Are you sending or losing your teen to college?

The following piece is a collaborative effort by a group of parents whose offspring began “gender transition” at university. They will be responding in the comments section under the username “POSTS”: Parents Of Sudden Transgender Students.


What if you sent your kid off to the Ivory Tower and you never saw her or him again–at least, you never saw a recognizable facsimile of the person you knew and loved for 18 years?

College is a time to “find oneself,” to try on different hats. How about transgender, genderqueer, non-binary? Some teens start to explore a transgender identity in high school, often via the Internet. Others may not have previously considered or even imagined a transgender identity before stepping onto a college campus.

If it were all just identity exploration, it would be one thing; but many college students are quickly advancing into medical treatments–often with the financial support of the university. Diagnostic testing or even basic counseling are no longer necessary, and college-bound teens have quickly figured this out. “Coming out” as transgender is now treated pretty much the same as a gay or lesbian coming out, not as the gender identity disorder it was considered to be only a short time ago.

And colleges compete to show how inclusive they can be of a myriad of transgender identities. The college end game is to be and stay highly ranked.

chronicle of higher ed


For a high school student questioning their identity, there is much advice available to help them select a trans-friendly campus. Your soon-to-be-away-from-home child may click away on the new wealth of information that could feed into their choice of college, as in campus pride, more pride, a pride guide to transforming your body.

There are even scholarship opportunities available for those considering a transgender identity. If one can commit to a new identity (and possibly a new body), the money is waiting. The Internet is full of transgender opportunities that institutions of higher learning offer before and during those formative college years. If we provided an inclusive list, it would all run together into a confusing (to parents) alphabet soup of acronyms. These acronyms and micro-identities are an easy sell to today’s gender-questioning students.

Campus pride student health clinic

Some students never question their gender identity until after being immersed in college life. Perhaps they take an elective course in Queer Theory in the Gender Studies Department, opening their eyes to viewpoints they didn’t know existed. Ok, isn’t that what an education is all about? But the medicalization of a newfound queer or trans identity can happen astonishingly quickly now.

Many young-adults-in-formation who suddenly announce a trans identity have a history of anxiety; are brilliant misfits with few friends; are gay or lesbian (and thus in no need of medical intervention); are a tad nerdy with possible autism spectrum traits–or perhaps all the above. Your daughter or son may lack a strong identity–in fact, the list gets so long that we could shorten it to “your child, any child.” Any kid who feels a great need to belong somewhere.

Once a transgender identity decision is made, instructions for what to do next are only a click away, such as at Carleton College in Minnesota:

carleton

In the National Geographic special, Gender Revolution, Katie Couric interviewed Tamar Szabo Gendler, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Yale. Dean Gendler is pleased that Yale is at the forefront of the gender revolution:

Universities are places that thrive on new discovery and I think that universities find it thrilling to feel like in the face of new knowledge we are able to figure out how to transform society as a consequence.

Some colleges cover trans medical treatments under the student health insurance plan.  According to Campus Pride, a whopping 86 US institutions cover hormones and surgeries, while another 22 will pay for hormones only. In a story in the New York Times on February 12, 2013, the author notes that no university covered such treatment as recently as 2007, but now exclusive universities like Stanford are onboard.

ny times

“No one knows how many” indeed–though we know that number has grown since the article was written four years ago.  Where once universities provided birth control and routine care on their health plans, now many (like the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) offer the full gamut of major, irreversible sex-reassignment procedures–including phalloplasty and vaginoplasty.

umass amherst

And while it may be hard to imagine how a student could take time out of their busy schedule to have sex reassignment surgery, the coverage of cross-sex hormones on so many student health plans might catch the eye of a gender-defying high school student; especially now that they’re away from the prying eyes of their parents.

Washington State University, in rural Pullman, scores a solid five stars from the CampusPride Index. Why? Trans health care, including (starting fall semester 2017) cross-sex hormones, is available via the student clinic. And as WSU explains, they are continually making changes to meet the needs demanded by their students:

WSU hormone treatment

At the University of California, Santa Cruz, the Queer Center provides a page chock-full of resources, including lists of sex reassignment surgeons, affirmative therapists, and how to get legal name changes on campus and state ID documents.

ucsc

Many colleges embrace the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) guidelines:

A mental health screening and/or assessment as outlined above is needed for referral to hormonal and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria. In contrast, psychotherapy – although highly recommended – is not a requirement.

But informed consent gender clinics do not require mental health screenings by licensed therapists, and access to these clinics has been growing in recent years. Under this model, cross-sex hormones can be available even for a “non-binary” presentation; it is the individual’s choice what their goal and treatment protocol is.

Yale has provided gender surgeries on the student health plan since 2013; more recently, gender fluid and nonbinary Yale students have begun agitating for their right to treatment on demand.yale enbies

 

“The medical establishment is prejudiced against nonbinary people, ignoring the fact that gender fluidity exists,” Amend said. “Doctors can propagate a notion of ‘not being trans enough,’ which is toxic to the mental health of patients.”

Amend added that there is a community of nonbinary or gender fluid students at Yale, and that he knows of students who have had to tell psychiatrists that they are “more trans” than they feel, out of a fear that the doctors will withhold treatment if they appear more gender fluid.


Affirmative Care in the Student Counseling and Health Centers

How does this all happen so fast….a teen learning about transgender in high school, and starting cross-sex hormone injections in college?

Every day, young fresh faces, some not looking so fresh anymore, crowd the waiting rooms of student counseling centers all over Campus Country. Being a counselor in a college setting makes for job security: the 18-25-year-old cohort has the highest rate of mental health issues and the waiting list can be long.

Students have many stressors: a new environment, roommates, academic pressures, sexual shenanigans/hook-up culture, social pressures of every kind. Some of these students arrive burned-out by an intense college prep course in high school. Some have pre-existing mental health woes. They are strongly encouraged to use their student mental health center if any issues arise. That’s generally a good thing; we all want our kids to thrive and be healthy. But it can also be a less-positive thing, when the clinic is known as Affirmative Care.

What is Affirmative Care? In the mental health world pertaining to LGBTQetc it means that whatever narrative you bring to the table, you will receive an amen, a yes, a suspension of disbelief from the therapist. A student can make a transgender proclamation, whether this  is sudden, whether it makes any sense in the ongoing narrative of his or her life, and it will be accepted without question by the affirmative therapist. If one brings a tangible mental health diagnosis to the affirming counselor, whether it is mild depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, no problem. Because if you have a mental health concern, it must be because you have not been affirmed and celebrated for identifying differently from your “assigned birth sex”. A life out of line with your gender identity explains all other mental health issues….or so the argument goes.


 Safe Places

Concerned about what your student is doing on campus, suddenly transitioning socially and via hormone use? If over 18 (as most are), they are considered to be adults now, and they can be safe on campus, even from parents, in “Safe Places.” Recently, the proliferation of “Safe Places” on college campuses have received a lot of attention, mirth, and critiques. Some argue that Safe Places magnify victimhood narratives and curtail freedom of speech and thought on college campuses. But the organized Safe Place coalitions do serve a valuable function. There are many people who need shelter and protection: domestic abuse victims, sexual assault/sex trafficked victims, run-away teens, individuals in groups that are marginalized, including LGBTQ people. None of us should tolerate violence or bullying.

If your child claims to be transgender, on most campuses they will be treated as a protected class against anyone who might question this new identity. A young adult caught up in the transgender warp will often say or do anything to have their way, to claim victimhood status. Doubting parents could even be hit by a  Do-notContact Order if they express dismay that their child is using cross-sex hormones via the student (or off-campus) health clinic—after all, the benign and kindly college administrators serve as in loci parentis. So the college clinic that injects students with cross-sex hormones, which cause permanent harm and morphed bodies, is just another “safe place.”

The subject of gender identity and safe spaces is a moving target, with the defining happening on college campuses. From the Los Angeles Times:

The meaning of a “safe space” has shifted dramatically on college campuses. Until about two years ago, a safe space referred to a room where people — often gay and transgender students — could discuss problems they shared in a forum where they were sheltered from epithets and other attacks.

Then temporary meeting spaces morphed into permanent ones. More recently, some advocates have turned their attention to student housing, which they want to turn into safe spaces by segregating student living quarters. Who would have imagined that the original safe space motive — to explore issues in an inclusive environment — would so quickly give way to the impulse to quarantine oneself and create de facto cultural segregation?

Safe space activism stems primarily from the separatist impulses associated with the politics of identity, already rampant on campus. For some individuals, the attraction of a safe space is that it insulates them from not just hostility, but the views of people who are not like them. Students’ frequent demand for protection from uncomfortable ideas on campus — such as so-called trigger warnings — is now paralleled by calls to be physically separated too. Groups contend that their well-being depends on living with their own kind.


In preparing this piece, we talked to several parents whose young adult offspring transitioned while at university. Here are a few of their comments:

 She did have some troubles in high school with anxiety, cutting and anorexia

From three mothers of sons who suddenly decided at university they were trans: all are very bright, nerdy and on the ASD spectrum

She asked us not to come to the Family Weekend at the end of October, she told us she was invited elsewhere for Thanksgiving

He had a romantic rejection, he attended a talk about trans at his university, he spent a lot of time online and developed dissociative disorder, then said he believed if he transitioned he would be more present in his body

We were met at the airport by a stranger: her skin was coarsened with acne, she had noticeable facial hair, her hair was chopped into a severe cut

The trans woman announcement came when my son was depressed and struggling with the complexity of social and romantic life at the university

She said she was lesbian in high school, but next spring in her first year in college there was a shock: a health insurance claim for testosterone

Several months later, it became apparent by both her appearance and mysterious medical bills, that our daughter was receiving testosterone in the college health clinic

His personality changed and he appeared terrified by everything; he told me that his friends thought the university failed to recognize mental illness

It was all hidden from us.

