The meteoric rise in kids diagnosed as transgender in the last five years has caught many parents by surprise. Gender specialists, trans activists, and their media handmaidens explain this accelerating trend as simply the welcome result of society becoming more accepting of trans people; a continuation of the tolerance that ushered in same-sex marriage. Indeed, activist-clinicians are quick to claim equivalence between trans and being gay or lesbian, despite their fundamental differences.
For one thing, lesbians and gay men ask only to be accepted for who they love, while we are asked to believe that being “authentic” as trans may require us to approve drastic medical interventions–for our own kids. And no mental gymnastics are necessary for parents to see with their own eyes when a daughter or son is homosexual. But a sudden pronouncement by one’s kid that they are really the opposite sex requires a suspension of disbelief; a demand to ignore one’s own insight, perception, and knowledge in order to “validate” the “identity” of our kids.
Despite the insistence that hormones and surgeries are “life-saving” medical necessities, the push is on to “depathologize” trans identity as a “normal human variation.” Yet nearly to a one, the parents who have gathered on- and offline as part of the 4thWaveNow community report a history of mental illness, social difficulties, frequently multiple diagnoses that predate the sudden announcement “I’m trans!” Indeed, a cursory hunt through decades of medical and psychological literature reveals that gender dysphoria occurs with troubling frequency in concert with a range of other mental disturbances, including personality disorders, depression, anxiety, and autism. To take but one example, this 2003 survey of nearly 200 Dutch psychiatrists found that a large majority of people with gender dysphoria had comorbid psychiatric problems.
What has actually changed since 2003, apart from trans activism overruling sensible debate and clinical experience?
Given the experience of so many parents, corroborated by research evidence and clinical experience around the world, is it any wonder parents might balk at the idea that their (often troubled) tween or teen needs immediate “affirmation” and “validation” of their trans ID—complete with puberty blockers and/or cross-sex hormones?
But in 2017, at least in the US, pediatric gender specialists see co-occurring mental illness as no barrier to prescribing puberty blockers or cross sex hormones–even in the case of obviously troubled young people who have undergone multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. To these gender clinicians, puberty blockers are absolutely vital—even when the psychiatric team isn’t on board. (And even, apparently, when new information has come to light about the serious adverse effects of Lupron on children and adults.)
The inaugural conference of USPATH, the newly formed offshoot of WPATH, was held the first weekend of February in Los Angeles. At a session entitled “PUBERTY SUPPRESSION IN THE UNITED STATES; PRACTICE MODELS, LESSONS LEARNED, AND UNANSWERED QUESTIONS,” gender doctor Michelle Forcier presented a case study of a young teen “K.” who had been seen in Forcier’s gender clinic. K., born female, had been hospitalized multiple times for suicidality, cutting, an eating disorder, and other self harm. K’s mother was reluctant to use a male name and pronouns, and was not initially willing to consent to Lupron.
During one of K’s months-long hospitalizations, Forcier pushed for the child to start blockers, despite the fact that the psychiatric team caring for K. was not in agreement, but was intent on medically stabilizing the child before contemplating other interventions.
After the child was released from hospital, the mother eventually consented to puberty blockers; the child was hospitalized again a few weeks after the Lupron injection. In her presentation, Forcier said that the time spent without blockers was one of many “missed opportunities;” she used the case as an example of how psychiatrists need to be better “educated.”
This notion that “gender care” (Forcier’s term) is the curative elixir, the pharmacological key to solving a whole host of other psychiatric issues, is a common refrain with US gender specialists. Parental reluctance to go along with this recommendation is viewed with, at best, condescension, and at worst, bald contempt. Do these providers stop for an instant to think maybe, just maybe, these parents have some wisdom regarding their own kids, whom they have raised and loved from birth? Nope.
Even young people who identify as “nonbinary” are encouraged if they choose hormones—or even surgeries. The USPATH conference devoted plenty of time to medical interventions for youth who want to dabble in irreversible chemical or surgical interventions:
Balking parents must be “educated”, cajoled into going against their deepest protective instincts. If this indoctrination process doesn’t work, there’s the frequent threat your kid will kill themselves because of your hesitations. This weaponization of adult self-harm statistics is wielded by activists, clinicians, and the media alike, to terrorize parents into handing their offspring off to be drugged, sterilized, and (increasingly) surgically “corrected” by therapists and doctors who are confident they know best when it comes to other people’s children.
Never mind that there is scant evidence that medical transition cures self harm in the long run; never mind that the constantly quoted 41% trans suicide attempt rate didn’t control for mental illness (a flaw readily admitted by the survey authors). Never mind that the 41% survey was of adults over 18, not kids. Never mind that there is no prior historical evidence of “trans kids” so desperate to escape their “wrong” bodies that they become suicidal; never mind that the highly publicized clusters of transgender teen suicides have mostly been young people who were supported in their desire to transition. Never mind that no one is studying the mental health of formerly trans-identified youth who were fully supported in gender nonconformity but not endorsed as being in the “wrong body.” And never mind that only mentally ill people see suicide as a solution to life’s frustrations. (As an analogy, the suicide rate for white Americans is much higher than for other ethnic groups, who by any measure face more discrimination and difficulties, yet manage to maintain more psychological resilience.)
But none of this stops irresponsible journalists and activists from spreading suicide contagion to vulnerable gender-confused youth.
When it comes to coercing parents, the suicide trump card usually works. The daily onslaught of celebratory “trans kid” stories often includes a statement by a parent that they’d “rather have a live son than a dead daughter” (or vice versa). Not surprisingly, scaring parents with their worst possible nightmare has been quite effective in many cases (including that of Ryland, one of the better known celebrity trans kids).
Hillary Googled the word “transgender” and came across a horrifying statistic: 41% of transgender Americans attempt suicide.
“This made things very clear to me,” says Hillary. “Did I want a living son or a dead daughter? I wasn’t going to take the risk by waiting around and doing nothing.”
So Hillary and Jeff spoke to psychologists, psychiatrists and gender therapists, who all reached the same conclusion: Ryland is transgender. As Hillary describes it, “Although Ryland was born with the anatomy of a girl, her brain identifies with that of a boy.”
That day, Hillary and Jeff – both churchgoing Christians who were raised in conservative families – made a vow: to bring up Ryland as a boy, without any strings attached.
Not only do the people most invested in medically transitioning children push suicide or transition as the only two alternatives; they are not shy about blaming the parents themselves for the child’s self harming behaviors.
Towards the end of a USPATH session, ADDRESSING SUICIDALITY IN TRANSGENDER YOUTH: A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH, presenters Elizabeth Burke, Matthew Oransky, and Sarah McGrew touched on what to do about parents who weren’t on board with “gender care.”
And the final piece on suicidality is family non-acceptance. This is where you have a family who is saying, no, no, no…and then you realize that actually the family is contributing to some of that negativity at home. So the family is creating a toxic environment. And that’s where we have let the young person know the potential ramifications of calling DHS and saying that this is an unsafe environment. And that we’ve given the family every chance. To learn, to grow. And they’re continuing to be part of the problem. So thankfully this was an important time when I realized it was worthwhile in starting the clinic at children’s hospital to have lots of meetings with the lawyers in risk management. To be able to say, “alright. I have the ethicist, I have the lawyer, I have the guru from risk management, I’m gonna sit down and say, I need to describe a case to you and make sure this is actually parents being negligent in the healthcare needs of their child.
