Adrift on the River Trans

by missingdaughter

missingdaughter is the mother of a daughter who went missing in college; she disappeared into a “safe place.”


 Endless Identities

What happens when there are no limits to how we define ourselves?

What is real? It used to be obvious.

People become lost seeking identities.

Our story: With our own daughter, we witnessed a total erasure of self. Her history, appearance, real concrete facts, our family history–obliterated. Flipping through dark rooms on the internet = gone.

Artificial identities can be created, and they have grown exponentially since the birth of the Internet. Immediate, intimate, brain-searing, stranger-advice and images all become siren calls for the disturbed who are looking for way to channel pain or explain it. But could it be that sometimes the imagery and intimacy of the Internet Siren are the cause of the identity meltdown, the disturbance?

Lila Greenfeld , a professor at Boston University, writes:

As I argue in my recent book Mind, Modernity, Madness, the reason for high concentrations of severe mental illness in the developed West lies in the very nature of Western societies. The “virus” of depression and schizophrenia, including their milder forms, is cultural in origin: the embarrassment of choices that these societies offer in terms of self-definition and personal identity leaves many of their members disoriented and adrift.

The US offers the widest scope for personal self-definition; it also leads the world in judgment-impairing disease. Unless the growing prevalence of serious psychopathology is taken seriously and addressed effectively, it is likely to become the only indicator of American leadership.

It’s not that the delusional didn’t exist before the advent of the Internet. They did. But perhaps the Internet spreads things, like a cold virus wreaking havoc on an airplane.

 Madness and Identities

An article by Carl Elliot, A New Way to Be Mad, tells of an odd disorder– the desire to be an amputee. I found this article (written in 2000) fascinating, because many of the author’s cultural observations, as well as the behaviors described, foretell of the expanding transgender movement we see today.

The phenomenon is not as rare as one might think: healthy people deliberately setting out to rid themselves of one or more of their limbs, with or without a surgeon’s help. Why do pathologies sometimes arise as if from nowhere? Can the mere description of a condition make it contagious?

Language can make a condition contagious. Language can create an identity.

But we shouldn’t be surprised when any of these people, healthy or sick, uses phrases like “becoming myself” and I was incomplete” and “the way I really am” to describe what they feel, because the language of identity and selfhood surrounds us.

The Internet magnifies the language and the message.

On the Internet, you can find a community to which you can listen or reveal yourself, and instant validation for your condition, whatever it may be.

Says one amputee in Elliot’s article, who also turns out to be transsexual.“There was a huge hole to be filled and the Internet began to fill it.”

Fifteen years after Elliot wrote his piece, there are now seemingly infinite descriptions of trans and queer identities on the Internet. Some involve role-playing. There are sexual fetishes and micro-definitions of selfhood. Yes, some are relatively tame, and simply answer queries about awkward adolescent angsts. But the intimate stranger playing the teacher-role will invariably suggest that your child has an alternative identity.

Elliot says in his Atlantic article that “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn is an influential novel in certain psychopathology communities. Apparently, it is compelling to some to be different, to distinguish oneself from the cookie cutter masses–to be distinct, better?

I started to notice that term, Geek, coming up a lot with my daughter. I suppose it means different things to different people. She seemed to use it to define herself as intellectual—in the way that a genius might not have the best possible social skills. And then the term queer reared its head. Queer as in non-binary, different, none-of-the-above. Looking into it more, I see that the Geek and Queer world collude and collide on the college campus. To take but one of countless examples, http://www.queergeektheory.org/ is a site and study by a Women’s Studies/LGBT Studies Professor at The University of Maryland. Queer-geek, apparently, is a new definition of selfdom.

We live in an age of micro-identities. Micro-identities will splinter you into a gazillion tiny quarks. Do you want to live in Quarksville?

quark subatomic explosion

Could the rise of transgenderism be a transient mental illness?

Why do certain psychopathologies arise, seemingly out of nowhere, in certain societies and during certain historical periods, and then disappear just as suddenly?

In Mad Travelers/Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses, philosopher and historian of science Ian Hacking discusses the phenomenon of transient mental illnesses and how they arise, limited to a certain time and place, and how they spread in ecological niches.

Niches require vectors, and Hacking emphasizes four that are essential for a transient mental illness to thrive:

1) Medical. The illness should fit into a larger framework of diagnosis, a taxonomy of illness.

2) Cultural polarity The illness should be situated between two elements of contemporary culture, one romantic and the other tending to crime. What counts as crime or virtue is itself a characteristic of the larger society.

3) Observability. The disorder should be visible as a disorder, as suffering, as something to escape.

4) Release. The illness, despite the pain, provides a release that is not available elsewhere in the culture where it thrives.

Hacking writes of “the fugue,” a transient mental illness first named and observed in late 19th century France. It was considered a dissociative disorder, and arose in young men expressly by their excessive/obsessive wandering—and resulted in the loss of self and memory. The first identified patient with this newly-termed illness was named Albert.

Albert and his doctors establish, in a hyperbolic way, the possibility of the fugue as a diagnosis. Everything I am about to describe could be fantasy. Everything could be what in the trade is called “Folie à deux”, half madness, half folly, produced by the interaction of the doctor and the patient.

Hacking writes about how this new diagnosis took flight; a disorder that had barely been described was now considered commonplace. “Mad Travelers” also talks about anorexia as a transient mental illness:

The suffering is manifest, but are we talking about behavior that is produced by stereotypes of female beauty, combined with a way of rebelling against parents, or are we talking about a “real mental disorder”?

Could we not be talking about the epidemic of transgender here?

Changing Souls

In another work, Rewriting the Soul Multiple Personality and The Science of Memory, Ian Hacking writes of semantic contagion:

When we think of an action as of a certain kind, our mind runs to other acts of that kind. Thus, classifying an act in a new way may lead us on to others.

How do we form our identities? Hacking’s observation applies to many ideas and the identities that flower from these ideas. We all know that pornography is widely available on the Internet. I had previously considered pornography as something that some men got hooked on; something that would be natural for a teenage boy to click on. But I think the viewing of pornography is more common in girls than many parents would like to think. There is a realm of queer pornography–queer, as a steppingstone to transgender. The pornography of the dark internet is brain-warping, soul-warping. Call it identity-warping if you’d rather.

One thing that some pornography does is to disseminate new modes of action, new descriptions, verbal or visual.

What we have seen with our daughter seems to be a dissociative disorder—a total disconnection from and loss of self.  Hacking’s books are both about dissociative disorders, or what used to be called hysteria. Can one not think of mass hysteria when we see so many young people declaring themselves “trans”?

When Hacking writes of transient mental illnesses reinforced by the psych community, he includes the epidemics of fugue in 19th century Europe (young men wandering the continent with no memories), as well as the multiple personality disorder explosion in America of the 1970s-1980s.

In the New Yorker issue April 3rd, 2017, Rachel Aviv writes in “The Apathetic” about a mysterious illness affecting refugee children in Sweden. Some of these children whose families were denied asylum have fallen into a coma– a cultural response? a transient mental illness? that expresses their pain. One child, Georgi, describes the experience of being trapped in a glass box—dreamlike—until slowly he realized that the glass wasn’t really there. “The glass wasn’t real. And now—now I understand that it wasn’t real at all. But, at that time, it was very difficult, because every move could kill you, I was living there.”

Transgenderism has found its ecological niche in Western culture, here and now. I first thought of the college campus and high school campus as possible ecological niches, until I realized that the trans condition has metastasized and is now found widely across the Western world. To be clear, Western world means societies that affirm transgenderism, promote it, give it special protected status, and naturally pay for all the treatments to become a different person.

Hacking describes what he terms the “looping effect”: people become aware of how they are being classified, which then results in the person altering their behavior and self-conceptions in response to their classification.

Classifying a phenomenon as a medical condition amplifies and colludes with broader cultural forces to create the condition. Susceptible young people who think they have this “condition of trans” are being fast-forwarded into medical treatment–permanent, harmful, devastating treatments that maim the individual, the family, and the wider society. We now have a transient mental illness mating with a social theory (gender theory was invented in the 1970s as an offshoot of feminist theory) to produce a mutant: a perfectly fine, healthy young man or woman mutilated to resemble the opposite. It is dehumanizing.

Contagious Desire

Ian Hacking uses the term “semantic contagion” to describe the way in which publicly identifying and describing a condition creates the means by which that condition spreads. He says it is possible for people to reinterpret their past in light of a new conceptual category.

