Trans Kids May Reject Family, Not the Other Way Around

Trans Kids May Reject Family, Not the Other Way Around, by journalist and filmmaker Tina Traster, was published today in Psychology Today. It was up for three hours. It had about 1,500 clicks and more than 80 comments. The editors then took it down.

In explanation, this is what the editors wrote:

“This post is more problematic than needed.”

Tina Traster is a socially-conscious, award-winning journalist, author, and filmmaker. She is the director of the award-winning documentary Catnip Nation and author of the award-winning memoir Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption and Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder. She has written about the transgender trend for Psychology Today. We are happy to re-publish her post here.

 

Trans Kids May Reject Family, Not the Other Way Around

More than a third of New York City’s young people in foster care identify as L.G.B.T.Q. A recent report published by the Administration for Children’s Services, the city’s welfare agency, reveals this cohort is more likely to experience homelessness than their counterparts.  

The New York Times writes “While some children are placed into foster care because of abuse, neglect or poverty, many L.G.B.T.Q. teens enter the system after families reject them.” That language assumes a causal relationship between homelessness and a parent’s reaction to a child’s choices.

The A=B in this formula is disingenuous to many parents struggling to parent L.G.B.T.Q. kids. Teenagers are not necessarily entering the foster system because parents have rejected them – many enter the system because they have rejected their parents.

Let’s talk about trans kids. The generally accepted narrative among activists, the therapeutic community, and the media is that many trans kids are living with parents who reject them based on morality or intolerance. However, there are legions of parents who themselves are being rejected because they have not picked up a pair of pom poms to cheer their tween or teen through cross-dressing, name-changing, hormone-treatment and life-altering surgeries.

Parents who detected signs of gender dysphoria in their very young or prepubescent children might feel more comfortable in accepting that their child really has been disordered for a long time. But a different cohort – those grappling with a sudden “coming out” as trans at 13, 14 or even through their 20s, remain skeptical. That skepticism guided a study done by researcher Dr. Lisa Littman, who looked at why a sudden spate of teen girls were announcing themselves as trans.

Littman’s ground-breaking but controversial research focused on feedback from parents who largely said their daughter’s decision to become “trans” came out of nowhere or appeared to be related to social contagion within a friend group. Littman coined the term “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria,” which is threatening to those who believe any self-diagnosed trans-declared person deserves to be affirmed as such and should have access to any medical care to achieve transition.

And that is often the critical junction where tension escalates between “trans” children and parents. While some skeptical parents can support, or at least participate in pronoun changes, short haircuts, cross-dressing and name changing, medical intervention raises the bar. Many trans tweens and teens – who are not old enough to vote, drink legally, or marry – are, with the help of the therapeutic and medical community, starting on hormone treatment or considering double mastectomies.

In today’s culture, children spend more time with Tik Tok, Reddit, and Instagram than they do with their parents. Children believe every question can be answered on Google. If they’re looking for role models, social media influencers are there to cheerfully guide any journey, particularly for children who are led to believe they may be trans. It’s a strong suction, the internet. One that parents can hardly compete with. Add to that the new normal – a world where the policies of schools, summer camps, therapists, doctors, and social communities – reinforce the notion that being trans is cool and normal and should be supported no matter what.

Amid this pull, parents are experiencing parenting dysphoria, as they fight to preserve their relationships with children who are often taught to treat them as if they are the toxic ones. Parents tell their trans declared children that they are worried about them, that they don’t think they should make life-altering decisions, that they’re young and they should explore slowly. In return, trans children will recite what they’ve learned to parrot from internet influencers and activists. They will call these parents transphobes. They treat parents like the enemy. They will demand total buy-in or the gig is over.

Worst of all, parents find that some therapists are the ones who are accelerating the tear in the familial fabric. There is much testimony among parents of trans kids who have been told by therapists that lack of support for these children is the same as harming them.

Ultimately, particularly as children enter their late teens or early 20s, they are more emboldened to leave behind their families, to disconnect from parents who’ve wanted nothing more than to make their children happy and whole. There are many exceptions to this, of course; some trans children have suffered abuses at the hands of their families. But trans kids have also co-opted the “I was abused” phrase to describe a home life where their gender choice was not embraced, either in part or at all. Equipped with the fevered feeling to transition, the scripted language they study online, and the sense that there’s a “glitter family” out there waiting to make their world a perfect utopia, teens are more empowered than ever to walk down the lane and shut the garden gate, maintaining the belief their parents don’t love them. In many, many cases, they are very wrong.

