Baptised in Fire: A relieved desister’s story

by Sam

Sam (not her real name), 22, identified as trans between the ages of 16-19. A relieved desister, she enjoys tidying, writing, and watching the weather. She lives in the United Kingdom. Sam can be found on Twitter @rainiest_day and is available to interact in the comments section of her article.

Sam joins several other desisters on 4thWaveNow who, along with their parents, have shared their experiences of rapid onset of gender dysphoria (ROGD) in adolescence.


I was not a trans child. I was a gender-conforming little girl, as far as children are ever completely gender-conforming.  I liked pretty clothes but I also jumped in the occasional mud-pit. I didn’t play with Lego very much, because I wasn’t particularly good at it, but who cares? Not I. I felt no discomfort with being a girl. I felt little discomfort with anything, really; I was a bossy, blunt, stubborn little girl with very important opinions about everything.

I was not overjoyed about puberty. I don’t think I’m alone in that! Bras–miserably restrictive. Periods–horrible. Men followed me home from school even when I was twelve and thirteen; I in my uniform was not a very pretty child, but that didn’t seem to be the point. I didn’t like high school because I didn’t understand how I was supposed to act. Being overtly smart, because I was, made people dislike me, so I tried being stupider, but even then, I was still doing it all wrong. I thought I wasn’t on the same wavelength as everyone else, which, of course, is what loads of people feel like. But I didn’t know that. My relationship with my parents wasn’t perfect, but it was good, and we all got on.

When I was in my teens, I got into a disaster of a relationship with a girl. I was no longer in control of myself, of my body, of when I slept and when I ate and where I could be when. Things got very difficult. As the situation became increasingly unhealthy, over a very short space of time I became deeply dysphoric. Suddenly I loathed my female body and its nauseating shapes and its catastrophic frailties with a vehemence I had never known before. I stood in the bathroom and knew I needed to wash but I couldn’t take off my shirt, I couldn’t, because of what was underneath it, so I went out foul. I lost a lot of weight–partly from stress and partly to prove I could still control one aspect of my body. The new flatness of my chest only relieved me, it felt good like nothing else in my life felt good. As my legs got scrawny and the line of my figure straighter I felt only relief. I dressed only in masculine clothing, chopped my hair very short, felt like it made me tough, mean, safe. I still remember the exact moment a man said, “Excuse me, mate” to me as he passed me. It felt so much better than being hit on, even if nothing felt very good anymore.

God, everything hurt. I was desperate, unspeakably desperate to be in control of my own body, in the middle of a situation in which I wasn’t. I wanted to be strong, but I wanted even more to disappear. I wanted everyone in the world to go away. If my body was different, I knew I would have power, to walk away, to STOP IT.

I knew a little about what this was that I was feeling, I’d looked it up online –oh, I’m trans.  I tried to tell my girlfriend that I was trans, that I wasn’t a girl. She carried on as if I had said nothing, wouldn’t humour me by using my new name. I was stung, confused. A friend gave me a binder. I got thinner. I was “he”, or maybe “they”, yes, that was nice, like a cool drink of water; just anyone not called “she”. The “she” I was walking around in felt disgusting to me. “She” was all wrong. Skinny male me, pleasantly mistaken for a boy, felt like a port in the storm, if still not enough. I wanted control, control, of my body, of my life, but not to be me as I had been, because whoever that was far away, getting further away all the time, waiting for all of this to be over. I wanted like hell to be everything I wasn’t, and I didn’t know that other people felt that way too, not just transgender, but apocalyptic, so I was all alone.

The relationship ended. I was in a bad way. I’d made a Tumblr blog, looking, really, for a space that I could have to myself to vent, and I found myself on it a lot more. There is good stuff on that website. But the nasty stuff is so easy to find and so hard to wriggle free of if you’re like I was: lonely, miserable, hollow, and utterly lost, uneasy about everything, because now that she was gone I wasn’t quite so sure about being a boy, but I knew very definitely I couldn’t be a girl. Everything was still all wrong.

It’s difficult to explain what the “nasty stuff” is if you haven’t spent time on there yourself, exactly how pervasive and focused the brainwashing is, how perverse and suffocating and addictive it can be. The convoluted and illogical discourse, the constant shifting of goalposts so you are always on your toes to know what can I say? What am I allowed to think? What does this word mean today? So many lies were told to me about gender, sex, oppression, people, love, health, and happiness. I didn’t get better, and neither did anyone else I spoke to, but we were assured that this way–with our made-up pronouns and our made-up genders and our self-diagnosed illnesses–was the right way. It was a real crabs-in-a-bucket mentality, where any criticism, even of downright abusive behaviour, was transphobic and/or ableist and/or racist. To suggest improving oneself, sorting out your life, was cruelty of the highest order; we were perfect as we were, they  cooed, and anyone saying otherwise hated us and everyone like us. Narcissism ruled supreme.

We copied the writing style everyone else used, and we copied what they said too. They said and then we said we were beautiful. They and then we said we were against the world, the cis world, the hateful world, the world that wasn’t ideologically pure like we were ideologically pure. Nobody suffered like us. We were martyrs, floating high above reproach and deserving, more than anyone, of every good thing in the world: comfort, other people’s money. We deserved to have every rule bent for us, because we were right and they were wrong.

I could go on, describing every argument they used to justify this attitude, but I doubt they’d work on you. A lot of us were young teens, vulnerable in some way, whether abused or ostracised from society or just weak-willed. They gave us a new self, and all the power in the world. We thought so ruthlessly, that people against us didn’t deserve to live, reasoned it out in our mad non-reason –horrible, horrible, icy, inhumanly mechanical thinking that I have never encountered anywhere else since. We didn’t think about what we said, we just repeated what we knew we were supposed to say, and really, truly thought we were expressing our own thoughts.

They told us that we could choose a gender, any gender, out of countless, that we could make up our own and they would be taken seriously; they were, but only ever by others on there. Words on Tumblr ceased to mean the same as in the real world. Words were made up. They said if we wanted to wear make-up, or pink, or feminine clothes, we had to have a label for that, and if we wanted to have short hair, and wear masculine clothes, we had to have a label for that too.

I am not even touching the language around sexual orientation, because that is a whole other article. If we liked to switch how we “presented”, we would have a label to describe that we switched, and we could also change our labels and our pronouns day-to-day to describe how we felt (FELT! That is the crux of all of this nonsense) each day. It is so, so exhausting to be constantly examining every desire, thought, inclination of your shifting, constantly changing adolescent self, trying to find a word to fit, only to question yourself again the next week, or day, or hour. We adjusted our entire sense of self once, again, again, again. Every time, distancing ourselves a bit more from the person we used to be, that we couldn’t bear to be anymore. (I think we knew the old us would be ashamed, so we hid our faces from them.)

The time I wasted! Years on this! The energy! They say “agender” means I don’t have a gender. Do I feel like that? How do I know? How can you “feel” that? They said this was freeing for us, to finally know what to call ourselves, but the boxes they said we had to choose from were so tiny we couldn’t fit, unless we had a hundred, and even then we didn’t feel satisfied. We were forcing ourselves apart into splinters until we weren’t people any more, just words, and words that didn’t mean anything.

Why on earth weren’t we happy? We were children who knew so little about the world, and we believed everything everyone on Tumblr said. They–and then we–all spoke with such perfect arrogance, like we knew everything. We knew we did. There was also an awareness we had–although never, ever voiced, even to ourselves –that if we were just a white, normal, “cis” kid, we couldn’t be part of this club. We were part of it because we were special, and we were special because we were part of the club.

I questioned nothing. I didn’t have one original thought. And I didn’t really feel a thing.

I never looked at myself and thought: girl. That wasn’t right, and what’s more, it was vile. I was something else. I knew it.

