FightingToGetHerBack lives in the United States with her husband and 17-year old daughter Zoe. Four years ago, Zoe made the surprise announcement that she was transgender.
FightingToGetHerBack shares her personal story to illustrate how even smart, educated parents can be emotionally blackmailed into supporting their children’s transition. She is available to interact in the comments section of this post, and can be found on Twitter @FightingToGetHerBack
For almost a year, I actively supported my daughter’s social transition to appear as a man. I called Zoe by her preferred masculine name and pronouns, and introduced her to others as my son. I was by her side as she marched in a Trans Pride Parade, waving pink and blue flags and dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” I purchased the binder she wore to flatten her breasts.
Outwardly, I appeared as the supportive, loving mother of a transgender child. Inwardly, I was conflicted. Privately, I grieved. Alone, I cried.
As I look back on all I did to affirm Zoe’s mistaken identity as a man, I am mortified.
What caused me to ignore what seems like common sense: that my daughter could not possibly be my son?
Why did I dismiss my initial intuition: that Zoe was caught up in a false identity that was actively promoted at her school and online?
How did I fall for the unsupported scare tactics of “affirmative” gender specialists and the narrative widely promoted by lazy journalism: that Zoe’s mental well-being — and indeed, her life — hinged on my unquestioned support of her sudden self-proclaimed identity as a man?
Like my daughter, I became a victim of transgender ideology: a non-scientific, activist-driven dogma that inexplicably dictates protocol for medical practices, mental health counseling, school policies, media coverage, and an increasing number of laws in the U.S. and abroad.
Let me begin by telling you about Zoe. Throughout her childhood, she preferred feminine clothing and hairstyles, in marked contrast to my own low-maintenance appearance. As a pre-teen, she seemed to embrace the changes brought about by puberty, expressed excitement when her period began, and enjoyed shopping for bras and body-hugging clothes. When she started 7th grade, she begged for permission to shave her legs and wear make-up. Zoe had no stereotypical male interests and shied away from all sports, hating to get dirty or sweaty. There was nothing about her childhood that I would consider boyish, except for one: her difficulty in fitting in with other girls.
Zoe is autistic and highly gifted; socially challenged, yet intellectually precocious. When she was little, she talked to her peers as if they were adults and didn’t understand when they were bored by her academic monologues. Though we invited children to our house for playdates, the invitations were rarely reciprocated. At her annual birthday parties, the other kids ignored her and played mostly with each other. Fortunately, she was oblivious to their social rejection.
But as Zoe grew older, many girls became cliquish and exclusive. They judged each other on their appearances and their fashion choices. They were turned off by my daughter’s social immaturity and her low social status. My intellectual autistic girl had a hard time navigating their complex social cues. She was not aggressively bullied, but she was left out, and she began to realize that she was different.
Around 5th grade, she started to associate more with boys than girls; not because she shared their interests or participated in their rough-and-tumble play, but for their lack of drama. Thankfully, the boys were accepting of her quirky off-putting ways. Hanging out with them was much easier and preferable to being alone. And though the boys accepted her, she still felt disconnected from her peers. “Why doesn’t anyone like me?” she asked me more than once.
So when Zoe suddenly announced that she was transgender at the age of 13, this seemed to come out of nowhere. Zoe was confused, I thought, and had misinterpreted her difficulty in fitting in with the girls as a sign that she was a boy. My disbelief was not a reflexive reaction based on intolerance or prejudice (in fact, I have leaned toward the left side of the political spectrum, and have a career devoted to progressive causes), but based on a lifetime of observations as her attentive mother.
But I was concerned: How could such a smart girl believe she was a boy? What happened to make her believe this so strongly and so suddenly?
I asked Zoe to tell me when it was that she first started thinking she was transgender. She said she got the idea after attending a school presentation. I was appalled. I had no idea this was part of the school curriculum. Zoe also told me about other kids she knew who were transgender. I was stunned to learn that this was so common. Interestingly, all of the “trans” kids that Zoe knew were very similar: highly intelligent and with apparent autistic traits–and with a history of not fitting in.
