Parents, keep listening to your gut—not the gender therapist

A few months ago, my teenage daughter stopped trying to “pass” as male. She dropped the self-defined-as-male uniform, the stereotyped swagger and the fake-deepened voice and just—moved on. Her fervent desire to be seen and treated as a boy faded away, just as other formerly unshakable ideas and urges had in the past. And our relationship has never been better.

Although I’ve allowed myself to exhale, just a little, she will remain at risk, because every sector of society—the media, the government, the schools, medicine and psychology–is now saturated with the message that trans is real; trans is good;  and if you’re a “gender nonconforming” girl–one who prefers the clothing, activities, and hairstyle more typical of the opposite sex– you just might actually be a boy.

What did I, and the other adults who love her, do? It hasn’t been easy. In fact, for a time it was a living hell, a purgatory of slammed doors, stony silence, yelling matches, and mostly—waiting.

There was no magic answer. We rode it out. I learned something about keeping my mouth shut. About saying my piece and then leaving it be.  About living with uncertainty.  We didn’t cater to demands for instant gratification.  We paid for and encouraged activities that would get her out into nature and off the Internet. Mostly, we waited.

We drew a clear line in the sand: There would be no money to pay for a gender therapist, testosterone, or a binder. If she wanted to pursue those things at the age of medical majority, that would be her choice—and it would be on her dime. At the same time, we let her know that her clothing and hairstyle choices were hers to make. Not always successfully, we tried to calmly and sparingly convey the message that however she dressed, whatever interests she pursued, she was a female—perhaps an unusual one, but a young woman nevertheless, who might someday become a role model to show other girls just how amazing and truly expansive a woman can be.

Like many who read this blog, I phoned gender therapists during the weeks after her announcement that she was trans. Without even meeting my child in the flesh, all four of these therapists talked to me like this trans thing was a done deal. I wrote about one of those conversations here. One very friendly therapist, who identifies as FTM and whose website stressed “his” commitment to “informed consent,” assured me that there was no need for my daughter to first experience a sexual or romantic relationship before deciding whether she was trans. “Most of the young people just skip that step now,” the therapist said.

Skip that step? I thought back to my own adolescence. I didn’t even begin to have a clear idea of who I was, as a sexual being, until after I’d had more than one relationship. It took years for me to come to know my body’s nuances and intricacies, its capacity for pleasure, how I might feel in relation to another.

This same therapist signed my kid up for a “trans teen” support group scheduled for the following week—again, without ever having met her. “There’s nothing you or I can do about your daughter being trans,” said another therapist… on the phone, without having met my kid. Yet another therapist refused to talk to me at all; insisted she’d have to have a private appointment with my kid first.

Contrary to the myth promulgated by the transition promoters, at least in the United States, there is no slow and careful assessment of these kids who profess to be trans. The trend is to kick out the gatekeepers, and  move towards a simple model of “informed consent”: If you say you’re trans, you are–no matter how young and no matter when you “realized” you were trans.

All these therapists seemed well meaning enough. They believed they were doing the correct thing. But with each conversation, I felt more and more uneasy. My gut feeling that something wasn’t right led me to research, to question…to put the brakes on. And the more I read, and thought, and understood, the more determined I became to find an alternative. I started this blog out of sheer desperation. I needed to find someone, anyone, who understood what I was going through. I needed other parents to talk to—badly.

My kid never did go to a gender therapist. Never did sit in a room full of “trans teens.” If she had, I feel certain she’d be sporting a beard right now.

When I first started blogging, I got a lot of hate mail. In every anonymous drive-by comment, the hater referred to my “son” who would grow up to hate my guts. “He” would surely commit suicide, and more than one of them wished me a lifetime of misery when that inevitably happened. Even the mildest posts resulted in hostile reblogs from strangers who had not the slightest idea of my family’s situation.

At first, these anonymous barbs stung, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that I could rely on my inner parental compass. Because, see, I know my daughter. I knew, when she suddenly began spouting the gender-policed jargon planted in her head by Tumblr trans activists, that this wasn’t who she really was. This was a girl who, all through childhood, was never “gender conforming” but who was secure in herself because I’d made sure she knew, via my words and my example, that girls could be and do anything.

Most of all, I knew she needed me—not to blindly “support” and give in to her every demand, but to simply BE THERE, even as a limit; a steady place she could push and rail against. It was scary, and painful, being on the receiving end of teen outrage.  Because a teenager does have the right to make some of their own decisions. And because no parent gets it right all the time. (Paradoxically, part of being a halfway decent parent is knowing how imperfect you are at the job.) But one thing became more and more clear to me:  my child did not need a parent who would collaborate in sending her down a road to being a permanent medical patient. In fact, she needed protection from the very same people who were sending me hate mail on Tumblr.