Well: my parents knew I was sad. All that I told you about above didn’t fulfil me, although I knew it had to, because I had nothing else. My misery was obvious. One day, I stopped being able to smile. I was so emotionally numb, and that frightened me. I just couldn’t make my face smile. As I spiralled deeper into the trans-cult, my parents & I had arguments over everything. I was snappy, I was mean, I was acting recklessly, I was telling them off for using language that the trans-cult said was bad, I was ignoring all of their eminently sensible and kind advice. I tried to tell them I wasn’t a girl, to use different pronouns when they referred to me.

baptised in fireWhile they weren’t angry, just bemused, and while they really did try, I never felt my parents’ efforts were good enough. It was horribly unfair of me to treat them this way when I myself was always unsure. Even when someone in the real world “validated” me, it didn’t feel as nice as it was supposed to. Why not? I didn’t know. Were they lying? Did they really get it? Why didn’t I feel happy for more than a few minutes, did it mean I was using the wrong words? I crawled back onto my online spaces for further fruitless introspection. Over time, I lost contact with virtually all my old real-life friends – I was no longer invited to anything. I must have been annoying as all hell.

One tiny event in particular– my poor parents, poor me, poor all of us– sticks in my head and makes me feel sick whenever I think of it:

I was in the car. They were driving me to a college lesson because I hadn’t got up in time, because I wasn’t sleeping. I hadn’t washed. Before I got out of the car, my mother gave me a five-pound note.

“It’s the “cheering-up Sam” fund,” she said.

I suppose it sounds silly. But it burns. I’m looking down at that five-pound-note in my hand, and it’s breaking my heart. They knew I was so sad, but what could they do? They loved me so much, but what could they do? What were they supposed to do? How could they possibly help me? I couldn’t hold a civil conversation with them. I was mad, wildly irrational. I knew I was in the wrong but my pride was searing me full of holes. I lost my temper when the conversation became stressful, I walked out of the house and wandered around, alone, sick to my stomach with anger.

I became convinced that T was what I needed. I felt sick at the thought sometimes, but other times I would feel giddily sure, so eventually I summoned up the courage and called a clinic to make an appointment to start testosterone. But before the clinic called me back, something strange happened.

My dysphoria went away. It just went! Why or where it went I can’t say. I was 19 by this time, still clinging to my “trans identity”, insistent I wasn’t “cis”, but the feeling of wrongness about the sex of my body was gone and has stayed gone since. I didn’t love my body in the slightest, but I no longer hated it and think it completely, fundamentally wrong like I had before. I struggled with my weight for a long time then and after, but I began to realise I was female.

My close brush with acquiring testosterone shook me back into my senses somewhat. I was conscious as I came back into my body that I had almost made a huge mistake. The fear of what could have been stayed with me, that as my dysphoria passed I might have been trapped in a body more foreign to me than the original, a body like a boy that my brain no longer actually needed. The irreversible changes that would have occurred weighed on my mind:  the voice no longer mine, the man-face, the dark, thick hair. So anxiously, I thought – that’s not me…

I very slowly, not quite realising it, was distancing myself from the trans-cult and its thinking.

Well, this and that happened, I struggled on, I had a few setbacks, I struggled on a bit more. I got a proper job. This was the kick in the backside, the firework up the arse that I had needed. I was busy. I was tired. I was called “she” – I was too embarrassed to ask for special pronouns. I had to wear work clothes like everyone else. I took my work seriously, but I had to listen to people chatting in such a heretical way! Saying things that I hadn’t dared to even think, for so long! Talking about men being men, and women being women, so casually using language I had forgotten I could use. At some point, I started to agree with them. The hours I worked kept me off Tumblr and Twitter. The real world beamed blinding, hot sunlight into the dark and cold and dusty parts of my world. And one day, I simply deleted all of my social media. I can’t remember why – I just knew I had to. I didn’t stay to say goodbye to anybody I knew, I just wiped it all. I have never missed it since.

My relationship with my parents recovered. It’s a lot better now than it was before, somehow. They know I’m myself– a real, human woman who knows it– again. I started tentatively using the words daughter, woman, girl, sister to describe myself in conversation. Even now when I say those words I feel them in my mouth. I worked, shopped, ate, and I was doing weird things I did before; laughing like a horse, telling off-colour jokes to make my parents snort.

I had spent a lot of time at home, and perhaps the loveliest thing is that I ended up spending much time with my mother, while I was unemployed and recovering. We talked and we argued. But we talked far more than we argued. Sometimes I fell asleep while she was talking; she has a very soothing voice. Sometimes she fell asleep while I was talking – maybe my voice is soothing too. I loved my mother before, but I didn’t know how much I could love her, because I had never tried to understand her. I wonder, if I had breezed through my teens and headed out, unhesitating, into the great beyond, would I talk to her so fondly and treat her so kindly as I do now? Every cloud.

For a long time, I was a shell of myself. But the bossy, blunt, stubborn girl wasn’t all gone. The trauma I went through took time to fade to something I could manage, but I forgave her and I forgave myself. If I met her in the street I really think I could chat with her. I go stretches of days without thinking about it for more than a few seconds. At first my views on, well, everything, flip-flopped wildly. I went to a much wider variety of websites, I read books, I learned about things happening that I had missed, or worse, things where I had believed completely untrue versions of events.

The world had been such a hostile place when everyone was supposedly out to get me, and the only safe space was my Tumblr, where people only ever told me I was right. I learned that people thought a lot of things, had a lot of opinions, and get this: that some people could think one thing I agreed with, as well as another thing I disagreed with. I had been divorced from humanity in the trans-cult, and I was shocked at the empathy I found in myself for people, shocked at all these people, walking around, all with their lives and their feelings and their hearts. The “privileged” people actually suffered; I had believed they couldn’t. There was so much more suffering than I’d known there to be, but there was also so much more goodness. Every morning I realised my horizons were broader than the morning before, only to discover by the evening there was still so much more I hadn’t the faintest clue about.

Turns out, being a woman? You can wear anything you want, and you’re still a woman. You can do what you want, and you’re still a woman. Reality never needs to be validated.

My ability to think critically returned bit by tiny bit. It took time for me to get used to asking questions, checking sources, not believing every little thing I saw or read. I had been taught to believe unquestioningly and I had to wrestle myself out of the habit. Even now, I remind myself I can have opinions and I can disagree with someone, and they can disagree with me, and it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person; it just means that people are people, and I’m a person, and I have to deal with them being people just as they deal with me, because we have a great deal more in common than not. Through it all I have had the support of my parents – we can talk now.

I’m here now. I’ve slowly, quietly rejoined the human race as a woman, knowing it a miracle, holding both the stubborn determination of my childhood and the grateful joy of my young adulthood. The old me I was once so ashamed to face is here, and we are one again, baptised in fire and back fighting.

 

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101 thoughts on “Baptised in Fire: A relieved desister’s story

  1. I am so grateful you shared your story. I’m the mom of a child (now 19) who has an eerily similar story as yours. I am trying to convince my child not to have top surgery–or at least delay it. I will be printing your story off and showing it to my child. I wept while reading this; you’ve now allowed me to dare to have a teeny tiny bit of hope. Thank you, Sam.

    Liked by 16 people

    • I’m so happy someone like me-then is going to read it – that’s what I want most from this, as well as giving our loved ones hope. I’m wishing you and her the very best, there are so many of us who are rooting for you both!

