Guest post: Tips for parents on finding a therapist for their trans-identified teen

So many readers of this blog have agonized over how to find a therapist who won’t immediately jump to the conclusion that their distressed teen is “trans” and in need of “transition” services. I asked Lane, the clinician who wrote the excellent guest post  “Exiles in their own flesh”, if she had any advice to offer. She responded in the comments thread of this recent post. I am reproducing her remarks here for greater visibility. Thank you, Lane!

As a therapist who worked with many teens who came into my office identifying as trans, I want you parents to know I did not automatically support their transitions. Like you, I was struck by the suddenness of this phenomenon of teens thinking they were born into the wrong body. My first concern was for the teen’s mental health, I looked at other causes. It’s interesting: around the time I started noticing an uptick in the number of kids identifying this way, I mentioned my concerns to a psychiatrist and a pediatrician who were both heads of the clinic where I worked. They were both on the brink of retiring, and they did not buy this new “trend” at all. They looked at what was happening as yet another medical fad. But, like I said, they were retiring. They were the old guard. The folks who replaced these dinosaurs (just kidding) had a complete absence of critical thought for the trans-narrative. It was almost as if they wanted to distinguish themselves from those they were replacing by being more open-minded, more patient-oriented.

The two folks who have come in to replace the old guard have a notable lack of developmental psych background. They are somewhat open to learning about it, but in general their work with teens (particularly any group billed as in any way marginalized – trans is pretty much the top of the heap in this regard) tends to be informed by a social-justice paradigm over something more clinical.

So, as far as finding a therapist more critical of the trans-narrative, it might be helpful to find a practitioner who is more classically trained and who is over 50. Also, find someone who is clearly a thinking, intellectual type, rather than someone more prone to falling in with medical fads. I hate to say it, but both of the old dinosaurs were uber smart, male doctors. Perhaps it was their sense of privilege, but these guys were not afraid of stating their opinions and had enough power in the organization to easily hold onto their own sense of reality. The people who embraced the trans-narrative on my team, apparently without a critical thought, were, I hate to say this, all women. So, using this small sample, which admittedly, may be utterly useless, I’d say that finding someone who isn’t as prone to the shifting sands of group-think, who hasn’t been dependent upon being seen by other professionals as “correct,” would help. Have your kid be seen by an arrogant, old man. LOL. Who would have thought I would ever write that!

Then again, I am not an old man, but I am definitely someone who has always valued and prized truth over belonging. I’m weird that way. That could be another way to screen for a trans-critical therapist, someone more old-style intellectual rather than social-justice oriented (not that I’m not down with SJ, but I qualify it when working clinically). Therapists who are critical of trans won’t be able to come out and say they are, so you’ll need to know to look for clues. You could also read their work, if they have any. Some have blogs and websites. If they say something like, well, it seems like your kid has some other mental health concerns, I’d like to focus on those for awhile before exploring their trans issues, that would be a good sign. If they do a thorough history of your family’s mental health, trauma history, that’s a good sign. These histories are an absolute must.

If a therapist is hopping on the trans explanation right out of the gate, that’s a sign they are inexperienced and lacking clinical authority. This is why you probably want your kid to see someone who has been practicing awhile–20 years at least–because, honestly, clinicians were trained so differently in the past. The training was less politicized, more intellectual and critical and I guess a bit more honest as far as research. It wasn’t perfect in the past, obviously there were abuses, but there were general, shared standards of care and it was a bad thing to breach them. There was more personal responsibility, more commitment and investment on the part of the clinicians. Now the vast majority of the clinicians and psychiatrists in the organization where I worked constantly complain about being overworked and exhausted and feel the org is screwing them over. They are too afraid to go into private practice where they could perhaps see fewer people in a day and therefore have more mental space to see each client as an individual. When people are overworked in healthcare, it means the treatment suffers; they don’t have time to look into the background of new therapies. Honestly, none of the folks I worked with had any training in working with transgender kids. They were starting to talk about getting some, but this is just now happening. And I practice in a large, metropolitan city. There are no standards of care or official certification processes yet in place for vetting therapists who work with transgender issues.

These days, training standards for therapists are pretty weak in general. Most good clinicians study for years and years, join institutes and hopefully become critical of a lot of what they learn. The point is, there are no short-cuts; it takes clinicians a really long time to become effective. Younger clinicians tend to be swayed more by current trends because they just don’t have enough experience with seeing loads of different people. Also their training is different, and they have much less clinical confidence.

If I were a parent and my kid were experiencing this issue, I would also just be as honest and loving as you can with them about your concerns, as many of the parents here on this blog have been. It’s hard because you don’t necessarily want to use this situation as the time to explain to your kid that doctors and the medical profession have been co-opted by activists and other folks looking to profit from their distress in some way. There’s so much that needs to fall away in order for you to help your kid. And if your kid is already unstable, it could be frightening to hear mom or dad sounding like they’ve been pulled into a conspiracy theory.