Thankfully we’ve had a lot of support in that realm. Because of the trainings we’ve done with DHS workers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. DHS workers will go and say you’re creating an unsafe environment for your child. And we need to have that stop.…unfortunately staying in that home environment is going to result in a child’s suicide.
So we see that gender specialists and activists are being proactive about going after parents who are saying “no no no” to the dictate that they must “affirm” their child as the opposite sex. They are “training” child protective services workers to pressure parents into “gender care”—or risk losing custody of their sons and daughters.
This isn’t a brand-new strategy. For example, at least as far back as June 2015, Jenn Burleton, an MTF and director of TransActive Gender Center, put out a call for attorneys to intervene in custody disputes involving “trans kids”, to enthusiastic responses on Burleton’s Facebook page.
Asaf Orr, for those who don’t know, is the lead staff attorney for the inaccurately named “National Center for Lesbian Rights” (NCLR). Given the fact that an increasingly large number of same-sex attracted adolescent girls are being transitioned, it’s hard to imagine any organization straying further from its mission than NCLR.
Regular readers of 4thWaveNow know that Burleton has been in the business of sneaking behind the backs of “unsupportive” parents with TransActive’s “In a Bind” free binder distribution program. Previously offered to young women 22 and under, the program now only sends binders to 18 and unders—secretly, if need be, subverting the will of parents who might have concerns about the unhealthy effects on their daughters: crushing pubescent breast tissue, bruising ribs, breathing and musculoskeletal problems, and more.
The topic of bending reluctant parents to the will of gender experts is a popular one for WPATH. In mid-February, we find some familiar people scheming away about what to do about parents who won’t give in, again including Jenn Burleton, who has had “some success” in convincing authorities that a parent’s unwillingness to approve hormones for their minor children is a form of “reportable trauma.”
At the February USPATH conference, Drs. Johanna Olson-Kennedy and Michelle Forcier, during the Q&A portion of their aforementioned talk on puberty suppression, tell their audience that they’re not afraid to involve the courts when they must to “bring along” the “recalcitrant” parents. One questioner, a psychologist who runs a gender clinic, wants to know whether there is a way to legally “force parents” to go along with the recommendations of a gender therapist to administer puberty blockers.
OLSON-KENNEDY: I can say that the stickiest situations I’ve had is where one parent is supportive and one isn’t and they share medical custody. And so we work really hard to bring both parents in and bring them both on board. Because even if you get a court order, the most protective factor for a good outcome is parental support. So it’s not my first line to go to court to get somebody what they need. But it is my second line and I will do it. We’ve been pretty successful in 5 or 6 situations where…we really had a recalcitrant parent that we just could not bring along.
For her part, Forcier says her team has been busy training family court judges in her region:
FORCIER: Yeah, there’s no precedent but you can again work with the child protection team for medical neglect. Work with one parent…at least to get things started. And again, you can do some education. We did education with judges in Rhode Island. We spent a half day with family court judges, telling them this is what gender and transgender is…
So there we have it. Activists/clinicians aren’t content to simply “educate,” cajole, or negotiate with parents. If parents aren’t terrorized into medically transitioning their kids by the relentless scolding that the only alternative is suicide, these people are perfectly willing to call the authorities on you; even to try to take your children away from you. And woe betide you if you’re a divorced or divorcing parent trying to put the brakes on hormones or surgeries for your minor child. The likes of Asaf Orr and other assorted attorneys assembled by adult trans activists will intervene in your custody dispute. (How ironic is it that an organization purporting to protect lesbian rights can be instrumental in forcing parents of lesbian teens to “transition” them to the opposite sex?).
Lest we simply dismiss all this as a form of mind-numbing hubris from people who should mind their own business, this excerpt from a letter written by four activist MtoFs in 2004 as part of a campaign to discredit sexologist Michael Bailey, might shed some light on the motivations of key activists who have been at the forefront of the pediatric transition explosion.
We are socially assimilated trans women who are mentors to many young transsexuals in transition. Unable to bear children of our own, the girls we mentor become like children to us. These young women depend on us for guidance during the difficult period of transition and then on during their adventures afterwards – dating, careers, marriages and sometimes adoption of their own children. As a result, we have large extended families and are blessed by these relationships. …
You may have wondered why hundreds of successful, assimilated trans women like us, women from all across the country, are being so persistent in investigating Mr. Bailey and in uncovering and reporting his misdeeds. Now you have your answer: We are hundreds of loving moms whose children he is tormenting!
So some trans activists fancy themselves the “loving moms” of (our) trans-identified kids, young people they consider their “extended family.” Not content to fight for their own rights to non-discrimination in housing and employment, activists like these were and still are the driving force behind the proliferation of pediatric gender clinics and activist organizations that have sprung up like mushrooms across the Western world in the last decade.
As should be clear from the examples in this post (representing only the tip of the iceberg), certain trans activists and gender clinicians will stop at nothing to force their will on parents who resist the affirm-only, puberty-blocking, sterilizing doctrine of pediatric medical transition. Rather than demonstrating a willingness to learn; rather than having the humility to consider that parents just might have a better handle on who their children are and what they need than a group of professionals beholden to an activist juggernaut, gender doctors and trans activists like Jenn Burleton may well try to take your children away from you.
What can be done? If you believe a gender specialist, psychologist, or doctor has rushed to “affirm” your troubled child as “trans”; if you believe someone entrusted with your child’s care has not adequately explored your child’s mental health and other underlying issues which may be contributing to their gender confusion, report them to their professional organizations and regulating boards.
I’m extremely troubled by the trend of suicide being used this way. Just as the misuse of the word “triggered” cheapens the experience of people who struggle to control the symptoms of PTSD, using suicide as a threat makes it harder for people who struggle with depression to be taken seriously. I think we as a society need to take a step back and look at what the medicalization of the human experience is doing to us.
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As someone with depression, I really appreciate you saying this! Threatening suicide to get your way is an abuser tactic and because of the trans loons doing this all the time, it makes it harder for people who really are suicidal to get help.
I do not have PTSD, but I hate how “triggered” now means that you read/saw something online that you were slightly uncomfortable with and you want to be protected from independent thoughts. Being triggered because you have PTSD is completely different.
People used to (and still often do) view people with mental illness as fakers or having a weak character. Thanks to the special snowflake assholes pretending to be mentally ill online for attention, threatening suicide to get their way, and acting like disagreeing with them slightly “triggers” them, it is making life more difficult for those of us who have mental health problems.
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Words such as “‘suicide”, “trigger”, “bigot” ,”transphobic” etc. are causing division and evoking such intense emotions. These words successfully halt critical thinking. We know the public is essentially clueless about what is really going on in this “wonderful, accepting age of brave transgender kids”.
Sounds like we need to fight back with one-words, or simple catch phrases or talking points. “STERILIZATION” doesn’t sit well with people regardless of religious or political affiliation. I make sure to weave “sterilization” into every transgender conversation I have. People find it very unsettling.
The problem is I have to protect my kid so I can’t be very vocal about it. I suggest anyone who can can please repeat “sterilization” often. Pelt the public: #TransSterilizes
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That’s a good point about those being words that shut down critical thinking. (As Bev Jo have pointed out, it’s also signs of cult behavior.)