It was all hidden from us.  Until the body morphing started.

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113 thoughts on “Are you sending or losing your teen to college?

    • Yes. And that is the question….will no one notice until the medical malpractice lawsuits by detransitioners get some media attention? All I ever hear is my child is an adult. So far I haven’t seen much adult behavior in my college student.

      Liked by 9 people

      • The problem is, the medical world has created itself an incredibly defensible bulwark – it’s nearly impossible to win a malpractice lawsuit. They make substantial campaign contributions to local judges, they hire the most expensive lawyers (and keep the rest in their stables as well), they lobbied successfully to limit damage awards, they have worked with corporations to portray personal injury lawyers as dishonest “ambulance-chasers,” and they have iron-clad legal paperwork you have to sign that basically agrees that if anything happens, you knew the risk and accepted it. You cannot count on lawsuits shutting this down. I know too many people who have suffered irreparable harm from botched surgeries who have gotten nothing from any form of lawsuits and in fact can’t even get repairs from other doctors (because to fix it would be proof there was harm). This will have to come from working with academics and other people who don’t have money to be made from the medical aspects of transitioning.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Replying to Jennifer R…they are trying to shut down academics too. See the post from today on the About page from CMM regarding the prevention of research. Universities are clambering to get on board the transition train in this very article. They are not about to encourage research that may produce results against their religion of transition. Psychologists are bullied into one treatment paradigm (transition) or else fired.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There can be benefit in filing medical lawsuits regardless of the chance of winning. It calls attention to the problems. Enough lawsuits will get attention…eventually…maybe. At the least, complaints should be made to state medical boards of botched results.

        Like

    • We need a Katie Couric special – but the problem for many is that our children and families want to remain anonymous. How can we tell their stories if they don’t want anyone to know? We also need the non-gender-expert-therapists to listen and act on their reasoning skills. The “experts” have ceased to be scientists because they are dogmatic and uncritical of their views. The foundation of science is to critically evaluate your hypothesis and alter them as new information arises. Experts are now political isolationists.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Us parents in the thick of this issue are anonymous because we don’t want to endanger our parent-child relationship by making a public scene of our family situation.

        I think this issue can get some attention just by shining a light on the facts. That is the aim of this blog….revealing what is going on. Today’s journalists are afraid to do this.

        I’m certain there are many in the medical community who have concerns but are also afraid to speak up.

        That is the making of a totalitarian society, not the free speech USA we know and love.

        Liked by 9 people

  1. “It was all hidden from us.

    It was all hidden from us. Until the body morphing started.”

    If you don’t want them to be scared of telling you, you should at least pretend not to invalidate their identity. I’m not even shilling transgenderism to you, I just know that all my transgender friends have tried telling their parents more than once and often very early on in life and only hearing very dismissive or disgusted statements that imply this is not a real problem.
    Even if the real problem lies elsewhere, for example seeking belonging, the manifestation of that aka transgenderism should not be treated like an unspeakable thing.
    I’m not american, so I don’t know about your requirements to identify someone as transgender, but in my country, you will need to have had this identity for years. Any child who fits this requirement will try to talk to their parents. In every case I know, “they didn’t even tell us” was self inflicted.
    Then again, the rising non binary etc. identities are alarming. They should not be receiving easy treatment.

    Like

    • It’s natural that when your kid tells you something completely preposterous, you’re not going to agree. To suddenly declare yourself to be the opposite sex is preposterous. The therapists and college professors shouldn’t be validating this lunacy either. The parents on this site are very obviously caring toward their kids, and I’m guessing would be quite willing to listen to how their kids are actually feeling, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to validate nonsense, and they shouldn’t have to.

      Liked by 16 people

    • Gfhhf, thanks for your comment. I’m one of the authors of this piece.

      Here in the USA, to identify as transgender is now easier than ever. Many of the parents who frequent this site have witnessed how quickly the new identity can sink in with their kids who previously showed no signs of gender dysphoria. We are referring to it all as Rapid Onset Transgender. You’re right “It was all hidden from us” doesn’t quite fit…our kids don’t and can’t hide it all from us. But what can be hidden is the decision to rapidly pursue hormone treatments. I know I had no way of knowing how easily my child would be able to start the process…it never used to be so easy to medically transition. My transgender son…someone whose motivation is “seeking belonging”…was able to get a prescription for testosterone with one visit to an informed consent clinic. She herself referred to doing it behind my back. Why did she feel a need to do this? well, she didn’t like my shocked reaction. Why was I shocked? there was never anything ever about my daughter that made me think son, so to so quickly announce she must live as man was a shock to me. I admit I could have reacted better, but at the time it really was a shock, so I have to forgive myself.

      I look at “it was all hidden from us” as similar to how any college student might hide some behaviors from their parents…but once body-morphing changes are made through use easy access to hormone use, it can no longer be hidden.

      Keep in mind, the practice here in the USA on campuses is affirmation-only. So this can all happen very fast. And can indeed be “all hidden from us”.

      Liked by 7 people

      • We had the same thing happened. Never saw it coming! Three months into college and now he was transgender, cross dressing and put on hormones by six months. Guess who now gets to pay off the huge student loan from the wild ride… yea… not the student who changed identity or the school that sold it….. they find the consigning parent. Takes longer to find the one who changed genders, looks, and names..

        Liked by 5 people

    • I know from experience that when your adolescent first says they think they might be transgender and it is completely inconsistent with the entire 13+ years of their life where they never once expressed any concern over their gender, your first reaction might be dismissive. For many, the dismissiveness comes from the standpoint of having full confidence that the child will – of course! – realize that they are not transgender. We want them to realize this on their own and give them the freedom and space to do it. The trick is that even as little as a couple months later, it could be too late. The current world/media view convinces everyone that transing is awesome! You just have to take some meds and consider surgery and voila – you’re cured! And bonus! – you’re a member of the club where you will be accepted and loved forever. In an astonishingly little time, their entire belief system is devoted to this appealing panacea to all their previous issues.

      Liked by 8 people

    • My daughter was only 13 when she told me she was “really” a boy. She could not access hormones or surgery on her own, so it was easy for me to affirm her supposed identity while forbidding her from using hormones or getting surgery until she was at least 18 (after which I would have no control). My daughter desisted by the time she turned 17. It took 3-4 years for this to happen. Had she been 18 when she “discovered” she was “really” a boy, she could have accessed hormones immediately. I would have had no ability to protect her from making irreversible medical changes to her body. Affirming your child’s identity while forbidding the use of dangerous hormones & surgery only works if the child is too young to access these things on his or her own. I am deeply grateful that my daughter went through this while she was still young enough for me to protect her. I would be devastated – and frankly, so would she – if she had taken testosterone & permanently changed her voice, skin, hair growth, and pelvic floor. She would also be devastated if she’d had her breasts cut off (although this is more reparable than the effects of testosterone). Keeping the dialogue open about a child’s “gender identity” while protecting them from self-harm is an extremely precarious balancing act. No one has all the right answers, and parents deserve nothing but love and support while struggling with this painful and dangerous issue.

      Liked by 12 people

      • Yes, if your child is going to being attracted to this new identity, much better at 13 when she still trusts you and you have some influence and control over what she does. If she were 18…

        Liked by 1 person

    • The trans side of the internet considers any reaction that isn’t 100% support of surgery/hormones to be bigoted. Kids are encouraged to break ties with family that won’t accommodate medical transition. Trans activists have eliminated the possibility of middle ground. Even parents that say “let’s wait on anything medical but ill support everything else” are considered oppressive. Other people have noted here that trying to compromise has had he effect of making the demands escalate.

      Liked by 9 people

  2. This is just terrifying. College is supposed to be an academy for higher learning, not an indoctrination center to bring young people into a cult. Colleges should be rigorously opposing transgenderist dogma on the basis that it’s not supported by science and is largely incoherent and illogical, but instead they are supporting it. I’d say this is all caused by the fact that colleges no longer exist to do research and teaching, they are now stores where customers (formerly known as students) can purchase high-priced credentials and where the customer’s whims must always be catered to. I’m so glad I’m done with my college days and not going back.

    Liked by 13 people

    • The college where I teach has tried to push back, but that just brought in the lawyers who threatened to sue if we would not agree to all demands around pronouns and other stuff. We are a small college and can ill afford expensive lawsuits or the terrible publicity that would be sure to accompany it.

      Liked by 10 people

  3. My daughter’s best friend in high school was (and still is) a gay young man. He did not return the romantic love to my daughter that she had for him. Quickly after starting college, my daughter began her transgender process. Her father and I feel she was trying to win his love. There were NO conversations with her father or I about this. She has always been free to be her true self. We do feel though, that extraordinarily easy access to the transgender process on young and still developing minds is harming our young adults. She was a happy kid growing up. She had many friends. She went away to college and came home a far different person than we expected. After college she had a total mastectomy. Let’s also talk about social and medical issues……she is now far more social on-line than she is in public, rarely hanging out with friends, rarely communicating with family, very sensitive and moody…..go figure. She also now has anxiety and thyroid issues…….wow, who would have thought. Sending our child to college has been a fucking nightmare.