I asked Zoe, “If you hadn’t known there were other kids who were trans, would you believe you were a boy?” Her answer was telling: “No, because I would not have known it was an option. But I don’t think I am a boy; I am a boy.” She patiently explained to me the differences between gender identity and sex assigned at birth. When I expressed confusion, she told me I wouldn’t understand because I am cis. I had never heard that word before. Clearly, she had been doing some online research.
I began to do some research of my own. But nothing I found confirmed my theory: that my child’s autistic thinking and history of not fitting in made her vulnerable to the false belief that she was transgender. To the contrary, all of my online searches told me that a child’s gender identity was not to be questioned, and that children, no matter their age, know who they are. Still, I held onto my belief that this was likely a phase that would pass.
I decided the best approach was to ignore the gender issue and help Zoe develop her identity based on her interests, not on her feelings. I signed her up for 4H and nature groups. I did everything I could to help her connect to who she really was, and help her find other kids who shared her passions.
Over the course of a year, Zoe’s anger toward me grew. Our once strong, loving relationship deteriorated, and she threatened to leave home many times. She blamed her worsening depression on me and my lack of acceptance of her “true” self. It became clear that this was no simple phase that would fade away on its own, but I didn’t know what to do. Maybe she was really transgender, I wondered. My husband thought Zoe was just being a selfish, belligerent teen. But I decided that I needed someone to help me sort this out, a trained and experienced professional to answer some questions: Is my daughter really transgender? If she is, what should I do? And if she’s not, how do I convince her otherwise? I turned to gender specialists for help.
This was my first big mistake.
I went to the Psychology Today website and contacted ten local therapists who claimed a specialty with transgender issues. After explaining a bit about my daughter’s history, every single therapist responded in a similar manner: “A child would not choose this.” “A child would not make this up.” “Once teens reach puberty, there is no question that their gender identity is set.” They all ignored the fact of Zoe’s autism. “Even autistics know who they are.” They ignored the possibility of social contagion. “It’s becoming more common now because society is more accepting.” They did not see this as a temporary identity crisis, but as an absolute, undeniable truth that was dangerous to question.
Perhaps if I had found just one authoritative professional to confirm my misgivings, I would never have doubted myself.
Instead, I deferred to the apparently unanimous consensus of the experts and decided to work with Dr. Brown [not his real name], a therapist in private practice whose clinical specialties were transgender care and autism, and who was a member of WPATH, an organization that I ignorantly assumed was grounded in a scientifically-based, expert approach to transgender care.
My husband went along with my plan. We both met with Dr. Brown before he met Zoe. Surely, based upon his extensive experience, he could tell us if our daughter was really transgender. After hearing our story, he confirmed that she was. Since it had been over a year since Zoe came out to us, and because she had been “insistent, persistent, and consistent” in her identity, this meant that yes, this was real.
Dr. Brown comforted us by telling us what great parents we were for finding support for our son; that many parents refuse to believe their children are transgender and they become estranged from them. He told us that as a transgender teen, our son is at high risk of suicide and that research shows that the best way to prevent this is parental acceptance. Dr. Brown told us to start slowly by allowing him to transition at home using his preferred name and pronouns, but to wait several months until the summer to start coming out to friends and family, and to wait until the fall to come out at school.
I loved — and love — Zoe unconditionally, fiercely, and deeply. I would do anything to save her life and minimize her suffering. I have always sought the best care for her, no matter the cost. I was — and am — a vulnerable, confused, and scared mother. So I did what Dr. Brown told me I MUST do or my daughter would kill herself. I fell for the “live son” vs “dead daughter” scare tactic.
Though it was hard to hear those words — that my daughter was really transgender and that my actions were critical to preventing her possible suicide — in a way, it was a relief. Finally, I could stop debating with myself and just work on accepting my daughter as my son. It was easier to put my faith in Dr. Brown and his expertise than to constantly question myself. I rationalized that I had been in denial for the past year, but now I needed to face reality and focus on Zoe’s mental health, our relationship, and keeping her alive.
I began supporting the first step in Zoe’s social transition that evening when I used masculine pronouns and called Zoe by his chosen name, Joe. I told Joe about Dr. Brown and his recommendations. I apologized to Joe for my lack of support over the past year. Joe was overjoyed. Later that night, I sobbed privately while I grieved the loss of my daughter.