I think the best way to combat becoming reactive (as we do when we feel nobody believes us and yet we feel we must continue to speak since so much is at stake) is to deal with our own grief at being so alone and not being believed. Honestly, this level of self-doubt and invalidation is traumatic for people, particularly people who have in general spent their lives being respected for their measured take on the world (your basic educated liberal parent). I honestly can’t think of anything more hellish than to suddenly find your usual experience of being taken at your word ripped out from beneath you. But this is exactly what is happening to parents who question the trans-narrative. Caring, truly loving parents (not enabling parents necessarily, but good, solid parents) are being made to question their motives. It’s heartbreaking for me as a therapist to see this happening to families. I wish I had more answers for you. It might be best to keep your child away from people who bill themselves as gender specialists.

In order to reach your child, you will absolutely need to find a way to regain your own internal grounding. This blog is obviously helping with this task. You may need to “let go a little,” which it sounds like many of you have done. By this I mean, do not fight your kid on this issue. When we deal with kids with other compulsions, such as eating disorders, we encourage parents to stop talking about food.

55 thoughts on “Guest post: Tips for parents on finding a therapist for their trans-identified teen

  1. Good advice. I have not been able to find a decent therapist. The first person had over 20 years experience, is over 50, and wrote several books. She came highly recommendation. A lot of other gender specialists have followed her lead. I thought I had done my homework.

    I talked to her for less than an hour and she was already mentioning blockers. She just assumed she had my kid all figured out. I had hardly given her any information. Frankly, now that I know a lot more about this, he absolutely does not fit the criteria listed for gender dysphoria. Something is going on, but it is not that. Yet she figured that out with no information after a few minutes.

    My advice, stay away from gender specialists.

    It is lonely for sure. And I do not come from any privilege of being taken at my word. But I am capable of reading, critically analyzing what I read, and drawing reasonable conclusions. I’m baffled as to why someone with over 20 years of experience can’t seem to do that. I felt as if she was mostly very married to her ideologies above all else. Above what is in the best interest of each individual person. And she attempted to bully and belittle me to comply with her. Probably the only thing that saved me in this situation is my intense distrust of doctors and therapists. I’ve had some pretty lousy experiences. Who knew it would come in handy one day.

    I did try a second therapist. This person is not a gender specialist. That did not quite work out either. She buys into the current hoopla as well. Most of the time she just tried to change the subject if I brought it up. I went to a few sessions and decided to stop going.

    What has helped me a lot is writing down my thoughts and feelings, and talking with trusted friends. I’ve found people on-line who have similar feelings about the situation (such as those expressed here). This has been my therapy. To say this is a very uncomfortable place to be is an understatement. The uncertainty and my audacity to tell nearly everyone around me I think they have it wrong has sometimes made me question my sanity. But no matter what angle I look at this situation, I keep coming back to the same place in my mind. That something is just not quite right. That these gender specialists are not getting it right. Most probably have good intentions, but they are pushing some very drastic things without having any real idea of what the future holds for the people they experiment on. Experimentation has its place for sure. If my child were dying from a rare cancer, then sure I’ll try drugs of questionable safety and surgeries to remove stuff. That might be the one chance to save my kid’s life. Confusing thoughts in and of themselves do not kill people and do not warrant removing body parts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am coming to this trans gender family dynamic from a very different angle to a lot of readers to 4thwave’s blog. Once my ex was firmly down the road of transition and our divorce was under way one of the few things we agreed on was that this was going to be tough on the kids and that they may need the help of a therapist. We each chose a therapist and ”interviewed ” the others choice.

    My ex chose a young therapist from a ”gender-identity clinic” which specialised in treating teenagers with gender issues. I gave her a hard time, and I don’t think that she was prepared for the depths of my emotions both in regards to my relationship with my ex and my fears for my children’s future.

    My choice was a much older and experienced therapist who was well established and appointed as the therapist in several of the local schools. His common sense and pragmatic approach was what I thought my kids needed. Fortunately the judge at our divorce hearing agreed. This man has since overseen my first meeting with my ex in his his full new persona and has also been witness to my kid’s first meeting with their father in his new identity. It has been hard but I have had to put my implicit trust in this man. So far my kid’s are doing fine. They see their father on their terms. This whole thing needs time and patience.

    I totally endorse what Lane is saying here.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My kid has asked to be called a different, male, name and have different pronouns. We said no. We didn’t belabor it or get mean about it, but we simply told her we are under no obligation to call her anything but her given name (or common nicknames) and change all of our speech patterns to please her. If she wants to ask other people, well, there’s not much we can do about that. So she has and, of course, they all think it’s just the coolest thing.

    We also told her that we will not agree to blockers or testosterone while she’s a minor. And, if she wants, after she’s 18, for us to continue to support her in a material way? No hormones then, either. We pay a lot of money for the medications which alleviate her anxiety and depression and her anxiety response is fight, so no way are we medicating her to tamp down her natural aggressive response only to let her jack it up again with T. Not if I’m living with her. Even though she couldn’t help it, she was abusive, pre-medication. She destroyed things and belittled her sisters and hit us and threw things at us. Now that we know why, we’re not going back to that.