Not so long ago, child and adolescent psychologists—people who actually study the development of young human beings—were frequently cited and quoted. These experts, as well as every other rational adult, were well aware that kids shift identities: try this one on, shed it like a snake skin, try on another. Younger kids go through a long and wonderful period of make believe and magical thinking. They are actually convinced they ARE the identity they try on. And adolescents are renowned for trying on hairstyles, belief systems, clothing styles—only to discard them after a few weeks, months, or maybe even years.

In contrast to today’s transgender-soaked paradigm, when a kid’s announcement that they are the opposite sex is taken at face value, it has been previously acknowledged–for decades–that parents are largely responsible for the inculcation of gender stereotypes into their children’s minds. Children aren’t born hating their sexed bodies. They only grow to reject themselves when someone they look up to promotes the idea that their likes and dislikes in clothing, toys, activities, or other pursuits are seen as incongruent with their natal sex.

 A child’s burgeoning sense of self, or self-concept, is a result of the multitude of ideas, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that he or she is exposed to. The information that surrounds the child and which the child internalizes comes to the child within the family arena through parent-child interactions, role modeling, reinforcement for desired behaviors, and parental approval or disapproval (Santrock, 1994). As children move into the larger world of friends and school, many of their ideas and beliefs are reinforced by those around them. A further reinforcement of acceptable and appropriate behavior is shown to children through the media, in particular, television. Through all these socialization agents, children learn gender stereotyped behavior. As children develop, these gender stereotypes become firmly entrenched beliefs and thus, are a part of the child’s self-concept.

… Often, parents give subtle messages regarding gender and what is acceptable for each gender – messages that are internalized by the developing child (Arliss, 1991). Sex role stereotypes are well established in early childhood. Messages about what is appropriate based on gender are so strong that even when children are exposed to different attitudes and experiences, they will revert to stereotyped choices (Haslett, Geis, & Carter, 1992).

But now, we have people like this: the mother of a six-year-old girl who has “transitioned” to male, writing storybooks to indoctrinate kindergartners. To suggest to them that they, too, might really be the opposite sex:

“Can the doctor have made a mistake? Was I supposed to have been born a boy? Am I the only kid in the world like this?”

Deep down, Jo Hirst had been anticipating these questions. And she knew she had to get the answers right.

It was bedtime, and her six-year-old was curled up on her lap. Assigned female at birth, from 18 months of age Hirst’s son* had never wanted to wear female clothing and always played with boys.

I challenge anyone to find me a single account of a “transgender child” which does NOT resort to talking about toys, hairstyle, clothing, or play stereotypes to justify the diagnosis of “trans” in a young child.

Our kids are being cheated of the opportunity, the breathing space, to simply explore who they are without a gaggle of adults jumping in to interfere with the process by “validating” their frequently transient identities. Kids are being encouraged to freeze their sense of self in a moment in time, during the period of life when everything is in flux. And even though key researchers have said over and over again that most gender dysphoric kids “desist” and grow up to be gay or lesbian; even though the latest research denies any such thing as a “male” or “female” brain, parents are encouraged to socially transition their kids, put them on “puberty blockers,” and refer to them by “preferred pronouns.”

For very young children, this cementing of the child’s identity in a period when they most need the freedom to simply play and explore—to “make believe”—is essentially stunting the child’s development.

Young children go through a stage where it is difficult for them to distinguish reality from fantasy.  Among many other things, it’s why we have ratings on films. A young child can’t understand that the monster onscreen is not real.

Research indicates that children begin to learn the difference between fantasy and reality between the ages of 3 and 5 (University of Texas, 2006).  However, in various contexts, situations, or individual circumstances, children may still have difficulty discerning the difference between fantasy and reality as old as age 8 or 9, and even through age 11 or 12. For some children this tendency may be stronger than with others.

Just exactly what is motivating doctors and psychologists to jettison decades of research and clinical practice in favor of a completely unsubstantiated and unproven hypothesis of “transgender from birth”? The glib answer is: suicide. But if a gender nonconforming youth expresses the desire to self harm, encouraging that youth to further dissociate from their whole selves (because the body and mind, contrary to the bleating of trans activists, are not separate units, but a whole) is not a responsible way to support mental health.  As this commenter said in a recent post on GenderTrender:

 Wow. Conservatives aren’t the only ones who suck at science. Brain sex? Seriously? If you’re allegedly born in the wrong body, why doesn’t your brain count as part of the “wrong body”? Your brain is telling the truth but the rest of your body is a liar? Wtf? This shit is as sensible as scientology.