Joe started seeing Dr. Brown right away. After each session, Joe did not seem happy or content. He seemed more fixated on transitioning. Despite the original plan to take this slowly, he immediately changed his name and pronouns at school. The school never notified me of this change, nor asked my permission. Since there were already several other “trans” kids at the school, this was seen as a normal request that did not need to involve parents.
Joe’s transition at school, as with the other “trans” students, was met with complete unquestioning acceptance by peers and teachers alike. Trans teens had become so common that no one acted like this was a big deal. And after years of not fitting in, Joe thought he had finally found his tribe.
Though I was upset with the school staff and concerned with how fast things were moving, I said nothing. I needed to support my son and maintain his mental health, so I kept my concerns to myself.
Now that Joe was “out,” I helped with his social transition by taking him to a barber followed by shopping for “boy” clothes. But that wasn’t enough. Joe begged me for a binder. I discussed this with Dr. Brown who told me it was now psychologically necessary for Joe’s social transition to be complete. Dr. Brown assured me that as long as I bought one from a reputable company, there were no dangers. He told me if I didn’t buy one, Joe would just use duct tape, which was very dangerous. Given the alternative, I felt like I had no choice. I complied.
Within one month of seeing Dr. Brown, Joe’s physical transformation was dramatic. His appearance disturbed me in a deep and visceral way. My once curvy 14-year old daughter now resembled a pudgy, unattractive 11-year old boy. I was ashamed of my feelings and felt guilty for caring about his physical appearance. I told myself it was his mental health I should be focused on, but I still found it painful to look at him.
Dr. Brown kept telling me what a good job I was doing, that Joe is so happy now, and that for the first time in his life, he feels like he belongs. Despite Dr. Brown’s assurances of Joe’s happiness, that was not my observation at home. Joe seemed more and more depressed. His periods, which had been non-events until he started seeing the gender therapist, now became a crisis. Joe refused to go to school on those days and became angrier and more depressed. After each step in Joe’s transition process, he became fixated on the next. So after binding his breasts, his new obsession was medically stopping his periods.
During the time that I supported Joe’s social transition, I purposely avoided any news articles on the topic. And when I heard critical voices — which at that time seemed to come only from ultra-conservative gay-bashers — the unintended consequence of their hurtful words served only to harden my support for my son’s transition and bias my thinking.
As Joe continued to see Dr. Brown, I sensed that his “therapy” was mostly about validating Joe’s conviction that his was trans, while pushing the next step in transitioning. I eavesdropped on one session where I listened to Dr. Brown ask Joe about his week, how much he enjoyed being his authentic self, and about his next plans for transition. I did not hear Dr. Brown ask Joe about his increasing depression, or explore the basis for his growing discomfort with his body.
Despite this, we continued to see Dr. Brown and followed his expert advice. Although I never stopped having fears and doubts, I tried to convince myself that I was just a worried mom lacking objectivity. Meanwhile, my husband was mostly disengaged, refusing to talk with me about my worries, but willing to go along with whatever I decided.
Dr. Brown’s experienced, authoritative, and persuasive voice continued to convince me that my actions were the key to preventing Joe’s suicide. I deferred to his self-proclaimed authority, which was seemingly consistent with the overwhelming majority of the medical and psychological establishment. So when Dr. Brown recommended that I enroll Joe in a therapeutic support group for trans kids, I complied.
This was my second big mistake.
I selected a support group at a well-respected gender clinic, a collaborative practice that included clinicians who specialize in autism, clinical psychology, and adolescent gynecology. Their approach was described as research-based and conservative.
Before Joe started attending the support group, I met privately with the head of the clinic, Dr. Jones, to learn more. He told me that every meeting began with the kids announcing their preferred name, their pronouns, and the gender that they identified with on that particular day. He explained that the goal was to impress upon the kids that their current gender identity was not necessarily fixed. He told me that every child in the group had either been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or had symptoms that suggested autism. I was reassured that Joe would fit in well with the other participants.
When I told Dr. Jones that over 5% of the students at Joe’s school thought they were trans, he denied the role of social contagion. He said the increasing numbers were a result of society and schools becoming more tolerant.