      Liked by 7 people

      • Sam I’m so glad you shared your story. You’ve given me hope. I’m a mum to a 16 year old daughter who is dysphoric and has transformed from a happy girl to a miserable person. She’s not going to do anything till she’s 18 though she dresses and passes as male. She is caught up with the whole social media brainwashing. We are hoping she will come round. What advise can you give us as parents? Thanks

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  2. Pingback: A relieved desister’s story. | defytheeconomy

  3. Hello Sam,

    Thank you so much for writing this. This story is becoming a pattern. One that should concern the affirmation model advocates. It can be so hard being a teenager. It sounds like you are doing much better now. The teenage years were rough for me too as well as a period in adulthood that was really bad. All of this remitted completely. It is possible to be in the grips of a really bad mental sate and heal from it and come out much stronger. No young person is getting that message around GD. There is no room for this with medical transition of teenage girls/ young adults. I understand transitioning a very early onset child who persists with intense GD well into puberty. But do you have any thoughts as to why there seems to be so much not only support, but enthusiasm for young people medically transitioning despite their history. And an outright hostile attitude towards less invasive treatment. Not just among T people, I get that. But teachers, therapists, LGBT orgs, and doctors.

    Liked by 11 people

    • I agree, a lot of the Tumblr rhetoric tells you that mental illness is basically for life, and a big surprise for me was that, actually, you can fix your thinking and you can feel better and you can heal! Dysphoria is also being presented like that, as something that never goes away once you’ve got it. I believe there are transgender people for whom dysphoria is present their whole lives – it’s just that these are the tiny, tiny minority in the trans community today. This study suggests the vast majority of gender dysphoric youth no longer experience dysphoria into adulthood: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697020/ “Multiple longitudinal studies provide evidence that gender-atypical behavior in childhood often leads to a homosexual orientation in adulthood, but only in 2.5% to 20% of cases to a persistent gender identity disorder.”
      But info like doesn’t seem to exist to a lot of people!
      From what I have seen (I am happy to provide sources) there are a lot of unnerving aspects to the trans-cult and what they are pushing for. The sterilisation of children who would most likely grow up to be gay or lesbian is one, the logic that if a child can consent to sterility, what is stopping some campaigning for a lower age of consent? The insistence of a certain type of man (have you read about autogynephilia?) that women’s spaces such as women’s refuges and women’s political seats should be open to him, the fact that the pharmacology industry will make billions from countless highly dependent medical patients who need life-long supplies of hormones – as well as therapists, doctors, countless clients and surgeries? There is a lot of money (see Jennifer Pritzker’s donations) going into pro-transgender causes, and a lot of worrying material for schools. Basically – it’s a broad, tangled, worrying mess. Many parties seem to have a vested interest for their own reasons.

      Liked by 13 people

      • Yes- to all of this. Thank you for your response. I have read most of what is available on this topic due to just being really worried over some things that are happening. I’ve been in a SS relationship for 20 years, out for almost 28. I don’t like a lot of things about the environment teenage girls involved in anyway in the LGBT community are being “raised.” And it’s not because I am attached to anything the way it was. It’s because I see a lot that isn’t progressive or even healthy, although overall I always supported a trans movement getting their day in the sun initially. There is a real need for pushback on a lot of things that are happening. It’s just a matter of the best way to go about it without discounting T people who don’t actually desist and their needs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly, Sam, exactly.

        My kid has said to me “I didn’t ask to be this way,” as if trans ID is a birth defect. I have encouraged her to think of it more as an adaptive behavior — something she needs or has needed but not necessarily a life-long situation for which there is a single fix. If someone could show me there’s a physiological cause that is one thing but … none of the brain studies I’ve seen are remotely convincing.

        The problem with this kind of framing is that it requires a certain level of maturity (something you, Sam, obviously have, in spades!). These kids who are down the rabbit hole on social media don’t have that level of maturity to apply to the problem. They rely on the adults in their world to help them, but if there are no adults who offer anything but affirmation of the trans identity and a quick trip on the transition express … they don’t get time to grow to really examine the situation for themselves.

        I’ve emphasized with both my kids the research on brain development and executive functioning, which is not in dispute. Sometimes I joke w/them that they are not in their right minds but … at some level they both accept this.

        The good news is, there is hope as time passes — and if the trans ID persists, hey, at least the kids are coming to it with a more adult POV about the whole business.

        It enrages me that the “innate gender” narrative has taken such a hold, and the school indoctrination is terrifying. Got a feeling it’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better out there, but I’m so grateful to you, Sam, for your story and for the stories of others who’ve been through the maze and come out the other side older, wiser, and stronger.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve wondered about that online world, but haven’t been brave enough to dive into it myself to explore what is being said. The words that have come out of my daughter’s mouth have always…since this started for her at age 18…seemed to have been placed there by someone else. This was no longer the person I knew. It’s a very frightening thing to witness, very frightening to be met with an angry child who wasn’t angry before. Someone who seemed to have put themselves on a transgender pedestal, and we all needed to bow to her wishes and wash clean the memory of her girl-self, just as she had boxed up that girl-self into the attic.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Did you ever see a counselor about your feelings, or you worked through it all on your own?

    Liked by 9 people

    • I’m so sorry for you. What you’re saying hits rather close to home, because of how I treated my parents – I was so arrogant and so unfeeling…..! You’re very welcome, I hope yours & her situation improves as soon as possible.
      I saw a counsellor briefly, but not for the gender stuff. It was a long period of slowly getting set right, calming down, reading this, reading that, listening to what people around me were saying and thinking “I’m being really stupid….”. I’m a Christian, so I’d say God dragged me out and sorted me out! But He did it that way.

      Liked by 7 people

      • I think a lot of what’s being called gender dysphoria is just a part of personal growth in youth. Explore new territory, see what’s there and then decide it isn’t right afterall, and hence be content with the starting point. Like Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home”. It is the FAST access to permanent medical change that is simply wrong. Basic psychology thrown out the window.

        Liked by 9 people

      • No, I haven’t had any kind of religious conversion therapy. I guess the wording in my comment sounds a bit like it – but I’d been a Christian for years and years before everything went wrong for me, and I completely lost sight of it when I was in that bad place. I came back to it very slowly, but on my own, independent of my changing feelings on gender, with no external pressure of any sort.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for responding, Sam. I only asked because in the US, there has been a massive push to pass “conversion therapy” bans which in part, are the result of a wretched history of religious attempts at converting homosexual people. Those programs, from what I understand, were awful and now, in some areas, that history is being used to equate questioning a child’s announcement of trans identity with those harmful practices.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Also I’m extremely interested in this whole topic. I initially believed that the gatekeeping and safety around child/teen/young adult transitions would be excellent and that the people who were extremely concerned may be over worried. I have only become more alarmed by what I have seen. I think the dangers of youth transitioning needs more attention but instead is actively censored. I’d love to talk to you more about what I think needs to happen around that and get your opinion (or anyone else’s) because I am trying to do more than just talk about it on SM. contact at thehomoarchy is my blog email address.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Sam, your essay reads like poetry. You are a powerful communicator. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have emerged from this experience with more wisdom than most people acquire in a lifetime. And I believe your story can truly change the world and help guide many young women back to themselves — to the realization that they are fine just as they are. Thank you for speaking out, Sam.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Thank you very much! I hope so, on all counts. I know I’m not the only one who got stuck there, but I also know I’m not the only one who’s got out, and hopefully many more are following. Really glad you enjoyed it – you’re welcome!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you for writing your story. You did a wonderful job explaining what you went through and what you learned about the world as you came out of it. It sounds like some abilities you had went dormant during those years. Not everyone is able to be introspective, but from your writing, it’s clear you’ve gotten in touch with that ability and I hope it continues to help you. And thank you for using that ability to share your wisdom with others – you may be saving a lot of lives by sharing your story.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Yes, one thing I find so strange looking back is how none of my faculties seemed to kick in – maybe they did and I tamped them down, but why did I do that, then? And God, I hope so, I hope kids like I was then can get to read this & jump off the crazy train. There is a lot of support out here for them. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 5 people

