4thWaveNow was started by the mother of a teenage girl who suddenly announced she was a “trans man” after a few weeks of total immersion in YouTube transition vlogs and other trans-oriented social media. (The daughter has since desisted from identifying as transgender.) After much research and fruitless searching for an alternative online viewpoint, this mom began writing about her deepening skepticism of the ever-accelerating medical and media fascination with the phenomenon of “transgender children.”
4thWaveNow has now expanded to feature not only the writing of the founder of this website, but that of other parents, formerly trans-identified people, and people with professional expertise and experience with young people questioning their gender identity.
Parents, please introduce yourselves and feel welcome here.
From the founder and primary author of 4thWaveNow:
I created this site because mine is a viewpoint that is seldom publicly heard: that of a left-leaning parent who is critical of the dominant paradigm regarding transgender politics and treatment. My primary concern is children, teens, and people in their early 20s, particularly girls who are contemplating medical transition. While I may disagree with their views, I do understand that consenting adults have the right to do what they choose with their own bodies and minds.
Online, I have been accused of being “unsupportive,” even abusive, simply for daring to question whether lifelong medical treatment–injections and plastic surgeries–is the answer for every young person who has gender dysphoria. In my world, caring about, listening to, and lovingly parenting a child or young adult is not necessarily a synonym for unexamined “support” for everything the child says or wants. In fact, one of the main jobs in parenting a teen is, not coercion, but the offering of alternatives; discussing, and sometimes disagreeing.
It is my contention that the medical and psychological establishments are letting us all down in their rush to diagnose young people as “transgender,” then to give the message that medical treatment is the answer. Much of my writing now and in the future will focus on the adults who are pushing so many kids into extreme treatments. And I do consider hormones and surgery extreme treatment, if there is any possibility that something less drastic might be a solution.
If you are a parent looking for support, you’ve come to the right place. We are interested in hearing from parents, family members, concerned professionals, and allies from across the political spectrum. However, I am not personally in accord with conservative, religious-fundamentalist views about sexuality. I am a strong supporter of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.
Please read blog posts carefully before asking questions or commenting. I will respond when I can to respectful input. I don’t have time to keep arguing the same points over and over again.
Most of the voices in the media and in medicine are in opposition to my views. I’m presenting an alternative.
Having just found your site, I was relieved but also astounded that other parents are facing similar concerns for their child/ren as those I am currently facing regarding my child wishing to reassign gender.
Separated 10 years ago, my ex has primary custody of our child and recently they advised me of their plan. It was a huge shock to learn that treatment secretly commenced several years ago without my knowledge, when my child was a minor, with my ex and child actively keeping this from me.
Due to my ex refusing to provide an introduction to the medical team treating our child, I was forced to initiate family court proceedings to learn more about the treatment of my child who had never presented as the opposite gender.
Dealing with an over-zealous major hospital with a department devoted to gender reassignment, it amazes me how they can contravene their own guidelines and protocols regarding family support.
Following a subpoena of my childs medical file, the falsifications provided by my ex and my child to encourage a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, opens yet another can of worms relating to this entire subject. The file even mentions a degree of Autism, which had I not subpoenaed the file, I may never had been aware of.
Even after the court judge noted the hospital to answer any related questions I have, the hospital can now refuse to answer my questions, unless my child provides consent, having now passed a Gillick competency test.
Should my case fail, it seems poised to pave the way for any non-custodial parent to have zero say in the health and well-being of the child.
Hiring a legal team to challenge a large hospital is beyond my affordability, so I really hope that a legally qualified professional may see this and offer to assist.
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I am so sorry to hear of your circumstances, Worried Parent. All our stories seem to have so much in common. You will find understanding, information and support here.
Not my field at all, but I am aware that this gender critical lawyer exists, and wonder if perhaps she might know of other legally qualified professionals out there, perhaps someone in a position to help you?
Thank you so much EndTheHarms. I am absolutely desperate for my child and am running out of places to turn. The additional complications of a possible connection to some type of Munchausens By Proxy issue, combined with likely Parental Alienation Syndrome, is making this whole process seemingly impossible to navigate. I will continue to “persistently, consistently and insistently” pursue this until some sense comes to light.