    Also, because she was so anxious, she’s screwed up in school for the past four years. She almost flunked out last year. We are convinced that she really doesn’t like the herself and the mistakes she made and rather than try to work to change her responses to things, that just becoming a whole, new person — a new gender, a new name, wipe the slate clean — is very attractive. Except, you know, she’s still the same person and this isn’t China under Mao. There ain’t no Year One in my house. I don’t approve of talk of dead names and all that other gender theory crap. Sorry not sorry.

    So, I was angry at her and was allowing myself to be, as lane said, reactive. But I’m stopping and being true to my own self and beliefs and that’s all I can do. I am trying to prevent my daughter from making some huge, irreversible mistakes, but I can’t do much more than that. She thinks she can erase her past, but it’s just going to follow her. We’re trying to demonstrate, by refusing to do exactly what she demands, that sometimes the most supportive people in your life are the ones who challenge you.

    I could write an entire book about the things that have happened in looking for a therapist. We’ve been through two and I’ve stopped looking for now, because it’s been weeks of phone interviews where I talk about my kid’s anxiety and depression and her acting out and the person on the other end thinks that focusing on changing her disordered thinking would be an excellent start. When I then say she’s insisting that she’s trans and we would like to put a pin in that to start with and try to deal with the diagnosed issues and proceed with areas where there are proven treatments and results, all the agreement goes out the window and we’re in denial and no child would choose this route. Except, you know, I think we’re seeing LOTS of kids choosing this route because it gives them a lot of power and control and gets them lots and lots of attention. But, you know, I’m just the mom, my opinions don’t count for much, according to all so-called professionals who insult me for disagreeing with them.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m so sorry. Many of your daughter’s issues sound like mine. My husband talks a lot about the power dynamics he sees as we struggle down this road, and I do think that’s a large part of it, whether the kids realize it or not. You don’t feel comfortable with yourself (as most teens don’t, for one reason or another), you decide to try on a new identity, new name, new look – and suddenly you’re a brave hero, getting lots of attention from adults. Interesting. It’s incredibly difficult to balance the need to be a loving, compassionate parent with the need to protect a child with a history of disordered thinking from a different, potentially destructive path.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Long time reader, first time commenter. I’m not a parent, but I did go to therapy for gender dysphoria when I was a teen and my parent was skeptical of transgender. The therapists I saw were gender specialists, but back then were much more of the “gatekeeper” model that required extensive therapy and the “real life test” from the old WPATH Standards of Care. Though I can look back and see what my parent meant and had my best interest at heart, I know that as a teen it was very hard to understand that. If I wasn’t allowed an immediate gender transition and hormones (blockers weren’t available back then), I didn’t see it as supportive. I think it’s good advice to look for a therapist that has been practicing for a long time, but teens might not trust a therapist that doesn’t understand the words they’ll use the way that a gender specialist might. In the trans message boards it’s common to talk about having to educate doctors and therapists, and teens who become frustrated by having to explain what they mean by genderqueer or pansexual might not remain open to the process, or turn even more to the message boards or peers in lieu of “uneducated” therapists. So from the dysphoric teen perspective, I would encourage parents to look for someone that both they and their teen can trust, as much as possible. It might be harder but I would hope that it could save years of hardship between parent and child.


      • That’s why I think instead of putting a child in therapy, maybe the better focus is to get family counseling and have the whole family involved. I can see how that could help make trans issues less in the spotlight as well as help that child see how his/her choices and actions are impacting the rest of the family. But I feel so bad for the parents, especially when established underlying mental health issues get tossed aside and transition is looked at as the magic cure-all (when clearly we know it isn’t).

        Liked by 1 person

      • The problem here is that if the therapist does not immediately agree with the teen that they are indeed “trans”, then the teen might just simply dismiss that therapist as a “dinosaur” that just does “get it”.

        Nevertheless those points raised by “Katiesan”,
        “atranswidow”, and “unrestricted…” are 100% correct and need to be addressed in an honest and straight forward manner.


    • Yes, good points, fabmind. A mother from another website commented on this post. Her experience has lead her to believe that it is important that the therapist be educated about the transgender trend. Originally she had her daughter seeing a 76 year old male therapist, but he didn’t grasp the big influence that online trans propaganda had had on her daughter. She has had more success with her daughter seeing a younger female therapist who is more educated about this subject and can identify as once being a teenaged girl herself.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think there could be a happy medium: an experienced therapist who had done their homework. Or how about this? When “vetting” therapists, ask them if they’ve heard of all these terms like “genderqueer” and “assigned female at birth.” If not, ask them to learn, or educate them yourself before the first appointment with your kid.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah and see herein lies the problem though. The gender specialists seem to now be mostly people who will immediately push blockers as the initial step to the path of hormones and SRS. And they will also be the people familiar with the terminology. So what is a parent to do? Frankly, I don’t really buy into the concept. Yes, I fully agree that for some reason people experience very disconcerting and confusing feelings and thoughts. I don’t know what this is exactly, but I am upset that there isn’t any efforts to find other treatments. I don’t see how the treatments fix these feelings. I like the anorexia comparison. What if we fix an anorexic person’s incorrect thinking about themselves by allowing them to undergo surgery to make them even thinner? We also prescribe diet pills that suppress hunger so they can eat even less without dealing with those nagging hunger pains. Does this seem like treatment that will fix the problem? After all we will be aligning their body to be more congruent with their thoughts.