    Liked by 11 people

    • My daughter went off to college and majored in Women and Gender Studies. She had always been very feminine. She did not transition until after college, but I barely recognize the kid I raised and loved and was so close to for 25 years. From being an open, honest, caring person “They” are now hostile, close-minded, and judge everything and everyone by their absolute adherence to transgender ideology. Therapists who have never met “them” assure me that people are the same after transitioning, but these therapists are wrong.

      Liked by 11 people

      • The same after transitioning? No. I told my daughter’s psychiatrist at her college that I was concerned about the personality change….she wrote it off as something she sees in transgender people…a personality change.

        Meanwhile, we also know that depression and other mental health issues can bring about personality changes. Getting one’s hormones out of whack can lead to a mood disorder personality change…which can show up with anxiety and aggression.

        GILAW and Susan, I’m sorry for your situations, but thank you for your comments. This is an important discussion. We want the best for our children’s long term well being. And for our whole family’s mental health. Witnessing someone’s morphing is very distressing.

        Liked by 9 people

  4. I am another author on this piece. We lost a daughter on her college campus. Our daughter did not have a gender identity disorder. She was a normal kid, a normal girl, growing up. She did have an internet addiction as a teen and that changed her. We could have never imagined that she would have this outcome. Not in a million years. Who could imagine a world where you send your beautiful and bright daughter off to the college of her dreams, and her personality completely changes, and her looks and you wonder what has happened? You then learn that she is using testosterone in the student health clinic. She has caused permanent harm to her body and voice. We will never hear her natural voice again. We would have to go to the family movie archives to hear her natural voice.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’m sitting here on the eve of our son’s departure for university, feeling so many things: fear, sadness, worry, anxiety, and the faintest glimmer of hope that always resides in me (often for no reason at all) and that I work very hard to keep alive or else I’d not be able to go on.

    My husband and I have been bearing this for 20 months now. In that time, we have kept our bright, quirky, sensitive, naive, innocent, now 18 year old son safe from the drugs he wanted to take and the social transition he wanted to make. All that work, all those countless hours spent researching and reading and trying to stay one step ahead of him – all for nothing likely, as we drop him off at a very “social justice” oriented school to begin his life as the woman he feels he truly is. Our hearts are broken.

    A parent commented here that the window of opportunity to change the path once a child has chosen it is small. We can agree with this from experience: in the two or three months we may have been able to stop this nightmare, we were busy trying to put one foot in front of the other and worrying about suicide, thereby not rocking the boat by questioning in any way his new life plan. We never affirmed, ever, but we watchfully waited. Now 20 months later we have a very excited, nervous, 6’3″ teenage boy with secret bags (he hasn’t told us his plans – we found the things) full of end of season sale price summer clothes from the women’s department at a popular online shopping site, innocently thinking he can seamlessly integrate into the university dorm and campus as female starting tomorrow. He has never publicly presented as female. He apparently has to learn hard lessons from experience, as he has not listened to one thing his father and I have told him.

    The change in his personality once he came to the conclusion he was trans was drastic. He and I used to be so close – very affectionate, multiple hugs a day. In a moment of stress induced affection yesterday, he hugged me and that was maybe the tenth time he has hugged me since 2015. What his father and I have gone through since the day he told us he is transgender can very definitely be called a grieving process. Now, he says he cannot wait to leave and make his own decisions and be his own person. This is a time we would love to be able to encourage him and be proud of him (which we are!) but everything we think of to say falls flat – how do you tell your recent grad to “follow his dreams”, that “anything is possible”, “you can do it”, when the only thing he relates it to is transition? So many happy moments and memories have been stolen from our once loving family. I don’t let myself think about it, because if I start crying, I feel I might not be able to stop.

    If he meets people who have a brain in their head and haven’t drank the Kool-Aid, he might be okay. If someone out there has the sense to question this insanity, he might listen to them. But we know this is a dream even more impossible than his dream of being female. It’s far more likely that we will watch him get sucked even further into this hellhole, even though it seems he currently doesn’t have a thought in his head that’s not trans-themed – he’s obsessed!

    We leave in twelve hours. I don’t know how to let him go. I want to say everything I haven’t said to him in the last 20 months. I want to tell him he is the reason life matters and without him I wouldn’t want to go on. I’ve never told him how his decision has affected me because I didn’t want to add guilt to his already overloaded mind. But I also want to tell him that I’m so angry with him for not trusting in our love for him – for shutting us out and instead trusting his friends and teachers and community members who have knowingly and actively worked against us to affirm and encourage him. I want to scream at him for believing in them rather than us, for turning his back on the love that he has always been shown, every single day of his life. The hurt, the rage, the crushing sadness – it’s enough to break me, I fear. If after 20 months, nothing we have done has worked (and trust me, we have tried everything) then maybe he has to learn the hard way. We are hoping he takes university seriously enough that he can’t cope with the extra demands of trying to deceive everyone into thinking he is female and gives up.

    All the best to you parents out there in the same situation as we are. I lurked on this website for 19 months before posting, so I know you’re out there. Let’s keep posting and make our voices heard at least to each other. The tide HAS to turn at some point.

    Liked by 9 people

    • I am very sorry, Everhopeful. I don’t know what to say. For us, we were taken by surprise and never a part of the conversation.
      If anyone out there has a child in high school who is flirting with this identity, consider a gap year.
      The social climate and ease of medical treatment in college are much more than they would be for a 18-year-old in another environment.
      Hang in there, Everhopeful. You have a good relationship with your son. Young people eventually mature.

      Liked by 4 people

      • A gap year is an excellent idea! Make it a gap year volunteering somewhere where your child is helping real people with real problems in the real world; or sign them up for an Outward Bound semester, where they will learn what they can be capable of doing in their real bodies (and which includes a component of helping the local community). Both produce insights and perspectives that can re-center your child.
        I’m a college professor, a former director of a women’s studies program that has now morphed into Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), who opposes the morphing of feminism into so-called “queer theory.” I no longer teach the intro or capstone WGS course, having gone back to my disciplinary home in literature, where I try as best I can to oppose the nonsense, making it clear when I teach gender analysis that biological sex is a reality, not something “assigned”; I reiterate the idea that gender is a social construct, not an indicator of an innate gendered nature (if you have a gender non-conforming teen, “Tomboy” by Liz Price is a wonderful graphic memoir about the author’s own realization that liking what boys like does’t make her a boy and that girls–and boys–can like what they like without having to become something they aren’t), and point out that naturalizing gender traits has a long (and oppressive) history (in Victorian Literature, for example, my students studying Hardy’s novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” read an excerpt from Kate Soper’s “What is Nature” called “Feminized Nature and Naturalized Woman”).
        But as I do this, I’m constantly aware that I am skirting the edge of being called on the carpet by my college’s campus code of conduct, which mandates respect for a student’s gender “identity.” Because I reject the trans activist line that has been swallowed hook, line, and sinker on campus, I decided to take down the “safe space” designation from my office door, and I’m convinced that I’m in a run for my money to retire before I get hauled up on charges of gender insensitivity.

        Liked by 7 people

      • I’m also a college professor walking that line. Asked to suggest a book to read with students in an informal group on great women writers (they are also reading Judith Butler in this group), I asked to lead a discussion on Isabella Bird’s 1882 book “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains”, an account by a middle age British Woman who traveled mostly alone and mostly on horseback through Colorado and other parts of the American West when it was still very wild. I love her! She brings a certain civility and domesticity with her wherever she goes in this mostly male world, yet she is full of humor and adventurousness and endures many hardships. I think our young women (and men) need such examples.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Thank you Alison for your comment. Your students are lucky to have you. Perhaps you’ll consider writing a post for this blog to share your perspective in more depth on this rapid change on college campuses. This has all happened so very fast.

        I’ve dug my heels in also. It is astonishing how callously these hormone “treatments” are being prescribed. My daughter has changed her body so quickly. She could benefit from your class, I’m sure.

        Liked by 5 people

      • I am very sorry, GILAW. Your experience with your daughter sounds similar to our experience. I do miss our daughter every day. Her loss is a dark cloud constantly hovering. She disassociated and became an entirely different person– her new persona is completely different than her former. This is not a happy story about someone finding herself.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. I can only send supportive thoughts in your direction.

      This post and the comments (including yours) have been quite interesting, because I’ve read “the other side” for ages now, in the transgender forums on reddit.

      There are endless posts over there by young people who are newly in college and beginning their transitions, “pre-everything” looking forward to hormones, or newly on hormones, crossdressing, getting assigned to the dorms of their “chosen gender,” using aliases. And so many of these kids are posting about how they aren’t out to their parents yet, and hoping they can hide the changes when they go home for break.

      As a random middle-aged woman browsing the internet, I always wondered just how in the hell they ever expected to pull this off? Some perspective only comes with age I suppose, but so many of them have this extremely naive idea that somehow they will live a double life forever without their “worlds” ever colliding, or that they will cut their families off entirely, and never find themselves ever wanting to reconnect, or confronting hard questions about “meeting the family” (or explaining why they can’t) if they ever successfully get into a relationship.

      Additionally these kids have some seriously unrealistic expectations of how yes indeed they will somehow magically transform when they hit the dorms and morph into these beautiful hot co-eds of their dreams, living “stealth.” It’s not gonna happen.