I asked Dr. Jones why kids with ASD were more likely to identify as transgender. He told me researchers do not know, but theorized that both transgenderism and ASD were caused by prenatal exposure to an excess of androgens. I asked if gender identity were innate, then why would it appear so suddenly with no signs throughout childhood? Dr. Jones explained that this was probably because ASD prevents children from thinking flexibly about gender until they are older. So although Joe’s gender identity was always that of a boy, Dr. Jones explained, Joe didn’t know his identity until recently because the ASD precluded the flexible thinking required to come to this realization when he was younger.
Privately, I thought all of his explanations seemed far-fetched, but as I had been doing with increasing frequency, I kept my doubts to myself, followed the “expert” advice, and agreed to allow Joe to participate in the program.
The kids in the group had many traits in common besides autism. Their trans identity came on suddenly when they were teens, they seemed really smart, and they were obvious social misfits. All had serious mental health issues. Compared to the other kids, my daughter appeared the most well-adjusted.
Although the clinicians acknowledged that these kids may change their minds, all of the parents were told to put their children on hormone blockers. When I questioned the possibility of side effects, my concerns were arrogantly dismissed. The head clinician told me that blockers were well-studied and perfectly safe, and encouraged me to set up an appointment with the clinic’s gynecologist. He recommended that Joe take blockers for one year, which he euphemistically described as “buying time.” At the end of his year on blockers, Joe would likely be ready to proceed to the next step: testosterone. Unconvinced, I refused to consent.
While Joe was in group, I got to know the other parents. We were all genuinely troubled by our children’s trans identity. We talked about how we lost friends and family members over this issue; how we had become more socially isolated; how our marriages had become strained; how surprised we were when our kids announced they were trans; how there had been no signs of this throughout their childhoods. Like me, these were caring, thoughtful parents who were determined to help their children in any way they could.
Unlike me, all of the other parents consented to medical treatment for their kids. Some were on blockers; others were already on cross-sex hormones. Apparently, I was the only one who had concerns about the medical protocol, and the only one who still harbored doubts about my child’s transgender identity. As the months passed, I felt more disconnected from the other parents. They began to question why I refused medical treatment for my son, told me I was endangering his mental health, and seemed personally offended by my non-compliance. I started to keep my opinions to myself and wondered if there was something wrong with me. Were my doubts and concerns well-founded? Or could I just not accept the reality of having a transgender child? I now believe that if I had met at least one other parent who shared my misgivings, I would have had the courage of my convictions to question the trans narrative much sooner than I did and would have escaped the power of groupthink.
So what finally woke me up? It was when the head of the program, Dr. Jones, the well-respected “expert” threatened me: “Your choice is between a mental hospital or hormone blockers.” That’s when I finally realized the clinic’s true agenda: not to therapeutically help my child, but to push her on a dangerous path to medically transition under the pretense of it being a psychological necessity.
That night, I turned to the internet to figure out what to do next. That’s when I discovered 4thWaveNow, TransgenderTrend, GenderCriticalDad, and other reasonable gender-critical voices.
I could not stop reading for days. All of my original theories were shared by a group of intelligent, thoughtful, and eloquent parents and therapists.. For the first time since my daughter announced she was my son, I found evidence-based information to support my own ideas. My God, how could I have been so stupid to doubt myself? How did I fall for this? How could I have played along with her ridiculous belief that she is a boy? How did I not see that this sudden increase in trans-identifying teens at her school was part of a psychic epidemic? That these vulnerable children were being medicalized by unscrupulous professionals? That most journalists were singularly focused on portraying transgenderism as a human rights issue, rather than what was obviously a psychological and sociological phenomena?
It has now been over one year since I discovered the online support I needed to realize the truth. But my daughter remains a victim. It is as if she has been brainwashed. And increasingly, it seems as if society has been brainwashed.
Thanks to Zoe’s school, her gender therapists, professional health organizations, the media, and the internet, my daughter is still certain that she is really a boy. She refuses to discuss the topic with me, and refuses to listen to my concerns. She is also convinced that medical transition is necessary for her future happiness, a process she plans to begin when she turns 18 next year. And I will be powerless to stop her.
The only thing I can do is speak the truth and encourage others to do the same.
