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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.