      All I can say is, you are definitely not alone, because all of those reddit posters have families back home. I’ve always wondered just what “the other side of the story” is, and I appreciate 4thwavenow for making it known. Thank you for sharing your stories.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks for your comment, Adrian. I haven’t found comfort in the fact that there now seem to be “endless” others embracing a transgender identity, though my husband does feel better that at least our daughter isn’t alone.

        One thing so alarming is that these young people are self-medicating. They no longer need to go thru any diagnostics or counseling, and they can find informed consent clinics that seem to require the very bare minimum of lab testing, and I wonder what those clinics really do if someone’s liver function tests don’t look so great.

        So when your kiddo visits, look at their eyes for signs of jaundice, and get them to your own family doctor for lab testing. ….if you can get them to cooperate. There is no one caring for the medical needs of these students, at least that is my impression.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I guess at this point if I knew that my daughter would pursue this route, only after she made affirming friends – one important one who is not a college student found her on campus = 5 years older! – I would have told her we could not afford housing and force her to commute. She’s talented but what does it matter? She’s gone now but I always have hope that it’s not for good.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Everhopeful, I can relate to your story, but my situation was with my daughter. She didn’t make any transgender announcement to us until after she turned 18, purposely waiting (which still stings so much), only weeks before it was time to take her to the college she had worked so hard to get admitted to. I delivered her to college all dressed like a man. Me in a daze, and she obviously very anxious but in a possessed, determined state of mind.

    I’d like to say “I wish I hadn’t taken her to college!”…but I don’t know what else I could have done. She was so determined that living as a man as THE way forward for her, there was nothing else I could have done. Two years later, she is a “he” still, but I don’t get the impression that all has gone swimmingly for her at school. Will she change her mind? I don’t know, but she has not yet made any legal identity changes. Has passing as a man improved her social life how she was hoping. No, it has not, I’m certain of that. I think the only friends at college are other transmen, but I don’t think they have stayed her friend either….because transitioning has not addressed her underlying mental health issues that led to friendship issues to begin with.

    And that is the lesson that only she can learn by working through the process. Do we protect our kids from these kind of life experiences? all anyone ever tells me is “she is an adult, it is her decision”.

    I wish I could give you some sage advice. Avoid college at all cost because it will most likely lock your son in, campus makes it too easy to transition. But I don’t know. So much is based on the reaction of peers. Even social justice warrior friends could snub your son when it comes time to socialize…and he will be alone…which could be a life lesson?

    Has your son ever had any diagnostics for mental health reasons? is he possibly on the autism spectrum? a gifted student? the only thing I can think to do now is to try making an appointment with a family counselor to request that my daughter go thru MH diagnostics to be sure she has ruled out other explanations for how she feels.

    It seems the harder we push against this, the harder our young adult children push back. It is the age of rebellion and of finding their own path anyway, this just makes it so painful.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I’m disgusted but hardly shocked to see my own alma mater, UMass–Amherst, featured here. It’s known as the UC–Berkeley of the East Coast for a reason. I remember when the Stonewall Center was for LGB students, and some allies. A bisexual friend was president of their Gay–Straight Alliance, and I had a blast the night I went with her to the Quintessentially Queer Café. It’s possible there were one or two people there in drag, but everyone else was LGB, and if there were anyone in drag, they at least weren’t claiming to really be the opposite sex.

    I suppose none of these schools are worrying about the long recovery time involved in the irreversible surgeries they now offer, as well as the time off to get the surgeries to begin with. This trans trend is NOT going to end well for the people involved, on that day when it’s finally seen as akin to the Satanic ritual abuse allegations a generation ago.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. My husband and I are living this nightmare. Our son decided to try on a Tran’s identity his senior year. We do not & will never agree. He is a handsome, intelligent young man and will always be that no matter what he does to his body. He is now living 1,500 miles from home at a school that is incredibly Tran’s friendly. We can only pray that once he has what he wants, he will find something new to fixate on & the Tran’s thing will go away. No he was never into girl things or anything like that. This really did come out of nowhere.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Terrified Mom,

      This is an interesting comment you make: “that once he has what he wants, he will find something new to fixate on & the Trans thing will go away”.

      Does your son have a history of doing that….fixating on something for a while and then moving to the next interest? my daughter has a history like that, but now with what she has done to her voice and image, leaving all of this behind will be pretty tough.

      I’ve heard that a lot of patients to gender clinics are said to either be diagnosed on the autism spectrum or show ASD traits. And ADHD can also be a factor. Once our kids are over 18, it sure gets hard to get them to agree to any diagnostics and counseling. And that can’t happen on college campuses…it would have to be off-campus. That is, of course, my complaint with all of this….no longer any diagnostics and counseling required prior to making these huge changes. …changes we’re just supposed to go along with.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Mine is dead set on having a mastectomy so I resorted to extreme tactics. I had a lumpectomy and the scar tissue on it’s own is frightening enough but they had to dig the lump from my chest wall. So I offered to let her see and feel for herself how being cut up feels like. She almost puked and said no I’m not touching THAT. Sometimes you have to fight dirty. I’m so glad that I have found like minded parents!

    Liked by 4 people

    • And the thing is, it isn’t even “fighting dirty” (although I know that comment was in jest). Anybody who has had major surgery, and of course a mastectomy IS major surgery, knows it’s incredibly invasive, grueling, and debilitating. At my gym, there is a special rehab exercise group for women who have had partial or complete breast removal, due to cancer, and you can just tell by looking, how hard it’s been on them. I always feel so sorry when I see them.

      Making sure our children actually know what’s involved with these things, rather than some air-brushed, happy-clappy internet version, is doing them a favor.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. My daughter is a high school senior who has identified as trans for about a year. I have gone along with hairstyle and clothing changes. I call her the name she has chosen. I have said no to a legal name change, will not use her desired pronouns, and will not agree to testosterone. She got a binder against my wishes.

    I am thinking about what leverage we might have to keep her off testosterone once she goes to college. We have been planning to help her finance college. I am thinking of telling her if she wants our financial support in college, she needs to sign a release of information for us to access her medical records, and that we will not pay tuition if she is on testosterone.

    I would appreciate any feedback on this idea. Would it be workable? Pros and cons?

    Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You can make financial support conditional on not using testosterone, but i don’t think a records release is the way to go. If she uses testosterone it will become obvious quickly. Even regular phone contact would reveal voice changes. If forced to sign a release she could just get testosterone illegally (it’s not very hard) or may avoid medical treatment for some other important issue that she should be able to keep private. Most importantly i would anticipate that being pushed to sign away privacy may damage your relationship with her.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My first thought is, good luck. You will have no control or influence over your daughter once she departs for college. You can look at “pride guide” and see the most trans-friendly colleges and where not to send her. The sad fact is that most colleges will happily help your child become a different person and receive life-changing cross-sex hormones.
      There are many brilliant parents in the About section who have found ways to talk to their daughters about this identity. (Go back to the March-April section of About). Lisa Marchiano has a good article on young people she sees in her office.
      Your daughter (no doubt) is being influenced by what she sees on her screen and perhaps by a small group of friends in her school. Any interruption to this girl-interrupted narrative will be helpful. The college will fan the flames. There are many reasons kids choose a gap year. I would never suggest to your daughter that her trans identity is a reason to take a gap year–but it is. Gap years are increasingly common:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/05/01/gap-year_n_4325969.html
      (Not sure why above did not hyperlink.)

      Good luck to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

    • stjoeelvira, thank you for your comment.

      I don’t want to give you advice…we are all scrambling and don’t have the answers. So these are just things that come to my mind….

      I agree that accessing her medical records is not the answer. She can easily work through some clinic you won’t know about. Not all college health clinics are providing these hormone injections; I suspect most transgender students are going to off-campus providers.

      I’d say, due to all we now know about campuses, do what you can to keep her off a college campus, and do what you can with medical and psychiatric appointments before she turns 18.

      Seriously consider a Gap year…you could make college finance assistance contingent on her taking a Gap year. She can take ownership of that to find options, but you can have final say on which choice to approve (it will also cost money). Provide options to bide time before she ever goes to college.

      Butting heads over this choice won’t work, and she will know what you’re doing by putting off college. But there are some really awesome Gap opportunities now, so hopefully she can get excited about that option. You still have some time. No guarantee she would change her mind, of course.

      Also, my daughter is now a college junior. She did start testosterone via an off-campus clinic while just a freshman. When I threatened to stop helping with college payments, she simply went to the college center for diversity and they said they would help her with financing (via scholarships and loans).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, if parents stop sending funds, that makes them abusive and the college will happily come up with the money. Your alma mater dollars at work!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I will tell you first hand once they are over 18 you have no leverage once on campus. We tried everything in our power to get my son away and off of the campus. We tried that route. Campus gave him a job so he could pay for the hormones, his high school girl friend, also trans showed up a year later and came out. Changing her name ect. We as parents stood shoulder to shoulder, stopped sending $ and refused to do FAFSA for them, school told them to get married so they did and then both got boat loads of financial aid. Nothing worked for us, you as parents are the enemies to the LGBT community they know all of the hoops. You have none… just from experience.

      Liked by 4 people

    • You can definitely threaten to cut financial support but this may or may not work, as others here have mentioned. And if the prior “contract” was parents paying for college with other kids in your family, or with this kid, the blowback will likely be extreme and long lasting.

      Hard decision, and one spouse and I debated and discussed for many months. Gap year held no interest in for our kid, who is fixated on graduating in year XX — she’s got ADD, she’s kind of OCD, and might be an aspie too, I dunno. Anyway, she gets fixated on such things.