      • My guess is that it was a relief to have an answer for why you were hurting and that relief tamped down your critical thinking. Other desisters have told me that in their trans support groups no one ever asked “what does it mean to be a woman/man?” that ALL conversation was focused on the emotional harm being committed against their new identities – but never any deep exploration of what those identities really meant outside of self-expression/presentation

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Sam, thank you so much for sharing your story with such honesty. You have captured with particular clarity Tumblr culture. It seems to me we are just learning how powerful an influence the internet can be. Your essay adds much to our growing understanding of this.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m so glad to hear that. You’re welcome! It’s a very strange place and there is a lot more that can be said about its particular brand of nightmarishness. But until more speak in the mainstream about what it’s like I am very happy to help people understand.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes! I don’t think I’ve read a clearer description of the (cyber)headspace our kids find themselves in. Thank you for translating this world for us old folks

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  9. My daughter sounds just like you. She succumbed to the trans-cult, at least partly because she was already living away from home when she got pulled in. My beautiful feminine daughter with whom I was so close is now “they”, doing testosterone and surgeries and she endlessly parrots the cult script. It is so sad for me (and maybe even for her). She demands that I sign on to the ideology, not just accept her decisions, and I can’t accept the ideology, though I could accept that as an adult she has the right to make her own decisions. I do hope against hope that some day she will come to the sort of realization that you came to. In any case, stories like yours can help to save other young women and adolescents from the trans-cult. I’m sure it will so thank you for writing so eloquently.

    Liked by 11 people

    • I’m so sorry. It’s such an ugly part of all this that we – people like myself then and your daughter – feel the need to lecture and “educate” people we talk to & are close to. When it comes to the cult, nothing less than total, enthusiastic conformity is good enough, & if others don’t do that then it means that we might not be right, and that’s unbearable. I really hope she learns to love herself and that you two can have a healthy, loving relationship in the future.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. You’ve described so accurately how the trans ideology creates that “us vs them” mentality, where anyone who questions is bad and dangerous.

    The part about not hating your body anymore, is also a powerful testament. That sentiment was echoed in my own kid. I hope you can learn to love your body one day. It’s a tough thing to do. I hope that for all young girls and women.

    Also, I love that your parents supported you in being you, the real you, in the way they knew you to be. I love that they had a fund to make life sweeter, even with small bills. It’s so sweet.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s extremely isolating. You simply can’t have a proper conversation with someone “normal” – they WILL say something “unacceptable”, you WILL kick off (you develop a hair-trigger temper), it will completely shut down rational communication.

      I think I do, now. I’m surprised at how fond I feel of it these days, how it just keeps cracking on every day and does its best!

      I can’t express how glad I am to have my parents back, or rather, be their daughter again – you know what I’m trying to say. You’re welcome!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. This was so enlightening re: the Tumblr experience. Thanks for sharing your story and I’m so glad you made it thru with your self intact. Your writing is beautiful and moved me to tears ❤ having gone thru this with my own daughter. We shared our story here, too, and I'm humbled to be in such brilliant company. Thank you, Sam!

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Thank you a million times for sharing your story. It’s so hard for kids going through this to realize they don’t need to stay in this hell hole forever. And it’s so hard for parents to watch patiently and know when and where to intervene and where to give space. What will be a learning experience? Whay will scar her? How do we show love and firmness at the same time? And proper support is so hard to find with so many not understanding what is really happening.

    I feel the power of peers (first loves, best friends) and the souring of them can be the most damaging injury to the teen psyche and this is overlooked in all studies and can be traumatic. The internet is extremely more dangerous than I realized and these poor kids are left to analyze this as “normal”. The fact that we cannot purchase a phone without internet access anymore is scary as well….. 9 & 10 year olds are being exposed to things adults avoid.

    I’m so glad you were able to find your way back to your beautiful, smart, unique self. I hope my daughter will soon see your story and consider for a chance there may be a better way out of this and perhaps one day she will be able to celebrate herself once again. If only I had the magic words to erase the pain.

    Love your pseudonym.

    Liked by 9 people

    • When I was in the middle of it, I had no idea it was a possibility to desist or detransition. It was never spoken about, I didn’t know people could DO that. Even just knowing that that was possible could have been a big help, I guess.

      Thank you for this, I agree with what you’re saying. I don’t know how kids years younger than myself are going to turn out – those my age are struggling enough..!

      I wish the very best for you and your daughter, if this could help her at all I would consider it a compliment of the highest order. You might well have the magic words! You definitely have the love. It’s a funny world – anything could be the push she needs.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. I’m so glad you had the courage to write this. You don’t know how much we parents appreciate hearing about someone else who’s experienced this and fell for it and was able to get out in time.
    I knew the exposure to the Internet and sites like Tumblr, DeviantArt etc. were influential to my daughter and she has eaten the poison that they spew. I’ve seen the G-rated all the way to the XXXXXXX rated stuff and most people have no idea how crazy this stuff is.
    I want brave souls like you to stand up to the T world and have a discussion… show the entire world the reality – the truth – how you’re sucked in and reprogrammed – to believe what “they” say is “real”, when really what they’re doing is undermining and confusing you further into more dysphoria.

    When I was a child, I was a hardcore Tomboy and thought I wanted to be a boy – fortunately for me I grew out of it (I know the difference between gender and sexuality!!) and was attracted to boys/men and still am. I became comfortable in my own body and learned how to enjoy my body… I am so glad I didn’t have access to medical transitioning!! Because looking back, I can see I was too naive and vulnerable – and had the Internet existed way back then, I may have fallen into the abyss… not knowing how people grow and change their minds so much over a lifetime. In my fifth decade of life now, having been able to embrace being both masculine and feminine, I am who I am. A woman. Soft and tough, emotional and brave…
    Thank you Sam (Rainy Day) – your post is fantastic! Much luck to you!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m so glad to help. I agree that most people don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes, and how nasty stuff can get – I mean, good for them, they shouldn’t have to know. The weirder the stuff people get into, the more isolated they become from people who “wouldn’t understand”, it’s a very effective manipulation tactic to alienate people from their nearest & dearest.

      Thank you for sharing too. Womanhood is an infinite space for us to roam about in – we can’t “fail” at being a woman, because being a woman is our reality, no matter what! Failure just isn’t possible…!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Hello Sam, Many thanks for sharing your story. Mother of a trans-identifying 19 year old here. What would be brilliant would be for a clinical psychologist and/or psychologist specialising in gender dysphoria to hear – and listen to – your story. It seems to me that the whole gender specialism is geared towards medical treatment and transition. The NHS consults rightly and properly with the transgender community in formulating their service specification. What they don’t do at the same time is consult with people like you who thought they needed medical transition treatment but who didn’t.

    The activism around transgender ideology is very intense – transsexuals clearly have had a very hard time in the past – but that does not make for good medicine.

    When publications like Therapy Today bow down to activism and publish an apology for a letter (not even an article!) they published which asked therapists to consider the effects of social contagion on adolescents presenting as transgender, then we know we are in deep trouble:
    https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/therapy-today/

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re very welcome. I’m aware of one psychotherapist who’s read this article, but I agree and that is something I should look into, the whole approach to treating dysphoria today seems to be affirm, affirm, affirm, transition, transition, transition, never looking sufficiently into the reasons that the dysphoria might have come on and treating those causes rather than the dysphoria directly. Therapy, gatekeeping, is considered unnecessary and obstructive, because of this rush a lot of people feel to get onto hormones as soon as possible. Anything that slows you down is bad!
      I heard about that! As you say, it’s not good medicine. First, to do no harm…

      Liked by 4 people

      • Thanks for you sharing your story.

        About dysphoria: In my various reading around the trans part of the internet (including reddit and tumblr) I’ve been noticing a phenomenon I’ve started just calling “magical dysphoria” for lack of a better term.