If you are a doctor or therapist, please don’t reflexively endorse a child’s belief that s/he is the opposite sex. Children need good therapy to explore underlying issues that are likely fueling their discontent.
If you are a member of a professional health organization, please demand that they base their professional guidelines for gender-confused children on science, not politics or ideology. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Endocrine Society will continue to irresponsibly promote ideologically driven protocol as settled science until they are held accountable by their membership.
If you are a college professor, administrator, or counselor: Please speak up about a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common across college campuses. Although most college students are legal adults, their brains are still developing and they are just as prone to social contagion as young teens. Those with underlying mental issues, often exacerbated by the stress of college life, are especially vulnerable. Many students begin their medical transition services as part of their college health plan — with little or no mental health counseling to explore other underlying factors.
If you are a journalist, please re-think the currently popular mainstream narrative and investigate this issue more deeply. Why are there suddenly so many kids who think they are trapped in the wrong body? Does science really support “an innate gender identity?” Why have the number of gender clinics treating children skyrocketed in the past ten years? What is the source of the millions of dollars that is funding this movement? Does it really make sense to treat children medically on the basis of a belief which is likely to change over time?
Whoever you are, please speak up. Please help prevent more children’s minds from being poisoned by lies, bodies from being irreversibly altered, and families like mine from being destroyed.
I truly feel sorry for the parents who are bullied and fearmongered into going along with this current trend of dealing with gender dysmorphia by going into full-on denialism about your own body. If you’re told that any questioning or criticism will result in your child committing suicide with you to blame for their death, who could blame a parent for feeling pressured to drink the transgender kool-aid?
No matter how many surgeries or hormones “Joe” takes, they will always have been and will continue to be a female. A rejection of who you are physically and a declaration that you identify as something that you are not does not magically alter fundamental aspects of your biology. Gender non-conformity is not a bad thing; breaking and not living according to rigid stereotypes is a good thing that should be celebrated and encouraged, but it is important to realize that doing so does not fundamentally change your gender because sex/gender are not things that change according to one’s behavior or one’s “feelings”.
Transgenderism is legitimizing clinically-sponsored denial and conversion therapy for lesbian and gay children as a coping mechanism for dealing with dysmorphia and discomfort with gender non-conformity without questioning what the costs are.
This post as well as the comments are problematic. Autism isn’t a bad thing, and there’s no reason Autistics can’t be trusted to make our own decisions about ourselves and have our own thoughts. It’s neurotypical supremacy that is the problem. Neurotypicals shouldn’t assume they know better than Autistics. Autism is a neurotype, not a disorder. I hope that the “D” gets removed from ASD soon enough. All of you are harming Autistics with this way of thinking that you currently have.
The post and comments do not say or imply that autism is “bad”. You are the only one making it out to be a struggle between autism and NT, which it clearly isn’t. Psychologists call it ASD. Parents mainly simply say “autism”. I have autism and so do my two children. We are so much more than our autism. No one (not even you) can harm us with the way they think. Posters here are not suggesting that people with autism cannot make their own decisions, they are parents who are concerned about the welfare of their children and about how they are railroaded into decisions by people in positions of power, such as psychologists, when they may not otherwise go down that path (ie if they had a different type of guidance from those in power, the outcome might be different). Any parent has a DUTY to be concerned if they think their child (whether NT / or with autism) is going down a wrong path of any type. There is no need (or benefit), to turn the discussion into a (non-existent) struggle between NTs and people with autism.
Unfortunately, non-autistic individuals are allowed to be trans and aren’t questioned. Only those on the spectrum are told we cannot make a choice for ourselves or that others know our intermost identities better than ourselves. It’s a tragedy.
Dear mom, your words just tore me up, and thankfully you found 4th wave now, albeit perhaps too late to stop the insanity of your situation. I have spoken to dozens of parents with your same story, and about half, have lost their daughter to GD surgery. There was a real science report that came out about a month ago that showed that children who have parents who do not support transitioning, are less likely to go all the way with the surgery. I am currently writing a book on ROGD in adolescents and found that their pathology is vastly different from traditional Transsexual pathology. Dr. L. Littman’s research though limited in scope, is showing this same trend. So I am hopeful that your daughter and the rest of these gender kids may not be so locked into sex changes if there is enough push back from their families and friends. Like all good parents, you have focused on your child, but have you and your family found a good counselor to support what you are all going through? This is vital, this issue tends to tear families apart and you must all have support to ease the pain of this. Good luck and write me if I can be of help. Rene Jax
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I think there would be a lot of interest in such a book! Do you have any research / data / suggestions on how to support a ROGD kid without affirming? I would be particularly interested to hear the strategies of what supportive parents did in situations where they did not affirm and their child reverted to their Natal gender.