Wow, we have similarities – especially in the non custodial parent bit… although my situation doesn’t mirror yours as to the legal aspects, it seems headed that way, but affordable legal help is rare.
Best of luck to you! We are not alone at the very least.
I’m just finding your site too after reading the Brown Paper. My 22 year old daughter could have been a test subject for Littman’s research. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told I’m a bad Parent by Therapists and her friends for not accepting her as she is as if is she was always like this. Clinical depression at 16 and bullying in High School, along with being a peer mentor at The Bridge, a community based outreach for teens of troubled homes. Many of these teens were kicked out their homes for being Gay or Trans.
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A mom of a about to be a sophomore in college. Our daughter told us recently she “socially transitioned” sometime her freshman year and her plan is “to seek counseling to make sure hormones are the right path” and follow with top surgery. We are devastated and looking for options, as counseling where we live is affirmative and is a fast track to hormones. Are there parents of college-aged kids who have succeeded in helping their kids slow down and have a chance to grow out of this insane social contagion? If so, can you share tips on what worked? We found a counselor willing to work with her in a way that’s not automatically gender affirming, but we are concerned she may not really “engage”, even if she agrees. If anyone was successful with a college-aged kids, please share.
Hi, I’m not sure whether this is of any help. My daughter, grew up ‘feminine’, with no tomboyish traits. She hated puberty and growing large breasts.
My daughter socially transitioned when she left home for university a year ago. She got hormones first from the internet and then from the GP with no questions asked and no counselling. She booked for top surgery last Christmas holidays – the first holidays after her first term at university. She had no counselling as she was paying for the surgery privately and no-one offered her counselling.
Terrified, I had undertaken to take her for the appointment as I couldn’t bear her to go through it alone.
I was ill (from stress?) on the day and sent her father instead.
On the morning of the surgery, I had a phone call from my daughter saying she wasn’t certain about the surgery and didn’t know what to do. I told her it was not something anyone should do unless 100% certain. She did not have the surgery and has no plans to in the short term at least. She is still taking the hormones. This was such a horrifying near miss. An immoral, private surgeon was standing ready to remove the breasts of my physically well daughter, on her sayso, to fix a mental health problem. For the money.
I feel she has given herself a big fright and at my suggestion has been seeing a counsellor (of her choosing, not necessarily one I would have chosen as she is experienced with gender dysphoria and I was worried she might be too affirming). The counselling has proved very helpful.
I do think there must be a vestige of common sense and doubt in the minds of most of these girls.
I hope so much that it will come to the surface for them all, including your daughter.
I am encouraged by that fact that your daughter is at least planning to explore the matter rather than diving straight in to a medical transition. Many of these girls get the hormones via the internet without any proper consideration and then like mine, save up the money for surgery with no support from any health practitioners.
I don’t know that this counts as success, but it certainly counts as a breathing space for exploration.
I have talked to her about the possibility of detransitioning and that people would really be perfectly accepting if this were to happen. I don’t want her to feel trapped as a man if she changes her mind.
There is so much more going on at university than the tiny transgender internet world that my daughter spent so much time in before leaving home and I feel she is spreading her wings a little.
Perhaps our children will find their true selves and be comfortable in their own skins before anything drastic happens.
Sending hope to you and your daughter.
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What a close call for you. I am so glad she was able to look the monster in the eye and decide she is not ready to be eaten up. Sometimes I wonder if this is what it will take–coming to the very edge of the abyss. Unfortunately, so many fall into it… I will take some comfort in the fact that my daughter is “willing to explore”, although it may be just lip service to pacify us…
Any other stories or strategies of how college-aged kids may have been successfully slowed down (from hormones, surgery, or both) would be greatly appreciated.
What happened to the fact that they are considered not quite adult until 26 since they are allowed to stay on parents’ health insurance (and not allowed to rent a car)?