      Parents themselves should become familiar with what they are going to be up against. Yes, I certainly agree with finding a therapist they feel comfortable with. I don’t disagree with that. It just seems the two main choices are therapists who know close to nothing about this or therapists who might just know too much for your child’s own good.

      Kids not understanding their parent’s POV is common and will probably never change. I do recall some instances where I did not understand my parent’s reasoning.

      I do have a very unusual relationship with my kids because I have always homeschooled them. They have not caught onto the fact that it’s not cool to talk to one’s parents. But one thing I have always tried to be is honest. I tell my kids about mistakes I made as a kid. I talk to them about uncomfortable topics. I don’t want them only getting their information off the Internet. Especially because they may not always be able to tell what is good information and bad information. I don’t stop them from looking stuff up on the Internet though. I think if you tell them not to, they’ll only spend more time doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re so right. It’s sad when you have parents who hardly use a computer or social media. They are already 1,000,000 steps behind.


  5. We have been fortunate to find a therapist open-minded and educated enough on this subject to work with our daughter. I must say, Lane’s profile was right on track in our situation–an older male classically-trained psychologist.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel fortunate, as well, to have found an older, very academic, male psychiatrist who has a daughter of his own. While his daughter isn’t trans, he can easily put himself into our position of not wanting our daughter to be permanently surgically and hormonally altered so that she may chase a teen whim which she believes will cure her depression and anxiety. Instead, the doctor is treating her depression and anxiety (what a concept!), and recommended a female psychotherapist (experienced and middle-aged but with a relatable, young-at-heart personality) who is on board with treating the mental issues first.

      Of course, I am fearful that any day they will tell me it’s time to start thinking about transitioning, but progress has been made in my daughter’s case. While she still says she is trans, as her depression and anxiety have eased somewhat, she seems to be less adamant about being trans, brings it up less, and has changed the description of herself to “not female, but not male either,” which is an improvement. I’m hoping as long as she continues backing off, even if it is just a tiny bit at a time, the psychiatrist and psychotherapist will see that transitioning is not the answer in her case. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

      Best wishes to all parents and kids who are in this unenviable situation.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve said this in other posts, but one thing that is really important is for parents to talk to the therapist BEFORE the child has the first appointment. Any reputable therapist seeing minors should be willing to have a phone call, or even a private appointment, with the parent or legal guardian prior to beginning treatment with the child. If you have to pay for their time, so be it. If they refuse to do this, that’s an automatic delete from the list of potential clinicians. This happened to me with one therapist I contacted. She insisted that she had to see my daughter first before discussing anything with me. Red flag.

    What we all have to remember is we parents have power. Many of us feel discouraged and railroaded into this agenda, but the fact is, we need to claim and own our power. These are our children and we have the right to stand up for what we think is right. If enough of us start doing that, something is going to change.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This, too.

      I realized that I was being reactive to my children’s therapists AND to my child. That she had found a way to spin me up and she was enlisting them in the process and they were happy to go along. So I took that away from her. No more therapy and I set my boundaries. She attempted to counter with the typical teenage cry of embarrassment. I replied that any teenager with decent parents has been embarrassed by them. And, that teens embarrass their parents, too, and that we’ll all survive.

      And everything is much better. She’s “socially transitioned” at school, but school isn’t the rest of her life. It also seems like we’re getting closer, after almost two years, of getting her medications balanced for her. I think that has a lot to do with it.

      I wish we could find a therapist who could be an adult who she wouldn’t have a power struggle with but who would also try to help her with her mood issues FIRST. But, after weeks of having the exact same conversation over and over, maybe just having a psychiatrist for meds which do work and going it alone is the best we can do in this moment in time.

      I am so glad that other people have found good therapists, though.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you for addressing this issue in such detail. I would add that a therapist with experience in substance abuse usually has a highly cynical slant on the world and is less likely to accept what people are selling. I agree that older clinicians tend to be more suspicious of trends and to question more. They saw gender nonconforming kids for years before the kids started getting trans-ed and understand that children usually abandon the idea that they are the opposite sex as they mature. How many can become comfortable with their sex in this gender crazed environment is unknown. So an older family therapist who has substance abuse experience might be the ticket. I wouldn’t worry overmuch about a teen not being willing to accept the therapist. It’s most critical to find a therapist who supports the parent and does not try to undermine her authority. I’ve done some good work with families where the teen hated me, by coaching the parents in how to deal with the situation. Obviously, it’s better if the teen will accept the therapist, but that’s not always possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “These are our children and we have the right to stand up for what we think is right. If enough of us start doing that, something is going to change.”