        It’s this idea of “dysphoria” as a sort of magic talisman that you must have, this special illness, in order to be “really transgender,” and more importantly to pass by the last shreds of gatekeeping that still exist.

        This “dysphoria” is portrayed as a mismatch between “gender identity” (which is NEVER actually explained, but that’s another post…) and the body, a purely physical problem, born in, that might cause suffering or it might not. This means that people can have been born with “dysphoria” even if they haven’t really noticed it until today, even if they only merely felt “out of sorts” in childhood (or with new hindsight retrofit their memories to think so).

        But most interesting, I’m seeing posts from kids who are anxious to have this “dysphoria,” who WANT to have “dysphoria,” who perhaps felt out of sorts or worried about their gender and now the feelings have gone away, and they are feeling bad about the feelings having gone away. This sounds crazy, because of course if dysphoria is so terrible (with 41% of people with it committing suicide, all the rest of the usual propaganda) then surely it going away should be cause for celebration, right? But it isn’t. These kids WANT to have “dysphoria,” so that they can be trans, so that they can transition, so that they can get on the hormones.

        They are worried that they no longer feel dysphoria after starting a new school program, or spending a holiday with cousins, or otherwise Going Outside, or whatever it is.

        They come to the internet and ask, oh no, I think my dysphoria might be going away! And they are generally told one of three things that keeps them in the community:

        (1) You might think your dysphoria has gone away, but it will be back, OH YES it will be back, and you will be miserable, you might even find yourself suicidal, and you will wish that you had not stopped transitioning, you will wish that you had transitioned now, when you’re young.

        (2) Not all dysphoria is negative! If you think you’re okay with your current body but would PREFER living as the other sex, then that’s “gender euphoria,” which means that your current body is “not as good” in comparison, and that qualifies as bona-fide dysphoria then, in comparison, so you too can still be trans!

        (3) The fact that you are questioning your gender at all, or worried that you might not be trans, is itself proof that you definitely are trans, because “cis” people never question their gender, at least not for real like we trans people do. “Cis” people are all fine with their gender, they feel comfort in their “gender identity.”

        Already I find the above to be horrifying. I think a lot of these kids have bought into this idea that if they aren’t gender conforming, if they’re uncomfortable with their sex and actual gender (the roles applied to them based on their sex) then they must EITHER (1) be trans, and “transition or die,” or (2) become gender-conforming, change out their personalities and “man up” or “be a lady” as the stereotypes require.

        But where it really starts affecting me as a feminist is, in addition to all this we have the doctrine that says once you realize you’re trans, then then you’re “really the other sex, inside, in your brain” and not only that, but you’ve ALWAYS BEEN the other sex, from birth. And so we end up with a situation where men are told “if you’ve ever thought it’d be better to be a girl (based on whatever fantasy image you have) then you already ARE one, and instantly deserve access to all female space.” (And of course the reverse happening to the young girls sucked into all this, though the outcome plays out a bit differently.)

        It’s crazy.

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      • Yes, I’ve noticed this phenomenon as well. Can you please post links or screen shots as I think this is important to document.

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      • @GILAW – I’ve been gathering some screenshots for a while now, hoping to write something up soon.

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  15. Who the fuck isn’t good at Lego’s. I mean really. The simplest toy in the world.

    I am 58 years old in May & I always thought I was as much boy as girl & it never EVER was a problem. I was sexually harassed & raped & all the shit that women go through. It didn’t matter what I was wearing. Honestly, if I was wearing boy’s clothes, I think it was worse. But this is life … as a woman but also as a boy … my son has reported to me that he was molested as a child & that he has been sexually harassed on various jobs. Changing your gender DOES NOT CHANGE THIS. You have to live your life as the person you are no matter what clothes you are wearing, or how you do your hair or if you are wearing makeup. There are predators everywhere & this is a sad fact. Teach your children & grandchildren well.

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    • Haha. I couldn’t make anything cool with them!

      It’s a big lie that the trans-cult tell that your problems will be solved if you just get this exciting new body. It’s still your body and it’s still your mind, you have to deal with it one way or another.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wherever you go, there you are.

        Thank you for sharing your story, Sam. Voices like yours are incredibly important. I wish you all the best for your future. 🙂

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  16. Thank you for writing this brilliant piece, your honesty is much appreciated. It struck straight through my heart, as I too am in the UK, with a daughter that I am rapidly loosing, and finding hard to reach out to bring her back, it hurts my heart. My daughter was 12 when she was influenced by a trans friend at school, she was lost, very frightened of puberty, struggled with friendship groups and fitting in at school…it was a text book choice. She is now 14 – unrecognisable, sad, struggling with anxieties and hates her body. In a time of her life that should be fun and free she tells me she really is a boy and is miserable. It gives me hope that we can find a way through this, I just need to know how to bring her round…what will make her finally ‘click’ to realise.Time is something we don’t seem to have enough of. Please may I ask, were you influenced by trans friends, and did you have any help to make to realise who you truly were…and wonderful, powerful, strong woman? Thank you…from a terrified Mom who will do anything…

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    • You’re very welcome. That’s such a sad aspect of all this, the fact that when we come to believe we’re trans, it doesn’t actually make us happy. But we never question that it doesn’t make us happy – we just keep going down the same dumb, dark path, assuming really that if we just go down far enough we’ll feel better.

      As for what makes her click in, it really could be anything you say or anything she sees. As I was coming round to my senses even a little offhand comment someone made would stick in my head and make me think uncomfortably.

      I was influenced by trans friends that I had and other trans people that I saw in negative ways, like seeing them and wishing I could take hormones etc, look more like them. I was also influenced by them in an (ultimately!) positive way, in that eventually I saw that we were all miserable and realised I would have stayed miserable if I had stayed there.

      In my opinion, God sorted me out, He made me realise who I truly am. My mother was/is my wonderful female role model and I wanted to be more like her!

      Liked by 3 people

  17. Thank you Sam from the bottom of my heart. I truly wish all therapists who are working with trans identified young people would take the time to read the narratives of people who desisted or detransitioned. Our society will never be able to truly help all with gender dysphoria if only one narrative is heard. Third Way Trans is a wonderful, compassionate and intelligent blog that covers the topic of gatekeeping. Maybe we need to not use that word? Conversations and exploration and truly balanced non judgmental and fact based insight is what therapists and gender clinics should be providing. My daughter came out at age 18. Like you I feel a lot of her body hatred started after an abusive relationship with another girl. Sadly she is now 20 and on testosterone. I don’t know how to reach her because anytime we try to discuss any of this she becomes extremely angry and even combative. It’s so unlike what our relationship used to be. I think you bought up a particularly interesting point about how these young people think mental health issues are for life. I believe mental health professionals unknowingly contributed to this by always focusing on a biological basis. It’s disempowering to think that you will always suffer from mental health issues. Your story is so important (as well as all the stories of detransitioned people) and I can only hope that ,in time, these professionals can truly provide best care. Thank you Sam!

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re welcome! Third Way Trans looks like a very interesting read, thank you for recommending it to me.

      I’m honestly shocked at how many young women’s stories are so similar to my own. I knew there were repeating patterns but it didn’t really sink in until recently – it just further reinforces my belief that there is something deeply unsettling going on, and far wider-reaching than just the odd dark corner of the internet. I’m sure many here agree.

      Very true, how is it helpful to tell someone their illness is life-long unless you have concrete, absolute, ironclad 110% proof that it is?
      In response to your other comment, I agree. Why wouldn’t we want the freedom that men have? No periods, no bras, the ability to walk around at night, to go where we want, to be taken seriously – duh! No wonder we hate ourselves so easily when it seems like males get all the good stuff, and all the tremendous things that we and only we can do are treated like something dirty and embarrassing. How horrible that we are hacking at the female body & encouraging hatred of it instead of celebrating it.