Yes, most people are uncomfortable with sterilizing children because they have a brain and know that children can’t possibly consent to something like that. It gets even worse. While horrible, sterilization is one of the lesser side-effects of those drugs. You don’t need to reproduce to live (though again, wanting to be sterilized is a decision you can only make as an adult). But, Lupron causes all sorts of nasty side-effects, even for men and women who took it for reasons like emergency cancer or fibroid treatments. Plus, with cross-sex hormones, no one knows the long-term side-effects. People who “transitioned” a while ago and who are now middle-aged bump into doctors who basically have no idea what to do about them and their endocrine systems since the whole thing is one insane medical experiment.
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Posted this in the wrong place before, sorry! Please ignore previous one.)
As someone with chronic depression and severe anxiety disorders, I’d like to second k.jane’s appreciation of your comment. It’s so incredibly difficult to access crisis support (on one occasion I begged for help and only managed to extract a promise from them to ring me every week to check on me – and they didn’t even remember. I’ve heard many many similar stories) that I find it bizarre to see the apparent 180 shift in attitude from professionals when it comes to tarns-identifying people with suicidal ideation. Given that they don’t actually seem to care even when someone diagnosed with depression is in crisis, I find it hard to buy their apparent concern over the hypothetical possibility of a transperson experiencing suicidal ideation.
I appreciate some trigger warnings (ie. for clearly surgery-related stuff) but trauma can be pretty unpredictable so difficult to provide a warning for (ie. I’d never expect a ‘little cardboard containers that look like the ones they give you in hospitals if they think you’re going to be sick’ trigger warning). They’re more useful just for my OCD, which is less so. The idea of trigger warnings being outright misused is just entirely inconsiderate to those with mental illness.
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I think doctors’ apparent concern in this situation is disingenuous. They’re more “concerned” with the appearance of concern, I think.
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Thanks! I’ve also had experience with some asshole medical professionals ignoring me too. I went to this counseling center and they were really unprofessional, wouldn’t return my calls, etc. Good thing I wasn’t severely depressed or suicidal. Their questionnaire did have questions about make-believe gender identities, so maybe they would have made an appointment with me if I made up a sob story about how hard it is that no one believes I’m a man because I have big breasts and how other people living in reality is “triggering”.
I don’t mind trigger warnings for things that are more graphic, like the surgery example you gave or stuff to do with graphic violence, but a lot of them are ridiculous and make people with trauma look crazier than they are and also like jackasses who demand that the whole world cater to them. I’ve seen trigger warnings for discussion of menstrual cycles (because it’s “cissexist” for women to talk about our bodies). I never gave a shit that most men appear to need a fainting couch when women talk about having a period, and I’m not going to start now. I don’t think that the example you gave is a valid trigger warning and neither is “in my story, one guy calls another guy stupid”. That’s just ridiculous.
I agree with arainandagale that the doctors are probably being disingenuous here. They want to look good and atheists of the religion of trans aren’t allowed to exist, so it’s basically career suicide to openly express dissent. (Or at the very least, you have to worry about the loons threatening you and your loved ones.)
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Excellent as always.
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Yes, I agree. Another excellent piece. What a terrifying prospect–that the state in its wisdom could come in and tell me that my child has to be removed from my home because I refuse on principle to use the pronoun that she wants me to use. It’s enough to make a good liberal rush into the arms of the conservative world for protection. I’m being flip here, but I’m actually serious. The trans issue may provide an opportunity to reduce polarity in this country because there are now many of us liberals who find ourselves agreeing with conservatives on this issue.
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I want to say this: just like what is happening elsewhere inmour society, either you are in the right side of history or the wrong side.
What folks do after majority age (18 or 21)is their business, but this pressure to trans kids, or force parents to trans kids, to put them on dangerous drugs like Lupron which can weaken their bones, end up with all manner of side effects, much less the cross sex hormones and life changing surgeried, all before 18, how many of these young girls will decide to detransition?
What class action lawsuits will be aimed at the doctors, the clinics, the psyches perhaps even.the parents INCLUDING the relucant ones? More and more detransitioners are coming out, coming back to their Female and Lesbian selves, I see more and more blogging, commenting and sharing their stories about MEDICAL transition, being pressured into it by gender clinics, peers, even some parents. Without addressing their mental health issues underneath.
Once there is enough.of a critical mass this thing will blow wide open. Thats what it will take. Surgeries and hormones dont answer basic self acceptance freedom.to be who you are, or societal
acceptance of differences, and add to further demonization of Lesbians and homosexuals. While all the collaborating entities are making bank off of young human.misery and their parents.
It WILL be exposed. Which side of history do we want to be on?
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My transman XX adult “son” enjoyed the new liberty of being an adult and far from home at college by starting “his” transition via an informed consent clinic in the LA area. “He” had “come out” as transgender only shortly before I took “him” away to college. I took “him” to college in a state of shock, certainly not understanding exactly what it means these days and how easy it has become to gain access to cross-sex hormones., It pains me no end to refer to my daughter as he/him. “He” lived as a man on campus (a very unrealistic environment) for 6 months and then was given a prescription to testosterone the SAME DAY! the same frickin’ day.
I am certain this child is actually self-medicating his diagnosed anxiety or possibly undiagnosed OCD or or possibly undiagnosed ADHD or possibly undiagnosed depression or possibly undiagnosed bipolar. All of these conditions are in our family, putting my child at a genetic risk. Bipolar is known to appear in late teens/young adult… and it can be tough to recognize it at first and can take years to diagnose. I see bipolar symptoms in my “son”.
Yet, for something as serious and critical as transitioning with hormones, there was no effort to be sure my child went thru psychiatric testing…which to be thorough would involve family mental health history. This certainly for a young college student should involve gathering information from parents who are more likely to know the family mental health history.
In my case, as much as I would love to report someone for what I see as incredible medical and mental health malpractice, since they run an informed consent clinic, they seem to have absolved themselves of any responsibility. Who knows what all documents my adult child signed to hold them blameless. This of course is not seen as an issue since it is the psychiatric community that has bought into the affirmation model. Thou shalt not question self-professed transgender, only affirm.
Like anyone really understands exactly what is going on in anyone’s brain. Do No Harm would certainly be a better first response. HRT after one visit truly seems criminal.
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Same thing happened to our son he got approved HRT his first visit at his University! Unbelievable! I don’t know what is going on. I can’t believe this is happening and they can get away with this without doing a thorough evaluation of the persons psychiatric history. They just automatically put anyone on these hormones! I think something needs to be done!
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If they are that close to suicide shouldn’t they be institutionalized? Suicidality is supposed to be considered an emergency, not the inevitable outcome of family conflict.
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Well, hospitalized at least. Institutionalized has a more long term aspect to it.
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Raise your hand if you saw this one coming…
So the pro-trans movement has arrived at its final frontier. Trans ’em or lose ’em. With the state’s police power to enforce it. A dream come true.
Really, why shouldn’t they go there now? Let’s face it, these folks have been unbelievably successful in an unbelievably short time. How long did it take for gay and lesbian people to gain a modicum of social respect and legal protection? Decades, maybe even centuries of excruciatingly hard and thankless work. How long did it take for trans people to take over every conversation, center themselves in every issue, be the “tail wagging the dog” in virtually every social movement? What has it been now, five years? Five weeks?
Why shouldn’t trans people think they should have the right to come in and take our kids away if we don’t toe the trans line? It’s the logical extension of everything else they believe: we don’t have the right to perceive, or treat, or address people as what WE see them and believe them to be: their version of reality is the only one that exists and now should have the force of law even in the most intimate part of our being, our own family life.