And when it comes to teens,

 Teens often pick up on cues and assimilate ideas presented in movies/films viewed in the movie theater and other sources, (online sources for watching movies now eclipse movie theater viewings or film DVD rentals for teens), and while teens already understand the difference between fantasy and reality, they may still absorb or become attached to ideas that are powerfully presented in films but that have no basis in reality, the teen not having enough experience or knowledge to sort propaganda from fact, fiction from reality. Films, television programs, music and statements from celebrities can [and do] become a part of the thinking and emotional/psychological makeup of teens and children.

This used to be a “duh” thing. Are teens influenced by what they imbibe, what’s in fashion, what celebrities (like Jazz Jennings and “Caitlyn” Jenner and Laverne Cox) are doing,  what their peers are saying and doing? Might socially isolated teens be even more swayed by what they see on social media, while they sit for hours, alone in their rooms?

Facebook depression,” defined as emotional disturbance that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, is now a very real malady. Recent studies have shown that comparisons are the main cause of Facebook depression; the study showed that down-comparison (comparing with inferiors) was just as likely to cause depression as up-comparison (comparing with people better than oneself).

…Other risks of extensive social networking among youth are loss of privacy, sharing too much information, and disconnect from reality.

My daughter, like so many others I’ve now heard about, emerged from months of self-imposed social isolation and YouTube/Reddit binges, to announce, out of the blue, that she was transgender. And simply for questioning this, for refusing to hop aboard the train, I’ve been labeled a “child abuser” of my “son”? Until the last few years, parents who recognized that teens go through phases weren’t considered abusive. They were considered well informed.

Not so long ago, parents and helping professionals neither interfered with nor bolstered a particular identity that a kid was trying on. Everyone understood this was an important part of growing up: to allow our young to experiment, to see what worked and what didn’t. It’s called the development of a self. It takes years. It’s not even complete at 21. The self doesn’t emerge, fully formed and immutable at birth. It develops in response to experience, to love, and to adversity.

Given my own daughter’s desistence from the idea that she is or was ever “transgender,” I feel even more strongly that parents are right to resist the push by every sector of society to identify “gender dysphoric” young people as “trans.”

So you bet I’m going to keep doing what I can to support parents who want to challenge and at least delay an adolescent’s decision to permanently alter body and mind with hormones and surgeries. You bet I’m going to try to save my own kid from what amounts to a cult that won’t let you leave if you change your mind, without serious social consequences. You bet I’m going to continue to protect my daughter and others like her from a lifetime of difficulty, from the rapacious medical industry that is profiting from the regressive resurgence and marketing of gender stereotypes.

You can also bet that I’m going to continue shedding light on the frankly insane practice of labeling very young children as transgender, grooming and conditioning them as preschoolers to believe their own bodies are somehow wrong and alien, that they must undergo teasing and torment from other children, that they must wear prosthetics to amplify or hide their own genitalia to be accepted as they are. Or just as bad: That the entire world must be browbeaten into redefining  biological reality such that “some girls have penises” and “some boys have vaginas.”

And this work is not just about protecting kids. It’s also about supporting family members and friends who are so deeply affected by the transgender narrative.  The trans activists, the media, the doctors and psychiatrists–none of them talk about the terrible damage done to the family system, to the fabric of close relationships, when a child “transitions.”  All the activists have to say is that the skeptical parents and loved ones are “transphobes.” No one talks about the fact that the majority of these dysphoric kids would grow up to be gay or lesbian adults if not interfered with;  adults with healthy, intact bodies, not poisoned by drugs and carved up by surgeons’ knives.

So we have to keep talking about it. We have to keep the lights on in our corner of the Internet, even if only to document this strange medical and cultural fad for future historians.

Thanks to everyone who is traveling this road with me. While I know we often feel swamped and hopeless, we have each other for strength and courage. And for now, that will have to be enough.

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827 thoughts on “Parents, keep listening to your gut—not the gender therapist

  1. Reply to Charlie:
    Because we are concerned that when they are in their twenties they may not be very happy anymore sans body parts; with hormones having made changes and/or done damage that they might not want to live with for the rest of their lives. And there is a LOT of pressure to take these steps.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for this article. I’m living this nightmare right now in my 16 yr old and it’s a carbon copy of your story. I hope for a happy ending to this all. So far we have had 1 suicide attempt and now she is cutting herself.. I just want my daughter back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My heart goes out to you…and your daughter. Stay strong and keep loving. It’s a long road but hopefully you will both be able to come to terms with whatever direction she chooses. I know It is such a difficult time right now for you both but stress to her that you love her no matter what and try to get counselling to help you both through this. Believe me, I know exactly what you are going through, and it does feel like you’re “Living in Hell”. Hugs…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am going through this same thing with my 15 year old daughter as well. I just want her to make well informed decisions about her life, but I know that most 15 year old dont. How do you know or find the right counseling? I think she had under lying issues maybe depression. I want to get her help but I don’t even know where to start. Any advice on how to find help from someone that won’t automatically try to start her change process.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I feel sorry for your son because he obviously has an intolerant mother. As someone that struggled with depression and self harm before coming out as non binary at 22 years old, I can tell you that it is something that is innate in me and accepting myself for who I am and having those that love me support me as well has made me a happier and more confident person. I truly hope that your son finds support and I urge you to research and get educated about trans issues by trans people because that’s the only way that you’ll understand how your son feels.