Here is my advice. Cut off all funds to your daughter. Zero. Nada. I asked Rene Jax, former transgender this question about this. He said, if all of a sudden, you daughter has to pay for everything, food, housing, cloths, etc, she will have to work. She may even have to drop out of college. Now, she will not have extra money for hormones, top surgery, etc. because she will struggle with basic survival. After time goes by and she becomes more mature and decides she us really a girl, then reconsider helping with college. This can be tough and she will say you hate her, but is the most loving thing you can do is to cut off all funds. Good luck!
This is extremely helpful. We got advice on both ends of the spectrum–from cutting off to staying close to her in case she wants to go back 1, 3, 6 months or years into it. My intuition is that you are right and that “cut off financially–without cutting off emotionally”-may be the middle ground. Sadly, Medicaid will pay for everything medically, but to your point, she would still have to get the rest of her life in order.
I just watched Rene’s video and completely agree with argument that the left “weaponized” transgenderism against the right. Do you know of any former trans or regretter trans people who are wiling (perhaps for a fee) to talk to young adults and share their perspective, as a wake-up call or intervention of sorts?
Here is another neet video Rene sent me.
We have been successful so far with our college-age daughter but two things have really helped. I realize they may not be broadly applicable.
The first is that she goes to college close to home and lives with us. In addition, she is not super independent or organized in some ways, so it hasn’t fully occurred to her that she could just go and do this on her own authority—- e.g. go to a clinic, get hormones, whatever. Finally, she has been somewhat amenable to arguments about the non-reversibility and long term effects of male hormones.
Another argument that seems to have sort off “worked” concerns her best friend, another trans-masculine girl whose ultra-affirming parents put her on T at 16 and got her a double mastectomy at 18. We pointed out to my daughter that her friend is, if anything, MORE depressed, self hating and obsessed with her gender issues than she was before. My daughter does not like to admit it, but she can see that this is true.
I can’t tell if her mind is really changing. She still calls herself by a boy’s name, brut I saw something she wrote for school the other day—an essay for a music history class about a song that was meaningful to her. She wrote about a song that has lyrics about not feeling comfortable in ones skin, feeling different, etc. she wrote about how she really related to this song, and not one word of the essay was about gender or wanting to be male. So I don’t know. Maybe…
Thank you. Ours is not super independent either and also goes to college pretty close to home. She too has a friend who recently transitioned–I wonder if getting in touch with her parents might be helpful to learn what the journey is like. Ours doesn’t really want to talk about “It”, so it’s hard the engage her right now. But my argument is, if you are grown up to do this, you have to be grown up to be able to talk about it and explore all options. Work in progress so thank you so much for your advice.
Hello, I just found your website after looking for various resources on transgender kids after meeting two trans kids. I read your article about the use of testosterone for girls and that there is hardly any research on this topic.
However you might find something about long- term effects of the use of testosterone in females if you look for doping research. I am German and I know for a fact that the former German Democratic Republic (DDR) had a state- sponsored doping program for athletes. That involved among other things, giving high dosages of testosterone to girls. At least one of them transitioned to male after the fall of the Berlin wall (Andreas/ Heidi Krieger –> english wikipedia only mentions doping with steroids but in the German text testosterone is also mentioned). Since quite a few former athletes are suing the state, there might be research occuring.
I do not know for sure, but I believe the UDSSR had a similar doping program.
I have an essay on ROGD that I would like to submit and perhaps post on your website. How do I go about contacting you? The essay is of course critical of the medicalization of gender but also looks deeper into history and language.
We will email you. thanks.