Is this where the trans movement officially jumps the shark, or no? I think back to maybe 15 or 20 years ago. Could you begin to imagine gay advocacy groups saying, we need to go into these homes where parents aren’t permitting their kids to have a gay or lesbian identity, and remove them until the parents know better? (And that’s even passing the idea of, “and perform medical procedures on them to lock in their gay identity.”) If they had done so, would that have been a strategic error that would have doomed the movement? If gay and lesbian groups argued they should have the right to do this today, what do you think would happen?
Sometimes what happens is that people hit and then exceed the over-reach threshold. Have all the easy victories, the constant virtue-signalling, the acquiescence of even our smart and competent former President, led the trans movement to believe that it can do no wrong? That nothing is too much, too far out there, too radical?
We may soon find out.
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That’s a very good point. Most other lesbians that I know as well as gay men would never behave in that matter because they know they would be accused of recruiting and pedophilia.
I get shouted at when I say that as a lesbian, I want nothing to do with the trans loons considering they have threatened me for being a lesbian (ie not cattering to men) and I don’t support medical experiments on children.
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See but gay and lesbian kids need to see role models. That is the crucial thing that they lack now and why kids turn to seeing themselves as trans. I’ve tried to start a meetup group but if you put gay in the title it gets flagged if it is talking about children. Kids definitely need role models and hetero parents need help from gay and lesbians to understand their children. PFLAG has completely abandoned the kids and the parents and we need help.
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That is terrible that it gets flagged.
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One of the “loving moms” who signed the letter to Michael Bailey quoted above was Andrea James. That particular mentor to the young had previously posted on his website photos of Bailey’s children with vile captions attached. The page is accessible here, with substitutes in place of the original photos.
This is how James captioned a photo of Bailey’s young daughter: “A cock-starved exhibitionist who’s especially well suited to prostitution…” Not to labour the point, but this is child abuse and toxic misogyny.
In an update to this page James writes: “There are two types of children in the Bailey household: Type 1, who have been sodomized by their father, or Type 2, who have not. … I am absolutely certain Bailey’s children fall into one of the two categories … I cannot comprehend them falling outside these two categories.”
He then observes: “Some people are appalled that I have the audacity to talk about his children and to sully them like this, yet that is exactly what Bailey is doing to the children who read my site. And where this page only affects two kids, Bailey’s bigotry will hurt many more children in our community.”
Such a caring, maternal soul he is! He understands perfectly what he is doing to Bailey’s children. He means to do it. But he doesn’t think it matters because they are not members of his “community”, and after all, there are only two of them.
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I wonder if these “loving moms” are the “underground railroad” that Janet Mock talks about who recruit underage trans kids into prostitution? The trans community often complains about how they have to become prostitutes, but perhaps this recruitment and “mentoring” is one of the reasons that so many of them actually are.
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This excellent and important post makes me sick and so angry. Where is the American Medical Association? Where is the press? Where is the COMMON SENSE?
Even though my daughter’s gender therapists did not threaten to call CPS on me, they did use emotional blackmail. One told me the key to avoiding suicide in my daughter was to support her transition. (I stupidly complied). Another told me I had choice between hormone blockers and putting her in a mental hospital. (It was the latter comment that finally woke me up and got me running from them as fast as I could). This was their recommendation for a CHILD with AUTISM who attends a school with SEVERAL other trans kids who showed NOT A SINGLE SIGN of body or gender dysphoria until she unexpectedly told me she was now my son.
Despite all of these facts, these so-called mental health professionals with their advanced degrees advocated what they told me were “safe” and “reversible” changes necessary for my daughter’s mental health.
And now, I have to worry that they might feel so bold as to call CPS on me because I stopped listening.
This is such an important story that needs to be shared and distributed widely. How could a responsible journalist read something like this and choose to ignore it …while the bathroom issue gets all the press attention! WAKE UP JOURNALISTS! DO YOUR JOB!
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I am pretty sure that if you object on religious grounds they can’t do anything about it. Jehovahs witnesses are legally allowed to put their children in actual danger by rejecting all blood products and organ donation.
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Med societies working on that one here. Vaccinations, medications and treatments, parents will soon be charged if they resist. For yourself? Fine, don’t get chemo, or the flu shot. For your kid, they’ll be taken away from you. This is not new. They’ve been doing that to single moms and indigenous moms for some time.
If I was the parent of such a child, youth, there would be a year long world sailing trip in the works. Or backpacking through Chile north to south or Kurdistand, or. Why not? People do it all the time and it’s considered a great education for the kids/family.
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Fear of the LGBT career wrecker.
It’s shocking that things have gotten so out of hand. Judges and CPS are being trained by so-called experts that children’s lives are at risk if they aren’t given “gender care.” Even when the science is FAR from settled. And there are so many unknowns. But gender specialists still have audacity to wrench a child away from a parent who feels these medical interventions aren’t right for their child.
It’s already extremely challenging to have a child who unexpectedly declares they’re the opposite sex. They hate their body so much that they want to alter it in irreversible ways. They want to erase their past and demand that you call them by a new name and pronouns. This is incredibly difficult for parents. But then to have CPS called on you or to get involved in a court case and possibly have your child removed from your care. I can’t even imagine what kind of hell this is.
I seriously hope that word gets out about these tactics. People should be ticked off and concerned where this may lead. I fear that many children will be unnecessarily be transitioned.
By the way, I’m one of the recalcitrant parents that easily could have been targeted. My daughter once met the DSM criteria for gender dysphoria. But after time, reflection and therapy she is now happy being female again. If CPS or the courts had interfered, though, I have no doubt that she would still think she was a boy, be on testosterone and likely had a double mastectomy by now.
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Your story and your daughter’s story and others like them need to get out there! You are so fortunate to have saved your daughter from a lifetime of medical experimentation.
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it’s not my first line to go to court to get somebody what they need. But it is my second line and I will do it. We’ve been pretty successful in 5 or 6 situations where…we really had a recalcitrant parent that we just could not bring along. — Johanna Olson-Kennedy
Searching on the public web, I have not managed to find reports of any US cases of this kind.
There was a case last April in British Columbia, where Mr. Justice Skolrood ruled that an 11-year-old girl should continue to be given Lupron as a puberty blocker, despite the objections of her father, who in his submission to the court described it as “a very dangerous drug”. Court judgement here.
The drug had been prescribed by an endocrinologist named Dr Metzger: presumably this was Daniel Metzger, a pediatric endocrinologist in Vancouver. Metzger has claimed that puberty-blockers are safe and “reversible”.
The child was also assessed by “Dr. Wong, a psychologist”: probably Dr Wallace Wong, author of a children’s picture book, When Kathy Is Keith, aimed at children aged 5 and upwards. Metzger and Wong are, of course, members of WPATH.
The child’s parents are divorced. Her mother was represented by Barbara Findlay QC, who describes herself as “a queer feminist lawyer”. Ms Findlay submitted that the child — who is eleven, remember — had “demonstrated the capacity to consent to medical treatment, as reflected in the ongoing administration of Lupron”.
The father stated his conviction that the child “is being directed by a group of transgender activists … and that there needs to be an independent assessment”, but it does not appear that the judge ordered that this should happen.