In my last book, “Don’t get on the plane, Why sex changes ruin your life” I pointed out that modern medicine is still in its infancy when it comes to understanding GD and homosexuality. I also point out the many reasons why cross sex living is not a viable solution to these issues. As to your question. Let’s start with the most obvious, Gender confusion and the feeling of being trapped in the wrong body is a mental illness. Why do I say that? Look no farther than the suicide rate of POST op transsexuals. The LGBT crowd would have us believe it is from our parents not loving us and societal bias. But if we look at every other demographic in the world that has been discriminated against, (women, jews, blacks, hispanics,) the suicide rate has never been above the national average. In the US the actual suicide rate is .6%, which by the way includes post operative transsexuals, so it is much lower than that number. The actual GD suicide rate is right about 30%, and the attempted rate is over 40%. Mater of fact, the suicide rate in the German concentration camps was only 12%. So the post operative TS rate is 3x higher than living in a concentration camp. As Sherlock Holmes stated, When you eliminate the impossible, all that remains, however improbable, must be the truth. The truth is GD is, on the low side, a personality disorder much like body dysmorphia disorder, in the middle range, a mental illness, and on the extreme edge, a psychotic state of delusion. So how do you as a parent support your child who is going through this? You continue to love them, but don’t fall into their delusional state, nor do you allow them to take pills or have surgery or allow them to mutilate themselves. Unfortunately, the real challenge that I’ve seen with many of the parents whose kids are going through this, is that the kids refuse to read anything contrary to their GD support group. They refuse to go to a normal/ non gender conforming therapist. I had one GD kid refuse to read my book, as he said it was fake and I wanted to use conversion therapy in it. I advise every parent to take away their cell phones and turn off the internet, I am serious when I say, take them out of their school so their confusion won’t be reinforced by the teachers and schooling were they are getting this BS. I had one couple move their kid back to rural Alaska, to get their 12 yr old kid away from this social contagion. Many of the parents have found that insisting upon having their kids start paying 600 or $700 a month for their room and board and having to get a job to do this, stops their sex change ideation right in its tracks. When you are so tired and worn out at the end of a day, that the only thought on your mind is “pillow” you generally can’t think a lot about what dress you would look good in. As long as your kids sit around the house all night and day long surfing the net, dreaming of how butch, or fem they will look once they take the pills and cut parts off, this condition will continue and get worse. Take away their access to the net, get them to work, work them hard, teach them the value of a dollar, and get them away from their gender indoctrination schools. …Rene Jax
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I would agree 100% with your methods about how to deal with ROGD. This is very similar to the approach we took with our 14 year old. Pulled her out of school (we homeschooled her for 1.5 years), we took away the Internet even on her phone and did a LOT of family bonding & service to our community. We noticed that helping others in need really helped her stop focusing so much on herself. We also had her diagnosed officially with High Functioning Autism, which seemed to help her with her self awareness. She desisted after less than a year and is currently a beautiful, well-adjusted young lady. She also feels like it’s her mission to love and help other kids going through ROGD. This site has been incredibly instrumental with helping her feel less alone and giving her tools to help others. I can’t wait for your book to come out. My sweet girl and I will read it together!
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Rene, I am sorry that I am late in responding, but have not been keeping up with new comments. I just want to thank you for your words, and also for your important work. You have so much wisdom and insight into our kids. I do hope that your ROGD book comes out soon!
While your methods will work for kids under the age of 18 how do you reach the young adults? I have a 21 year old who is gifted, suffers from major depression and has Aspergers. I can’t reach her. I have sent her everything I have on the subject in terms of the possible harm testosterone can cause and the lack of research along with the risks of top surgery. I have suggested that she feels this way due to the Aspergers which already makes her not a “typical female.” No matter what I present to her it is always the same response “I’m still trans”. How do I reach her?!