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      • Personally, I don’t think I would be too concerned if my daughter felt she was non binary. As long as she was not thinking along the lines of surgery and hormones to alter herself. I was just intrigued by your use of the word “son”. Surely if you are “non-binary” you don’t believe in the labels of “son” or “daughter”?

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      • As a non binary person I wear a binder and want top surgery, everyone’s experience with gender is different. I don’t believe that there are only two genders and I personally feel like neither a girl or a boy but my experience doesn’t mean that other people don’t identify as men or women. If your son identifies as a boy then he’s a boy no question or doubt.

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      • Riley, it’s incredibly sad that psychologists, gender doctors, and trans activists now encourage a young woman who doesn’t fit gender norms to call herself “nonbinary” and detest her own body so much that she wants to remove parts of it. We can assure you this incredibly irresponsible movement was unknown only a few years ago. Whatever you decide to do, we wish you the best, and hope for your sake that you don’t cause yourself irreversible harm; and that you someday realize how you’ve been convinced to abandon all reason and common sense by people who should instead be protecting you.
        Ex nonbinary

        Liked by 1 person

      • Without transitioning I was depressed, anxious, suicidal, and had serious body image problems. The more I transition the better I feel, it’s like night and day. With the suicide rate for trans youth that are closeted, don’t transition, and face judgement about who they are from their family, the way I look at it is would you rather have a dead daughter or a living happy son

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      • I am guessing 13, tops. What’s up with the thought-terminating, one-line cliches? How come literally every pro-trans person inevitably says the exact same lines, “would you rather have a dead daughter, or a living happy son?” I mean, literally word for word, you all make the EXACT same, inane, easily debunkable comments. It’s almost like you’re all in a cult… oh wait… you are! Pro-tranny, groupthink, cluster f*ck. Same old, same old. Boring too.

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      • Silly, simplistic, preadolescent thinking. Feelings don’t determine sex. Gender, as used by you, is the oppressive social construct formerly known as “sex role stereotypes.” Instead of creating more oppressive categories, why not smash gender?! That would be truly worthwhile and rebellious. Sex is reality. You can buy a double mastectomy, but you will never be anything other than 100% female. Learn to embrace your womanhood and make the most of yourself. No one will ever believe that you are “really” anything else, and nonbinary only exists inside your own tormented head. This silly fad will pass, you will grow up, and yes, you will feel like such a tool, because you are. The time for a course correction is now.

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      • Nonsense. Most of us have never fit into a specific role nor did we care. It wasn’t even on our radar. It’s like what the White Witch said to Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz, “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” Just be who you are but stop the drama. All this insanity over gender and sex. Never in history has so much time been spent navel gazing over this nonsense. It’s all fluff except for those who have been pulled into this so far that they have lost their health and their poor parents their sanity.

        Sadly a lot of young people (like this young girl) have been dragged into this cult. Her mother is waiting for her return and you misgender her to her mother who knows it is her daughter. That is a mean spirited act. You are the one who needs to educate yourself but read many articles her at the 4thwavenow blog. It’s full of the truth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jane, I may have made myself unclear in my reply to Riley. The vast majority of the population are male or female. And that cannot be changed. We can’t change DNA. We can only rather unsuccessfully, and rather dangerously for many reasons, change parts and functioning of bodies. 0.37% of the population are intersex. Trans Activists love to produce the figure of 1.75%. The authors of that article admitted they were mistaken. And intersex conditions are a diverse range of conditions, including many conditions that are very mild, or that do not create any sexual identity confusion. True hermaphroditism constitutes 0.0012 of the population. Actual chromosomal anomolies are 0.25% of the population. And you would know if you are intersex.
        But the stereotypes around gender are ridiculous, so that is why I am not too concerned about the idea of “gender non-binary”. But that is not the same as “sexual non-binary”. Sex cannot be changed. But I think that transgender activists are very confused about this all, and they love to stereotype. One definition of gender is “the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)”
        So men and women should be free to wear what they want to wear, have any hairstyles they like etc etc, but they are still men and women. And should the term “son” or “daughter” follow the sex of the person or how they like to dress etc? The latter would be stereotyping, so I would vote for the former.
        The transactivists equate gender identity and sexual identity. The former is an artificial construct which I am happy seeing debunked. The latter is based in fact and biology.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello
    OMG! I was so happy to read this…going through this with my 14 yr old step daughter. Man society and others make us feel like we have to conform and go with everything our children tell us. But my husband and i dont feel like we should agree with it all. What happened to parents parenting. Thank you again for letting us know there are parents who will not conform.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My daughter announced she was transgender and had body dysmorphia at 12…she was assaulted at 8 and disclosed and was interviewed by police just 6 months prior to this….her father who has mental health issues then had a full breakdown and left the family home….she began self harming and attempted suicide…now we are looking at an assessment of autism….the best way to describe where I am with all this is I feel I have no confidence in her ability to make decisions…I believe her transgender belief is underpinned by sexual trauma.and her feeling she isn’t like other girls…which could be due to autism…I too was told I was transphobic…I don’t call her by her male name or use male pronouns…she wears boys clothes…short hair…and uses a male name….this is slowly destroying me…I joined mermaids but I can’t do what they do…feel a failure…struggling here