    I agree, but the spin people have put on this is that I’m just in denial about my child’s true gender. I assigned his gender at birth and picked the wrong one. LOL I mean how is that not absurd? It has gotten to the point where I don’t even really know what gender means. Is gender all about wearing dresses or not? Is it about hair length? Is it about gravitating towards certain activities? I don’t think it is, but even if that is what it is, surely people can grow their hair the way they want, wear the clothing they want, and do the activities they want WITHOUT chopping off their body parts. Yes, I am hung up on that part because it is so Frankensteinish to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unrestricted, you are a very good example of someone who is standing up for her kid and what you think is right. You’re doing that “in real life” and here online. Yeah, the gaslighting, the utter mindfuckery of this, is discouraging. And it is constant. And you are fighting back. Thank you for that.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lol. No one is “assigned” their gender at birth. One’s sex is determined at birth by observing the presence of genitalia on an infant. It’s an objective fact, not a judgment call. Of course, trying to get a child to understand that is a different story.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I tried for a long time to sip on the koolaid — read a ton, tried to convince myself of the brain sex thing, tried to tell myself, “well, maybe it could all work out OK, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.”

    But — you know, the bullshit meter just would not shut UP. The one that says: “No ‘treatment’ that calls for slicing off healthy body parts and using opposite-sex hormones can be a healthy treatment. And no radical course of action like this without any actual diagnostic tools can be a wise course of action.’ ”

    It just can’t. It can’t be the best way. it can’t be the only way. For some people it’s always going to be a choice. Grownups get to make choices about their bodies, including self-destructive choices. When my kid is a grownup, she’ll get to choose, too.

    But I’ve gotten to the same place as you, katiesan. The “not on my watch” place. I just cannot do it. I do not understand how the parents that acquiesce to it can convince themselves that it’s OK and indeed crucial. Maybe their bullshit meters are just calibrated differently than mine. Maybe they are more eager to trust authority, less patient with ambiguity, more unable to live with their kids’ discomfort, more desirous of wanting social approval … lord knows.

    I am beyond pissed off at the mental health community for colluding in this. Our family’s been a pretty steady consumer of mental health services off and on — the trans idea is certainly not our kid’s first mental health situation. I’m sorry to say that of the, maybe, seven counselors we have seen over time? I’d say one was helpful, one was marginally helpful, and the other five were wastes of time. So forgive me if I don’t have humble faith in the great powers of the counseling community.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I could have written the exact same thing puzzled. It means so much to me that I am reading these same thoughts from other people. I was really starting to wonder if I just wasn’t getting it. Sometimes I even wonder if I’m just having a very weird dream because it all makes zero sense to me. And I too tried to entertain the idea that maybe this is the best way to deal with this. Maybe these people are onto something. But no. I really just cannot get on board with that angle. It certainly does not help that there is almost zero evidence that this works. And I don’t want to experiment on my otherwise healthy and happy kid. I could never live with myself if he grew up and regretted all of this. I don’t want him to end up in a bad place when he didn’t start off in a bad place to begin with.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Amen. I can’t stand hearing the phrase “living your truth” or words like “authenticity” in this context. There is nothing true or authentic about anything that requires so much modification and treatment.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I need to disagree just a bit here and point out a potential blind spot. Just because you or I cannot understand or agree with someone else’s beliefs or understanding of self does not mean that their beliefs or understandings of self are not valid.

        They are just different from ours. This does not mean that parents must accept the feelings/beliefs of their children without question. What it means to me is that we must at least consider that these beliefs/feelings are strongly held and from the POV of the child, “true”.
        Now, if their are other co-morbidities, other behavioral/psychological problems or issues, it is obvious that these must be addressed and here is where it is critical that the therapist involved have a clear, non-agenda driven understanding and protocol for treatment. IMHO, these are the issues which must be discussed and understood by all parties before parents commit their kids to the care of what is essentially a stranger.


      • I have mixed feelings Worried. I think it is pretty common for people to try to figure themselves out (for lack of a better way of putting it). But since when do we treat someone’s understanding of themselves with drugs and surgery? Drugs sometimes. For example, one symptom of schizophrenia is hearing voices. Usually the voices are saying very disturbing things such as go kill yourself or go kill someone else. We do treat that with medication. We don’t cut body parts off though. We also do not affirm the hallucinations. Yet those voices are very real to the person. Who are we to tell them the voices are not real? Yet, we do tell them that.

        Also, what is happening, is a lot of these therapists and doctors are not first treating for other mental health illnesses. Some won’t even entertain the idea that it could be related. And the only reason for that is not because now we suddenly have a better understanding of what this condition is, but because some people like the idea that we can choose our sex. Yet all those pills and modifications don’t really do that. What they do is medicate and mutilate an otherwise healthy and functional body.

        I don’t say any of this to come across as insensitive or dismissive of how people say they feel. I believe that they are indeed feeling something that is very confusing and that can cause a great deal of anxiety. I’m simply questioning the validity of these treatments for this condition.