      Liked by 4 people

  18. Also… we need to be able to sort out body hatred , which is rampant in young women especially, from gender dysphoria (early onset). Anytime I brought this topic up to my daughters therapists I was completely dismissed! It really is infuriating that therapists are just completely ignoring what has been long known issues for females. I am starting to believe that gender dysphoria for females especially is much more common than not. In the past girls just had to grow past it. Now it is instantly affirmed and celebrated and made into a unique identity. I find it very troubling and sad that we as a society are celebrating gender dysphoria and medically altering healthy bodies.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. I read this through tears. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My 15 y.o daughter is suddenly trans-identifying and this writing gives me some insight into where her head is at and how her trans-identity came to be. Is there any advice you might be inclined to offer to parents? Your story is so important – – sending gratitude!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I had some great, one-step quick-fix advice, but I know what a tricky, fraught situation it is when a youngster is like this. I guess I would say first that you don’t have to lose your child like this, that they can come back from this. It is a pretty harsh learning experience but necessary.

      You know your daughter better than I do, so if you think there is an opportunity to ask where she got her information from next time she makes some outlandish claim (Tumblr isn’t big on reputable sources, or providing them at all – and questioning one thing could well lead her to question more), if you can show her Youtube videos like Peachyoghurt’s channel, if you ever glimpse a chance to ask a question or start a conversation or remind her you love her, if you think you could do it, and you think it could help, because maybe it really could, please do. I know that you’ve probably had arguments, probably pretty horrible ones, and I know that for some of us we just have to be left alone to figure it all out, but please don’t give up hope that you can help yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sam, thank you for sharing your story. You write beautifully. Falling down the rabbit hole of Tumblr–parents need to understand the lure of these sites. You are “not touching the language of sexual orientation,” is that because it has become so enmeshed with gender? I hope you will write Part Two on this topic. Again, thank you for showing that it is possible to disembark the trans train.

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    • You’re welcome! Thank you! If I had my time over I think I wouldn’t set foot near it. The main reason I didn’t touch on that was that the language used to describe sexual orientation on Tumblr is ridiculous, incredibly convoluted, and has probably gained another two hundred descriptors since I was last on there all the time. As some examples, there’s the discourse about “monosexuals” having privilege over those who aren’t (meaning some say that gay and straight people both oppress bisexual and pansexual people, because of an apparent privilege inherent in only being attracted to one sex), there was – I believe still is – the “split-attraction model”, where sexual and romantic attraction are entirely different things, and you can be something called a biromantic heterosexual or a heteroromantic asexual, or a demiromantic homosexual, and so on. In its twisted way it’s absolutely fascinating but I’d not have gotten this piece out if I’d tried to include it….!

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      • Thank you, Sam.
        I need to remind myself that I am older and have a limited mindset and vocabulary for sexual identities (straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual/fluid).
        That must sound quaint to the young.
        What a goldmine this language must be to those in the field of Linguistics. Not so healthy for the young and confused though.
        Wow, a demiromantic homosexual. OK, learning something new every day!

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  21. Thank you so much for writing this. I felt very emotional reading it as my daughter has just recently desisted. I would love it if she were able to write on here too but she has declined. She is only 15 and has only recently desisted and it was very hard for her to find a way to say she now felt she was female after all. I think she now feels she wants to put all this behind her and I don’t really blame her. I certainly don’t want to push her.

    My advice to other parents however is to do as Dee is suggesting and give your piece to their daughters to read. Your views are more powerful and convincing than ours are, especially to our own children. I showed my daughter several posts from here written by desisters. At first she was reluctant to read them so I read them to her. I said she should read all views on a topic before coming to a conclusion. gradually she began to agree that it was possible to change the view you were trans, having previously denied this. She saw a CAMHS psychologist who was great and didn’t make gender the main issue. We also tried to disattend the gender stuff and focus on other things while ensuring she knew we loved her no matter what. Like you she needed time and space to figure things out for herself. Most of these girls will if they are not encouraged down the dangerous pathway of so called “treatment”.

    I will be showing my daughter your post. Thank you and all the best

    Liked by 4 people

    • I am so, so happy and relieved to hear that! Goodness! I wish her & you the very best, she’s got her whole life ahead of her – I think of the whole lousy experience in the trans-cult as my having had a disease, it having been cured, but now that I’ve had it I’m immune. That’s not to say that I’m invincible, but as long as I keep reading and working and thinking and trying my best I’ll be safe my whole life. She’s tougher because of all this I’m sure. You’re very welcome!

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  22. Sam, thank you. Your story makes me think both of Plato’s Cave and a Phoenix rising from the ashes. I am sorry for the world “we,” my generation, gave you – the idea that only oppressed identities are authentic, that suffering is a shiny bobble, a thing to consume. The courage it took for you to see this was tremendous and your willingness to now share your experiences demonstrates exactly the altruistic concern which is so glaringly absent from the realm of transgender advocacy/medicine/subculture. Brava, you incredible woman!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think the idea of being a victim and suffering have become kind of glamorized. Growing up in a big family in a different era, it felt like minimizing suffering or toughing things out was more valued. But I am probably just feeling nostalgia.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Hi Sam,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story! My son is going through a similar situation (M>F). What I find striking about the stories of ROGD is the commonality in “attitude” described and expressed by the teen or young adult. In my situation, a simple question, or slip of pronoun created a declaration against one’s humanity. I’m not sure where the change in thought occurs, or if it’s even that overt. What I am sure of, is that for parents, navigating these turbulent waters is a delicate journey and should be approached with as much tender care as possible. This is from personal experience as I pushed back hard against the indignant attitude (not life choice) and am now working to repair a severely damaged relationship. Life is a learning process! Again, thank you for your story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! I’ve been giving it a bit of thought recently, the hair-trigger temper teens like this have, the immediate upset when faced with something “wrong”. In part, I think the rhetoric on Tumblr & similar promotes a thinning of one’s skin, it teaches that microaggressions (mis-gendering, “dead-naming”, using the “wrong” terminology) are really, genuinely bad, it encourages feeling hard-done-to when these happen. Remember, victim-hood is your social currency, so the more of a victim you are, the more you can be taken seriously and the more attention you get. So the tiniest perceived slight IS a declaration against your humanity, refusing to validate you unquestioningly is a declaration against your humanity, and why? Because you as a person don’t really exist outside of your gender identity. They never say that, but that’s what one takes away from it. Mad I know… It doesn’t make much sense trying to explain it now.

      Hoping for the best for you and your son!

      Liked by 3 people

  24. Hi Sam,

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I am the mother of a now-grown daughter who had an eating disorder as a teen, and that was my first introduction to Tumblr and how destructive the culture there can be to vulnerable, hurting kids. I am also the aunt of a heavily Tumblr-involved teen who began identifying as transgender a few years ago and committed suicide last year, despite their parents being extremely affirming of the trans identity their child had aligned with. I am not in favor of censorship, but based on my personal experience, I believe Tumblr is a cesspool.