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    • What would make your son happy? That’s what you must think about here. Calling him a girl and not by his name won’t make him happy. I’m not saying let him walk over you but don’t walk over him. Parenting isn’t just one way street. Be mindful of each other. Get support from mermaids to be better. You must mourn the death of a daughter

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      • Mermaids???? Get support from Mermaids??? That’s exactly what you and she must not do. They will support her to eugenics and to leaving her family. Get your support here, read and ask questions. Remember you are the parent and legally have jurisidiction over your child. Remember EVERY child at this age is driving their parents crazy, over control, clothing, drugs, something; remember teens bucking against parents is normal, but transgendering is not.

        Your daughter is not dead and you have nothing to mourn. What crap is that? Keep in the fight. This is what it means to be a mother: you NEVER concede no matter what. Your job is to do what’s best for her, no matter how ugly it gets. Teach these people the meaning of the word MOTHER. Never give in.

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      • Lena, I really think it depends on the age of the child and the circumstances. Going overboard and being too aggressive can have bad results too (I.e. suicide, running away, etc). I agree to your point that solely getting information from a Center is not the only information and assistance you should be getting as a family because they do lean toward transitioning rather than helping the child to figure out their future. In my case, I strongly took a stance when I felt my daughter was no longer suicidal however once she turned 18 and was legally considered an adult, she started hormone treatments, had breast removal surgery and a hysterectomy and will no longer have anything to do with me. Yes learn from others and their stories, get facts and try to be understanding but firm, and every situation is different but yet the same. Everyone needs to make decisions when it comes to their own children and all you can do is hope for the best. I wish there were some stronger rules for doctors and surgeons to enforce waiting until they are old enough to make life changing decisions but because this has only become a larger issue over the past few years the governments have not gotten a handle on things yet which is truly unfortunate.

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      • “Going overboard and being too aggressive can have bad results too (I.e. suicide, running away, etc).”

        Is that the 2017 version of “you’re over-reacting”? And suicide, running away caused by you being too aggressive?

        You did not cause your daughter to run away: they did.

        Get back in the game. Start by telling whichever trans*psych told you this is your fault to fuck off.

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  5. Thank you for this post. 3 days ago my 12 years old daughter told her father that she is a boy. Not that she wants to be a boy, she is a boy. I’m trying to give her the space and support, but deep inside I know she’s not a boy, she was never a girly girl but neither acted as a boy. She looks like a 15 years old, grew phisicaly too fast and now she’s a kid in the body of a woman. It’s breaking my heart, she doesn’t want to go to school because she feels she’s lying to her friends by not telling how she feels; yet at the same time I can’t see why she worry so much all day. She has always been very obsessive and I think now transgender is her new focus. She read all she needed to know, so now the arguments are very rational and she just won’t accept any opposition. She’s sweet and carying, yet she looks so lost, I’m confused because of all the media. When did being transgender became a “normal” phase in childhood?????

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    • It’s not a part of normal childhood. It is a social contagion that many kids seem to be picking up on. I would not suggest being supportive. You need to read through many articles and learn as much as you can. You need to tell her that she can never become a boy-she can only have surgery and take testosterone which will change her body forever but not who she really is which is a girl. You have your own relationship with your daughter so I can’t tell you what to do but she needs time to sort this out in her head and see it’s a load of crap. You have to buy that time anyway you can and keep giving her correct information even if she doesn’t like it. Anyway that’s my advice. Maybe others will have different advice. I hope you hear from many people. Following @4thwavenow on twitter is the best thing you can do to find others who are combatting this insanity. My best wishes to you and your family.

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      • Exploring themselves is completely normal in childhood. It always will be. If he feels like a boy he is a boy.
        Case closed mam

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      • Just stop thinking and repeat after me: A child is always right. Parents should ignore any insight or prior knowledge they may have about their children. Gender therapists, and especially anonymous trolls on the Internet know best. Case closed “mam.”