Mr Justice Skolrood states in his judgement: “As noted above, the child was assigned the female gender at birth” — it sounds as though he has been Trained — “and was given the name P.K. As part of the transition to the male gender, the child has adopted the name J.K. and, out of respect for the child, I will use the name J.K. when referring to the child in these Reasons. I will also use the male pronoun.”
He notes that the child’s father “consistently referred to” her by her old name “and used the female pronoun”, although at a previous hearing before a different judge it had been ordered that he should refer to her by the boy’s name she had chosen “and use male or gender-neutral pronouns”.
There is no consideration in the judgement of the effects of administering Lupron to a girl going through puberty.
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Pretty sure US family law and custody cases aren’t generally available on the web. Also, a lot of these cases could be settled out of court, between the lawyers so there wouldn’t be a public record. Any US attorneys reading this could confirm that family law cases generally aren’t searchable on the Internet? Are they kept private, or can anyone go to a courthouse to see court proceedings/documents?
I have found two published judgements in cases where divorced parents went to court. In both cases it was the parent who opposed transitioning who was ultimately awarded custody.
1. Smith v. Smith (2007) (Ohio) [Court judgement]
The couple divorced in 2001. The mother was designated the residential parent of their sons, aged 2 and 6; the father had visitation rights.
In 2004, when the older boy was 9, the father applied to the court to be to be designated the residential parent on the following grounds:
* the mother had moved to a different city “to enroll their older son” — then aged nine or ten — “in a new school as a girl”
* “she was taking the child to a transgender support group”
* “she intended to subject the boy to hormonal therapy and surgery to alter his gender.”
A temporary agreement was reached under which the parents would “share the designation of residential parent”. The mother was ordered by the court to:
* “stop any treatment or counseling for gender disorder”
* “stop the child from attending transgender support groups”
* “stop addressing the boy as Christine or any other female name”
* “stop allowing or encouraging him to wear girl’s clothing”
* and to return to the city where they were living before and “re-enroll the boys in school there”
Three months later the father returned to court, alleging that the mother had “violated the plan by taking his son to a swimming pool dressed in a girl’s bikini swimsuit.”
Ultimately, in summer 2005, the court concluded that the mother “was not likely to comply with future court orders”. In addition to the bikini episode, it was noted that she continued to call him Christine and refer to him as she. Custody of both children was awarded to the father. The mother appealed against this; her appeal was denied.
The published judgement is long and quite detailed. The court found that the boy “had displayed some female tendencies, including an attraction to female clothing, as early as age two. … At a very early point in the child’s life, [his mother] conducted independent research into gender identity issues and concluded that he had GID. She did not consult any medical professionals at this time.” Her “conclusion was based on internet research and support group information.” “By the time the boy was four, [she] allowed him to dress in girl’s clothes and told him he could be a girl someday.” His father had not been fully aware of what was happening.
Each party called expert medical witnesses and their evidence is summarized in detail. The court notes that none of them recommended transitioning the boy socially, “at least not without further study”, nor did they recommend hormone treatment, “at least not in the near future and not without further study.” The court believed that the mother “was determined to carry out both types of treatment, despite the conclusions of the medical experts.”
The judgement also discusses a number of relevant points of law to do with determining a child’s best interests, etc.
2. Williams v. Frymire (2012) (Kentucky) [Court judgement]
(I have changed the child’s name to J. throughout.)
The couple divorced in 2007, when their daughter was about 15 months old. Custody was awarded to the mother, after the father failed to turn up in court. When the child was five, the mother sent an email to the father “in which she announced that J. was transgender and would from then on be considered a boy, wear boy clothing, and be called Bridge”; also that she would begin transitioning J’s gender from girl to boy and had discussed the matter with J’s school.” The father applied to the family court for “modification of custody or timesharing, for modification of child support, and for restricted visitation.” He also “requested appointment of a child psychologist and a custodial evaluation, which the family court granted.”
The court heard evidence from Trina Jansen, an art therapist and “licensed counselor”, who”first saw J. … when she presented with anger and gender identity issues, stating that she wanted to be a boy. J. appeared at the office in boy clothes and with a boy haircut. J. also impersonated a dog during the session. Ms. Jansen diagnosed J. with gender identity disorder after the first visit. … ” Ms Jansen admitted that she had no experience with gender identity disorder.
Ms Jansen recommended that the mother consult a psychologist, Dr. Patricia Berne, who testified to the court that she diagnosed the girl with GIDS at the first appointment, using “the projective test of drawing a house, a person, and a tree, as well as self-reporting” and “information she obtained from [the mother].” From J., Dr. Berne learned that she liked wearing Power Rangers clothing and that she was angry she could not be “Bridge” all of the time. … Dr. Berne recommended that … J. start school as a boy.” She wrote a letter to the child’s school “stating her professional opinion that J. had gender identity disorder. On cross-examination, Dr. Berne admitted that… she did not perform any psychological testing or complete a child behavioral checklist.”
The mother also consulted Dr. Dean Rosen, a clinical pyschologist, with thirty years of experience of working with “transgendered individuals”, whom she asked for a second opinion. Dr. Rosen saw the girl once; he provided the court with “a psychological report detailing the visit, his review of other medical records, and his findings.” Dr. Rosen agreed with “the finding of gender identity disorder, noting that the medical records show repeated statements from J. that she is a boy and wants to be called Bridge.”
The mother also consulted a pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. David Dempsher, “regarding hormone therapies”. He did not give evidence.
A third psychologist consulted by the mother, Dr. Robin Park, ” diagnosed mood and anxiety disorders, and prescribed Prozac.” She also expressed concern that the girl might have been sexually abused, at which point the mother “began canceling all appointments with Dr. Park. When [the mother] did not return her calls and told her staff that she would not be returning to the office, Dr. Park made a hotline call to report suspected sexual abuse and neglect. Dr. Park also indicated a concern about Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy …” Dr Park testified at the request of the court.
“Dr. Sarah Shelton, a clinical psychologist appointed by the court … noted that [the mother] ‘seems very invested in J. being identified as a boy and treated as a boy by everyone in the child’s life, including Mr. Frymire and J.’s school.’ … Furthermore, Dr. Shelton noted that while [the mother] did not meet the criteria for Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, she did share striking similarities with that diagnosis. … Dr. Shelton did not find any support for the diagnosis of gender identity disorder. Rather, Dr. Shelton believed that J.’s behaviors were common for her developmental age.”
The court also heard evidence from “Dr. Dale Owens, a child clinical psychologist” who “performed an independent evaluation of J.’s medical records at the request of [the father]’s attorney. In his opinion, Dr. Owens believed that the medical profession let J. down.” He noted that “Trina Jansen … did not have any expertise in the area of gender identity disorder” and he was critical of Dr Berne. He endorsed Dr Shelton’s reports as “objective and thorough”.
The judgement records that “The court … placed a great deal of weight upon Dr. Shelton’s reports and conclusions, noting that she considered independent collateral sources rather than solely relying on [the mother]’s history. The court also relied upon the testimony of Dr. Owen.” The custody arrangement was changed to joint custody and the father was designated as residential parent.
The judgement criticizes J.’s mother, noting that “She had dressed J. as a male and cut her hair as a male even prior to taking the child to see the first professional. She contacted a pediatric endocrinologist even though she was advised the child was too young to consider such treatment. She works in the mental health field and should not have been so willing to accept such a diagnosis of such a rare disorder without first questioning the professionals’ methodology.”