Speaking of semantics, my references to transgenderism reflect the “new transgenderism” and not the old. I do not refer to the very young being gender-confused—persistently genderconfused. I refer to a movement that muddles sexuality and gender and opens the gender-revolving door to any who enter, as in, choose thy gender and medicalize it and surgicalize it.

There is much re-writing of history among the young adults proclaiming transgender. Hacking, in Rewriting the Soul, addresses memoro politics:

The doctrine that memory should be thought of as a narrative is an aspect of memoro politics. We constitute our souls by making up our lives, that is, by weaving stories about our past, by what we call memories.

Ask a parent about their daughter who has suddenly announced that she is a “trans man” without any signs of her being gender-atypical and then you discover that many in her friend group are doing the same. Social contagion. Mass hysteria. Memoro Politics. The looping effect is magnified by the identity-seeker.

Warped Adolescence

When we are young, in our formative years, we are heavily influenced and shaped by our environment. Current brain development science tells us we are still in-process until age 26 or so. Our experiences and exposures and perceptions shape our developing character. The young person who gets sucked down the wrong tunnel of the Internet is in danger of derailing from their true selfhood. The notion of gender identity seems based on gender stereotypes. Since when are all men the same and all women the same? Of course, much of gender is based on culture but not all–so what? Duh—girls are not born loving pink.

What about sexuality? Some people are sexually fluid; some are firmly rooted in one camp from an early age. Yes, for some there is a biological, perhaps genetic influence. Others have their sexuality tweaked by obviously, experiences, but in these days much experience is virtual: viewing a screen behind a closed door—extreme stuff that creates identities, names the identities, labels the person. Again, brain-warping, soul-warping, warped.

Science and Progress

If “progressive” ideas have brought us the notion of gender destruction with the ultimate goal of body destruction, no thank you—I’ll take our original form.

Thomas S. Kuhn writes in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions that the scientific community can be guilty of linear thinking.

When a revolution (in science) repudiates a past paradigm, a scientific community simultaneously renounces, as a fit subject for professional scrutiny, most of the books and articles in which that paradigm has been embodied.

Kuhn suggests that scientific education would be better off with the model of the art museum or a library of classics, not the repudiation that can be a drastic distortion of a discipline’s past. Kuhn believed that science didn’t advance in a steady march of incremental progress; scientific insight could happen in great bursts. One interpretation of this is that ideas of years or decades earlier may be valid–or the correct theory. A discovery could burst forward in science, have a breakthrough, and the progress/idea could also rain down as a cloudburst.

It is one thing to be young and experiment with presentation. But when we medicalize and surgicalize a social movement, a transient mental illness, we cause harm to every one of us. As with Georgi, the young Swedish boy in The Apathetic, who felt trapped in a glass box, how do we break the glass and release our children trapped in the transgender glass box?

The Wide, Muddy and Turbulent River Trans

I think of the many streams of young people attracted to transgenderism. I think of a river composed of many tributaries, of a drainage of dendrites: the girl without a strong identity who goes searching, the girl who was a bit tomboyish but still happy being a girl, the teen girl who identified as lesbian until the muddling of sexual identity and gender identity pushed her over the bank, the socially awkward, those identified as being on the autism spectrum, those with serious mental illnesses that alter perception, the self-haters on the gamut spanning cutting, anorexia, transgender,  the boy who identified as gay and then took it a step further, the teens lost on identity-sucking websites, those hooked on pornography of a certain kind, the gamers and cosplayers who forget what is real, all of those young lives, each unique, each precious, all of them young men and women with their entire lives ahead of them sucked down the wide and muddy and turbulent River Trans and out to sea.

Loss

When your child re-writes history and does everything, she can to cease to exist, she re-writes your history too. There is the daughter you have known since birth. You know her. Yes, I grant that we can never truly know another. But when your child takes a 180 degree turn from herself, from her family, from all who know and love her, when she hates herself and hates you, it is a death.

We do not exist in a vacuum. We are all connected, a part of our immediate family, extended family, friends, village. When an individual is lost, the entire village will search. If we don’t, we will all become lost. Moral relativism, individual libertarianism, whatever, we say, that’s cool, I’m Ok–You’re OK, whatever you want to do—as though that person exists in a vacuum and has no connections.

When everything is okay, nothing is okay. We all lose.


The below is excerpted from

A Poem Epilogue by James Dickey (1966)

Turning Away

Variations on Estrangement

 I

Something for a long time has gone wrong,

Got in between this you and that other one other

And now here  you must turn away.

Beyond! Beyond! Another life moves

In numbing clarity begins

By looking out the simple-minded window,

The face untimely relieved

Of living the expression of its love.

                               

II

Shy, sad, adolescent separated—out

with its nerveless vision

Of sorrow, its queen-killing glare:

The gaze stands alone in the meadow

Like a king starting out on a journey

Away from all things that he knows.

It stands there  there

 

With the ghost’s will to see and not tell

What it sees with its nerveless vision

Of sorrow, its queen-killing glare:

 

 

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115 thoughts on “Adrift on the River Trans

  1. Thank you. This is my story right now. My little girl is gone and in her place is a very angry “man” who hates me and wants nothing to do with me or “his” family. And as a mom it’s really hard to see how it went so horribly wrong and what I could have done differently.

    Liked by 9 people

      • Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t be too sure things might have gone differently “if only”. I do that to myself all of the time, but I think my daughter’s dislike for her understanding of what it means to be a woman started long ago, and although I noticed little things here and there, I never would have imagined her thinking could lead to something as drastic as choosing a transgender outcome. And from what she told me, it is definitely her choice. I know there was a period of time while she hesitated and could have chosen another path…but it was all before she told me anything and I’ve had to piece things together afterwards. Again, how could I have done anything when “transgender” never even entered my head. It was in her head only. Internet inspired, peer supported, therapist affirmed…and mother-daughter bond ignored.

        Liked by 5 people

    • I am so sorry you & your family are going through this.

      I notice you describe your girl being replaced by an angry “man”. I was watching a recent interview with “Catilyn” Jenner, who reportedly recently had “bottom” surgery, achieving what Jenner has been saying was a lifelong dream – a milestone that usually goes along with at least a temporary lift in mood – but Jennet looked Really Angry.

      I notice so many trans activists seem really angry – angry at “cis” people (I hate that word), angry at society, claiming to be seeking “rights”. Yet they have the same rights we all do, even the right to mutilate their bodies. And it doesn’t seem to be making them happy.

      The fact that so many trans people cut off families completely suggests to me that this is a cult, and these ideas aren’t originating in the people who are going this route. I wonder if this has something to do with why they all seem so angry and so in the mood to make demands on their families, communities and society overall, sort of as a way to cement the new faux identity. If one is screaming at other people, it downs out any nagging doubts about the claims they are simultaneously buying and selling.

      Liked by 6 people

      • This is a brilliant observation about Jenner, Trish, and your larger analysis of why so many trans are angry. There is another blog by a parent, transcritical, I forget the name of it, who highlights sections of online posts by kids who are exploring or questioning a trans identity. On one post in particular, a boy is egged on by others, telling him his dysphoria (intrusive thoughts of *not* being trans, which keep recurring despite his small steps toward a trans identity and transition) will decrease if he keeps taking further steps toward “transition.” Cross-dressing. Wearing women”s underwear full-time, even at night. Demanding preferred pronouns, or whatever.

        But others who have identified as trans, have written that they discovered taking those steps did *not* relieve their dysphoria, their persistent thoughts of *not* being trans: remaining aware of their actual sex.

        We can imagine a little of the frustration and anger Jenner might feel, going through all he has surgically and otherwise, only to discover that yet another surgery, even the ultimate surgery, hasn’t stopped his persistent intruding awareness he is male.

        So family and society become the new targets: if only everyone else agreed they were the opposite sex, their pesky, distressing dysphoria would finally stop. Perhaps this is why transactivists will not rest until everyone on earth has been fully brainwashed into the cult, and as many children as possible have been transed, to validate the opposite-sex part of the identities of trans-identified adults.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for your words. The wide, muddy and turbulent river, indeed. I am so so sad for all of us here and our sons and daughters. Thank goodness though, that we can at least support each other with our words.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Yes, this is also me and my daughter. I sometimes feel like posting a memory wall of photos of her and her with her girlfriends and with her family online. There she is, my beautiful daughter and completely content with her female self and female friends. She was always requesting that she and I have “girl days” when even her brother was not allowed. I know that posting such photos would create a backlash because “she was really born male and just had to become her authentic self and how dare you remind yourself or anyone else of all those years when she had not realized who she really was” or something of the sort.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Dear GILAW,

      I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through with your daughter.