My daughter announced she was a boy in grade six one night and it has persisted to grade nine. My reaction was not great- I didnt believe her and asked her to wait. She suffers from depression and I thought maybe there were some co-morbid underlying issues at work. It turns out she was sexually assaulted by a girl in grade six and subject to bullying. She has now found a group of trans people she identifies with and they are “competing” with each other on who gets T first or a breast reduction. I have tried to encourage her to explore other parts of her personality but she is obsessed with gender. We are now at the point where she is actively talking about suicide and therefore has been talking to a psychaitrist who said she should be referred to the gender clinic in town here. every time she gets a “positive” diagnosis she sends it to her friends like a badge of honour. Now, the therapist is making it out like I am the bad guy for not “affirming” her gender. I believe there is an element of social contagion at work here. What do I do? Limit her contact with her friends? Not allow her to go to trans support group? I am kind of my wits end. I am a super supportive liberal person and if I believed this was free of any contagion I would support it. But it is sounding like an epidemic and to go through non-reversible changes for the sake of a brief teenage episode seems irresponsible. But I dont know what to do- in a practical sense. Like do I stop her? Or do I redirect? Pull her out of school? How do I find a therapist who wont just affirm her self-diagnosis? Is it a losing battle? The more I resist the more she digs in… so I dont know what to do.
Keep looking for a decent therapist! We ultimately found one, and saw him in family therapy – to help counteract the less professional affirming therapist our daughter saw solo.
I know that sounds crazy – how many therapists can you see – but we felt it important that we could not be accused of not supporting our daughter, and therefore deepening the rift between us.
This is not my first journey into this madness, unfortunately. My son announced out of the blue in 2003 that he had “always wanted to be a woman”, an announcement that startled everyone who knew him, because there had never been the slightest sign of this, and back then this was not a trendy cool thing to do. He had surgery, lives with another “transwoman”, and is no happier for it. He has refused to speak with me for the last two years, as I failed the litmus test question he asked me about whether I would support privacy in women’s spaces. He has done all he can to separate and alienate me from my other two daughters as well.
I learned tonight that my daughter, who is 23, has legally changed her name to “Sol Valentine”. I have felt uneasy about her for the past few months. She has avoided seeing me. I haven’t seen her since June, although I have texted her frequently and attempted to get together with her. I’ve just felt there is something wrong. Tonight I successfully got her to answer her phone, and her voice is not right….she sounds like a teenage boy. I’m terrified she’s on T. I told her that I love her very much, and that I think I already know what is happening, could she please talk to me. She agreed to meet me in the morning. I’m sick with worry, I can’t lie about how I feel about this, I can’t call her my son, I can’t call my son my daughter. I love them but I can’t be untrue to what I know is also true. I ache for them, because they are hurting and none of this is going to help.
I’m so sorry – I can completely understand how you feel – except I have one child, a daughter, who’s living as a boy, name change and everything (no T or surgery yet thank god) who I haven’t had any communication with for several months, and I am heartbroken – and – she lives with my ex, and he’s made it that much more difficult to see her.
I am simply devastated – so you’re not alone my dear – I’m wrapping my arms around you in a virtual hug… we need loads of hugs, support and love … and copious understanding… no matter our individual circumstances.
Without cutting off communication with our families like they are doing.
So sorry for all this with your children. We have the same experience with our daughter- she has all but cut off contact with us, and is no happier for living as a boy. If transition doesn’t cure unhappiness, why do it?
I believe it is the ultimate in hatred for one’s body. First there was anorexia. Then there was cutting. Now there is this, this way that our kids are destroying their bodies in an attempt to find peace that wont come. And the medical establishment, the schools, the counselors are there to help them do it.
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You are right on Worriedsik
Yes. This is where affirming psychologists are doing a disservice. They should be looking at the root of the depression (unhappyness). If one can’t be happy with the body they have been given, how can they be happy if they change their body?
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So it’s true for sure. She has still refused to see me and is planning to move to Australia as soon as she can raise enough money for a visa. I think part of the reason for that is because she wants to cut off her relationship with me. She is not even giving me a chance and I love her so much. I called her work today and asked for Sol, her new name. They said “he” wasn’t there right now and they don’t know “his” schedule. So it’s true. I don’t know what to do. I’m thinking about going to her work and just giving her a card or a small gift and telling her that I love her and leaving, so at least I have made the contact I can. I don’t think I can do that by myself and drive back home, it’s about an hour away and I will likely cry all day. And I don’t even know if it’s a good idea. I feel like my life is over, everything that matters is gone.