“Finally, the court concluded that girls can prefer male sports, toys, and clothes without being pathologized as something requiring intervention, such as changing her gender for school, sending her to a separate bathroom, or changing her name to a Power Ranger character. However, the court did not dismiss the possibility that J. might or will have gender identity disorder, but noted that the disorder is extremely rare and that perhaps J. just does not like the color pink and prefers boy activities, toys, and clothes. ”
The mother appealed, but her appeal was rejected. The court noted: “While we make no judgment about the diagnosis of gender identity disorder or whether J. has this disorder, the medical witnesses [the mother] presented at the hearing did nothing to establish that J. was properly diagnosed or that [the mother] was receiving or following competent medical advice. Ms. Jansen was wholly unsuited and unqualified to make this rare diagnosis, and Dr. Berne made the diagnosis after a brief first session relying on a test that is not used to diagnose gender identity disorder. Furthermore, Dr. Rosen continued to support Dr. Berne’s diagnosis and treatment even after discounting the test that she used. …
The family court very cogently expressed its reasoning for not believing that [the mother] was completely innocent in her acceptance of the medical providers’ advice, or that she would be agreeable to what the court might direct her to do with regard to J’s best interests. In fact, the record reflects that [the mother] tended to reject any challenge to the diagnosis of gender identity disorder, dismissing the medical opinions of both Dr. Park and Dr. Shelton.”
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Wow excellent sleuthing.
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That was amazing, Artemisia, and interesting accounts. Thank you.
One correction: I said that “In both cases it was the parent who opposed transitioning who was ultimately awarded custody.” This is not quite accurate as regards the second case (Williams v. Frymire).
In this case the father, who opposed transitioning, had not previously had custody rights. The court designated him the residential parent and gave him joint custody with the mother.
While digging around on the web I found three recent US law articles.
Please note: I am summarizing these for the convenience of people using this site, but I am not a lawyer. If you have particular concerns, you should read the original articles. Any comments I might make here are just my personal opinion and should not be interpreted as advice.
Taking the shortest and most recent one first:
1. Kimberly Surratt, Realizing the Best Interests of Transgender Children [Nevada Lawyer, December 2016]
This note is expressly directed at lawyers practising family law.
Summary: Most cases involving ‘transgender’ children are divorce or custody disputes in which a parent applies for sole legal and physical custody. The author notes:
“Having primary physical custody of a child does not give that parent the right to make unilateral decisions for the child—that requires sole legal custody; without it, the decision itself will have to be made by the court.”
The most common issue is choice of school. The courts are generally unhappy to be asked to decide in such cases, and they try to push the parents to come to an agreement between themselves.
The author gives two pieces of specific advice:
a) “Medical and health care professionals who are competent and experienced in transgender issues can help. It is important to keep such professionals as treating professionals and not turn them into experts, and those professionals should communicate with both parents.”
b) Lawyers should not assume “that the court, opposing counsel or either party is educated or experienced in transgender issues”. They should make sure that the pleadings (documents filed with the court that set out the positions of the parties to the case) are drafted so as to ensure that “all parties receive the information they need”.
I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the advice above might equally well be applied on either side of a case revolving round the “best interests” of a putative ‘transgender child’.
It becomes clear that her advice is partisan when she states “There are national organizations that can provide much of the necessary, current information.” She is pretty plainly referring to organisations such as the misnamed “National Center for Lesbian Rights”, now dominated by the transactivist tendency.
However, it seems to me that that kind of material would be indirectly useful for research, in that it provides insight into the arguments and bogus claims most likely to be exploited on the pro-transing side of a custody case, and so potentially in need of pre-emptive countering:
* bogus claims about the suicide/attempted suicide rate
* untruthful claims that so-called puberty blockers are safe and reversible
* carefully massaged (if not wholly concocted) statistics on the frequency of “gender dysphoria” among children, which typically conflate children who display some dysphoric tendencies with children who are ‘gender-nonconforming’
* insistence that signs of co-occurring mental illness are caused by failure to facilitate the child’s transitioning, and pretence that transitioning will prove the magic cure
etc, etc, etc
[Continued in the next comment]
2. Eliana T. Baer, Navigating the Murky Waters of Best Interests With a Transgender Child [New Jersey Law Journal, June 5, 2014] [also here and here]
Like the previous one, this article is directed at lawyers, and specifically at lawyers who may find themselves representing a parent who plans to transition their child and is facing legal action brought by the other parent.
Baer spends the first quarter of her 2,000 words plugging the transactivist line. She concludes this section with a distinctly specious passage in which she contrasts two kinds of therapeutic approach: the wholly “gender affirmative” approach and “so-called ‘conversion’ therapy: treatment aimed at trying to change a child’s gender identity and lived gender expression to become more harmonious with sex assigned at birth”. The possibility of taking a middle course, for instance by allowing children to express themselves through clothes and play, etc, in whatever way they wish, while (if necessary) providing appropriate therapy for any individual mental health issues, is completely excluded from the picture: a typical transactivist tactic.
She notes that “Multiple jurisdictions, including New Jersey, are beginning to restrict the use of conversion therapies on minors” and provides some details of statute and case law applicable in New Jersey.
Next, she notes that “The federal constitution strongly protects parents’ right to make decisions on behalf of their children, which will not be disturbed absent a compelling state interest. See Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 215 (1972).” This cuts two ways, of course, but may offer some reassurance to the US parents who use this website.
The crunch comes when parents are divorced and disagree “as to the course of treatment that is in the best interests of the child”. Then the common law doctrine of parens patriae comes into play. (The courts have the right, under common law, to intervene and make decisions on custody, etc.)
Baer states: “Nearly all states utilize the “best interest of the child” standard in disputed custody cases—a standard that necessarily involves the judge’s subjective beliefs about what is best.” She notes that “there are … few cases nationwide that bear upon the best interests of a transgender child”.
She discusses Smith v. Smith and Williams v. Frymire, the two cases mentioned in my comment above. Finally she concludes with some advice from Asaf Orr, “a staff attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights who regularly represents parents in custody disputes involving transgender children”:
1. The lawyer should encourage the parent to “seek the advice of a competent health-care professional before making any major decisions regarding the child, including a psychologist, therapist or medical doctor,” and should make sure that they follow that advice. “The healthcare professional should treat the child as his or her patient and communicate with each parent openly and address any concerns raised by either parent.”
2. “Educate the court … Like the general public, courts often have had little experience with issues involving transgender and gender-nonconforming youth. As a result, it is critical to be prepared to educate the court through the information contained in the pleadings and supplemented by scholarly materials and expert testimony. … In addition to having been successful in educating courts in several other cases, this approach creates a strong record for appeal, either to defend the court’s order or demonstrate why it must be reversed.”
3. “It is important to counsel your client to abide by court orders and to involve the noncustodial parent in decisions regarding the child’s transition. Orr warns that failure to act methodically and cautiously in this manner could result in the loss of custody … ” Attorneys and their clients should work together “to determine a strategy that will minimize the distress of delaying transition, while creating a record that supports the custody or modification being sought by the supportive parent.”
The final paper is long and quite complicated, and will have to wait a bit longer.