      In the end, when kid pushed hard to have transition facilitated as soon as she hit college and encountered the inevitable stresses of freshman year, we told her that:

      a) we would provide financial support for her undergraduate education and living expenses as long as she continued to make satisfactory academic progress, despite the fact that we’d be completely within our legal rights to withdraw that support

      and

      b) we could not in good conscience assist or pay for her transition plans in any way, but obviously we cannot stop her from seeking them out and finding ways to pay for them herself.

      This is a kid with a fair amount of social anxiety who is used to having parents manage all anxious-making “adult” situations, so this (for this particular kid) has been very upsetting, and is interpreted as extreme “nonsupport.” It breaks my heart that she sees it this way and cannot see the love represented in the way we’ve hung in her through many years of serious difficulties, assisting in every other aspect of her life with our time, money, and emotional resources, but that’s her view at present.

      And there it stands. For now. Kid is headed into 2d year at a state university and could definitely access trtansition services/groups there, but has not elected to do that. Still has original name and gender designation but is universally “read” as a young adolescent male due to choices of presentation. Wears a binder in all public situations despite being offered many resources regarding the bad health effects. (She bluntly tells me: “I don’t care what you think.”) So … yeah.

      I am braced every day to find she’s taken this down the path I believe she is determined to take. Discussions are short and explosive (on her part) so we just email and mail her info. Which likely she does not look at (“too long, didn’t read”) but who knows?

      Honestly, just praying we get through college and kid gets herself financially independent and then …. at that point, it’s not my watch any more. I live for that day, because after several years of this stalemate (on top of MANY years of dealing with this kid’s mental health issues) I am worn out. It comes to a point where you have to find some sort of acceptance or you destroy your own health, mental and physical. I think.

      My heart hurts for all whose stories I’m reading here. May we all find a way to go on without cracking up.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Puzzled, your daughter sounds very much like mine, except I think I missed the ADD for all these years. I’m reading a lot about it now, and see signs that I missed earlier. Is your daughter on ADD medication?

        The whole ability to plow ahead with hormones without diagnostics and counseling is so wrong. My daughter has rationalized her actions in her head, and as a perfectionist I doubt she will ever let herself question it now. She would have to admit she made a mistake….

        Liked by 3 people

      • Yeah, POSTS, she is on short-acting ADD meds — I don’t love them, but since she was dx’d in about 6th grade I have to say they have allowed a very dramatic difference in her ability to succeed academically. We have figured out ways for her to leverage them without her having to take them 24/7, because when she was doing that she got very anorexic, even though we tried MANY different ADD meds. (she just had zero appetite on the long-acting ones; this is a common side effect.)

        She is an adoptee, hard early life history, also has dx of attachment disorder. This is definitely not our first psych-world rodeo. In fact, adoptees are over-represented among youth trans populations, though no one’s done research to find out why. And my particular kid is very “here there be dragons” regarding discussions of her early life and birth family. There’s a lot of baggage there that she refuses to deal with, preferring to think transition would solve all problems.

        The quick fix — so alluring. I honestly don’t blame her. I blame the adults in the med/psych/pharm (and academic) world who are driving this runaway train, and the transactivists who are using confused kids as a wedge to normalize self-diagnosis and a medical free-for-all.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. Maybe this is the wrong thing to say here, but at least at colleges like this, there’s some kind of medical person overseeing the hormones. If you send your kid off to, I don’t know, Brigham Young or Bob Jones or what-have-you, they’ll just go buy hormones off the black market, assuredly more dangerous. I don’t really think you all as parents can do much other than locking them in the house, unfortunately. Not that I necessarily think colleges should be facilitating transitions, but they didn’t start offering these services just because–they’re giving people what they want.

    I happen to attend to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, would anyone be interested in me going down to the LGBT center and seeing what other trans-related materials they have that might not be on their website?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure, Lilly. If you are actually a student there and female and have no long-term gender dysphoria, go ahead and see how easy it is to get a referral for hormones.

      Like

    • Lily, your point is well-taken. My daughter goes to a clinic off-campus and I’m certain she has not kept up with check-ins there like she should be. I think any medical treatment for transitioning should only be done under the care of a fully trained staff. I can’t imagine all of these university health centers really have a grasp of what they are undertaking by offering hormone injections. This is truly treading new ground and turning students into guinea pigs.

      Like

  12. Puzzled, I agree with you, I don’t blame my daughter either….she did go around me to get advice from others, but they gave her lousy advice. And I think it may have been untreated ADD for so long that gave her the horrible friendship experiences with other girls that led to the uncontrollable urge to change herself. Like you, I blame the professionals who, if they aren’t driving it, they also aren’t questioning it, despite their so-called credentials.

    Now it is a tightrope act….how to be accepting of the person while questioning the concept.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I blame the system in place. Go back to the DSM-4. How can it be that everyone who knew this young person over her lifetime thinks this does not make any sense? How can you become more authentic by taking cross-sex hormones that cause permanent harm? I am afraid I am too old to comprehend these notions.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. So one way to fund my daughter’s education is to have her go to the campus LGTBQ office and tell them I am cutting off support if she takes testosterone. Then she gets a free ride? Well if it didn’t involve ruining my daughter’s health, it would be easier than the FAFSA. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

    Liked by 2 people

      • From one POSTS to another, it is better that you have a relationship with your daughter. Every young adult attracted to trans is different, families and situations are different. This POSTER does not have a relationship with her daughter. Our young adults need their families, to have a grounded home base. I hope our daughters can wholly return.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. i just ordered a book by Robert Whitaker entitled Anatomy of an Epidemic. It’s about how drugs to treat different mental health issues actually show very little benefit and in some cases actually worsened symptoms in the long term. As I was reading the forward I was struck by how similar the themes in this book are to treating trans children and adolescents. The author initially got a lot of backlash and dismissing. But now he is quoted in Psychologhy Today and speaks widely. He has a blog. Maybe we parents all need to start posting comments there and in psychology blogs? It’s worth a try

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I am not sure where to leave this comment as it is not about college but something that bugs me.
    Does anyone else deal with concerned friends or family thinking you are bigoted or abusive or just behind the times when you try to talk to them about what is happening with your kid? A parent of one of my daughter’s friends has admonished me about how important it is to be loving and accepting, and it makes my wonder what my daughter has been telling friends. Some seem alarmed that I may be discriminating against trans people. One tells me how accepting she is of her own daughter being a lesbian as though I should get with the program and accept my kid. All the time I am thinking she has no idea how lucky she is that her kid doesn’t want to modify her body. Some seem in a big hurry to affirm my kid’s identity as though to make up for my perceived non-support. Some do not want to hear anything critical about the transgender movement and try to shut down conversation. I am a liberal, so many of my friends are liberal as well. Their minds are made up although they know so little.
    I have never felt so alone.

    Liked by 3 people

    • stjoeelvira, you have much company here, much company. Perhaps that is why many of us are here. We have a teen that goes off the rails and everyone supports him or her and scorns the parent for not being on-board. I think a loving parent would be highly-skeptical of a sudden change in her daughter or son’s identity–especially if the identity involves harmful drugs, body modification, etc. There is quite a leap to be made from supporting your daughter or son’s sexual identity, to affirming that your daughter is now a different person. I think it is unfair to expect a collective re-writing of our brains and history. We did support our daughter as a lesbian. She never showed any signs of gender dysphoria and she was not gender atypical for a girl.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is me, too. I am so hurt that people I have known WELL for 25 years completely cut me off and will not even discuss the subject or ask for my viewpoint. They have also known my (ex) daughter for that long as well and do not acknowledge the physical and personality changes in her at all. They are running on pure ideology and everyone has to be all in, accepting not only the changes in the actual body, voice, and personality without any questions, but also the rigid ideology that advocates for stuff like the end of female sports, the disallowing of women’s boundaries (Lesbians must have sex with penis people if they call themselves women, little girls must accept penis people showing them their erections in the bathroom if they call themselves women, because it is a natural process). It seems so wrong, yet that is where we are.

      Liked by 2 people

      • OMG same thing here except for 1 male family member who is no longer welcome in my house because he is verbally abusive and I will not let him demean my daughter by calling her out as a trany. The stuff with my daughters body dysmorphia is appearing to correlate to her menstral cycle. She’s always going online looking for validation about 3 days before she cycles. Now I have seen this pattern over the last 4 months. She starts university next week along with all the counselling support they have to offer. I’m scared witless that they are going to ‘kidnap’ my beautiful girl and as far as I can tell this dysmorphia is caused by her periods. She won’t listen to me about it and then goes online to complain about what a witch/terf I am. She still lives at home and I will boot her ass the second I find out she’s changed or taken anything. She has no choice, my husband and I have agreed that her education will be over and she can do whatever she wants but then she loses her multimillion dollar inheritance. Sorry this isn’t very coherent, I’m just super tired of her drama and all the effects on my physical health. My hair is falling out by handfuls, I throw up a lot so why bother eating, and my chronic pain is excruciating on a daily basis. And so far every ‘professional’ I talked to says until I accept it I will be miserable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You will also be miserable if you do accept it, but you will be required to hide your misery and outwardly present as if you are on board with the changes in your kid and on board with the whole ideology. I was in another parent support group online (that was closed down) and pretty much all the parents in that group were supportive of their kids and even believed the hype, but they did not report happiness or a suddenly happy family life. Much of the support was about how not to cry in front of the kid, how to keep yourself from becoming an alcoholic or drug addict (yoga!) and how to cope.