This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. Jenny Cyphers

    This is my comment on the original article in Psychology Today. I don’t always save comments, but I had a feeling that article might disappear because of the firestorm of comments there.

    *****************************
    “Thank you for adding some much needed discourse to this topic.

    I’m a parent of a desister. I supported my teen in every way, except to allow extreme medical interventions on my teen. That singular stance put me in the position of being “unsupportive”. It’s important for parents to be knowledgeable about what it is to experience gender dysphoria and the trajectory of current standards of care for this condition. As a parent, you absolutely have the right to question medical care and how it impacts immediate and long term health. The most common narrative given to parents of kids with gender dysphoria, is that they are transgender and that if you don’t follow the path of social and/or medical transition, then your child will commit suicide. This is egregious unethical medical manipulation and absolutely should be called out.

    Parents CAN support their gender non-conforming kids who suffer with gender dysphoria. Parents CAN disagree with the premise that this experience makes their child transgender. Parents CAN seek better care and better options for their distressed children.
    There is no such thing as a transgender child. To transition a child is an extreme and experimental treatment for a stressful condition that absolutely deserves better care and treatment with parental support and care.

    Keep parents at the forefront of care for their own kids. Help kids understand that even if they disagree with their parents, that it’s better to maintain connections and improve those familial relationships. Assume that most parents are supportive of their kids.
    I helped my teen desist by creating more connections and giving her more support while not allowing her to permanently alter her body. This shouldn’t be a controversial stance to take. There were moments where my teen railed against me. This should not surprise any parent of any teen that sometimes teens don’t know best and dislike their parent’s choices. Play the long game. That’s just good parenting.”

    1. Claire

      Thank you for your comment. I am going through a similar Hell.

    2. Russ

      Our 23 year old daughter informed us via text that she was now a he. The next 6 months or so we were met with angry and disoriented text messages, links to studies, being told that we are not ready to understand and a whole host of other things, along with we can’t talk because you won’t recognize me as your son. We have been consistent that we love our child and will do our best to understand and support anything that brings peace and joy to their life. We have also been very strong that we will not have this conversation via text. All of our messages of unconditional love and request to talk in person have been met with rage and more data points and more accusations that we are not ready and are the cause of all their mental stress. Last night my daughter (he) came to the house and instead of sitting down and talking came with all there information on their phone demanding we read in front of them what we already read (not to mention what we research and professionals we have talked with). She (he) was the most unstable I have ever seen, crying, throwing themselves on the floor, hitting themselves, pulling their hair out in chunks, screaming this was a mistake and we really loved them we would pay for the gender reassignment. We were blamed for all this because apparently we have forced female roles on her their entire life when they wanted to be a man (this was never expressed to us at any point growing up). It ended with a walk out the door with them screaming we are the worst parents ever, this is all our fault and we are no longer their parents.
      What am I missing here? We have told her (him) we can respect the name change and pronouns but it would take some time to say they were now our son. It is a lot to take in and although the words can be said we are being tasked to believe it. I have expressed this to them, I would be more likely to see it and say it believing it if I saw some sense of being stable. My daughter has had issues her entire life, each new identity has been met with more and more instability and this is the worst yet. I have never seen her more irrational, it was quite unsettling. How do I embrace something that is causing this much pain? I don’t know how to talk to her when she is in the middle of a break down explaining how “stable” she now is. Any insight would be great

    3. Tara

      My 21 year old daughter at uni wrote to me the other day completely cutting me off accusing me of being transphobic on her transition to a male
      I’m absolutely broken hearted
      Said I’m not to contact her again or get anyone to contact her on my behalf
      That I dead name her forget her pronouns and haven’t supported her
      I’ve tried to explain I don’t deliberately forget to use them I genuinely get confuse sometimes and really try
      I wouldn’t wish this situation on any one

    4. Nan

      Thank you for writing and for saving this article. As parent to a trans-identified young adult, I know that child-initiated estrangement is the norm rather than the exception. Now I know why I can’t find anything written about it online.