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This is so depressing, frustrating, and rage-inducing! All common sense has flown out the window as otherwise sensible, rational, intelligent, skeptical people rush to fall all over themselves in proclaiming what good, liberal, tolerant, accepting, open-minded allies and transactivists they are. I read a great comment on another gender-critical blog, suggesting many of these people may feel guilty they were so late in supporting gay and lesbian rights, and so now have rushed to unquestioningly cheerlead for trans rights. It took so long for the gay and lesbian community to get as far as they have, and then the trans community comes along and goes from being a tiny, barely spoken about minority to a cause célèbre in the space of a year or two. A lot of my neoliberal friends frequently post about “gender” and trans things out of nowhere, as if to trumpet, “Look what a good little handmaiden I am, unquestioningly supporting all things trans and the sexist concept of gender identity!” I’m so afraid to out myself as gender-critical to these people, particularly with that creepy, angry “agender” man in several of my pro-science groups. (His issues go way beyond his “agender” identity!)
Once again, why do so many people now believe minors have enough cognitive development and knowledge about themselves as to transition, while we still have laws (at least in sane jurisdictions) forbidding minors (or at least those under sixteen) from marrying, voting, getting tattoos and most body piercings beyond the ears, living independently, driving, and joining the military? My parents made me wait till I was eighteen to pursue my religious conversion I’d been longing for for many years, but under these new proposed guidelines, if they applied to everything minors want, I could’ve been given the green light to convert either at age eight, when I first felt the pull towards Judaism, or at age fifteen, when my longing came back extremely strongly. Looking back now at age 37, I’m struck by how incredibly young I was when I converted at eighteen, but at least I was a legal adult and absolutely knew that was the only religion for me!
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Is there a support group for trans-critical parents? A forum or similar where we can help each other? I’m just curious because I have searched and thus far come up empty handed. My husband and I are battling the TG whirlwind and we are being slammed for not being supportive parents. We could really use some like minded people to talk to.
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Bewildered, so far as I know, at least in the United States – no. Most of us parents fighting this trend have to be extremely stealth. Some of us have workplaces where we would be attacked or in jeopardy if our real opinions were known, some of us have extended families that would be strongly condemning, and (given that we are generally liberal and supportive of “gender non-conformity”), ALL of us have friend groups that would ostracize us if we went against the “gender grain.”
Isn’t that sad?
I’m hoping that we aren’t too too distant from a time when like-minded parents can find each other in real life for help and support. God knows we need it. In the meantime, stay in touch, learn, read, be good to yourself and know, in your heart, you’re doing the right thing for your child. Just like the closeted parents of gays and lesbians did in the 1960’s and 70’s… oh wait…
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Mumsnet isn’t a support group and there’s a lot of debate but they do allow gender critical discussions.
This blog is the support group! You can start a private blog or forum where you only add members who have been pre-approved. This might be the best strategy.
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I am also looking for such a group and would be glad to start one with you but I’m afraid to get harassed.
I am sure there must be a way to have a private group that is invitation only where we can discuss these things without fear of being harrassed. I don’t know much about forums, chats or the like, but I’d be willing to start one or be a part of one if anyone knows how. Maybe a skype group, secret Facebook page, etc. I’m open for suggestions & ideas. We shouldn’t be ashamed of trying to prevent our kids from mutilating themselves. This whole situation just seems so off and I just don’t understand why so many people seem to be behind what really seems like a really sick dad.
I also want such a group. I am not that computer savvy, but will do the work if others tell me how.
You can find supportive online communities but even dissenting experts are fearful of speaking publicly. My experience was CAHMS useless blinkered and endorsing.asked me if I objected on religious grounds!!! What worked was an Aspergers assessment which which explained her sense of difference and taking the focus away to practical things like school, learning to drive, part time job. After a year new friends,admission of being bullied for years, a boyfriend, and acceptance of her tomboy look, she is not hyper femme but bette
for that. Good luck, have
patience, Niether endorse or openly object, as the monster eats itself young people will turn away.
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It seems to me there are parallels between the opening of all these gender clinics that make money transitioning people and the opening of all those pain clinics that make money prescribing people opioids, rather than pursuing other avenues to deal with pain. These clinics bear much responsibility for the huge epidemic of prescription opioids and the black market in these drugs as well as the heroin epidemic that has resulted from people no longer able to get these prescriptions. We can learn from this.
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How can these issues and concerns we are dealing with become main stream? My niece, over a year ago, has decided she is suddenly a trans boy. No warning at all, girly as you can get and now BOOM, she is a boy??? Seriously??? YUP TOTAL SKEPTIC HERE!!! She has been involved in the anime/cosplay culture for quite some time. Yet, she went to movies a few weeks back with some friends and took a purse with her!!…..hmmmmm. Yet “gender specialist” (at least some) are more than willing to pump these kids full of puberty blockers/cross sex hormones without so much as a thought to these kids future. Its all about affirmation TODAY for these kids, not so much as a thought to the rest of their life and the consequences that can happen and parents are threatened with the risk of suicide!!!. These concerns are not about political left or right, its about these kids future. These serious issues to need be brought forward to the mainstream media and government levels.
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The left owns the media so no there will not be anything in MSM. There is no counterweight to the vast money interested in medically treating these kids. Only if lawsuits start will this thing be questioned. I dont know anything about how likely that is given the “informed consent” agreements the kids/parents sign at the clinics.
maybe the pharma advertisers in the media would pull their ads if they couldn’t rely on transcult messaging. i smell money.
hey “worried for our kids..” SAME! I haven’t posted her for a while so I’ve forgotten my previous screen names. But same.. niece was very girly, into cosplay, also self harm such as cutting and anorexia. Suddenly she wears a binder and the whole family has to call her by a male name and pronouns. Watching my elderly relatives go along w it is surreal to say the least. We are all fairly to very liberal but I think there is more going on. She is also very very smart, socially awkward, isolated from other teens , and knows several other trans “boys.” She lives far away so I have little or no influence but it is very disturbing to me. I try to empower my daughters to know that whatever they do, whoever they are, & whoever they love / desire.. they are gloriously female. Praying they don’t fall for the trans Kool-Aid. The agenda was even pushed during sex ed at their school.. by sheer luck both my girls were home sick that day. Please know I accept there are some adults w gender variance .. but the 1000 % increase in teen girls ln the US and U.K. smells of social contagion. I support civility and civil rights ; but think a lot of teen girls probably need mental health support.. not to be a man. ( No experience w the boys who think they are girls)
I may be ignorant, but I remember when I was a child, I desperately wanted to be a boy. I was plagued with a mother who had the idea that little girls should wear pretty dresses and patent leather shoes, whereas I vastly preferred to romp around in the woods. I hated dolls (still do), but cherished my toy horses and delighted in taking radios and telephones apart (usually without being able to put them back together again). I used to escape my mother whenever I could and came home covered in mud and scratches. Luckily I had an understanding father behind whose back I could hide when my mother blew her lid.
This lamentable condition lasted until I hit puberty, where I suddenly discovered my fondness for tight jeans and low-cut t-shirts; and came to the realization that combing my hair and caring for my looks wasn’t just a torture device invented by my mother. Not that she was happy with the development – it was the late 60s, early 70s, and her idea of how a young girl should look like somewhat differed from mine.
I shudder to think what might have happened to me had I grown up in today’s distorted society.
Those poor kids today!
p.s. Considering the day and age, I might add that I never turned ‘transgender’, or feminist, or whatever, never had any doubts about being a woman and still expect men to open the doors for me. Oh, and dabbling in antiques, I still take (very old) telephones apart. Only I’ve learned how to put them back together again.