      I hope you will create that online memory wall anyway.

      What do you have to lose, if she’s already convinced she’s a man? Yes, she may hate or disown you. You may fear you’ll lose her forever. But that might happen anyway. It might even more likely happen because a parent didn’t speak up enough.

      Posting those old photos also might cause her to eventually, grudgingly, reintegrate or reconcile with her former self, by such a powerful action as posting her life story as female where she knows she can see it 24/7.

      I’m not one who’s good at biting my tongue with others for long. People are often shocked by my candor and even harsh bluntness to others. But time and again, the recipients have come back and thanked me, or taken my advice, or reconsidered their viewpoints after I’ve spoken my truth.

      I was just chastised 3 days ago by a third party, after speaking my truth to a mutual friend who was procrastinating severely on something. But 3 hours later, my friend called me and had reconsidered, taking me up on my offer to help her with what she was procrastinating on. What started out as a mild argument resulted in her moving forward on a crisis she had been avoiding working on, and she thanked me for it. Speaking my truth and frustration, standing my ground, helped the situation.

      I’m not a parent. (I’m not of the view that that disqualifies me from saying things about parenting. I think non-parents can still have useful insights at times. All of us have been children. Many of us have taken.care of children. And sometimes psychology that applies to adults applies to kids. I also have taken ECE classes and learned from parenting experts/educators.)

      One thing I’ve observed often on 4th Wave Now is parents here who are afraid of saying or doing what they wish to or think might help their child, for fear of their children’s anger, or of losing their child. At those times, it seems that the child is in charge.

      I’ve also observed on here that those parents whose child has finally desisted from a trans identity report that they lovingly held their ground and kept speaking their truth (with an occasional meltdown or outburst on their own, because they’re human, in a very tough situation).

      I humbly think parents should muster more courage to lovingly speak their truth about their child’s trans identity. It may be exactly what their kids are crying out for: limits. Parental guidance. Parental opinions. Sometimes it’s super annoying to deal with passive, opinionless parents or friends. Sometimes, you just want someone to set some boundaries of they tend not to.

      I have no idea what kind of parent you are, but for those who do have a pattern of being afraid to be assertive or set limits on their kids (and again, I have no idea of that applies to you), the child may be imploring the parent to be more assertive and set limits on them (no matter how much the child is having tantrums.) I have begun to wonder, from reading parent’s stories on here, if parents who are either authoritarian, or passive, may be more likely to have kids who identify as trans than parents who are authoritative in style.

      I think of authoritative parenting as an educational style – continually communicating one’s beliefs and values, explaining one’s reasons for those beliefs and values, and engaging the child in discussions about those beliefs/values from an early age, teaching the child critical thinking methods as a result, and allowing/encouraging the child to discuss and work out their beliefs, with a lot of input from the parents: NOT laissez-faire parenting, but not authoritarian, either.

      My parents used this style a lot, to prevent/teach.me how to not get mixed up in religion, drugs, smoking, premarital sex (this was the 1960s), resisting peer pressure, etc.

      So I wholeheartedly encourage you (and other parents on here) to express yourself with your daughter as you wish, including that memory board online. Keep saying your piece and ask her to share and discuss what she’s reading, and ask her to read what you are about trans. She may act like she hates you, but she may really, really appreciate and love you for it.

      My apologies for this long post and singling you out. This is more of a general comment for parents on here. It may apply to some and not to others. I don’t want to assume every parent here has the same style or situation. I just want to bolster those parents who indeed are afraid to speak their truths to their kids.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Actually, I have been pretty much the kind of parent that you picture here. My daughter is not speaking with me now. The last straws for her were that I asserted that I am a woman and that I said that I believed only biological females should compete in women’s sports. She called me a string of hateful names and cut off contact. I agree that if things ever change, it will be a good thing that I was kind, loving, and stood my ground about what I believe and why. Her personality is so completely changed right now that she is nearly unrecognizable as the daughter I was close to for 25 years. So, we will see.

        Liked by 5 people

      • I’m so glad you have stood your ground. My apologies for assuming anything else. I’m so sorry this has happened. I can also see societal influences, specifically the transactivists and all their wealth, organization, and power eclipsing what parents have worked so hard to instill in their kids and to have good relationships with them. I hope we can turn this trans ship around soon and that more daughters and sons will be woken out of this.

        This guest post was terrific. I’m continually amazed by the consistent high quality of writing and.thinking on this blog.

        Liked by 3 people

      • fmnst,

        That was a beautiful post.

        I think the person who berated your advice to a third party was very rude (but it is a form of rudeness very common in our sjw-soaked times. I not infrequently witness and experience people who hear part of a comment or conversation deciding it has the worst possible implications and chewing the person out for views they may not even have. Of course explaining just unleashes more fury – these people cannot admit a misstep of any kind.

        I think you’re onto something. I seriously think that a lot of the people who go trans on some level might be seeking a parent to counter the madness. I really think the worst response is to go along with the transition, no questions asked. Sadly, I and my husband are the only two people in our extended family who have not jumped onboard the Hurray For Transition Train in response to a relative who suddenly announced a trans identity about a year ago.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Thanks for your reply, Trish. I’m so glad your relative has at least you and your husband not jumping on the Trans Train. Does this relative know your views? How do they respond? Do they stay in contact with you? Someday, this relative may very well thank you.

        And.yes, it is so easy for SJWs to make quick assumptions (and non SJWs, too) anthem do baseless berating.

        I had a journalism professor.in 1980, ,who.emphasized that the only way to avoid biases from any (and every) news source (because all editorial boards develop their biases, just as each individual has our biases/standpoint), is to intentionally seek out news from the full range of perspectives, and to then use our critical thinking skills to think for ourselves.

        So, it helps to read, say, the New York Times one day, the Washington Post the next, the Christian Science Monitor the next, the American Atheists newsletter the next; Ms Magazine the next, the National Right to Life publication the next; Al Jazeera, Russian Television News the next, Telemundo, BBC World News, Le Monde, Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, Mother Jones, KKK websites gets, not kidding, very eye opening in ways I could.never have anticipated…almost the exact opposite of what I was expecting to see on them!).

        We have become so.partisan in the U.S., so inclined to live.in a red or blue state per.our beliefs, so good at rationalizing *only listening to or reading those who echo our own beliefs* that I believe as a society, we have become too accustomed to avoiding exposing.ourselves to –
        and intolerant of –
        anything that ruffles our feathers.

        So perhaps it should come as small.surprise that kids are going only down certain rabbit holes, and have never even heard the steadying advice to seek out all viewpoints, no matter how uncomfortable, on every issue.

        Pardon, this is just a general musing after reading the wonderful blog post we’re commenting on, not directed at you, the author, or anyone in particular.

        Perhaps what we’re ending to.counteract this cult is a return to encouraging everyone, including ourselves, to seek out news and opinion sources with which we disagree, and jubreadsticks the widest variety of sources, and read them regularly. Then we role-model a willingness to seek out diverse ssources.

        People in my liberal groups are shocked to.hear me quoting from.Fox News or Breitbart from.time to time. But I explain to them it’s so important to read the widest possible sources, to.counteract inevitable news biases, and they get it.

        An easy strategy nowadays is to put Breitbart, Ms., Al Jazeera, etc. in one’s Facebook feed and occasionally read the articles.

        So perhaps I will throw out a little challenge to all the progressives who are reading this, to take a moment right now to go put Breitbart or Fox News in your Facebook feed today.

        Honestly, after reading or watching a wealth of diverse sources, it becomes uncomfortable to *not* know.what the “other sides” are saying on any given issue. It’s a great way to become intellectually detached and more.open than I have been (since.I recently started practicing this again a few years ago)

        It might even inspire some trans-questioning kid to be willing to read this blog, or Gendertrender. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you for your courage in telling the truth. This is a gorgeous piece of writing that captures the true trans phenomenon on so many levels! I wish all of the “liberal” (for lack of a better word) knee-jerk supporters of trans could read this piece and understand the dark underbelly of trans.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Beautiful writing that explicates the deep existential implications of the whole movement. Beyond the considerable physical damage (I’m speaking specifically of FTT and testosterone, here) — the disssociation you are unpacking is at the core of my gut feelings about the wrongness of the whole business.