        One of the biggest reasons my child is not now on blockers and in therapy to brainwash him into believing he is a girl (yes that is what I call those therapies), is because I in fact LISTENED to what he said to me about how he is feeling. I did not twist his words into something more palatable for others to hear. The therapist I went to did that. She said he has been suffering for years in the wrong body and wants to be a woman. He never said that to me. He didn’t even say anything like those words.


      • Worried, if someone is fully dependent on daily injections to maintain a physical appearance, then is that physical appearance really “authentic?” I’m not talking about their feelings, just a physical appearance that requires extraordinary interventions every single day.

        People with Body Integrity Identity Disorder believe (and truly feel) that they are meant to be disabled and seek out physicians to perform amputations or other surgeries to create paralysis. Yet we don’t encourage that. We don’t offer diet pills to anorexic people even though they truly feel obese. There are plenty of people with feelings about how their bodies ought to be and look like, yet we recognize the dangers inherent in indulging those beliefs no matter how sincere. Yet, even though there is virtually no understanding of the effects of long term use of blockers and cross-sex hormones in children, we collectively shrug and defer to the feelings of people considered too intellectually and emotionally immature to enter into contracts, get married, hold a job, decide whether to go to school, give consent to sexual intercourse, and so on.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Did y’all see this? A 14-year-old MTF transkid who looks ten (most likely because of puberty blockers) gets a special surprise from Mom– female hormones. In the comments, the mom is lauded for being such a wonderful parent.

    I had a mixed reaction when I first saw this. On one hand, it’s great to see parents accepting their gender nonconforming kids and letting them choose their own clothes, hairstyles, etc. (This kid is absolutely gorgeous!) But celebrating what will be a lifelong dependence on pharmaceuticals???

    In the end, the whole thing makes me sad.


    • Awesome Cat has a lot more about this story on his blog. Worth a read.
      Why doesn’t anyone in the media point out that this is a **pattern**: Kids being “identified” as “transgender,” then thrust into the media limelight? The GoFundMes to cover medical expenses are often also part of the story. The Lurie clinic is headed up by Dan Garafolo, one of the kingpins of pediatric transition.

      I have a post in the works that compares the current trans media circus to the vast, celebratory media attention given to lesbian children and teens back in the heyday of the women’s movement in the 1970s-80s. NOT.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t remember any media circus surrounding lesbian children or teens, but I would have been pretty young then. What I do remember from the 1980s was the “Satanic panic” where the media went nuts over all these supposedly secret Satanic cults that were ritually abusing kids. This went hand-in-hand with a sudden outbreak of mostly young women with multiple personality disorder.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I was being sarcastic. NO one was glorifying lesbian teens and their “brave parents.” And they aren’t now. Which tells you quite a bit about the trans thing. And I also remember the satanic thing… very creepy. I remember feeling relieved to learn it was all a bunch of crap.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Whew, for a moment there I thought I’d missed some very important episodes of Phil Donahue back in the day! 🙂

        Thanks to the Awesome Cat blog, I was able to find Corey’s mom’s Twitter page. She hasn’t used it in two or three years. When I clicked “Photos and Videos” one of the first things that came up was a film of a younger, still-a-boy Corey at an anti-Monsanto rally. So these parents don’t want their kids eating genetically modified cornflakes but pumping blockers and hormones into Corey’s body is perfectly healthy and safe?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Don’t forget the recovered memories! And, there’s also publication bias, which makes specific treatments seem more efficacious than they actually are.

        Frankly, the mental health community has made a lot of mistakes and is asking a lot of people to trust them — especially in regard to trendy diagnoses.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. As puzzled said “without any actual diagnostic tools”. That’s the kicker for me. I know how medical diagnoses are made. Even psychiatric diagnoses are often made on the basis of some verifiable thing about the person. But the people promoting the sex change thing don’t even care. They are in different to the medical norms of how you make a diagnosis. And then they’re recommending amputation. What in the ever loving fuck?! 😡 No, just no. A responsible person does not agree to that.


  12. Weird.

    And hey who would like to feature my story and give me a prize? I refused this stuff and guess what, my kid too is doing just fine!

    Too many people are brainwashed to believe this strange ideology.

    I think if someone cut out 95% of my brain I still wouldn’t buy into this. So either I’m Einstein, or there are a lot of brainless idiots in the world.

    And geesh, I’m usually not this judgmental because I want to believe people think these things through. I’m really starting to wonder though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get a regular trickle of obnoxious comments, yes. I moderate all comments and I generally don’t let nasty ones through. The whole reason I set up this blog was so people like you (and me) would have a safe forum. This is your place. Not theirs.