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What was the “lamentable condition” – do you mean “lack of interest in femininity”?
I think it’s sarcasm but I’m hoping Katharina can enlighten us!
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It was of course sarcasm – albeit, for my mother it certainly was the bitter truth. She had very narrow views and considered every deviation from a norm as a catastrophe. She seriously worried that I would never become a ‘real’ girl, that I would never marry and would end up a lonely old spinster. Nevermind she was a couple of decades off the social time frame, even back then.
Funny enough, I fully inherited her anachronism, albeit not in the convention departement. I surround myself with antiques, light my house with oil lamps and dress like I live in the 1920s or 1930s. I’m just as much ‘out of time’ as she was. Too bad she didn’t live long enough so we could laugh at it together – provided she would have gotten the joke.
However, I think femininity or gender in the biological sense never came into play. It was all about conventions and the rebellion against them, the attempts of a parent to mold a child into their idea of the perfect offspring and the resistance of the child against anything that even vaguely smelled of restriction.
And frankly, I think that’s the whole thing behind all this gender brouhaha nowadays. Just like we back then thought drugs were cool and tried to emulate Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix (including their, in our mind, oh, so gloriously tragic deaths), the majority of those gender-conscious kids today emulate Frank N. Furter or whoever else is the current star on social media. It’s a fashion, an in-thing, a means to feel special and extraordinary. Nothing is more repulsive for a youth than to be ‘normal’, and the frantic search for an outstanding identity can temporarily lead to peculiar results.
I’m aware this is an unpopular opinion and I might get some flak for it – but I still think this is true for at least 90% of the cases. Blown out of all proportion by social media and a society who seems to fall from one fad into the next. The tragedy is that drastic interventions into the physical development or even gender changes can destroy the health and well-being of a young person – for what is most likely nothing but a passing fancy in the roller-coaster ride to adulthood. That’s akin to providing the youth of my days with heroin and Southern Comfort so we could better live out our fantasies to be Janis Joplin. It’s a travesty, and a crime.
But what do I know? I’m just a little old lady living in days gone by.
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Incredible how I can absolutely commiserate with so many of these comments – it’s scary how it seems some of you could be talking about my daughter or even myself!
My daughter was all girly-girl, pink glitter and pretty, doll and dollhouse playing, dress wearing, hair styling, having boy crushes, up until the end of 6th grade – she’s in eighth grade now and precariously perched on the edge of trans world and I’m hyperventilating and beside myself with nervous angst…
I also was a very entrenched, dedicated short-haired tomboy as a child for several years – wanted to be a boy very badly… emulating my older brother… played with boys, had a tomboy best friend or two; wanted to play football, baseball, basketball, wrestling (and wasn’t allowed to join teams); climbed trees, ropes; played with toy cars and trucks, wanted to run around without my shirt on in the summer and did until I was 9 or so. Hated to wear dresses, stockings or have my hair “done”. I even got to the point where I wanted to change my name to a boy’s name. Talk about Gender dysphoria! I also loved horses, took riding lessons, and I’m sure must have confounded my mother with my confusion, let alone my father. I don’t know how they survived me!
Then I started to have mad crushes on boys in school (and out) at around age 11, plastering my walls with posters of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy and the like. Hit puberty rather late, at 14.
Despite having female friends, I was never “attracted” to them, always attracted to boys/men, and dated quite a few during my teenage years and later… was engaged more than once, eventually got married (albeit later than I would have liked) and then had my daughter. Divorced later and after having struggled with weight gain, I lost weight, started dating again and enjoyed and still enjoy being a woman, very much so. I fully embrace both my feminine traits as well as my “masculine” side, which is just part of me.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had secretly yearned to have a boy, but when my daughter was born, I accepted her very happily, and just enjoyed her girly ways. Little did I know then, that later in her life she would do a complete, unexpected, incomprehensible turnaround to suddenly wanting to present herself as a boy more and more. Saying at one point, after seeing something online – that she was “gender fluid” or “pansexual”. Then she became interested in CosPlay, and then Anime (both filled with androgyny). She wanted me to buy her a binder – for CosPlaying male characters. I agreed only if she used it 4 hours or less, only for CosPlay. When I discovered she was wearing it all the time, I confiscated it, worried that she would damage her growing breast tissue. She then started wearing sports bras, very constricting sports bras, so it was like a binder all over again. Before using the binder, she had been so excited to wear “real” bras, and wasn’t ashamed of her growth. And still wore dresses. As of now, she has definitely stunted her chest growth, and tries very hard to flatten her chest. I feel helpless, and so conflicted. Within the last six months, she’s started having disappointing fluctuations in her grades, and has been depressed, absent from school more frequently and subsequently has started seeing a therapist. I hope it helps, but I’m not sure if she’ll just turn out to be “gender non-conforming” or trans or merely gay. Or maybe none of those, and be a girl again. I’d rather she be hetero, but I don’t mind if she’s gay.
Fortunately, I stumbled across 4thwavenow (thank you!!) and have recently met some other parents in a similar situation near me, and I realize what a crazy phenomenon this is, worldwide, that yes, I think she’s heavily influenced by the internet, social contagion, and good old peer pressure from other friends who’ve been swept up in the transgender tsunami trend too.
I thought it might have been a type of new teenage rebellion of sorts, but since there are young kids being “transitioned” too, and some put on puberty blockers and/or hormones, and hurried towards surgical treatments, I realize it’s much more pervasive. People don’t realize that these kids are being used like guinea pigs – by medical affirming transitionists – and there is no way of knowing what actual physical damage could be taking place – already sterilization is known to occur. But what else could go wrong?
I am heartened by seeing more and more detransitioning taking place, by some who have even gone ahead with SRS surgeries, only to find they weren’t comfortable… these kids have got to come to accept their own bodies – I know I finally did – as an adult. I am so glad – and grateful – that I did not decide to “become” a boy, that the “transgender” feeling I had was a passing thing (thank goodness they didn’t have the medical treatments back then!)…
No girl should be made to lop off her perfectly decent breasts, to tamper with what nature gave her… to ruin an otherwise perfectly imperfect body… and have to take HRT for the rest of her life… all for appeasing an internally motivated externally superficial feeling to change to the opposite sex/gender? They just don’t realize the consequences. (This goes for boy to girl trans too)
Perhaps when they’re old enough to realize the full scope of what they’re doing, completely and thoroughly examining all the possible outcomes, giving themselves time to think about it, and therapy – should they even consider the trans path. It’s a life altering decision not to be gone into so cavalierly.
Please… just stop the madness and give it some time.
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“What has actually changed since 2003, apart from trans activism overruling sensible debate and clinical experience?” That minority stress is a factor: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142737/
This is the only one of your torrent of comments we will publish. You are spamming us with links that don’t prove what you think they do. We suggest you read through our site more carefully before commenting again. As to this comment, your link has zero to do with the fact that transgenderism has been associated with other mental illnesses for a long time. It’s just that it’s now no longer politically correct to state the obvious. As far as minority stress, if anything, that stress should be lessened what with trans activism forced down our throats on a daily basis through a prostrate media. And we would add that other minorities have done a much better job of dealing with stress than trans activists, who are constantly screaming that we must agree with their subjective ideas or they will kill themselves. Please don’t waste your time sending more comments since it’s clear from the ones we didn’t publish that your real intent is simply to troll. This site isn’t here to serve your purpose.