      1. Rachel

        Thank you to Nan & all the other parents sharing their stories. My daughter cut me out of her life a year ago this week. Like others, I supported her, always with the message that my love was unconditional. However when she started to talk seriously about transitioning medically, and I questioned whether my very intelligent – and very logical – child – had thought through the ramifications of all this – having being berated by her for not fully getting my head round gender terminology and (to me) the illogical contradiction that is gender fluidity, (if someone is constantly changing their gender & you get their fluid pronoun wrong, you’re transphobic! ) that the barriers came down. Bearing in mind , prior to this she was a strong Feminist. We argued, she was quickly whisked away by a male friend that night who she had previously told me was able to help her get ‘T’. He called me a manipulative bitch . She has since cut me out of her life completely. We used to be very close, so as you can all relate, I go through periods of extreme worry for her mental & physical health, followed by incredible lows. I reach out frequently with short texts reiterating that I love them & hope they’re ok. It wasn’t until I read the second edition of a book by Helen Joyce, that I started to realise that it’s not all my fault, although I have been far from perfect (and as single parent, with no close family – mine are deceased) it has at times made things very difficult for both of us with the balance of parent/child and no third party to talk to.

    5. Heather

      It’s hell being told that I am not a supportive parent of a trans child. He hasn’t spoken to me or my family members in months and without any reason. I feel social media and influencers (personal and non-personal) have convinced my child to believe his family is toxic, evil, non-supportive, wicked, and even going as far as saying we are abusive. I have been more than supportive of my son’s (FTM) transition, and I wanted to support him on his journey to becoming the man I always knew he would like to become. Naturally, like any loving parent, I had concerns for the health care and mental health of my son. Who are the doctors? Have you done your research well enough? Do you understand the transition process and be patient with those who love you? Let’s discuss this as a family so we know each other’s feelings and no stone is unturned with questions and answers.
      When I was a teen in the 90s, I witnessed a close family friend with HIV undergo his transgender surgery to become the loving woman I still have the honor of knowing today. It was a beautiful, methodical, and very caring transition for everyone. The kind I was hoping for my son when he started leaving his female body behind.
      I am very comfortable with the transgender community and not ashamed or embarrassed to learn and work with so many transgender people. So, why would my son walk away from me and not give me grace when I mess up a pronoun? I am human, after all, and I always make simple mistakes.
      The other part that hurts is my youngest, a 13-year-old, who misses the big brother and has been cut out like the rest of the family. Why?

  2. Joseph

    Thank you for your article!

    1. Dina

      Joseph thank you so much for your comment and standing up to the medical community. We are all struggling here and your comment and approach gives us strength.

  3. Loving Mom

    Excellent comment Jenny!

  4. Kay

    Thank you for posting this. We (parents of ‘out of nowhere’ gender dysphasia kids) love our children and we can see that they are struggling with something, and we are extremely worried for them on so many levels., but there is almost no guidance out there for us telling us how we can help them, what we should do, other than letting them call the shots. If we do speak up, we are demonized, which isn’t fair or just, because all we want is some HELP!

  5. Diane

    My kid, who we have fully supported and embraced and who was a very hard nut to raise with ADHD, fully and completely adopted the story that they were abused and rejected by us, the loving parents. ANY discussion is suspect and results in crying and screaming on the kid’s part. The first therapist (a transman) involved wrote a transkid manifesto that included the rejection of the family. The next did not believe in discussion as that would lead to suicide. Lay this on an instable kid who is taking hormones designed for a different body. The whole thing is a powder keg and ridiculous. My kid ran away into the loving embrace of the anime trans dysfunctional teen world and we pray that the transnet, who so fully pushed a false narrative, holds this kid and guides them as we have no more influence.

    1. Alex

      I am transgender, or rather transsexual. Nobody in my circle or my job knows I’ve transitioned, and that’s all I want: to blend in and be seen as my true self. I barely recognise the current trans community. I don’t enjoy my condition or consider it an ‘identity.’
      My brother has now also declared that he’s trans. This is a very close sibling who I even took guardianship of when we were both teens. I told him that if he has dysphoria, can’t look at his body, has always felt like a woman, then he should transition. He said he feels none of that, and is fine having sex as a man, and that I’m a transphobe for saying you need gender dysphoria before you start hormones. What on earth? Why would you transition if you’re content as you are? So many people think it’s a hobby now. He’s now declared me a transphobe and cut me off. The separation is heartbreaking, it’s like he wanted the stereotypical reaction of being disowned and unaccepted and was disappointed when I didn’t react that way.
      I feel for all you parents going through something similar. I’m sure many of you are doing your best to be supportive and yes, the modern terminally-online trans crowd does very much encourage people to estrange themselves for minimal reasons.

      1. G

        Thank you for this insight. We are just learning and the way you put it makes sense.