So, if you ever develop insomnia you can read my book 56 Sanchez, in it I chronicle how I spent much of my youth sitting through family meetings at Fort Logan Mental Health Hospital in Denver. I learned at an early age, that when it come to mental health issues, nothing is ever what it seems on the surface. People with depression can be hiding deep shame, physical abuse, guilt, psychosis, loss, even neurological problems. So I challenge you both, is it wise on any level to be giving her mind and body altering drugs like T, (or LSD or Coke, or Pot) when she has yet to work through and resolve these other major physical and emotional problems? I can tell her from my own personal experience that she will find a slight up tick in her feelings, but as with every other TS/ GD person out there, that buzz goes away when the person realizes that they wake up the next day and all the issues they were dealing with are still there. Then they go into a panic and want the top surgery, and when that joy fades, they want a hysterectomy. And it goes on and on, because these medical treatments don’t cure the disease. Doctors don’t know what the cause is, and yet treat pts with irreversible treatments. And before you and she know it, she is a bald, bearded woman with a funny voice, no breasts and no way to ever return to having a normal life. I have said this a thousand times, This is why we have to stop all these one way medical treatments and find the cause of ROGD/ GD and TS, and only then can we develop sensible treatment options.
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Thank you for taking the time to reply. I forwarded it to my daughter and of course got no response. I have tried to reach her to no avail. I am at a loss as to how to get through to her. I fear the worst.
Lost in Space. I feel your pain and helplessness. My child was 19 when she went to an informed consent clinic. I would say the 18 and over are at a very high risk of rushing into medical intervention because they don’t need parental consent and from my own experience there is not much we can do to prevent it. In the beginning I was desperate to reach my child and inform her of all the risks she would be taking with her healthy body. Every attempt I made was met with extreme anger and the conversation went nowhere. I made sure I told each therapist she saw that My child never once expressed gender dysphoria before the age of 18 and after becoming involved with a group who was very into gender questioning. The only thing I do have control over is not paying for medical interventions. I told her that has to be her responsibility because I could not live with myself if something went wrong or she later regretted her decision. I try to show my love and support in many different ways and our relationship has improved but we still dance around the elephant in the room. For young adults this is where good therapists and doctors who TRULY inform these kids and help them weigh the pros and cons of medical intervention is imperative. How well do these young adults truly understand the medical terminology on the forms they sign? Just recently my kid asked me what a hysterectomy was. I almost dropped dead!! This is medical negligence in my opinion!! It is so scary and I try to not get pulled into despair but it is a very slippery slope. If your daughter allows you to talk your mind than keep talking. Show your love in every way possible . Try to find a therapist that will not affirm but explore. Good luck to you and your daughter
Thank you Awakened. We are going to need the luck! She is planning on starting testosterone when she graduates college. She told me she is going to start at a low dose and see how it goes so if she doesn’t like the effects or make her feel bad then she will stop taking it. At least she is showing some common sense to an extent. I sent a link to the book mentioned previously in this thread and told her I would buy it for her if she would read it and she said no. Our relationship is nothing like it used to be. I totally do not agree with the decisions she is making. I told her I will love her no matter what but that I don’t have to like or agree with what she is doing. If someone had told me there would be something that one of my kids did that I wouldn’t totally support them no matter what I would have laughed in their face. Now, it’s a different story. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
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Rene. I agree with everything you have pointed out. I’m not sure why my kid felt they needed this to go on with life. I suggested many times to focus on the inside not the body. All to no avail. We are not agreeing with this medical path. We are somewhat helpless as to how to stop it. These are young adults. Parents have no say legally.
Awakened, Well I’m afraid to point out the fact that many teenage and young adult kids will listen, nod their heads and run off to do what they want to. As old people, we are seldom listened to. But two recent studies show that even young adults, whose parents dont support them, are about 80% less likely to go through with the surgery. Plus the harder you make it financially for them to live like this will help. Ive seen very good results in parents completely cutting off their young adult kids financially to stop or slow down their desires to cut things off. We all remember how hard it was at their age to pay our bills, and to eat anything other than Ramen.So without your paying for cell phones, college tuition and food, the more they must scramble to do it.