    At any rate, it’s so good to hear about someone who came out of the culture, not only surviving but thriving.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you, Sam! Through my tears I want to tell you how much it touches me to hear that sometimes daughters actually do realize that their parents are not the monsters described in “trans speak”. My own daughter is 17 and is about 2 years into ROGD. She is excitedly looking forward to being 18 to make her own decisions. Her dad and I are trying so very hard to be supportive, but anything that we say even slightly on the topic of gender enrages her. I am hoping that she finds the courage to think critically before starting T.
    Is there anything in particular that was your “woke” moment? If you have any advice for us, please share! Best wishes to you and your family!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I gave some advice in response to scaredmom above which you might find helpful – and I can’t pinpoint one exact moment but I can think of a few examples of “hmm..” moments that were scattered over the months/years:

      -Whenever I saw stuff about TIF getting pregnant, giving birth, people saying “a man gave birth” – something about all that never quite made sense to me – I just could never quite make myself believe it, that a man – an actual man, as I had to believe they were – could bear a child. I didn’t dwell on it but I could never change my mind.
      -I heard someone talking about some lefty very liberal celebrity and saying exasperatedly, “he’s got this attitude that any member of a minority can’t do anything wrong!” and I felt really embarrassed because I realised then, oh, yeah, that doesn’t make any sense. Why do I think that? Aren’t they people too? Why don’t I view them fairly?
      -When I realised that no-one I was friends with online was happy, and that no-one there actually really cared about me, either. A couple of the ones who weren’t into the trans stuff and led pretty normal lives were fine & nice, but the rest of us were utterly self-absorbed maladjusts, forever bouncing between useless depressive spells, hysterical breakdowns and nervous excitement. We were nice to each other because we needed something back, we validated each other because we were really just validating ourselves. I remember standing in the kitchen and realising: “Nobody there wants me to be happy” and having a bit of a think.

      I hope so much that everything works out for you and your family. Thank you!!

      Liked by 3 people

  26. Thank you, Sam, for being willing to write this. It was written so clearly, maybe you can expand your story someday and write a book, then go on the talk show circuit! I know this is just a dream, but people in the mainstream need to know what’s really going on because if they did know, very few would support the trans train anymore. The problem is that people like you are not allowed to get your stories out to the general public. That needs to change.

    I’m so glad you got out undamaged physically and now you are psychologically stronger. You know the dangers to stay away from and hopefully you can be the guide for others navigating this minefield.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re very welcome. I agree, I hope stories like mine will be heard by more people. The crazy train needs to grind to a halt before more damage is done, but I’ve no idea how it’s going to. Parents who can see so clearly the effects of all this on children they know so well get how harmful it is, but right now the general public doesn’t understand what’s really going on – to be honest it is kind of unbelievable how mad things have gotten..!

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Thanks Sam for giving us the gift of your hopeful story.

    Do you think there is a chance that your waking up was really about coming out of a major depression? That as your brain chemicals got into balance again, you were able to see things more realistically?

    I understand young people falling into this cult. The thing that continues to absolutely astound me is the number of adults who are falling for it. Sometimes in a conversation with other adults, I realize just how little they know about what is going on. I don’t know how to bring them up to speed without sounding crazy. To a person who has never looked into this subject, someone like me sounds like she’s gone round the bend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome!

      I don’t know how far I subscribe to the chemical imbalance stuff, to be quite honest – I can’t debate it properly because I don’t know enough about it, but I do think there is something to be said for your environment and the state of your life and the consequences of your decisions affecting what we call mental health, even if that’s not the case for every single person. I certainly agree that for a long time I was in a state of deep depression, but did the depression come on after everything started getting mucked up? In my case I believe so. When it lifted, did it lift before I came to my senses, as I came to my senses, or after I came to my senses…? I really don’t know.

      It sounds so crazy if you try to jump straight into it, “men with crossdressing fetishes are demanding to be let into women’s refuges because they’re women in their minds!” “Doctors are sterilising teens and putting children on unapproved hormones!” No really, though….!

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  28. Your story gives me hope my 17 year old daughter will still come around. I am so not convinced she is Trans. I wish I could read her your story. For now, her head is so far into this Trans business, its not even funny. I never in a million years thought this would happen to us. It break my heart, everyday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I left some advice to scaredmom further up in the comments, I don’t know if it can help. Please have hope. I stopped going down this path, others have stopped and are stopping and will stop. She’s still your daughter and always will be, she’s just been lied to a lot. We’re all wishing the best for you and her.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. For anyone who has a child under 18 … don’t give up! Keep talking and loving and supporting them in life. Once they are legal adults there isn’t much you can do if they are hell bent on medical interventions. Under 25 still seems so vulnerable and naive to me. My daughter doesn’t even give a thought to what testosterone will do to her reproductive health. She loves children so much and I think it’s so sad that soon she may be sterile.

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  30. Sam,
    Thank you for your bravery and courage in coming forward with your story. Your descriptive writing was truly insightful and I am certain will benefit others.

    I think you mentioned seeing a therapist briefly. Did you discuss this with any other professionals? Your physician? In retrospect, can you think of anything that a mental health professional or doctor could have said or done that would have been helpful to you?

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    • You’re welcome!

      If I had been in the position of talking to someone who could write me a prescription for what I wanted, any kind of shallow, affirmative-model stuff would have been disastrous, as I knew what to say – not that it wasn’t mostly true, but I was willing to embellish the truth – I was willing to lie just a little bit! – in order to get treatment such as hormones.

      Outside of that though, if I had been talking to someone who wasn’t going to give me that, or who knew I was lying and really tried to get to the bottom of it all, I think that could have really helped. Being stuck in a room and talking it all out, being asked uncomfortable questions and being completely truthful with them (I’m not a natural liar, I hate it, they could have gotten the truth out of me) – if I had had to make a timeline with what had happened and how I had felt, it might have been impossible to ignore, even to me, that something else was going on.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Dear Sam, you remind me of a lesson that it took me so long to learn, how much most parents (esp our mothers) love their children and would do anything so that their children can live with happiness and are not consumed by darkness and sadness. Your story of your mother’s £5 pound note broke my heart: although I was never trans-inclined (I always felt I wasn’t enough of a real girl, as I was too tall and too skinny and too flat and too… men would call me “mate” constantly) I know how I hurt my parents for so long and how often they turned away to cry without saying anything to me. Especially my mother – and yet she was always there with her soft voice too. Only when I became a mother myself (prima gravida, what a term) did I understand. My flatmate told me how my mother had watched over me as heavily pregnant me slept on a couch, and only then at that terribly late stage did I come to love my mother again as I had done when a little girl. How really atrocious it is that trans-madness turns girls against their mothers and destroys that gentle but fragile relationship that you write so tenderly and beautifully about. My child is not trans or trans-inclined, so your story doesn’t need to help me in the ways that other mothers say it helps them so well. But you lit up for me what the relation between mothers and daughters (or sons, in my case) is about and made me feel that perhaps I am a good enough mother. Your mother is blessed to have you as a daughter. with much kindness.

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    • Exactly – chains are still chains even if painted to look like “gold”… and that glittery “gold” paint covers heavy iron chains…

      It seems so attractive at first! But it’s an awful weight to bear… so deceptive… and risky…

      Liked by 2 people

  32. Sam, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story…and giving much-needed hope to us parents. I was so touched by what you wrote about your mom. What I wouldn’t give for my daughter to one day feel the same way about me.

    Similar to you, my daughter was gender-conforming throughout childhood (not because I pushed stereotypical clothes/play on her – that is just what she gravitated toward). But for her, the initial idea that she was transgender and the social contagion came from school. She had always been a quirky, brilliant little girl who never felt like she fit in. So when she started identifying as transgender at the age of 13 after attending a school presentation, she found that sense of identity and belonging that she always longed for. That was 3 1/2 years ago. She still thinks she is transgender, and she has plans to medically transition as soon as she is legally able.

    I am gradually introducing her to stories like yours while trying to keep our relationship strong and intact. It has been a slow and painful process, made all the more difficult by news media accounts and medical/psychological organizations that contradict everything that I know to be true. I just hope that she will come to the truth before she turns 18.

    You seem like such a strong, intelligent, and insightful woman. I suspect you will do great things with your life. You are already doing so much just by sharing your story. Thank you again.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Sam, research shows children who grew up with gender dysphoria and persist in their teens in wanting to transition do so because they believe it will make their same-sex attractions become heterosexual ones. You were not gender dysphoric as a child, but developed it after an abusive first love and traumatic break-up with a lesbian partner. It is common for the decision to transition to follow a trauma or abuse, with some saying they believe they will be safer as the opposite sex. What are your thoughts on whether your trauma triggered your desire to transition? Also, was the desire to become male to de-lesbian yourself any part of your motivation to transition? Did you see any of that in your former Tumblr friends? I’m writing a book telling parents how to save their children from the trans cult, so that’s why I’m asking.