      Liked by 2 people

    • This is a case like Blake Brockington, who was also a well-liked “queer” activist in school, but committed suicide earlier this year. These kids don’t seem to get better when they are helped or even celebrated in their social transitions. This poor kid, by her own admission, had veered between multiple identities EVERY TWO WEEKS before “discovering” she was “trans.” Lee also posted a suicide note on Tumblr in which s/he specifically asked that her name not to be “turned into a hash tag” and stated “I am not killing myself because I am trans and queer.” Here is a story from earlier this year wherein Lee talks about shifting identities and becoming a respected advocate.
      Coverage of Lee’s Tumblr plea here:

      The elevated suicide rate for these trans-identified kids is an emergency. But the automatic assumption that transitioning cures the problem is clearly unfounded. When are we going to have an honest conversation about these troubled teens? When are we actually going to do something about the awful loss of so many bright young people, besides turning their deaths into a macabre and unjustified rationalization for more and earlier “transition” services? So many of them initially identified as lesbian or gay–then shifted to “trans.” Is anyone going to talk about that phenomenon–ever?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Although one line from the second article that “trans suicides are a disturbing trend” has me shaking my head. The suicide rate among these people has always been high. And it is not known whether or not the current treatment protocol lowers the suicide rate. For such a drastic treatment, I would certainly want to know if it would help.

        These kids are killing themselves despite being surrounded by support and validation because, to be blunt, validation isn’t a particularly helpful treatment for a mental illness. Telling someone their thoughts are correct and anyone who doesn’t believe it is just a bigoted jerk is not a form of treatment. Telling an anorexic that her thoughts of being fat despite having a skeletal body are accurate and validating them will probably not save her life and definitely will not fix the disordered thinking.

        And I hear the primal screams ensuing over the fact I just called this a mental illness. I happen to have a lot of compassion towards people who suffer with a mental illness. I am not heartless and cruel for calling it like I see it. I’m afraid that until people stop calling this a social problem that is originating outside of the person with the disordered thinking, we won’t be closer to finding an effective treatment.

        I believe we have come a long way in terms of accepting the fact that male and female behavior is on a spectrum. Are there still people who are too rigid in their thinking regarding this? Yes. There always will be. This is not about not allowing someone to express themselves freely. If it were, it would be good enough to let a guy wear makeup, a dress, and pee sitting down. We wouldn’t need to chop off his body parts.


      • “This is not about not allowing someone to express themselves freely.” Yes. Being “gender nonconforming” and not being supported for it is the underlying issue– obviously coupled, as you point out, with mental health problems. Being suicidal at all is a sign of poor psychological functioning. It didn’t help this kid to identify as “trans” vs lesbian or “genderqueer” as they considered themselves previously. I have two earlier posts on the subject of teen suicidality if you haven’t already seen them.

        On Blake Brockington, who died last March:

        Liked by 2 people

      • I would love to read anything from a qualified professional telling me why these kids aren’t being diagnosed with a dissociative disorder instead of this gender identity BS.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ocean, I think they aren’t calling it something else because, again, they think this is a societal problem. The dysphoria is caused by our inability to accept that there is a male verse female essence. We arbitrarily label someone’s sex and gender and sometimes we get it wrong. The disordered thinking is all about this false context that we have purposely created. (No I do not believe that.)

        But really I want to know how we went from the rare person who has unusual thoughts and seeks SRS to now promoting this as a viable option for anyone; even children. I know that part of the argument for allowing children to undergo these treatments is that cosmetically speaking I guess they are more “passable”. This is, again, where my brain just cannot make sense of this reasoning. If they must go through so much trouble to become a convincing member of the sex they weren’t born with, then are we really changing their sex for them? And how does mutilating body parts work its magic on disordered thinking? I do think there may be some changes in thinking with hormones because they do alter chemistry. However, is it that the hormones “cure” the thoughts, or is it that they only “change” the thoughts a bit? Where essentially the person figures well at least they are thinking in a slightly different way than before. This is why I think we should be looking for other treatments because the current treatments may not be the best.

        And then I have to wonder if this is also a lot about the cash cow these procedures have become. Maybe the surgeons can sleep better at night believing they are helping someone become the sex they really should have been born as rather than mutilating someone with a mental health condition.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. One thing, if you can, get a completely separate therapist for yourself. Mine mostly just listened. That opportunity to download kept me going. I knew I had to keep strong for myself so that I could be there for my kids. In fact, I think it was almost as important as having a therapist for my kids. If they see you strong and standing by your guns then at the end of the day your own self respect can only rub off on them.


  14. Lots of excellent questions: Why is this not being properly diagnosed as a dissociative disorder rather than trans-gender disorder. In my highly non-professional opinion it is that, as has been noted here before, once the patient has expressed their gender confusion, (“dysphoria”), it then becomes politically incorrect, (and professionally disadvantages) to explore any other of the myriad possibilities.

    Now this much more serious problem, and yes, this is a big one but again, in my humble estimation, it has nothing to do with being born with a very, (no, extremely), rare condition which 4thwave alluded to above…and that is the issue of teen suicide. Teen suicide, like all suicides occur when an individual has reached, (or been driven to), a point from which they can see no other way out. Sadly we saw a gruesome example of this in Rosebud, Oregon today where a young man committed “suicide by cop” after killing nearly a dozen others and maiming even more. In almost every case there are serious psychological disorders in play. That some teens latch on to the “trans” meme is, (again IMHO), a result of the false perception of being seen or defined as “special” albeit a “victimized” class.