Worried sick this is so, so hard for you; I can only imagine the pain and fear you must be feeling. I don’t think your daughter can imagine how painful this is for you as she is caught up in her own world at the moment. I hope you can find a way to let her/him know that you love her/him unconditionally, that you will always be there for her, and then you have done what you can. It will be hard and you will cry.
Things may very well change in time.
Look after yourself and make your own life the best you can.
I’m so sorry.
Same for my daughter/son. Anorexia, cutting, then gender dysphoria. I think some of it has to do with anxiety and depression and some of it comes from seeing the most horrible misogynistic pornography that is so freely available and therefore not wanting to be a woman. I tried and tried to encourage acceptance of her body and looks. The ‘experts’ really should be helping our children to deal with underlying anxieties and mental health problems. Common sense seems to have deserted them.
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All I know right now is, I’m swimming in pain. I forget for a minute and then it comes back, like a sucker punch to the gut. I’ve never felt this hopeless and dark. I have to admit I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how it would be better to be dead than to live with this pain.
I’m so, so sorry you are feeling so hopeless and are in so much pain, Worreidsick. It’s so very hard when you feel helpless, but you need to think about yourself too and your own mental wellbeing. Is there a good counsellor who could help you cope with the pain and frustration? We are here too, to listen and care. You are not alone.
I messaged a counselor but she didn’t get back to me.
worriedsick, if you are not yet a member at the Gender Critical Support group, I strongly urge you to check it out. https://gendercriticalresources.com/Support/
Many parents can empathize with your feelings in a way no one else can do. We’ve all been there, or a lot of us have. Perspective, support, zero judgement. It’s a good place. Please join us.
My wife and I can relate worriedsick. If but not for a faith and hope that God exists and that there is more to life beyond what we can see, I am not sure what we would do. Our heart and prayers go out to you!
Me too Worriedsick, me too. I try to distract myself, then I realize what’s actually happening to me, and the waves of sadness kick in. I can’t believe we’re going through this!!
What I sometimes feel like doing is grabbing my “son” by the lapels, shoving “him” up against a wall and saying “Where is my daughter?? What have you done with her??? Give her back, now!!!” Because right now I am so frustrated and upset that my daughter is “gone”… I cry every day… it feels like either she’s been kidnapped, or is dead, and everyone else seems to be oblivious or following along with the delusions… and I’m seeing a therapist twice a week, am on the forums and still I feel like life is not worth living anymore… (I’m too chicken to end it all though). So I suffer too. I have no one who can really comfort me. These online sources are all I’ve got.
Love and hugs of empathy!
Yes that’s what it feels like. And it’s weird but it really hurts that she doesn’t want the name we gave her when she was born. They call it deadnaming.
She hasn’t come out to me with all this yet. The plan is that we are supposed to get together tomorrow but she cancelled last time. If she does follow through I don’t know how it will go.
I don’t have a therapist, I emailed but never got a reply. I’m divorced for 3 years now, going through this all alone and I don’t have the strength anymore.
Keep looking for a counselor… or maybe someone online?
My daughter lives with her dad (I had her after he left, for 9 years), she won’t talk to me anymore. I haven’t had any alone time with her since 1 August. I’m broken… broken hearted, and what’s the point in living if everything reminds me of her – her name, her “new” name, etc. and it’s not just a stupid name… it’s everything… you know what I mean.
Hold on if only so we can commiserate…
The last time I saw my daughter was june. We went out to dinner, everything was fine. I was on a trip, I came back and she has refused to see me since.
A new site (transbrainfx.com) has information about the harmful brain and behavioral effects of anabolic-androgenic steroid (testosterone) drugs, which are used for FtM transition: https://transbrainfx.com/
It has information for potential malpractice lawsuits https://transbrainfx.com/malpractice-f-a-q-s/
and suggestions for commonsense controls on gender transition https://transbrainfx.com/what-lawmakers-should-do/
Parents and patients REALLY need the information about adverse brain effects. Doctors are not providing that information.
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Have a look at what’s happening in British Columbia and check out the comments. Apparently if you are anti-SOGI (anti gender-identity training to schoolchildren etc) then you cannot be an advocate for autistic children because you are therefore a bigot!
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