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      • Oh, I see you subscribe to the gender dust from the magic gender unicorn theory. If a child feels something it’s true. Well serious studies show that up to 90% of kids lose their gender dysphoria if left alone but cult advocates like yourself rush in to push parents out and push kids down the transitioning trail. It ends with broken lives, kids and families. Here’s an idea: Why don’t you trans-activists mind your own business and take care of your own unfortunate children and let other adults take care of their families. All of the women on this thread would appreciate that very much. Those are the facts mam.

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      • Agreed they are pushing this as a societal norm, it’s not normal teenage behavior. My daughters mannerisms have changed over the years from feminine mannerisms to borderline masculine mannerism. To me it’s pretending to be something that she’s not. People say just accept her for who she is, however this is not who she is. Plus they would feel differently if it was their child. This stuff is widespread on the internet and on TV. It’s like the mentally ill have taken over and now things that where at one time mental illness have become societal norms.

        It’s a hard situation and my heart goes out to anyone dealing with it. I question my parenting, maybe if I had done something differently.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Seriously stop being transphobic,

        Why don’t you stop worrying about other people’s children? “Boy” and “girl” aren’t FEELINGS, they’re facts of biology. You should seriously go study some.

        Liked by 1 person

    • a lot of people have said cutting down on internet access and finding some kind of replacement activity that involves physical movement has been helpful for their kids. I would also ask her what it is about her that she feels is incompatible with being female. What makes someone a boy or girl, in her opinion? I think you will find that she has absorbed a lot of negative messages about what girls are “supposed” to be. The truth is that there is not a way of being or personality or interest or lifestyle that is incompatible with being female.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The article in Quilette by Lisa Marciano touched on all the things that I bought up to the gender therapist at CHOP. When I said to the therapist “are you aware that groups of girls are transitioning together?” Her reply was ” oh yes I’m perfectly aware of this. These girls are redefining gender and sexuality”. Those were her words verbatim. In other words groups of girls that used to be called lesbians are now turning themselves into Straight” guys. My child gets furious if anyone says she is a lesbian. How the hell is that healthy thinking??? All I know is I used to have a caring loving healthy daughter and now I’m sitting and waiting for testosterone to change her into something she can never be. Thanks to all the activists,therapists, gender specialists and media for taking my daughters healthy body!!!! Go to hell all of you for dismissing all my concerns. I have never in my life felt such a helpless rage

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I guess this will be like the opiod crisis which was created by the medical profession . How long are all these professionals just going to go along with this. How many young women’s bodies and fertility and health will need to be sacrificed until the therapists wake the hell up and stop this????

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Seriously stop being transphobic:
    Exploring themselves is completely normal in childhood. It always will be. If she thinks she feels like a boy, she thinks she feels like a boy.
    Since when is thinking and feeling factual?
    People used to think the earth was flat, radiation was good for you, heroin was a good ingredient for cough syrup, bloodletting was good for you, mercury could cure syphilis, tobacco was good for the teeth and all sorts of other things, lobotomies were good for treating PTSD, tapeworms were a good way to lose weight, cocaine was a good thing to have in coke, etc. We could carry on all day!

    If a kid exploring their “gender”just wanted to experiment with different clothes and hairstyles, that would be fine. But these days they are heavily encouraged to bind or tuck, take cross-hormones, have surgery; that are either entirely or partially irreversible, can cause serious damage, or even take their lives. “Dribbling” and loss of sexual pleasure seem to be acceptable risks by the surgeons. And infertility a trifling inconsequence.

    These medical procedures need to be delayed until full maturation of the brain (25 years), and after adequate psychotherapy for possible depression, anxiety, Aspergers, post-traumatic stress disorder etc etc.

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  9. when i was 13, i wanted a nose job in the worst way. my parents said ‘no way jose.’ end of story. of course, by the time i was old enough to afford to do it myself, i had long since moved on.

    but what if they had agreed? i might have lost my precious and irreplaceable sense of smell.

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    • Muriel, I totally agree. Though we were teenagers once too, and thought we knew everything, teenagers are not old enough to make life changing decisions because their bodies and brains are still developing. My daughter is 19 and has already had the breast removal surgery and hysterectomy and I worry a few years from now she’s going to regret it, maybe she won’t but parents want the best for their children (whatever that may be) but kids don’t want to listen to reasoning. There should be some age restrictions on not only testosterone but major surgeries as well, at least age 25 which is when their brains have fully developed. Sigh…