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I wanted to let you all know that my 13yo DID come to me last week and tell me that she does not want to be a boy. She admitted that she was “just trying it out” for a multitude of reasons. It was all I could to not crow and say “I told you so!”!!! I didn’t say that or anything too emotional other than that I’m so glad she doesn’t want to mutilate her body. I mostly worked really hard to just listen. I hope this doesn’t hurt anyone here. I hope I can find time to write more soon. Please know it is possible and does happen. I’m really really grateful this site exists.
I am so glad to hear this for you and for her. Whew!
I wish I could give you a hug! I’m sorry happy for you! Keep us posted if you can.
I am so happy for you. Your news is greatly encouraging and inspiring to those of us still in the trenches on this issue. I would love to know how you dealt with her to get her to this point. Did you say yes to name change and pronoun change? Did you let her “try it on” outside the home? What did you say “yes” to and what did you say “no” to. I would love to hear more when you have the time.
I did not let her change her name or switch pronouns. I told her I hear her, but explained that it was cognitive dissonance to me. I explained that if I had seen indications of gender discomfort at any time earlier in her life I would have been more likely to do those things, but I asked her to please give me some time and space to deal with it before we moved forward with those big changes. I let her cut her very long hair off. I told her she could shop in the boys and men’s department. I even bought her boys underwear. I did not let her bind her chest because I told her that could damage her breast tissue. She understood for the most part.
She was miserable at her school. We toyed all of the other schools in our district, including the more ecomonically and racially diverse school with the arts program. I know others caution about “letting” these gender questioning kids be involved in theater and art because of the stereotypes in those circles, but we recognized that letting our daughter choose her school gave her control over situation. She is much, much happier there; has amazing grades, friends, and doesn’t feel the need to focus on what is “wrong” with her quite so much.
She chose to wear a dress to a social function a couple weeks ago and I purposely tried not to make too big of a deal over it and generally try to not discuss her appearance at all. She had a girl ask her to go to a dance with her this week and it made her happy. We don’t have a problem with that, but have explained that “exclusive” or serious relationships aren’t appropriate at her age; that these “relationships” should be a chance to learn new things about the world through other people, learn about things we might not otherwise be exposed to, not as interviews for people she would marry.
She admitted to me that her saying she “is really a boy” was an experiment and test to see if we really support her choices and to try to fit in with kids at her old school. I made a very very conscious effort to not say I told you so in any way. I DID tell that I appreciate her being so honest with me. She told me thank you for not saying I told you so and that she’s really glad I didn’t let her change her name. That’s where we are right now and I thank God that we are in this place in our relationship.
Thanks so much for this feedback Alwaysbitingtongue. That is very helpful.
What is your view on others changing pronouns eg. schools (if you have control over that)? It feels too much like affirming for me to be comfortable with it.
I also worry about this idea of “shifting dysphoria” that Cari talks about in her desisting video – each time we say yes to something our DD wants to move immediately to the “next step”. None of my DDs steps have been as permanent as Cari’s but I think the same principle applies. There is a short high followed by the need for another fix or another more drastic step and another – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3-r7ttcw6c
@Amy – That is great news. She’s only 13, so my advice would be to continue to educate her on the true nature of the LGBTQ agenda. As a teenager on social media she still has a LOT of misinformation gauntlets to traverse. Also, one of the STRONG recommendations pushed by the ‘groups’ [my daughter is lost to them at 21] – is to go stealth and “hide your desires from an unsupportive family and research options”. The gay pride movements/help groups in the schools are ripe with trans-activists now.
Sorry to be “that” guy: The one who things aren’t going well for, so makes everybody else paranoid. It’s just that, I’ve been “a little trans girl” on facebook, and infiltrated many of the ‘groups’ that my daughter is stalked by. I know how they are being told to think. I know what they are saying to children, teens, and adults who come seeking understanding. There is NO compromise. Their mantra is “this is war and these are the tactics”.
Just remember to save all your work in case WordPress pull the plug.
Extra request from someone with a small phone screen and eyes which aren’t getting any younger: is there any possibility of using a darker text colour? I can hardly see the grey.