parents are unsupportive, and i understand i can’t change that or force them to do anything, so we don’t talk about it. It all really fucking sucks.

    And if you’re STILL having trouble understanding, how would you feel if you woke up one morning with a penis? you’d freak out and feel disgusted and want everything to be right again, no? i’m not a lesbian, i’m a guy. i would much prefer dating a guy over a girl actually.

    In the end, I hope you don’t have a trans child because if you continuously talk like this, you might not have a child for much longer. my first suicide attempt was when i was ten. does that sound normal to you?

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    • I am not going out trying to tell other parents how to treat THEIR children or to tell teens (and, believe me, it’s a leap to believe that an anonymous person on the Internet is who they say they are, I fell that reminder should be put out there) anything when I do not know them or have a life interest in them.

      I know MY kids. I TALK to my kids. We don’t always agree, which is par for the course, because they’re teens. They have developing brains. But, they’re MY KIDS. It is, in fact, my responsibility to shepherd them in as healthy and whole a fashion to adulthood, where they can make their own choices. I have had a trans-identifying teen who was violent. Are you violent? Did you hit and spit on and curse and lie about your mother because you wanted to control everyone to quell your anxiety? I do not think my kid is like every other kid. So, as a parent, I want professionals to tailor an approach to my kid which I feel takes my child’s position and feelings and understanding, but also listens to me, the parent with the functioning, adult brain, who is charged with protecting my kid from herself.

      I wish you good luck. I hope you find the way and place that is best for you. But threatening and trying to shame the parents who have this one space to find support and discuss and help each other so we can do our level best for our individual children? It’s throwing a temper tantrum. My own kid threatened me with suicide and she was lying and just trying to manipulate. I know that all kids don’t do that — but we parents didn’t land on the Internet yesterday. We know that asktransgender on reddit and Youtube and Tumblr all have point-by-point arguments and lists to attempt to break parents down.

      If this site is so painful for you, go away. There’s no law that you have to come here. I don’t go on trans-positive sites and try to shame and manipulate people. I’m here to talk and give advice and get support. I’m not out to get involved in people who are, or who are posing, as teenagers I don’t know. You would be well-advised to take a similar tack — don’t perseverate on people you completely disagree with and feel the need to threaten.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for responding in a civil way, I will admit that I did get carried away in my comment and perhaps should have taken some time before writing it. I also cannot prove I am who I say I am, but I hope you can take my word for it somehow.

        I infinitely agree that how you parent your children is your choice, as long as you are doing what you feel is best for them. I agree that your child in terms of violence does not seem “normal,” and this could have relation to identifying as trans or it couldn’t. When I read the article, I got the feeling that all that was being said is that the parents are always right and to never consider supporting your children.

        What you said however, is different. You stated that you want a therapist that listens to both you and your child, and respects your choices. That is 100% fine with me and seems fully reasonable and correct.

        I hope to find my way in life as well, and my intent was not to come here to shame or threaten parents dealing with this scenario. I came across this post trying to find support, and honestly thought it was a rant on a random site. I wasn’t aware this was a support center for parents questioning their child’s validity and having trouble being able to accept them, otherwise I would have been even less harsh with my comment. I know some kids do use suicide threats as a form of manipulation, but many don’t, such as me, and I think it’s important to at least pay some attention to threats because you never know what could really be happening.

        Once again, I wasn’t aware this was a support site of any kind. I wasn’t intending to threaten, shame, or hurt, and I admit to my faults in writing that comment. I could have worded it much better, left some things out and added some things in, and could have looked more at this site as a whole beforehand. However, I stand by my point that if a child is persistent about their identity, it should at least be considered to possibly be the truth (meaning they won’t ever change their mind).

        I am sorry that I came across as threatening and rude, I usually take pride in being a civil and rational person. Like any sensible person would, I’d gladly agree to disagree somewhat, and leave it at that. In the end, yes, you are able to do what you think is best for your child. I suppose my main point was meant to be keeping a somewhat open mind, in case of the scenario in which they never change their mind.