      Liked by 2 people

      • GrievingMom, and anyone else listening, my 20 year old daughter announced out of the blue almost 2 years ago that she was male after going away to first semester at college.. No signs whatsoever growing up, other than socially awkward. Very smart, shy. Announced she was gay her senior year of high school, dated a girl, which we accepted – she struggled with anxiety, depression in high school, but no “gender dysphoria” issue. Her coming out as male was angry and she became verbally and even physically violent when we tried to talk with her about it. She started testosterone about a year and a half ago, and that definitely made the depression and anger/profanity/violence worse, at least around me and my husband. My husband, at the beginning, said we should/would just take her off our insurance, but she threatened to kill herself, or tell us the she would not be around much longer if she wasn’t able to get “top surgery” soon, because she’s in so much pain and in so much danger of someone killing her for being trans. We said we wouldn’t be paying for any medical intervention, couldn’t afford it, expressed that we disapproved and thought she was making a huge mistake. We kept her on our insurance, because of her mental health issues and since we couldn’t afford a separate policy for her (thinking we would get one that would not have coverage for gender survey to slow this down0. She’s since failed out of college, but due to her depression and suicide threats (plus a further trauma involving the suicide of a roommate) we’ve continued to support her financially , paying rent, providing weekly food money. She has been working in a restaurant, had two jobs for bit, to save money for “top surgery” (radical double mastectomy’). We did not think she would ever save enough to go forward so soon, that the process would naturally be slowed down because she was having difficulty getting approval letters from her therapist and psychiatrist. i had been in contact with both of them to let them know of her instability, the suicide threats, and even a threat last month over the phone to “cut us” or kill herself if we stopped any of her medical benefits. So, despite this, the psychiatrist signed off on the paperwork to the insurance company, as did the ‘doctor’ providing her the hormones, and our insurance approved the surgery as ‘medically necessary.’ She has scheduled the surgery with an out of state gender surgery center (it’s done on an out-patient basis) and is taking a ‘road trip’ with her friends, staying at a hotel to have this done. Right before the holidays. My husband and i are heartbroken, angry that we enabled this while just trying to support her through her mental health issues, and I wake up every morning, panic and anxiety setting in immediately, and scrambling for a way to stop her before she completes this next step. We met in person last week and I calmly expressed all of our concerns, including that since she is only 20, what if she regrets this in 2-3 years or more? She only came out as male less than 2 years ago, and so her mind could change again. I explained that we grow so much in our lives that we are not the same people when we are 20 as when we are even 25 or 30 and would not make those same decisions in many cases as the younger version of ourselves. She said that she believed that this would make her feel happier and less anxious and depressed about her body, which is what her psychiatrist (a male!) told her. She said she wouldn’t be talked out of it and accused me of trying to control her as always. We have two other kids still at home and so we have tried to maintain peace here, and keep going, but this latest plan has pushed me over the edge to absolute anxiety and panic. My husband is now saying we should have just thrown her off benefits at the beginning and is blaming me for that, but he also says, like everyone else including my own therapist, that there’s nothing we can do at this point other than try to keep lines of communication open for when/if everything falls apart. To let her make her own mistakes and work through this. But, as the mother of this once beautiful, happy, and intelligent girl, I woke up again today in this heightened state of panic and anxiety and am feeling that I, as her mother, I should do everything within my power to protect her, stop her from doing this, and so cancel her from our insurance, so that the surgery will be stopped. I know her response will be to threaten to or may actually kill herself, or threaten or actually physically attack us. Others say that this decision to take her off benefits should have been done at the beginning, and so by financially supporting her while she saved money for it, we’ve “enabled” it and shouldn’t pull the rug out at the last minute. i feel, and have told her repeatedly, that she should at least wait for some time to be certain; she said she hadn’t thought at all that she would have regret, until I mentioned it, but if she did, she would just have further surgery to add her breasts back on and change back to a woman! This to me expresses the level of maturity and lack of foresight behind all of this, plus all of this has been driven by her depression, and I think as a solution to fix that. None of the therapists have worked together to address those issues; one therapist would not sign the approval letter, and so my daughter dropped him and found someone who would. She was even surprised at how quickly it was approved by the insurance company, so her out of pocket amount is much less than she thought she’d need, so she can do this right away. I’m sick over this. All of the cult mentality and social PC at her college town is cheering her on in this as if she’s a hero and brave and her only circle of friends are all trans men, including her roommates.

        Please, GrievingMom, and anyone else who’s had to live through this up to this point, please advise me on what I should do, how you handled this as far as coping with the surgery- did you try to stop her? Should I pull the insurance at the 11th hour and hope she’s not sincere in her threats? Even if she didn’t have the insurance, there still clinics out there who do this now for very cheaply, do not require any letters from a psychiatrist or other doctor, as long as they pay cash up from and treat it as “cosmetic surgery,” including the clinic where she’s going. the point is that she still would probably do it, eventually, without the insurance, but we wouldn’t be supporting/condoning and it would slow this down. I think that she is so unstable and so convinced this was fix all of her problems, that if we did cancel insurance so she’ have to wait, she might harm herself. Please, anyone, any advice? Thank you and I pray and hope for all of you.