    How can it be healthy to reject the entirety of your historical self, right back to the birth certificate if possible, and declare yourself to be another entity with a completely different life story? A “true” narrative that is, in fact, made up? How can it be healthy to declare your prior identity dead, as in “deadname?” Not to mention attempting to force all who have known you to say that you are now another person — not just that, but that you were ALWAYS this other person?

    How can it be healthy to posit such a total split between your mind and your body, such that your body is simply clay to be pummeled into a totally different person? As if your body is not actually part of “you” until/unless you radically transform it?

    that can’t be right.

    Liked by 7 people

    • I completely agree with this. This reminds me of the simplistic beliefs I has as a young adult: that I could deny entire parts of myself and my complex feelings, and fit into another identity, and cut off those feelings. It’s taken until my 50s to realize this foolishness of my teens and early 20s. Thank goodness it didn’t involve surgery or taking dangerous medications.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Puzzled,

      I am totally with you on the question of how there could be such a mind-body split that could make someone think they reshape their body into another person. In fact, one thing I have noticed watching a LOT of trans videos is that they seem to me to be proof of how genuinely robust our birth sex is. Even with hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones, upper, bottom & facial surgeries, and often, especially for MTTs, lessons in walking, talking, dressing & makeup (things most women learn about, whether they participate or not, from just living in our society without having to have paid classes), the birth sex is readily apparent. “Caitlyn” Jenner, for the reported $5 million price tag, looks like Bruce, and there are many more examples. And there are so many tells – from face shape, to voice to gestures, to word choices.

      Sex: M/F, sperm/egg, is so robust that it has been part of animal and plant species for at least 1.2 billion years, and with few exceptions, like microbes that engage in mitosis (and even some of them are capable of swapping genes), it is the way DNA moves from generation to generation. Sex is not about identity, it’s about reproduction, and the fact that sex has been taken up as the basis for a create-your-own-identity movement is one of the most bizarre things I have ever witnessed.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. This is a beautiful piece of writing. Everyone should read it. there are so many trails of thread that lead to the ‘transgender’ illusion. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I too want to thank you for trying to explain where we skeptical parents are coming from. Your section on the wide, muddy, and turbulent river trans well expresses my frustration with the one size fits all trans narrative, and I see my daughter in a number of those streams. All I can do now is hope that with time and maturity she will be able to see herself again in her own body, and continue to follow my gut in providing support and love that she can feel to help her make it there and not get sucked out to sea…

    Liked by 8 people

    • I live in that same hope for my daughter who considers herself gender queer nonbianary and wants her breasts removed. She was a beautiful young girl who loved Barbies, Disney Princesses and playing dress up. I hope every day with maturity and new life experiences that girl will come back to me.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. So lovely and sad. Thank you. But I wish I thought Transgenderism were a transient contagion. Is it possible that bad medical outcomes may chill the fervor? Yes. And at some point it won’t be the latest thing that seems to be the newest answer – and the media will lose interest in another “generation gender” story. But we are not going back to the way it was. Too much money is being invested in normalizing the medicalization of gender expression – it is the gateway drug to bigger and better hybrids. And the Internet and virtual identities and objectification and fetishizing of oneself and others are not going away either. But will we be caught so flatfooted, will we be so smothered in the crib as we are now – No. There re many chapters left to this saga. Even for your daughter. No one is done yet.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You have the core of a good essay here. Perhaps it will have to change by regulation. If you see signs in your teen of this “disorder” do get them away from the internet and take them off your insurance before they go to college. How about no gender-bender treatments until after age 30?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Darkest Yorkshire – I don’t know that I was going to say anything an informed gender skeptic doesn’t know. But raise awareness of the implications of trans tracking GNC females pre and post puberty who otherwise would present as lesbians later in life. Along with the how and why this is happening culturally. Jennifer Bilek is writing up her materials for an article on the Who and What is funding trans – that is the engine behind the cultural trans explosion.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. Yes, but the first world actually doesn’t have the most mental illness. Plenty of non-Western, non first world cultures are even crazier than we are, and it’s important to tell the truth about this. Just as one example, throughout the Middle East and Africa, it’s considered an ordinary rite of passage for young girls to have their clitoris removed. There are many other similar crazy things going on in those cultures, especially with respect to women and gays. So, maybe it’s more accurate to say, we have our crazy, they have their crazy, but we are certainly not more crazy than they are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mental illness doesn’t mean “behavior i dissaprove of”, it means mental illness. FGM is done by sane people with horrible beliefs about women. The OP is referring to mental distress that is hard to bear, in response to totally ordinary events. That’s mental illness.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Good point ketzel. I agree with genderskeptics though. Societies can be unhealthy. The reference to mutilation of girls (FGM) is an example of how culture can affect an individual. These girls have no choice in the matter and very few choices in how they live their lives. I refer to the opposite, that young people in Western cultures have infinite choices as individuals, and that the adolescent seeking an identity can go very much awry. Too many identity choices can cause an individual to suffer mental illness. Lilah Greenfeld’s book that I referenced is interested in nationalism and psychiatric diseases. One her arguments is that “illnesses are dysfunctions of selfhood caused by society’s overburdening demands for self-realization.”

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Thankyou. The clarity of explanation puts meaning and logic to a situation befalling many families. The metaphor of a river with many tributaries us really helpful. I really hope this gains notice. Perhaps someone could create in visual form exactly that metaphor. I would add a further tributary, the girls who are uncomfortable with hyper sexualisatiom and feel ‘no good at being a girl’ and the boys bullied for not being ‘man enough’ by the laddish culture. Finally, every person who accepts this condition as real is denying the reality of the the pernicious and destructive aspects of our society. They are looking at the gender polarisation and accepting it as normal. Regressive, totalitarian social control that imprisons all of us.

    Liked by 7 people

      • We need some talented web people to.help us get.out gender critical ideas. I think part of the challenge gender critical feminists are.having with counteracting the Trans cult is the digital.divide between men.and women. This is less an issue for girls and young women, and we who are a bit older need their assistance, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Eloquent and so true. All of it. My beautiful 14 year old daughter just started with this*whole muddy mess. I cannot condone it. I love her. Her. Her soul. Not some new boy she feels she should be. Praying daily for her, our family and everyone here caught in this tangled web.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Thank you everyone for your feedback. I have a purpose for continuing to care about this. I don’t want this to happen to other families. Would I do anything to bring our daughter back to herself and us? Yes. I feel as though I am a mother who has lost her child to a drunk driver and now I must spread the word that one should not drink and drive. I continue to hope that people in power, both journalists and in the psych and medical community, will care enough to right this wrong. I wish you and your children a good outcome. May your teens and young adults understand that they are OK just the way they are.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Thank you, MissingDaughter, for this piece. The River Trans is poignant indeed. I also have a missing daughter, now over a year on testosterone in her attempt to “fit in” with the guys since she never felt one of the girls. She has moved astonishingly quickly…caught up in the flooded River Trans that she was able to find on college campus.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Another thank you from me. Your piece is very powerful and makes me cry. Same with my 14 year old daughter. Each day it feels like a tiny bit of her old self dies and a new identity develops. My thoughts are with you all.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. I can’t thank you enough for this. Last week I went to my daughter’s high school graduation, where she was called by a different (male) name. This week, I will talk to her again about waiting to legally change her name and take testosterone, which she can’t wait to do. The endocrinologist is chomping at the bit to get her started, even though her therapist refuses to “affirm” her as transgender and has verified that she is on the autism spectrum. It’s enough to make any parent despair, and 4thwave is one of the few places speaking the truth.

    Liked by 6 people

    • So horrible the way other people collude behind your back and affirm what is not true. Perhaps a gap year working with refugees, total reality immersion, could help her and the other lost young people?

      Liked by 5 people

  16. I would like to hear more experiences with the River Trans and personality changes. My daughter’s personality changed dramatically. When I talked with a couple of therapists about this, they all asserted that the personality stays the same, even though none of these people had ever met her. It just seemed an article of faith. When my daughter was still talking with me, she asserted that she was exactly the same. But it sure didn’t seem like that to me. She was much more aggressive, much more self centered, totally close minded and absolutist–these were all changes that surprised me. Part of the trouble with her started because I assumed I was talking to the person I had known for 25 years, yet before she was open and questioning and liked to debate. But, now if I asked a question she started lecturing, hectoring, calling names–all things that caught me off guard. Is she “exactly the same” with those who agree with her completely and has just adopted this new personality for those who don’t, or is there a real personality disconnect?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Potential personality changes with T (particularly aggression but also hypersexuality) are well-documented. Aggression is commonly mentioned as a potential side effect on “informed consent” forms such as this one:

      http://www.southwindwomenscenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Masculinzing-Hormone-Therapy-Informed-Consent.pdf

      Any provider who did not make this possibility clear to your kid is negligent. And if your kid does not acknowledge that a drug powerful enough to create secondary sex characteristics is also powerful enough to influence one’s emotional state — then your kid is being willfully obtuse. (No insult intended, GILAW, I’m just infuriated by the whole current state of affairs in the med/psych/pharm business around this issue. These kids are being sold a bill of goods and they are anything but truly “informed.”)