        Liked by 1 person

    • kelloggmom … have you guys considered a birth control method such as seasonale, or (more invasive) an IUD? Not my favorites but if periods are such a trigger it’d be worth investigating.

      Like

    • stjoeelvira — a lot of us here are in the same boat. I had great progressive credentials but now, jeez, I have come around to the proverbial “they are so open minded their brains have fallen out” point of view.

      I have found that in at least a few cases some blunt education goes a long way. “Do you want to know some of the detrimental health effects of ‘blockers?’ Do you want to know detrimental long-term effects of opposite-sex hormones? Let’s talk about the risks of elective major surgeries while we’re at it. And oh, yeah, here’s the research indicating that transition actually does not prevent suicide or suicidal thoughts….”

      They all think that being trans is just some form of “super gay” and that of course you have to affirm/support. When you confront them with the medical facts, at least some of them will agree that, yeah, maybe in fact it is NOT the same thing as needing to support your gay son or lesbian daughter.

      But it is wearisome no matter how you slice it. To have this “bad person on the wrong side of history” story layered on top of the grief and conflict you are already dealing with as you parent your kid — yeah, it’s awful, in fact. (Though you are not supposed to talk about this. because hey, “it’s not all about you….”)

      ai yai yai

      Liked by 5 people

    • So much this ^^^
      I, too, have been accused of “transphobia” when I express skepticism about what I see as the “rush to judgment” and “throwing caution to the winds” nature of all of this. I, too, have been told that “I’ll be much happier” when I accept the reality. Being in this place is extremely lonely and isolating, especially since my friends are fellow liberals and up until now, we pretty much agreed on everything. Even when I ask friends, “how would YOU feel if your child suddenly told you they were the opposite sex, when they never showed signs of it before” – they will just say, oh, I’d be fine with it, I’d support my child no matter what. (Sometimes I just think, oh yeah, I BET you would, but it’s sure easy to say that.) And as to the actual truth about these things, the medical facts and consequences, people just still think you’re being a lying bigot and exaggerating or outright fabricating things, to make a point. “I can’t hear you”. . .

      Liked by 2 people

    • stjoeelvira, I’m not sure if this will make you feel better or not, but you have described the situation that virtually every one of us parents is facing. I’d say that’s why we’re here. It’s nice to have one little corner of the internet in which to remind ourselves that we’re not the crazy ones. In fact, it’s exactly this frustration that caused me to write a guest blog on this site almost two years ago. I just reread it, and nothing in the family situation has changed. (Almost two years?!? Gee, time flies when you’re having fun. Not.)

      https://4thwavenow.com/2015/10/26/dear-well-meaning-relatives-back-off/

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Kellogmom. WOW!!!! I’m so glad you bought up the menstrual cycle thing!! I have noticed the exact same correlation with my daughter. It’s really funny that before she turned 18 and announced to me one day that she is trans , she exhibited the same spike in very unhappy feelings whenever she was getting her period. Before trans came along she would focus on depression or anxiety. Now absolutely EVERYTHING in her life relates to her trans identity in her mind. I get to go to her therapist tonight and I’m sure I will be lectured on how to behave. I’ve always respected and loved my kid and let her present in any way she wanted. But now she says she doesn’t trust me. I am heartbroken and exhausted. I have come to the conclusion that I can’t help her. She absolutely refuses to sit down face to face and have a conversation about any of this. I have tried to keep my feelings out of it and just try to focus on the medical effects and dangers. Nope ! Won’t listen to that either. I will tell this to the therapist but I already know my observations,feelings and concerns will be dismissed. So it’s time for me to give it up. Some people need to learn the hard way and as much as I would love for her to not medically alter her healthy body I really don’t think I can keep her from doing this. I also lost one of my best friends because she doesn’t even have the decency to realize how this makes me feel. She says I’m just upset because my daughter won’t give me grand kids!!!!! Great friend huh?! Like I said… I’m exhausted so I need to move on and worry about what I do have control over. I will not let this destroy me or my health. I actually like to be happy and productive. My father was an alcoholic and I guess I learned from an early age that I can’t change people or their self destructive coping mechanisms. I can only speak my mind when given the chance to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awakened, my heart goes out to you. When mine announced her transgender diagnosis (self diagnosis) and demanded that I keep it from her father for months on end. She triggered an onslaught of memories from my childhood about sexual abuse. One incident I knew of but the rest of the memories were buried deep and that has taken me to the brink of suicide more than once in the last 6 months. I’m just going Day by day at this point, but she has to make a choice before university starts next week. Basically if she’s still claiming to be a boy she gets to live and work on our farm because that’s what the men do traditionally. My husband is not going to take this bullshit from her nor let her treat the rest of her family as garbage. He just spent the morning with her and is done with her pity party.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Kellogmom. I’m so sorry ! My heart is breaking for all these families! Please take care of yourself. Go to a therapist. You need to heal. Yep pity parties are just enabling behavior that is destructive. So your husband is doing the right thing. And yes! My kid treats us pretty much like garbage but then demands respect! She’s 19 but is acting like a two year old. I truly know your desperation to save her but I just don’t think it is possible once they are legal adults. We still need to go on and live our lives. So please, if your daughter won’t help herself, at least you get some support for yourself. You deserve that and you deserve to heal from sexual abuse. I feel very strongly for women who were abused . I know so many who were and it took them a long time to heal from it and understand it was not their fault and they deserve happiness! I will keep you in my thoughts and hope for healing and happiness for you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks I am going to therapy(finally) and the few walk in sessions we’ve had as a family have left us not communicating at all at times and she just doesn’t seem to care. So yes I go on, sometimes I like to think yes in spite of her I will go on. Her twin sister is just non reactive about any of this and I worry for her as well. So far she’s hasn’t been indoctrinated in to this cult. I was going to say culture but that just doesn’t seem to work for me. There’s nothing glamorous about any of this. I hope that the parents with young teens will manage to break through to their children because the age of 18 you really have no say. I’m just to the point where if I have no say she has no home. I never thought I would ever be capable of throwing out my own child but I can not watch her mutilate her body and I will not contribute to it financially.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. There are multiple reasons for the transgender trend and the seemingly easy availability of cross-sex hormones in the student center (or referrals off-campus). Many insurance plans cover these treatments.
    Contributing factors: Most young people view gender as a social construct (they may even take a class with that course material). Many young people that are attracted to this identity, are first captivated on the web (Tumblr, Reddit, vlogs). There is the muddling of sexual and gender identities. There is the social climate of a college campus. One cannot under-estimate risk-taking in this age group. Mental health and social anxiety are factors. To what extent did the rewriting of the DSM-5 in 2013, and changes to Title IX in 2014, create or affirm a perfect storm?
    I am simply a parent and not an expert. Please jump in and correct any wrong assumptions.
    What can be done? I don’t want other families to experience what we did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gender IS a social construct. Sex is not. It is important to know the terminology and use it correctly. Gender is the whole stereotype nonsense – that is how real feminism used to use the word.
      Young people of today have swallowed some nonsense about their “gender identity” being innate, pointing out that gender is a social construct either makes them angry, or they’ll insist that it being socially constructed doesn’t mean they shouldn’t let it dictate their lives. (They will pretend that biological sex is a social construct, which of course makes no sense whatsoever). Some might still be against “gender stereotypes”, as they vaguely remember that stereotypes are bad, but of course won’t be able to explain in what way their ideological claim that gender non-conforming people are really the other sex, is different from plain old stereotypes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you sellmaeth.

        Somebody must be donating to a whole lot of university funds to get them all to buy into this campus contagion. It could be contained by allowing counselors to really counsel – and question! – instead of handing out name tags with “My Pronoun Is______”.

        Like

      • I still have to do mental gymnastics with the terminology. Perhaps it was different in different countries or even in different parts of a given country (I’m in US), but in my experience, “sex” always referred to the sexual act, “gender” referred to a person being female or male, and “gender role” referred to the societal expectations of either gender.

        So when I “hear” (read) these activists saying that “sex isn’t important, gender is”, I still have to translate it in my mind to understand it as “gender isn’t important, gender role is”, or I start getting confused lol

        I happen to believe that many, many people are (in my terminology) confusing gender with gender role – especially when I see that so many of those who consider themselves the opposite gender (whether or not they have surgery) seem to be primarily wanting to change their gender role. In other words, men who think it’s such a thrill to carry a purse or wear make-up or wear a dress – when the reality for most women is that carrying a purse serves a utilitarian function and is a habit (it’s not experienced as a thrilling thing), and they rarely wear dresses in normal life – when they wear a dress it’s for a special occasion.

        And they forget that in history, men have worn dresses (such as kilts, or even now in places like Saudi Arabia, at least the royalty does), have carried what could be termed “purses”, and I believe have even worn some type of makeup.

        Anyway lol my point was to agree that terminology is important – it’s just that for someone like me, I really have to “translate” to the terms I am used to, because they are so ingrained – otherwise I feel confused.

        Like

      • So when I “hear” (read) these activists saying that “sex isn’t important, gender is”, I still have to translate it in my mind to understand it as “gender isn’t important, gender role is”, or I start getting confused lol

        To clarify my comment above – of course, I realize that someone claiming trans would say it as (in my terminology), “gender isn’t important, gender identity is” – they wouldn’t acknowledge they are adopting a gender role/societal construct.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Awakened, Kellogmom, Stjoeelvira, POSTS, GILAW, puzzled and everyone else, I wish I had some practical or useful information to offer. I don’t. I just want to say I’m with you and I support you. You are not alone in your feelings, in your fear and isolation, in friends turning their backs on you. It’s so lonely and heartbreaking. So many people just don’t get it and maybe never will unless their kid puts them through it. But I understand, we all understand. We all have each other, even if it is just via technology rather than in person. I wish I had a solution to this madness. I don’t — but please, never feel alone.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. To start, I am a huge fan of this blog. It is a great source of information on the other end of the trans debate and well put-together.