        Sorry that I’m repetitive, I hate being problematic and leaving others feeling the way I left you. Sorry for anything that came across as it shouldn’t have. Please have a nice day, and feel free to respond as I’d be glad to continue any conversation you want. I hope you and your kid are hanging in there and coping alright.

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      • Thank you for your apology. It is appreciated.

        May I simply suggest that before you leave a comment ANYWHERE, you spend even a brief moment reading and THINKING about what you’re reading. I know there are very clear descriptions of the purpose of this site — and multiple ones, at that. Also, I think reading ALL the comments and various conversations here (instead of cherry-picking ones which make you angry or that you have an instant negative reaction to) will demonstrate that the vast majority of parents who have found their way here ARE listening to their children. We DO love them and we’re not trying to force them into being someone they’re not.

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      • Hey, previous poster, thanks for that, that was gracious.

        You know…. I think the vast majority of ppl here are reconciled to the idea that their kids may take this route, long term, no matter how physically or emotionally dangerous we parents think this is, and no matter how devoutly we wish they could find other, safer ways to treat their dysphoria (if dysphoria is indeed the issue).

        We’re only trying to get them safely to some age where we are confident they can truly make an adult decision about this very adult matter — a decision that represents a real weighing on the consequences and not reaching for what looks like a simple solution to all their problems.

        A lot of us, like katiesan, have kids with histories of pre-existing mental health conditions, stuff that came long before their self diagnoses of “trans.” It is natural that we are frustrated with the current med/psych profession’s insistence that “trans” should be treated to the exclusion of all these other issues (at least, that is how it currently is, in the U.S.

        I wish you well.

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      • Thank you both for being understanding and reasonable, there are so many people out there that refuse to forgive or listen to others.

        Like you said, I misunderstood the website, and I should have looked closer. I was on my phone, in public, and was worked up, so I instantly scrolled to leave a comment, ignoring all the others. I could’ve done much better.

        I suppose I’m so used to the people I know that don’t support their kids saying things like “they have no idea what they’re talking about, they’re lying for attention and will regret it all. i know for a fact this is not who they are and i will never allow them to be,” that it’s hard for me to see someone who’s saying similar things, but in a correct and intelligent way.

        Thank you both for being caring parents who really are trying, and I’m sorry I ever thought of you otherwise. Good luck with everything ❤

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      • previous, we’ve all been there. Yes, even those of us who ARE adults. None of us are perfect and sometimes our emotions and our perceptions get the better of us.

        I would like to suggest something to you and to anyone reading, teen or parent. As a teen, and I know this is really, really hard, but try to hear what the underlying emotion of what your parents might be saying to you is. Oh, I know, some may sound like they’re saying what previous poster detailed. But the underlying emotion may be fear. May be confusion. And, it goes likewise for parents. You hear something rude and oppositional, but there may be pain and hurt and sadness.It may be a call for help. It’s talking about those underlying emotions and SITTING WITH THEM and feeling how they can ebb and flow and sometimes disappear when you acknowledge them, even, which is the real work.

        Everyone needs to be seen and heard. We also all need to be challenged. But we have to keep talking and listening and trying to be open to listening closely and reflecting back what we hear and then having the courage to say, “I heard you say this. But I can tell you are hurt. Or sad. Is that something that feels true to you?”

        It’s hard work. Really. And it’s exhausting and frustrating and then suddenly it’s not so hard and you don’t even think about it and it seems like smooth sailing. I’ve braved the surf and storm to get to that more peaceful tide pattern. I wish it for anyone who happens by here — adult, teen, professional. My kid has worked on her other issues. She has a future out, in the world, that is hopeful and exciting and meaningful to her. And, we’re coming up on talking about how she feels regarding her self-identification and physical self. Not to judge or demand answers, but to hear her own insights and experiences and figure out if we need to visit those issues now that she has space within herself and breathing room. And now that WE do. She could, very well, say, “I’m 18, it’s none of your business. I’m going on T early next year.” I would be sad. But I would tell her I’m sad and that I love her and that I got her to a healthier place to make that decision from, you know?

        Like

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