      Liked by 6 people

    • I consider it a cult taking over an individual’s identity. This was not “finding herself”. She completely changed her countenance from the inside-out.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Websites for parents whose kids joined cults might be helpful, it sounds like that to me. It’s an ideology that isolates believers from their family, teaches them thought terminating cliches, tries to make them irrationally angry at”enemies” of the ideology. It happens little by little instead of all at once like people might imagine.

      Liked by 3 people

      • The Cult Awareness Network ended up being sued into bankrupcy and owned by the Scientologists. If we develop a significant organisation, the transgenderists could try to do the same to us.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Cult Awareness Network ended up being sued into bankrupcy and owned by the Scientologists. If we develop a significant organisation, the transgenderists could try to do the same to us. — Darkest Yorkshire

        The Cult Awareness Network was involved in an attempt to ‘deprogramme’ a young man by kidnapping and imprisoning him. The details of what the deprogrammer did are pretty shocking. This ultimately gave the Scientologists the leverage to destroy them.

        Somehow, I don’t see 4thWaveNow promoting violent and illegal practises.

        Liked by 2 people

      • To trans activists we are already a transphobic hate group who commit hate speech, conversion therapy and child abuse. The laws on freedom of speech, banning ‘conversion therapy’ and threatening to take children away from parents who resist transition, could already make us vulnerable. And that’s assuming nobody on this site finally snaps and initiates a 70s-style cult deprogramming involving a motel room and duct tape. 😉 Expertise on legal vulnerabilities from any lawyers here would be welcome, especially as cults are notoriously litigious.

        I looked up some cult experts and while they have interesting things to say, they don’t seem to like each other and accuse each other of using cult methods. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know Cult Awareness Network ended up being consumed by Scientology due to a lawsuit by an unhappy target of deprogramming (which also put an end to the entire concept of deprogramming as far as I can see). But the guy who created it, Rick Ross, has a new website:
        https://www.culteducation.com

        Even if the individuals who have cult information don’t agree with each other, it doesn’t mean that they might not have nuggets of good information.

        I also think that besides the cult-programming aspects of the whole trans movement, that for a lot of the young people claiming trans identities (I think this is especially true for for FTTs) that it might be more about avoiding adulthood than the “born this way” narrative. I see girls who dress and act like middle school boys, not like men. I remember when I was in junior high/high school, quite a few girls were very uncomfortable with their secondary sex characteristics, which are undeniable signs that childhood is fading away. Giving someone in that mindset hormone blockers deprives her of the opportunity to grow into the body and adult life that are the fulfillment of nature.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. What a beautiful piece of writing and so well stated, i had tears in my eyes when I read it last night. I have been describing my daughter as “lost” to us now – same confusion in high school, identified as lesbian, but after the first semester of college, angrily identified as male, began testosterone, and now has completed legal name change. She now has dropped out of school completely to pursue her change, save money for surgeries, working in low paying, menial jobs. She is increasingly angry that we will simply not send her the money for her desired medical treatments and has pretty much stopped communicating as she discovers how hard it is to work, save money, and pay for things herself. Although she will still accept our assistance with rent/food. She told me on Mother’s Day, when she did come to visit, that we all (meaning me, her dad and siblings) all need to fix our thinking and accept that we had made a terrible mistake about her gender her entire life. She’s cut out all communication with what was once a very close group of cousins, grandma, siblings and yes, her personality has changed to one of anger, resentment, entitlement. I agree in our case too that the internet played a role, as she was an avid Reddit viewer, but also her peers in high school and of course, the encouragement in college from other kids and the cheerleading by the doctors and therapists there for her to go forward and be “brave” also contributed to this. I constantly blame myself and relive moments that I now think were my opportunity to stop this; it’s torture. I’ve been advised that at this point, I can only wait to see if she will mature and come out the other side of this and to be there to pick up the pieces when it falls apart at some point. She is only 19 and my heart just aches from this loss and for the others on this site.

    Liked by 8 people

    • So sorry, So many losses. Your story and many others are very similar. How any moral being (no matter your politics) could affirm this, I don’t know.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Stillhoping, I could have written the exact same thing. My daughter is also 19. So far she is still in school, but recently announced that she plans to be financially independent from us (as a student). Her personality has changed….I’m sure it is the T she’s been on for a year. She lives far away at school, and now no longer responds to my texts, and I received not even a card for mother’s day.

      So much heartbreak could be prevented with a return to the gatekeeper system to weed these younger self-diagnosed trans out with some good old fashioned diagnostics and treatment for what really ails them. I see various things in my daughter…too hard to say without her willingness to talk and question her own actions. And why question the big ego boost she received on campus…all of her new friends! I don’t see a big questioning time until after she leaves college and gets a taste of real life.

      Yes, the lack of respect and entitlement is so shocking.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mine (almost 17) may not be doing anything other than a name change and pronouns but it is still horrifying to see my baby girl bristle at her given name and get the evil eye when undesirable pronouns are used and it has been going on about 3 yeas since she announced her gender dysphoria. First he was non binary, now male and still doesn’t know why people see girl when they look at her and do not understand that people see what is reality, not what is in her head.

        She goes to therapy, knows she is highly gifted, know she is on the spectrum and still only cares to explore gender; it’s not from a lack of love, support and information. It is simultaneously frustrating and heartbreaking.

        Liked by 6 people

  18. “Queer-geek is the new definition of selfdom.” I read it as serfdom. Thinking about it, that actually makes a disturbing amount of sense. 🙂

    When talking about identities like nonbinary and genderfluid we are often dismissive – “That’s called your personality! Nobody is a perfect stereotype of male and female!” But I was talking to somebody who is both and the reality is more like unpredictable dysphoria, never knowing which parts of your body will disgust you from one day to another. It also includes looking in the mirror and what you see not matching what your brain thinks you should look like. It was specifically described as a form of disassociation. So while some who use these words may be just searching for an identity, it also describes an extremely strange and disturbing mental condition.

    In addition to the considerable list of people at risk from trans, I would add gifted children. They have three main vulnerabilities:

    1. The more intelligent a child is, the more likely it is they will take one look at gender roles and think “This is bullshit.”

    2. Giftedness often has somatic effects so they may be uncomfortable in their own body.

    3. They will often be lonely, isolated, and know they are different, and be living with an extremely high level of daily stress.

    Put them together and transgenderism can easily send yet another group off to the eugenics chopping block. If you have a gifted child, knowledge about giftedness is your greatest asset. There is a large gifted community online and I recommend starting with Crushing Tall Poppies (you may also notice my distinctive ravings in the comments). Understanding the needs of the gifted can massively lower the stresses driving them to trans and you can show them that this is the reason why they are different, not that they are transgender. There may be other factors involved as well, but this will be a major one.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for this comment. Yes, I believe this is absolutely true. I wish I had put giftedness in the muddy river. Our daughter was identified as gifted. She was in special programs for the gifted. I think it could be placed under the category of being awkward? I consulted with a professional and he said that many young people that are gifted (in the intellectual sense) are also socially immature. That seemed true for our daughter. And we were a family that did not do a lot of TV or pop culture. That might have made her feel different.

      Liked by 3 people

    • When I first heard the concept of giftedness and what it meant, everything fell into place and no further explanation was needed for why things were as they were. I’m sorry this hasn’t been so for others. I am very interested in peoples’ thoughts and experiences of the combination of giftedness and transgender.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My transman daughter is also gifted. She was recently diagnosed as Asperger’s, but had mixed text results so I’m not sure if that “label” is entirely accurate. But gifted totally fits and explains a lot, how she never fit in with other girls. Once she learned the concept of transgender, she latched onto it….it was her way out of “being a girl” with the trappings she felt she would be held to…looking a certain way, mostly. Now it is rather ironic that she primps herself as a “gay man”….still just as much attuned to appearances as any “girly girl” might be.