    P.S. I am a lesbian and had unhappy first relationships that caused me to decide to become an ex-lesbian for over eight years in my twenties. I think brain development was the main thing that brought me back to myself, plus a chapter in the Bhagavad Gita that the worst thing you can do for your spiritual progress is envy the dharma (path of evolution) of other people and try to live that instead of your own, because your can only succeed in your own path, not anyone else’s. To recover from your traumatic relationship, and learn how to avoid problem people in the future, it helps to read up (and watch YouTube videos) on the following common disorders: borderline personality disorder, narcissism, and sociopathy. I recommend reading, “Stop Walking on Eggshells” to learn about borderline personality disorder, “Why Is It Always About You” to learn about narcissism, and “The Sociopath Next Door.” Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia, it was when I started to read about narcissistic personality disorder that I began to understand my ex husband’s behaviour. Gender dysphoria never made sense…..how could someone who truly had dysphoria marry and have children?
      Narcissists love you when you feed their narcissistic supply. The moment you cross them and stand up is when they reveal their true colours. How many eggshells I crushed, I’ve lost count.
      My ex’s narrative of being “trapped in the wrong body” is so unbelievable to me. His need to be validated is why he and other men like him have spun this deadly web in which they lure in the young, the vulnerable and the traumatised. I carry the guilt that should be his. Good luck with your book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • For “atranswidow,” try reading “Shame and Narcissistic Rage in Autogynephilic Transsexualism,” by psychologist, M.D., and autogynephile Anne Lawrence: http://pfox.org/Shame-Rage.pdf. Lawrence describes why autogynephiles go into scorched earth rages (also typical of people with borderline personality disorder) but be aware that he effectively counsels people to enable autogynephiles to avoid their wrath. The response to that has to be a hard “No!” There’s plenty of better advice on YouTube on how to disentangle yourself from a narcissist.

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  34. Thank you for your comment, Cynthia. I’m going to look up that chapter in the Bhagavad Gita.

    You say “I think brain development was the main thing that brought me back to myself”. For as much as is known about brain development, it’s such a shock that youth are receiving medical treatments to transition rather than counseling and a chance to love them as they are vs. “transition”. Big changes can be done in a short time with cross-sex hormones and the surgical knife. Our secular society would do well to place a greater value on spiritual growth and self-acceptance.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Pingback: Truth is the new Hate Speech | Peak Trans

  36. I’m just writing to tell you how relieved I am to hear your story and grateful you were/are brace enough to be your true self.

    I just had my 12yo daughter come out to me as transgender last week and I’m drowning. She has been telling us she’s bisexual for a month and we were supportive of that. We’re not homophobes or unsupportive, but we do not believe she truly wants to be a male. She was diagnosed as having Sensory Processing Disorder at 7yo and I was so relieved to find out there was a name for what was going on. She was an extremely high needs baby, toddler, and I quit my job to provide her stability. We moved just after her 10th birthday, the summer before middle school, and she has not had any friends really until this year. These friends identify as “pan” and “trans” and as we have really good friends that are homosexual we encouraged her to make friends with people she feels comfortable with regardless of their labels. All this time, her whole life, she has struggled with chronic constipation and toileting issues that embarrass and humiliate her. We started taking her to a psychologist when her grades plummeted this year and that psychologist told us she is most likely on the spectrum for autism. We got her a smart phone for Christmas, she begged to cut her beautiful long hair off, and we did it. This has all seemed to create the perfect storm for rapid onset gender dysmorphism.

    I have told her that we don’t care what she wears or how she wears her hair, but we won’t call her a different name or let her bind her chest. I had a very long a heart wrenching talk with her where I told her she has autism and she was crushed. She is hesitant to believe that is true. She feels that carries a greater, more negative stigma than being transgender. I told her that my goal is for her to learn to love her body as it is. I’ve asked her to give us time to cope and come to terms. I’ve been honest about having hopes that she will change her mind and told her a lot of my concern revolves around trying to keep her safe. We’ve taken away her phone because she was sneaking it in her room at night, so that will remove a lot of influence. She still has drama with these kids that are “pan” and “trans”. We had plans to change her school prior to all of this coming up and may just end up homeschooling her next year.

    I am heading to an appointment with her psychologist later this week for myself to discuss this bomb being dropped on us. I’m hoping she will support our view that this isn’t real and help us teach our daughter to love her body as it is, regardless of what her sexuality becomes. I keep reminding myself that there are worse things as a parent, but this is very, very hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Always Biting Tongue,

      You mention “All this time, her whole life, she has struggled with chronic constipation and toileting issues”

      There is an overlap of gut issues with ASD. Sometimes the gut issues are actually celiac disease, sometimes not celiac but is still gluten-sensitivity. I suggest you have your daughter evaluated by a gastroenterologist and tested for celiac. There are blood tests that can be done, and ask for a ferritin test too….iron supplies are typically low with malabsorption. The “gold standard” for a diagnosis of celiac is through a biopsy that shows flattened villi in the small intestine…some people have this even with the blood test is normal. So it is complicated.

      There is a well known gut-brain connection, but not all gastroenterologists are well versed in gluten-sensitivity. You can try getting recommendations from your local celiac community.

      Best wishes.

      Like

  37. If you live in an affirm only state like I do, it is very difficult to find a psychologist who will do anything but enthusiastically affirm, no questions asked, and all concerns dismissed out of hand. There are some psychologists who won’t do this, but you need to look for them. If this psychologist is not aware of the negatives and will not do anything but affirm, get out fast and look for someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think that we are and knowing that this is the psychologist who had first brought up Aspergers, I think it’s very likely that she will have good, subjective input on helping her understand that regardless of her gender she needs to improve her relationship with her body. She’s been trying to focus on executive function building for months, so hopefully she will feel relieved to address the Aspergers.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. I just wanted to post an update. My daughter’s psychologist agrees with me that our daughter is likely not truly transgender and supports the positions we’ve taken for now. She reiterated that this is common among girls with Aspergers and is likely another attempt to escape her discomfort with her body. I’m so relieved!

    As far as the constipation; yes, we DID take her to a pediatric GI doctor but our daughter is refusing to perform the stool study, so it’s hard to get any sort of diagnosis as far as her bowels. We do give her magnesium and senna once a week. Sometimes there’s only so much I can do and have to prioritize her care.

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  39. Your parents sound lovely. But I just think – why/how on earth did you have such unfettered access to the websites, did no one realise this was where it was all coming from? The internet seems to be a huge factor in a lot of these stories but no one seems to realise that it’s entirely possible to limit your children from using it.

    Like

    • Knowing what your child is exposed to on the internet is very hard. There are worlds that exist that nobody would know about if they weren’t introduced to it. When there is an open, loving relationship parents assume the status quo. There just is no way to “limit” internet access, only not allow it. And schools give kids access and expect them to use it. Obviously not every kid is going to fall prey to this but the perfect storm grabs some pretty hard. If I had a magic ball and was aware of what I now know I would have never given any access to the internet, but kids don’t come with maps saying they’re going to take a certain path so we’ve got to work from what we know.

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  40. I cried reading this. It is much like my experience with anorexia in the 1970s which was, among other things, at least in the beginning before it became an obsession and addiction, a conscious effort to get rid of all the secondary sex characteristics. I did get rid of them, including periods, and have been paying for over a decade now for the ways I screwed up my body in the teen years. All power to you, San, and God speed. Thank you.

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