    I also agree that treating someone for “gender dysphoria” instead of doing the hard work of properly diagnosing what is really going on is tantamount to medical malpractice. Sadly with so many bureaucrats, lobbyists and lawyers involved, there is little room for good medical or therapeutic care.


    • This is why I am so frustrated and angry almost all the time — I am treated as if *I* and the one with the problem.

      Also, quite a while ago, I was reading a blog by a transitioned person (I think F2T) who was talking about being trans and all the relief from anxiety and depression which disappeared and was replaced by euphoria be transitioning and being surgically altered. And then, less than two years later, starting to feel anxious and depressed again. And then wondering if maybe the previous anxiety and depression were root causes of the trans feeling. In the case of this person, the feeling was “no, I just happen to be trans and ALSO have a propensity for anxiety and depression and even if it had been treated FIRST, I would still have transitioned.”

      But here’s the thing — there’s no way to prove that when you immediately jump to the most invasive treatment right from the get-go. It is completely bass-ackwards. Everyone SHOULD be treating the mental issues FIRST and taking some time and seeing how things shake out. My daughter with ADHD had to jump through more hoops than my kid who is trans-identified. That is messed up. And for ADHD, it’s just to get medication. A trans situation, I’m supposed to be all-in for hormone treatment and surgery and I just can’t reconcile why it’s considered so inconsequential and should be dependent on self-reporting. From a child whose brain is still developing.


      Liked by 1 person

  15. Gender dysphoria is a very real issue. Teens and adults who are dealing with gender dysphoria need access to competent and compassionate care. Unfortunately, the current landscape tends to be very black-and-white. Most of the counselors I have encountered either lack training and/or are against transition or they are pro-transition (meaning transition is the only treatment, in their eyes.) The way I see it, this is anything but ideal. Some of us need to transition and some need other types of care, some need both. All of us need stability, resilience, and good mental health overall.

    If you are a parent of a transgender or questioning teen, you’re in an especially difficult spot because teens are getting a lot of unhealthy messages on websites like Reddit and Tumblr. It isn’t just that they are being encouraged to transition – they are being encouraged to take hormones behind their parents’ backs and without medical supervision (aka DIY); they are being told that without blockers and transition at an early age, they will never pass or be attractive; they are being hailed as martyrs when they commit suicide.

    Today’s youth live in a very different world than the one we knew as teens. They are connecting with people all over the world at an early age and you really can’t stop it. Instead of trying to block access, I hope you’ll work hard to keep communication open so that they’ll talk to you about these messages they’re getting. Teach them to critically examine everything – including messages about sex and gender – and make it clear that you’re their ally, not their enemy. Be willing to compromise or know that you may lose them entirely.

    In terms of therapy, my recommendation is that you meet privately with a prospective counselor before even mentioning them to your teen. Get as much background information as possible (Google is an amazing resource.) Try to find someone who has experience with teens, gender dysphoria, and any other challenges your child is facing. Resist the desire to hire a therapist who is anti-transition and instead, find one who understands that SOME teens may need to transition and some do not. You can’t make a trans person not be trans, so you need to work on accepting that your teen might actually be trans and that’s ok.

    What I’m getting at here is really this… help your teen to be healthy and ready for independence. This is, after all, the overarching goal of adolescence. Recognize that you will have to compromise in order to allow them the freedom to grow and prepare for adulthood. If you can work through your own feelings about transition and transgender people in general, you’ll be much more able to ally with your own teen as they work through their gender confusion. Trust me when I say that they’ll find allies if you aren’t willing or able to be one.


    • While I don’t agree with you on your views that there is such a thing as “actually trans,” I appreciate much of what you say and the respectful tone of your comment. You are certainly right that parents becoming alienated from a teen nearing the age of medical majority won’t help and will likely push them into the arms of trans activists with an agenda. It’s a tricky situation. I agree that dysphoria is a real experience. I have no difficulty understanding WHY a kid ID’s as something other than their biological sex. It’s what to do about it that is the real issue, and often those feelings are rooted in other mental health problems, the discomfort with pubertal changes, AND with a society that has made it more difficult to be a “gender non conforming” or gay/lesbian kid while loving and accepting the one healthy body they will ever have. We ARE our bodies; they aren’t just puppet-appendages to be manipulated or mutilated by the puppet-master of our ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Help your teen to be healthy and ready for independence.” The cross-sex synthetic hormones, strong cancer drugs (that’s what puberty blockers actually are), and major surgeries which remove healthy body tissue do not help a teen to be healthy. As far as independence goes, a trans person becomes quite dependent upon doctors and will deal with lifelong injections, procedures, infections, often to the point that they find it difficult to finish their college education, hold down a job or maintain a stable relationship. How is this helping kids to become healthy and independent?


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