        Liked by 2 people

      • There are so many universal themes here. My daughter is also gifted and mildly autistic. She sees herself as a gay man, still loving just the same feminine things, activities and clothes that she always did but hating her breasts and the female sides of her body. Just her body.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Your story and mine overlap. I am not sure of my daughter’s sexuality and I am not sure she is either. It’s amazing how even mild ASD can impact these kids in such major ways, and, of course, many gifted kids do not have any easy adolescence either.

        All I can hope is that time and maturity is her friend and that I can can keep her safe as long as possible. She had another year of high school left and right now I cannot even imagine sending her away to school is a good idea despite being more than capable academically. At the same time, I know I cannot save her from herself indefinitely and I have no control over her thought process and conclusions she arrives at.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hoping too and trying to remain calm through all of this. I can’t talk to my daughter – she threatens suicide as the alternative to transition whenever I try. I wonder what the demographic bias is for gender dysphoria?

        Liked by 3 people

      • My daughter as well. Her intelligence is such a vulnerability right now because she is ruminating and analyzing all the time and her friends are not, so the sense of alienation is profound and deepens her anxiety and depression. She also has no interest in being stereotypically masculine in any way but dress, and her sense that she is male is also entirely about her body. My only hope is that when she is older (only 14 right now) and is in a position to make choices about medical transition, that her intelligence will be matched with enough emotional maturity to really deeply question and interrogate why she is making those choices.

        Liked by 3 people

    • There is almost certainly a significant correlation between giftedness and rapid onset gender dysphoria. More research needs to be done. I have written something on this topic and am attempting to place it, but so far have not found any takers.

      Liked by 3 people

      • My daughter is at a prestigious university, full of gifted kids, one of the hardest universities to get admitted to. Did they tell her, oh no don’t worry, you are an awesome woman just as you are and the world needs more women like you? no, of course it is all gender journey and trans-affirmation. She has had her ego built up there as a transman. I’ve lost my daughter at a “very smart” university.

        Lisa, I hope you can find a place for your article, but if nothing else please post it on 4thwavenow. Have you tried: http://sengifted.org/

        Liked by 2 people

      • All four of the young people I know who suddenly developed rapid onset gender dysphoria in their late teens are exceptionally gifted. Three also have Aspergers, the fourth is bipolar. Three of these additionally have dyspraxia (the somatic effect, being uncomfortable in your own body, to which Darkest Yorkshire referred), one also has ADD. None of them have been part of any research on Rapid Onset GD or anything about the skyrocketing numbers of youth deciding they can escape into trans identities. No one seems to be studying this new craze in any serious way, are they? Partly because that would necessitate daring openly to question, right?

        All four felt ‘different’, because they are, and trans was waiting at university with open arms to welcome any who feel like outliers, who might be attracted to presenting themselves as out of the ordinary, ‘different’.

        For Aspergers girls, trans offers a seeming explanation for not feeling like you naturally understand how to do ‘girl’ like everybody else seems to. Also, Aspies are often, despite high intelligence, highly suggestible, socially naive, vulnerable to the power of suggestion. They can have a fragile sense of self, of personal identity, and also of personal biography, and can often re-write their past with comparative ease. They are emotionally immature for their chronological age, and can be attracted to the sense of belonging that an ideology like transgenderism offers, to a fixed template for how to be, a system of rules to follow and enforce, a doctrine that appears to offer a guide for how to move forward in their lives. Self-harm is also sometimes an attraction for Aspies, another vulnerability where trans is concerned.

        Need I go on?

        Liked by 3 people

      • Lisa- Is the correlation between giftedness and rapid-onset gender dysphoria only a gifted girl thing? I am thinking how it is normal and acceptable to be a gifted boy, a genius boy, even a quirky boy in our society. When you are a gifted girl, most likely disinterested in the prattle of early adolescence, you might get the message that you are not a normal girl, or these days, 100% girl.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is purely anecdotal observation but it seems like the gifted and/or Aspie boys are starting to be represented in the current trend but females are currently leading by a long shot.

        Honestly, I have yet to see/hear of any gender dysphoric who are neutotypical.

        Like

      • This is spot-on. I am in the closer-to-200 club myself, female, and not trans. Then again, I was born in the Vietnam War era, so there is a generational dimension to this. In fact, I know of no gifted women my age pretending to be male. We were discounted, shoved aside and forced to prove ourselves much more than male peers, and naturally, paid less. However, the trans option didn’t exist and that accounts for a lot of it. Gifted young women are now being told that they must be men, if they are smart, and not into gossip, pink, and girly-girl stuff. No, they are 100% female! Deal with it, society! So any connection between female (not male) giftededness and trans identities is generational and social, and not inherent. Most male-to-trans seem (to me) to have low or average giftedness, but this is anecdotal, of course, as no studies have been done (that I know of.)

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you all for your responses. Including Renee S and Marie from the ‘Listening to Your Gut’ post comments, there are so far ten people (any more out there?) who see a connection between gifted and trans.

      Once is an accident, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action. 🙂

      This may have been brought up before, but I suspect it hasn’t because we’ve been conditioned to be ashamed of talking about gifted children. Considering there is already such resentment and contempt for the gifted, I think we can say they are being deliberately targeted. What are the implications of this and what do we do about it? (reading Lisa’s article is a matter of some urgency)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Another one here! My daughter considers herself nonbionary and states she has body dysphoria. She hates her large breasts and wants them removed. She was identified as gifted in first grade. This connection between gifted kids and trans identify is a revelation to me! I never would have made this connection. It also seems to be mostly girls. I recall my daughter when she was 12 telling me she always felt she was different but didn’t know what she was until she went on Tumblr. She is now 17 and still identifies as trans genderqueer but loves the color pink and behaves like a teenage girl. She was never a tomboy, always very girly. I’m still praying she grows out of this mindset.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So many gifted children have a difficult time in adolescence and, from what I am told, they higher their IQ the less they identify with their peers. And if they are also on spectrum like mine, that doesn’t make life any easier.

        My almost 17-yr-old (next week) hates having breasts with a passion. She ID’s as male while not looking like one in any stereotypical way (wears a purse, jewelry, etc) aside from shunning dresses.

        I, like you, as hoping/praying it will resolve itself. The only thing left for me to try is to switch psychiatrists. She has a good therapist (doesn’t listen to her though) but I am not sure her anxiety/depression is adequately managed and her current one seems more interested in affirming her trans feelings than the medication. And maybe she will be anxious and depressed until she faces issues and develops coping skills. I am limited in what I can do for her at this point. I’ve provided all the tools and it is up to her to use them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Is the connection with being gifted and overthinking/oversensitivities, or with being on the ASD spectrum? females on the spectrum can be missed for years. Only recently is this getting attention. But those looking at the wealth of females showing up at gender clinics are noting how many have ASD traits.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yet another one here. My daughter was identified as gifted as a 5-year-old. She developed a sudden-onset trans belief at age 15; before this there were no signs that she identified more with boys or was unhappy being a girl. I see many possible reasons that trans is attractive to her, just one of them being that it is an easy, convenient explanation for not fitting in. I remember High School Musical II and Witches of Waverly Place watching parties among her friends in elementary school; although she enjoyed being with her friends, my d didn’t care much to go to the watch parties because she didn’t care for that sort of show. At that point in time, she preferred reading, drawing or learning about dinosaurs, black holes and zoology over watching movies about romance, gossip and relationships.

        As a teen, when she found the internet, suddenly became socially awkward around this same group of friends, was obsessed with Tumblr and DeviantArt and decided she was trans, the fact that she wasn’t interested in romance movies (in elementary school!) played a part in her reasoning that she must be trans. That’s right — elementary-aged girls who don’t swoon over boys in movies, don’t want a boyfriend and don’t care how Selena Gomez wore her hair in Witches of Waverly Place must be trans. Intellectual girls who are interested in reading, animals and science must be trans.

        She does not fit in with the Queen Bees at school, but this does not mean she is trans — it means she is not a Queen Bee. It seems to me that it’s not so much that she identifies with boys and men, it’s that she doesn’t identify with the stereotypical Queen Bee-type gossip girl. My d is a quirky, intellectual girl who lacks confidence and has some Aspergers-type symptoms. She also doesn’t want any part of the hyper-sexualized teen girl culture that is prevalent these days. Trans is a very attractive, seductive “solution” for this type of girl or young woman, and unfortunately it is all too easy to find an affirmation-only echo chamber in a therapist’s office or on the internet.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Mine is obsessed with DeviantArt. We check her browser and there is really nothing else there but I think she gets plenty of validation from that online community.