    Coming from the inside of the “transgender community” (sort of, I actually do not participate much in it, to be honest, it’s not a culture I feel comfortable in), I have generated some thoughts of my own in regards as to why there is a sudden increase in trans people (or, at least, trans women, since they are the crowd I am most familiar with).

    Some young heterosexual men have feminine interests and will equate that to being transgender. I have known a few trans women who come out and are posting all the time on their social media accounts about how exciting it is to be able to wear makeup and dresses and shave their legs, etc., etc. All things that one could do as a man, I think. But because there is zero representation for effeminate heterosexuals and an abundance of representation of “trans lesbians,” they automatically gravitate towards that identity, despite the fact that they may experience little to no dysphoria surrounding their genitals, and may have a history of being with women, as men, without issue.

    How do you know if your kid is really trans? Let me tell you, just from my own experience coming out to my family, what needs to be seen to make one truly transgender (or transsexual, which is the term I prefer since, really, transitioning is all about altering the body to ease the dissociation felt in regards to one’s biological sex, not the gender role prescribed to their birth sex):

    a.) Transition is a treatment for a mental disorder (gender identity disorder), therefore the patient being treated should show signs of improvement if they are in transition. Dysphoria should decrease and their self-esteem should be boosted. Also, hang-ups in regards to pronoun usage, etc. should not be as end-all be-all as they appear to be in the stories I’m hearing. There should be an open dialogue between parent and child, and as long as the parents aren’t being physically abusive or emotionally abusive (and I mean that in the sense that they lock their kid away in their room and throw out the key or something like that), then there is no reason for the child to be cutting them out of their life. If they are so certain about their identity they should allow it to be made self-evident through their behavior and not let a parent’s struggle to come to terms with the fact set them off.

    b.) If your child is obsessed with being trans like it’s some sort of club, or are obsessed with clothing and fashion and all of that, there is reason to question their motivations. You know how I am dressed most of the time? Jeans and t-shirt with my hair tied back. No makeup. You know why? Because I don’t need to dress like a porn star to feel like a woman. It’s about the body beneath the clothes, not the clothes themselves. I could dress in a men’s suit and still be called female and still feel confident in myself as a woman. Which brings me to my next point…

    c.) Transitioning is not about “being trans.” It shouldn’t be about identity, or “being your true self.” I absolutely despise that rhetoric because it’s cheesy and ridiculous. I transitioned because I suffered a mental disorder that caused problems for me in nearly all aspects of my life, especially with romantic relationships. I spent years not dating because I had so many issues being touched. There was something about my biological sex that caused me such discomfort, and I found myself wishing, often that I could be the opposite sex. I had no past history of sexual trauma, so I had no idea what the cause could be. I did not binge on Tumblr or any other trans media. I did honest research on transsexuality and transition. I weighed the pros and cons and took each step slowly, and analyzed my feelings along the way. “Did doing this make me feel better? Will doing that make me feel better? What are the drawbacks?” If your child wants to swan dive into hormones and surgery, they need a reality check because that is NOT something you decide on a whim. It should NOT be something decided on a whim.

    I would love to write an article for you. More trans people need to get behind this because this craziness is damaging to actual transsexuals who just want treatment. Trans activists make us sounds like self-modifying nuts because they enable the self-modifying nuts by making this treatment readily accessible TO the self-modifying nuts and saying insane things like “you don’t need dysphoria to be trans,” or “you don’t need to transition to be trans,” or “being trans isn’t a medical condition.”

    This turned out super long… I apologize for that.

    I pray your children come back to you. I pray they shake free of their delusions. My parents were not supportive at first, but I understood why and I respected their feelings. It’s difficult when a child comes out as trans. A child with the maturity to make this decision should have the wisdom to understand that.

    Much love to you all,
    Alex<3

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks for your comment, Alex. It is always heartening to hear from members of the trans community who are concerned about the sudden rise in gender transitions. I’d like to think we all want people to be happy, healthy and safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely. I just hope that one day the trans community will see that blogs like this aren’t these horrible “transphobic” places. You are reasonable people with reasonable concerns, and we as a community have to answer to that. Blocking out the questions is suspicious and defensive behavior.

        Everything you are doing is done out of love and it reminds me of my parents whom I love and would never want to hurt and could not stand the thought of having to cut out of my life. I really truly hope things work out for all of you. And I pray your children recover from their struggles, or develop the maturity and wisdom to approach their transitions in a responsible manner and hopefully have a happier life thereafter.

        Keep fighting the good fight. Ultimately this could lead to a better future for everyone, trans or not.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Alex, for your insight and I commend you for appreciating skeptism. You touched on 4 ideas that I want to address – transgender being a mental disorder, the social club aspect, going SLOWLY through the process of deciding what is the best for a given person, and parental involvement.

      a) mental disorder: I think many of us parents with gender dysphoric children would agree that it’s a mental disorder. It’s one that requires a commitment of time and energy to find the root causes and correct treatment. Many people posting here take issue with the medical (surgical and cross-sex hormone) treatments undertaken to treat children and teens through college kids. I think many parents take issue with affirmation as a starting point of therapy (according to APA guidelines, page 842) instead of trying to look at underlying causes and see if the patient can be helped to overcome the disorder over time. Many disorders exist where neurochemical (e.g., depression disorders, schizophrenia) and/or neurophysiological (e.g., phatom limb pain, chronic regional pain syndrome ) factors play a role. We do not tell the depressed patient that yes, your life sucks (affirmation), or the schizophrenic that yes, those auditory hallucinations (voices in your head) are actually real people (they are perceived as real because their auditory centers actually experience the sound).

      b) social justice club: As for the social club issue, I think some of these sudden onset gender dysphoria kids do not feel like they fit in with the crowd. They look for reasons why they don’t fit in and find many online sources suggesting that they are transgender. They feel a connection to other kids that don’t belong and feel like they could be a part of a social justice wave. Over a period of a few months, they become obsessed with this idea that they can cure their problems with this physical fix and they want treatment fast which brings us to the timing issue.

      c) Slow down!: From personal life experience, I can plainly see that therapists and gender experts proceed way too fast. They immediately jump to affirmation and then after one year (if that) to cross sex hormones, then surgery. I don’t know what your definition of slow is, but I sincerely appreciate your sentiment that slow is good.
      People always come to therapists seeking change. Adolescents demand quick treatment with great urgency and therapists are quick to appease. It is much easier to follow these practice guidelines (APA guidelines) and to move on with this appealing cure than it is to go through a slow process of evaluating dysphoria, it’s underlying causes, and painful process of healing and acceptance.
      I think by the time a child sees a therapist, that their entire belief system centers around being in the wrong body. They are very convincing in their speech and have re-written their own histories to match their self-diagnosis. Then when these adults … these “experts” suggest they might be right – bang – it’s all over – point of no return.
      Getting a kid to be open to considering all options and ways of thinking about their situation should be step #1!

      d) Parents: Solicitation of parental guidance and opinion is sparse or nonexistent in many cases. The therapist assumes the child’s word is truth without taking their whole life into context. The therapist doesn’t acknowledge that perhaps the parents have some ideas about thier child’s situation and what to do about it.

      Thank you Alex for recognizing that it is a mental disorder, it is a not a social club or a social justice group, it takes loads of time and evaluation to understand BEFORE action (including affirmation) is taken, and it should involve the parents. Although I am skeptical of the decision to embark on these treatment courses at any time (most especially prior to adulthood), I am open to the idea that they may be necessary as a method of last resort for some small portion of gender dysphoric people who cannot, despite best efforts, reconcile with their born sex. I have the uttermost respect and empathy for anyone dealing with this issue. I sincerely wish you the best.

      Liked by 3 people

  21. Alex, thank you for coming here and giving us your perspective. Speaking just for me, there certainly doesn’t seem like much a parent could object to, about your approach and attitude. I wish you much happiness and good fortune in the years ahead.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Hi Alex-
    You have posted on this blog before? I appreciate your perspective. Being of an older generation, I have always thought of gender dysphoria as something that is rare and that is a condition that presents early and persists.
    I think language is a powerful identity creator. Label it and the seekers will come. Many parents on this blog discovered that their children were forming an identity via the internet and/or losing their former self.
    If one finds an identity on the internet and pledges to it, is it real? Personally, I don’t think this is part of the natural human evolution. There are a lot of fractured souls out there seeking a place to call home.
    Thank you for bringing up the differences between MTF and FTM. They don’t have much in common, do they?
    You mentioned stereotypes. Yes, strange that our progressive society has progressed to the point of being regressive. One can be a man interested in “typical female” interests and be a man, even a straight man. I have female friends that are mistaken for lesbians because they wear their hair short and eschew makeup. But they are well beyond their formative years, so this labeling does not affect them.
    As for the medical, my understanding is that testosterone has enduring consequences, estrogen not so much. Puberty blockers in younger children have huge ramifications.