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      • Hi HopingForMiracle, my heart truly goes out to you. There are so many people with similar yet different stories and the more I hear the more I think this is cult like, especially when I hear the exact same quotes (word for word like they are reading a script) from kids of other parents. I’m not sure I’m the one to give advice because nothing I did seemed to make a difference to my daughter. Once the become an adult, there’s really nothing a parent can do to stop this nonsense and it seems the more we so no, the harder they push to do it. Like your daughter, mine never showed any signs of being male, admitted she was bisexual at 16, then lesbian at 17, now at 19 has been on hormones for a year, has had breast removal surgery and a hysterectomy. It all happened so fast!

        As far as cancelling your insurance, that’s up to you. Yes it may prolong the surgery but you know your daughter better than anyone so you are the only one that can judge what her reaction will be and if she’s bound and determined to do it then unfortunately she will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

        If you still have somewhat of a good communication line with her, try to talk to her more but get some real facts and statistics to show her. If you have something to back up what you are saying it not only shows her you do care about her enough to look into all of this but may also open her eyes to things she maybe hasn’t considered. Present the information without getting too emotional (I know, easier said than done…sigh…) and hopefully she will take a moment to consider before jumping into things.

        I wish you luck and pray you will have better results than I did. Hugs!

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  10. Wow Riley! Thanks! We’ve never been told that line before!! Wow gosh it’s the exact opposite for my kid. Never once self harmed but now that “he is on testosterone he is now self harming and said he wants to kill himself. Hmmm… what do you make of that? In fact every step my kid has taken towards “his” authentic self has increased his anxiety and depression! So I guess I just need to be more affirming and it will all be cool.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. @ Riley : my sarcastic gender has finally come out. Today I I ran as fast as my dog and so therefore I decided that I am a dog too. I even painted like him and my hair color is similar so I really really think I am a dog now. Is there a therapist out there that can help me be a dog? Would you rather have an alive human or a dead dog? I am very afraid that if my parents don’t agree with me even though they’re in their 80s then I might have to kill my dog.

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  12. Everything I predicted to the gender therapist is coming true. I told them that she sees this as the answer to all her bad feelings around being a girl and if going on hormones doesn’t prove to be the answer to those problems that things would get real ugly. So now my kid is self harming and suicidal. Hmm….. but I thought the hormones were the magic cure?!!! I told her therapist everyone is just enabling here and because I try to point out reality I am the evil one. Wow! I always thought I put my kids and their needs first? So now my kid won’t go on medication for depression cause she’s worried about side effects!!! Lol! What a horrible jolke! Any studies on T worsening depression and anxiety?? I give up. I have tried everything and I’m about to lose it. So I just give up. I guess my kid has to learn the hard way. Too bad she will probably lose her fertility and health to learn a lesson. Seems like an awfully big price to pay for a teenage mistake

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    • My heart goes out to you Awakened. I hope that your kid sees the light soon. It IS a huge price to pay. What is behind this mass loss of commonsense?

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    • Depression is a side effect of testosterone which is why I don’t understand why they steer these already depressed kids and young adults to take it. I just want to take my child and shake her and ask her what the f&*k she is doing. It is so hard to sit back and watch your child ruin their life and try to become something they will NEVER be!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you so much for this. I’m afraid my sister is pushing my niece into being trans while she is just a 13 yo uncomfortable in her own skin. While I’m still not sure what to do, I’m grateful to hear that other youngsters have gone through similar phases.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m pretty sure part of the allure of the whole trans scene is the absolute control this kids feel. It’s heady and intoxicating. Especially to kids who feel they have so little control over life. It’s a way to explain their pain and also a way to express that pain. I think it really is so similar to anorexia and self harm. The only difference is nobody in society afffirms the latter. I have talked privately with many teens and young adults and they are very aware that this frequently happens in groups. These teens already know it’s a social contagion. I wonder when the experts will finally admit the same??

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never thought of it as the same as those things but I think you’re absolutely right. My daughter is a completely different person since and I do feel like she feels more powerful and kind of a high with being this way. This is a very good point.

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  15. DragonLily… yes, I have seen a change in personality with my child as well. A lot of parents on this site have expressed the same. It’s not a positive change either! I feel so bad for these kids. They don’t understand what a destructive path this is and as frustrated as I get with my kid…I don’t blame her at all. I do blame all the idiots out there that are pushing this as healthy. I will have a very difficult time ever fully trusting the medical and mental health profession ever again. If they can experiment on young healthy bodies in such a callous way then what is stopping them from doing worse to older people?

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