        Liked by 3 people

  19. I don’t know if parents are aware that tumblr is full of pornography, and that kids are exposed to it even when trying to avoid it. Porn Bots are programmed to follow users and like posts at random. Kids have to see the pornographic user icons and see a preview of the blog in order to block it. These bots follow everyone at least weekly, and the administrators do nothing. A lot of it is transformation/transgender themed pornography. I wish parents of harmed children would sue for emotional distress. It’s the only social media platform that allows 13 year old users and pornography. They need an adult version of tumblr or only allow adults on the current one.

    Liked by 5 people

    • tumblr was a pivotal factor in our daughter losing herself. I had parental filters. It is very difficult to keep up with a teen. There was definitely pornography of a strange sort. Not intending to be a prude, but pornography will change who you are– especially when you are young.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Tumblr was a huge factor in our daughter’s downward spiral as well. I know about the pornography on Tumblr now, but did not at the time. I agree it is very difficult to shield kids from porn these days. I do think there’s a good chance that exposure to porn has contributed to my daughter’s rejection of being female. After seeing what women are put through in porn, what girl wouldn’t want to opt out?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Another mom with a gifted girl who thinks she’s transgender. I definitely think there is a link. She also has anxiety and has had depression. Like others she still wears make up and primps like a girl. She also semi-dresses as a boy. Skin tight leggings or jean/ short shorts, but she covers here top pretty well with t shirts and flannel shirts. She’s almost 18 and I’m hoping she’ll pull herself around to see she’s nothing but a girl who sometimes doesn’t want all the baggage and trouble that comes with it.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Please contact Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to ask him not to sign HB 1785 changing the gender on birth certificates and furthering this delusional ideology, his phone number is 312-814-2121 or you can use his web site with the contact box. Thank you for your consideration and you can also ask him to repeal the DCFS rule saying you can’t work at the social swrvice State agency unless you believe in transgender ideology. Let’s flood him with calls!! May the force be with you!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Totally agree. Changing the sex on a birth certificate is creating a historical record that is an intentional lie. If these people must have ID that conforms to their desired sex, the paperwork should be like the procedure for a name change, going to court and creating a paper trail that connects the birth certificate of the infant John Doe, M to Jane Noe, F.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. JBro- that was the one that I often picked up in the family internet filter (that she always defeated).. Some very disturbing stuff. Even sharing pictures of herself as a little girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • missingdaughter- that is supposed to be one of the better sites! I have seen some stuff on there that is gender critical and know she does know people IRL on there who are not caught up in transmania. There is a part of me that is very mad at her for falling for this BS despite the fact she comes from a supportive home with access to to plenty of healthy options for self discovery. I know that is not fair but it is what it is and part of the myriad feelings any given moment.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Alex–
      That is an excellent question. Saying “the new transgender” is a bit hazy. I am a mom, a not-so-young mom, who has lost a daughter to the transgender revolution. My old-fashioned perspective will differ from your perspective. I believe there are genuinely transgender people. In my thinking, an authentic transgender person is someone who has had gender dysphoria from a young age—persistent gender dysphoria. Yes, this old-fashioned notion will provoke much shrieking.
      There has been a huge cultural shift in thinking about gender. Again, Old-School Mom thinks that we are either men or women and there are many ways to be a man or woman. One can be an effeminate man and be wholly a man, or a woman who is definitely not a girly-girl and still be a perfectly normal woman. One can be gay or lesbian and not be confused about gender at all.

      The forces of this cultural shift in some Western nations has been put into motion by a change in laws (2009 in the U.S.) and the re-writing of the DSM-5 in 2013, which brings us to the era of choose-a-gender. Popular culture, politicized group-think, and many college campuses promote this agenda of agender or change-up gender.

      We live in an age of infinite identities and that does not make for a healthy society or healthy individual. To be young, is to be in a formative stage of life. Young people in adolescence naturally seek to find an identity. Many young people are susceptible to weak or confused identities and can be swept away by the River Trans. Our online world can be incredibly compelling and identity-shifting. I am sorry if my definition lacks clarity but this trans narrative is a muddled, muddy river filled with human wreckage.

      Missingdaughter writes from the perspective of a mother who has lost a daughter she thought was forever. My daughter was not atypical. Gee, I hate to say that because we are all individual but perhaps you will understand that I am saying she was 100% girl. She was identified as academically-gifted at a young age (an interesting conversation on this site). She did identify as gay as a teen. She was a beautiful girl and then for a variety of reasons became a very-disturbed girl., a girl interrupted. If you had told me when my daughter was age 5, or 10, or even 15 that this could be a possible outcome, I would have thought that was about as likely as her being the first colonist on Mars.

      I do understand experimenting with presentation. I get that different generations have different norms. I think it is unconscionable to give permanent life-altering medical and surgical treatments to young people who are adrift, seeking an identity, lost in an eddy on their life’s journey. This rewriting of her story and body was not my daughter’s destiny, nor is it the destiny of most swept into the River Trans.
      I don’t know you or your story. I don’t know what kind of kid you were at age 5 or 10. I don’t know if you were pulled into the trans narrative via your phone or computer. I have no idea how your family responded, if they felt you were always different–or if they have been forced to rewrite their story and history as well.
      I do wish you well.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hi Alex, I’d like to add to this great explanation…

        In the not distant past, gender “issues” were “treated” as a disorder and so before gaining access to any use of cross-sex hormones and other permanent treatments, one had to actually be diagnosed and go through a period of time for counseling. In some cases, there were other things going on, including serious mental health conditions requiring medications, and other treatments were pursued, which for some adequately addressed the gender “issues”. Certainly for some the passage of time required to be in counseling was enough to “treat” the urge to change sex. This was the old transgender….most of these were males and – in my day, I’m also an old Mom – they were referred to as transsexuals.

        For some transsexuals, this required time of wait and counsel was considered abuse, and they pushed to get this removed to changed to affirm-only. Who would claim to be transgender if they weren’t really transgender? This is the new transgender, the self-diagnosed who are only affirmed and not questioned.

        Unfortunately, with the removal of any required time for counseling due to treatment via informed consent clinics, mistakes can indeed happen. Underlying issues really can cloud one’s perspective and lead one to believe to be true an identity that later gets regretted. Gatekeepers weren’t such a bad idea. Counsel about all of the aspects of a transgender choice (vs. the cheerleading on campuses these days) could bring up considerations not otherwise thought of, and potentially avoid later regret.

        Liked by 2 people

  23. I have been unable to save my daughter from herself. She is 18 and starting on T. After years of asking therapists and fighting the ones who were recommending T, I have discovered that she is somewhere on the Autism spectrum. We will have our exact diagnosis in a few days. Once we get that in hand, I am detaching with love from this madness. She will know that there are treatments and help for her to live a happy, loving and successful life. Or, she can continue down this path of self destruction. Like everyone, my kid learns the hard way. She is bright enough to bullshit these therapists, she is bright enough to pull herself out of this. I have done all that I can. Years of therapy, sleepless nights, meds, etc. She is so emotionally immature that I think she believes this is a game. I want to thank everyone for their posts. They make me feel sane in the midst of this chaos.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Wow, We cut our daughter off as far as money for school, rent, anything. We hope it slows the process and it has. She has bills to pay and we hope by the time she actually saves for the terrible surgeries, she will get frustrated. All we asked was for her to wait. No, we don’t approve or agree, and pray for her. She’s in a cult of trans people who take care of her -giving her anything she wants. We hope she sees through it. Just dealing with the sibling sadness and our own is enough for now. We are so heartbroken.

    Liked by 6 people

  25. Before this post fades off into the twilight, I do want to acknowledge what Darkest Yorkshire said about unpredictable dysphoria and disassociation. I am sympathetic to those who suffer this state-of-mind. My first question would be, why? Many parents have experienced their child in a sudden meltdown fueled by sites they are interacting on and by peers. The meltdown of the person who was your daughter becomes affirmed by all. If your child takes a radical turn away from herself, do listen to your gut. A noisy and politicized group, the queer-transgender community can function as a cult or deviant religion. There are steps on how to become transgender: hate thyself, lose thyself, give up your history, destroy the old self, if your family has concerns, ditch them.
    Lastly, a shout-out for love. Sending love to my daughter and all other lost daughters and sons out there. And for the community of grieving parents, Where Is The Love?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for that most excellent post, missingdaughter. I am not a parent myself and at my age never will be, but I never miss a post on this site since I discovered it last year, and usually read all the follow up comments. Having read these posts and all that parents are going through, I think I know what it is like to have a child and then lose one, or be threatened with losing one to some unnameable thing that gets its claws on her and pulls her away from you.