    Did your family always see you as different?
    Again, thank you for your sharing your experience and ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes and no… they noticed that I struggled socializing with my peers, especially boys, when I was young. They knew I was bullied and that I struggled with my sexuality (however, their thought was that the kids I hung around with at school were trying to convince me that I was gay and that my same-sex attraction could not have come organically). They knew I experimented with some light gender-bending and for a while even bought me girls’ jeans to wear when I was in high school (emo was the fashion back then, so boys with long hair and feminine clothing were nothing too out of the ordinary)… however they drew the line at makeup. Yet, when I came out as trans it seemed that they had overlooked all these as potential signs, but that was because our communication was not the greatest back in middle school and high school. They used to be quite homophobic and had reacted very badly to my coming out as bisexual, so I refused to discuss anything related to sexuality or sexual identity after that. I also did not have words for much of what I was experiencing and could not explain my feelings of dissociation well.

      I hope that answers your question. Sorry for the long response… it’s a pretty long story.

      Like

  23. If a person believes they have the “wrong” body, shouldn’t they understand and experience exactly what that body does, including sexually? Our body parts have some very specific purposes and abilities. How can a young person claim to hate their vagina–to the point of wanting to surgically alter it–without experiencing penetrative sex in that vagina? Because that is, after all, one of the things a vagina is for. How can a young person be ready to amputate a penis without experiencing exactly what that penis can do, which is perform penetrative sex? College is traditionally a time to experience sexual exploration, and it seems these young people are ready to drastically alter their bodies without understanding or experiencing how those bodies actually work? I mean, would you alter your voice before knowing whether you are a talented singer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Or at least to have a sexual relationship with someone in their natal body, whether that is a same-sex or opposite-sex relationship. There are lots of lesbians, for instance, who have never experienced penetrative sex and have no interest whatsoever in doing so, yet still have a great deal of sexual pleasure using their natural bodies. Same thing for gay men, many of them probably don’t have any wish to have sex with someone who has a vagina, but they still get a pretty big kick out of using their penises anyway!

      I know this probably is what you meant to include, but just wanted to make it explicit…

      Like

    • Experiencing penetrative sex might make a girl hate her vagina even more. Just saying.PIV is, in many ways, symbolic of how patriarchy screws over women. It could be the very reason why a girl wants to get rid of her vagina.

      No, I think for a lot of girls who want to get rid of their female organs, it would be much better to experience a relationship where their vagina does NOT make them vulnerable to rape and unwanted pregnancy, and where their female anatomy brings them joy, for once.
      In short, I think having a lesbian relationship would be a good thing for lesbian college age teens who think they want to be men.

      I’m not sure there are many trans identified female teens who (would) enjoy vaginal penetration. There obviously are some FtT who do, hence all those “man gives birth” news articles, but I think for most of those who actually want to alter their bodies (and not just call themselves non-binary and tyrannize everyone else with their pronouns) a strong dislike of the very thought of having their vagina penetrated and/or being exposed to the risk of pregnancy, is part of why they think they must be really men.

      You have a point, but it is a point that mostly applies to pre-puberty children (who don’t know what sexual pleasure feels like) and lesbians.
      Straight female teens could have positive sexual experiences without fear of pregnancy or rape, in theory, I just don’t think it is very likely to happen, and negative experiences that reinforce negative feelings towards their female bodies are rather more likely, especially in the context of casual sex.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Add our family to the statistics: sudden onset gender disphoria when my daughter turned 14. She will be 15 in a couple of days and we have made drastic changes. I pulled her out of traditional school and she attends a charter school 2x week (she was fine with that). We are on an honor system that she limits her trans internet (I may be delusional, but I really believe she honors this agreement in lieu of her losing the internet). I am hoping to break the cycle before college. We will be doing community college first, so that buys a few more years. And, frankly, at this rate, I simply hope to make it through high school.

    I just don’t get it. She is such a momma’s girl, but wants nothing to do with my gender. And, I am not exactly gender conforming with my engineering degree, closet of pants and flats, and little to no make up and non-styled hair. She also vascillates between needing my attention and shutting me out. Today she claimed she won’t tell me anything anymore because I don’t support her. She gets angry if I read anything to her with a trans issue. So, she won’t discuss it with me, but she is obviously still struggling. It is frustrating not knowing how to help.

    Anyhow, this is my support group, so thank you to each person that posted. It is a lonely island we are on. I feel for each of your stories. I at least feel fortunate my baby is only 14/15.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I know I promised a writeup of the Stonewall center, but I’ve been really busy, so here it finally is.

    I waffled on clothes. In the end I decided that I wanted to wear a dress and I was going to wear a dress. Paired with a men’s flannel shirt, though.

    The center itself, firstly. There were a lot of posters relating to trans people. The National Geographic ‘Gender Revolution’ issue on the coffee table. There was a large trans flag on one wall. But there were plenty of other things: posters from past events (one featuring the protagonist of ‘Hothead Paisan: Homocidal Lesbian Terrorist’, and the the protagonist of ‘Dykes To Watch Out For’, and you knew it was old because her shirt said LGBA). A broadsheet sized framed copy of a Dykes To Watch Out For cartoon. Lots of gay magnets on the desk. The bookshelves had at least a good 100 books of ‘lesbian fiction’, and there were other lesbian-related books shelved in other sections, like ‘Lesbian Rabbis’ and ‘Nice Jewish Girls’ under ‘Judaism’. The trans section shared with the intersex section and was fairly small.

    When you walked in there was also a bookshelf with a variety of business cards and pamphlets for various resources. There were several relating to mental health, both on-campus mental health services and places out in the world, some of which were specifically for LGBT people.

    So the trans resources. There were two offices, one of the director, and one of the assistant director. I went into the assistant director’s office. I took a pamphlet called ‘What does it mean to be Transgender?’ It was originally from MIT. It puts drag queens and crossdressers under the trans umbrella. It also says that a transsexual is someone whose gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth, and ‘many transsexuals seek to alter their bodies through hormones and surgery.’ I’m actually surprised nobody’s complained about that.

    Name changes: You can change your name unofficially on campus, e.g., the name on your student card. But this means anything sent home will have that name on it, and the director said people have been outed because of this. It was originally meant for, like, foreign students who want to go by an English name or what have you and was repurposed. Grade rosters will still show your legal name, though. Legally changing your name isn’t that hard, though.
    Hormones: You are required to see a campus therapist at least once before they refer you. There is a doctor overseeing hormone treatments, who does have the authority to ‘gatekeep’, but it was implied they usually don’t. They will do the injections for you. This is covered under the student health plan, but most students aren’t on the student health plan, they’re under their parents’ insurance, so cost will depend that. Non-binary students are included. The degree of ‘gatekeeping’ depends on your health insurance’s guidelines, although you can pay out of pocket if you want. But the assistant director assured me there’s very little gatekeeping these days with the insurance.
    Surgery: Again, covered by the student health plan, but most students aren’t on that. It would be referred out to a local hospital. I was told that you can get your insurance information sent to your dorm, however, but that does mean you’ll have to be on time with the payments or Ma and Pa will find out. Even with the student insurance you’re still going to have to pay something (depending on the doctor/surgery, but it’s going to be about a 1000, I think.)

    And there was no question of me, dress and all. Does it matter? Of course not. You are who you say you are.

    There’s someone in one of my classes who has their chosen masculine name on that grade roster, and yes, the teacher calls them that. (Although said name is feminine enough that two different spellings were in the top 1000 names for baby American girls last year.) And their friend wears a they/them button (their given name is a gender neutral nickname, albeit spelled with an ending i and not an ending y.)
    I was scrolling through my Facebook last night and I said in my head…Quinn? Who’s that? I don’t know any Quinns, and then I realized that’s Kate. I see.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This is an epidemic that will be with us for years to come. When the side effects of these medical interventions show up what then? Western medicine will profit again. It is truly disgusting and now colleges are in the mix. I hold the doctors responsible for they start the medical therapies. Take care everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment Paul….the callousness of messing with one’s body is shocking. It’s one thing to find relief through transition, but it is quite another how young adults can now proceed with such little medical oversight.

      Like

  27. My daughter turned 18 n Sunday and will be graduating high school in June. I am so not excited about her going to college at all. She is super smart, but am thinking of a community college 1st

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Any idea what schools are “safe” or “safer”? We are in the process now of trying to figure out what college to go to. They are all liberal but there must be some that are less encouraging than others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The least likely for a trans scene will be trade schools where students actually focus on learning a trade! Some parents decide to encourage their student to focus on a gap year, or focus on starting at a nearby community college.

      The school is one thing, but then there is access to any informed consent gender clinics in the area.

      Like

    • Gina, I had in my head when my kids were little that they would go off to a 4 year college one day and have a great time like I did. My kid who is struggling with trans does not like school, though, and doesn’t want to go to college. She is at a community college now (I think she would have been happy dropping out of high school instead). I think that’s going to be really good for us. Think about a community college. Keep your kids a little closer a little longer. They can get 2 year degrees that they can then use to transfer to a 4 year school later, so they still get a BA/BS/whatever from the 4 year school.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In my case, my kid is gifted and has an eye on an engineering degree. It’s hard to take a break from the educational system and get back into it, but I learned the very hard way that her signs of anxiety should have made me insist on her staying close to home instead. She would have but for the “luck” of being accepted to her 1st choice school in another state…an incredible school super hard to get into. Hindsight is 20-20, damage has now been done by that school I had thought was so incredible.

        So Gina, my advice would be to focus on nearby colleges, just so you can monitor things better. My kid’s behavior sent me into a tailspin myself, and I have not been able to monitor her.

        Like

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