      I live for the day that this horrid, baleful movement collapses in scandal class action lawsuits.

      Liked by 4 people

  26. Thank you Nervous Wreck for a better explanation of “new transgender”. Most of us have daughters who are considering or doing the FTM thing. That is a new thing. Many of these girls were not at all gender-atypical. When we talk about teen girls attracted to being non-binary or moving towards trans, we are talking about something very different than the MTF. Though, I can see boys or young men that tend towards effeminate, are also at risk for considering hormones and surgery (when they would not have considered that a wish in the not-so-distant past).

    Liked by 4 people

    • It should not be forgotten that many adult gay and lesbian people were “gender nonconforming” as young children. The idea that early onset gender dysphoria proves that a person is “truly trans” deserves a lot of scrutiny also. The idea that one can be “born in the wrong body” is an absurdity. The brain is part of the body. A person who is an outlier in terms of typical behaviors, interests, or appearance just means that they are atypical for their sex. It doesn’t even matter how much of this is down to prenatal hormones and how much socialization. Who is it, anyway–what entity– is floating inside some shell of a body claiming that body is “wrong”?

      Liked by 4 people

      • My daughter was not “gender nonconforming”. She was interested in typical girl stuff. But I can see how the transgender movement would be especially harmful to tomboys and effeminate boys.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t see such a bright line between gender conforming and not conforming. II think our society over the past 4-5 decades has become much more forgiving/less upset by people who stray from gender norms. These days, it seems guys have as many options for hair lengths as girls do, I know male nurses and female sewer workers, women who never wear skirts and men who do (mostly “utility kilts” but without most of the traditional kilt accompaniments).

        It is the trans activists who are making a big deal about gender roles, and who are re-rigidifying those roles in the service of identifying potential recruits as young as possible – which is creepy since the standard trans claim is that the person knows from forever they’re the “wrong” sex. I recently saw a video in which Milo Stewart was talking to two other people, and Milo said that she decided she was trans after *other people* told her she was trans. So much for “born this way”.

        Liked by 3 people

    • This discussion of autism, giftedness, and FtM transitions has a lots of resonance for me and my daughter’s situation. One other factor that I have seen mentioned by detransitioning females and others like Heyer is sexual abuse. Something of this sort certainly went on with my daughter. When she was in college she mentioned it to me, but would never give any details. Nevertheless, her sudden switch to hating her body and identifying with men (who she had never liked previously) looks to me like some kind of dissociation.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I think many of the girls that get involved in the transgender movement have more than one risk factor.My daughter was also considered gifted at a young age. She came out as gay in high school. She became very political–especially on her college campus. She considered herself a victim and survivor– of what, I am not sure.She would not say. And there was an unspooling of self, a meltdown.

        Liked by 2 people

  27. Count now stands at 17 people who see a connection between gifted and transgender. I knew this was a thing, but it’s much more widespread than I expected. Does anyone see any other possible reasons for this than those already mentioned? The hightened sense of justice of the gifted may be a factor in attracting them to the cause of a supposed underdog. The National Association for Gifted Children actually lists ‘radicalism’ as a trait of the gifted – extreme solutions naturally appeal to them. EndTheHarms mentioned dyspraxia as a somatic effect of giftedness; asthma, digestive problems, skin problems and joint hypermobility are also common.

    As to what to do about this, I would suggest bringing this question up in whatever corner of the gifted community you inhabit, and directing people here. Then we can really see the scale of this and all those affected can put their heads together and try to come up with something. There are risks to discussing this openly but there may be a very high concentration of people in the gifted community dealing with this so we may get a better hearing there than almost anywhere else.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “The heightened sense of justice of the gifted may be a factor in attracting them to the cause of a supposed underdog.” Absolutely. My daughter seems so proud to be transgender. The special treatment she has received on her college campus has fed this. I know for a fact that she hesitated over the whole thing UNTIL she was on campus and they fed this monster.

      How can the gifted way of thinking be distinguished from Asperger’s? I would like to know what you all think of this checklist?
      http://mcgt.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/%CB%86x-Giftedness-Asp.Dis_.Checklist.pdf

      Like

      • They are not at all mutually exclusive. My child is both. While I think the observations are valid I am not sure it is possible to separate them, it is probably better to look at the traits that are similar in both populations, including those who overlap, and target those areas of that tend to feed maladaptive behaviors.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Nervous Wreck
        Based on my experience of working with children on the spectrum, and of my cousin, I don’t think the concept of gifted is particularly useful (too nebulous, misleading in presenting intelligence or talent as too straightforward an innate quality, it’s just not equivalent to a diagnosis) nor meaningful in this context – what we’re looking at here ( as in, what it is that’s related to the dysphoria), is likely enough simply autism. Reading up on the idea of ‘giftedness’, it’s quite sad though understandable to see that some of the parents sound in denial about it with their children, they’re describing obvious symptoms of autism like sensory issues (discomfort with seams on clothing) and attributing them to giftedness. It’s understandable that some parents find it hard to accept heir children’s autism, but not really helpful for them, I saw it with my aunt, she would insist my cousin was simply clever because she struggled to accept it, but it’s obvious to absolutely everyone else he’s autistic (he’s not actually very academic, either, though of course children with autism can be, as can neurotypical children, and the intense focus autistic people can have can be a help academically – or sometimes a hindrance, too. But either way, being neurodivergent can simply lead to a valuable different perspective in itself, and doesn’t need to be framed as giftedness to be appreciated for it). It should be remembered of course that people with ASD vary – for instance, in relation to the checklist, while issues with remembering names/faces can occur in autism, it’s just not always the case, so using things like that to distinguish autism and giftedness doesn’t necessarily work, because not everyone with autism has the exact same difficulties. The checklist is also skewed such that due to differing socialisation, girls might be more likely to be judged gifted (eg.due to having leant to communicate well, that being expected of girls) and boys as autistic. So, I’d at least say that it’s unclear.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am amused the checklist includes ‘interested in team sports’ as a characteristic of the gifted. 🙂 I don’t know much about autism but I suspect the author was a specialist in autism so the gifted look enviably ‘normal’ in comparison. But a lot of gifted definately have psychomotor stuff similar to autistics (part of a family of ‘overexcitabilities’ or OEs). My most noticable one is a bouncing knee but I’ve had comedy reveals with others. When I was first reading about joint hypermobility I read “people with JHM like to hang out in extreme stretches”. I looked down and one arm was folded inwards against my ribs and my foot was hooked over the back of the settee. Reading about stimming I realised I was chewing on a shirt button. Although gifted children may have better social skills than autistics, a big part of the gifted experience involves either not knowing what people want from you, or refusing to go along with such idiocy after you figure it out.

        The best lists of gifted traits I have seen are at Great Potential Press (two are available from the cycling images on the front page, the third in the blog post on becoming a gifted teacher). They also have the second edition of Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults which is all about this question. I haven’t read it but it seems well regarded in the field. This was the second gifted website I found after Stephanie Tolan’s, and learned a lot just from the blog and descriptions of the books.

        Like

  28. Regarding Insurance: Heed this: Because of Obama Care, you are not permitted to take your child off insurance until 26 by law – even if they get married. I know because we tried. She could sue us, which I am sure she would have no problem doing. Then she would have money to really do some damage. Her partner got a job at the college and just had her first surgery. There are co-pays but around here, threaten to sue or out the college and you get what you want.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I believe it’s overdue to start our own conferences. I am not an activist by nature but I think many here are great speakers, have professional insight. It could be a closed conference where people are thoroughly vetted first. I know 4 families near me who could really benefit. All we are getting is why we are wrong. At the end, we could have a couple testimonies, like Maria Catt is awesome and also so is the third way trans person. We could call it “A Second Opinion”. I just don’t understand these teens who won’t listen to their parents. If you are diagnosed with a serious disease and the doctor says you need surgery. Your parents disagree and you get a second or even third opinion. These parents are not getting that. What if they are wrong? Does a disclosure agreement really matter at that point?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I think under- mining is best approach. If Big PHARMA is exposed for pushing untested chemicals and surgeries for profit, that will help. More deTransitioners in media stories describing harm and regrets would also challenge, Kids will listen to common sense. There is lot of backlash on Tritter especially from Canadians on passing of a Toilet Bill. Ne is the time to shift from blind acceptance by professionals to caution and revisiting gender stereotypes.

    Liked by 1 person

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