  6. J

    My heart broke in two when I was rejected by my child and told I was abusive and transphobic. All I ever said was “I love you and I want you to be happy.” I was supportive, listened, cared, tried to understand, used the chosen pronouns. I did, once, suggest that it’s good to move slowly and check in with themselves to ensure it was making them happier and giving them inner peace. That was enough. I am now quite sick myself from the anxiety and the abuse that has been hurled at me and I am disconnected and sad. My next daughter is entering her teen years now…there is an icy terror in my heart that I may lose her too. People who love you ought not to be discarded like used kleenex. How can anyone believe this is helping vulnerable kids to remove them from their circles of love and support? Has anyone studied what happens to parents after they are rejected? Does anyone care?

    1. Ann Tony

      Here is a wonderful YouTube interview with a therapist currently specializing in parental estrangement. He has designed a couple of studies and I’m sure he plans to do more.

      Dr. Joshua Coleman. He has a website, webinars, and a FB group. He wrote “The Rules of Estrangement, which is an expansion on his first book, “When Parents Hurt”.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-DmpQPXSgk

    2. KP

      I am going through this exact thing currently and I am completely baffled by it and very hurt. I have repeatedly stated that I love my child and have been supportive yet I am suddenly hated and heartbroken.

  7. Christina

    I feel your pain., this is exactly what happened to me and my family. I am so sorry for your pain.

    Christina

  8. Karen

    I am sorry. My daughter who is transgender calls us toxic parents

  9. Kristine

    Thank you for your article. My autistic 26 year old son is now convinced he is transgender. Within 1.5 years of that decision he started female hormones and has been taking them for 6 months, dresses as a female everyday including at work, speaks in a high pitch voice, plans to legal change his name and have gender reassignment surgery in the near future. He has completely rejected his family. He acts like he is completely brainwashed. We spent decades of our lives working to help him overcome the difficulties of his autism to be tossed aside because we questioned his choice to transition so quickly. We are now the enemy. He is being love bombed by the LGBTQ community. He was assisted by someone in setting up an Instagram page with his new name. He instantly had 1,800 followers. He posts pictures of him dressing as a woman and us flooded with comments of encouragement to keep going. For an autistic person that never had friends this attention is intoxicating. So much so that he’s willing to cut us off because we questioned his decision.

  10. Kim Huselid

    We are having a similar experience with our 34 year old adult child. A rush to take hormones without thinking through consequences. We have supported them as they have struggled to get on solid ground for 10 years. Now they won’t speak to us and I worry, worry worry they are making decisions that will affect them forever. I am so heartbroken. Is there a support page for parent like us? I was so close to this child…what happened?? It feels like they have joined a cult.

    1. Jo Kenny

      This is us and our 24 year old daughter. We (especially me, her mum) were so close for 24 years, then out of the blue (to us) she had a double mastectomy and is dictating ‘they/he’ pronouns – however she has told us she is still our daughter and that she does not wish to become a man. We are completely confused and heartbroken as she has now cut off all contact completely with us. To us also, it feels like she has joined a cult.

  11. Maureen

    Completely agree and have talked to and met many parents that have the common story – the template is the same over and over and over. Mine was 23 yrs old when she was bought into the fold -not enough said about 20-30 yr olds – everything focuses on 18 and under -good to see some of the 20 somethings speaking out as desisters. THANKS for this website guys !

  12. Frances

    My son was my best friend, my whole world. Then he decided he was a woman. ok, I can work with that but due to a horrible therapist and online brainwashing I have completely lost my child. Every day I mourn the loss and worry about her, out in the world without the support of her family.

  13. Raven

    I am going through a similar situation with my 18YO child. She started taking testosterone as soon ash she turned 18. The dr prescribing them has only met her via a 30 min telehealth visit. I am a nurse and am blown away a dr would prescribe a life altering drug to an 18YO so easily and without much follow up. My daughter and her siblings are angry at me because I don’t support this. The health implications are terrifying. I cannot find any support groups for parents that aren’t on board with the medical transition. I feel very alone because it seems there aren’t many people that agree with me or are willing to admit it. Any recommendations?

    1. Shannon

      I am currently going through this, my transgender son, came to me at 15 and stated he was a boy, and he wanted to change everything right away. In the months before that she was asking if we could go dress shopping soon, so I was obviously shocked, but I love my child so of course. I’ll call you Sam now, we’ll get your haircut, go shopping for different clothes, change pronouns, but I drew a line at medical intervention. He turned 18 and I no longer had a say, he got on T. I absolutely made mistakes with his pronouns in the beginning, then he changed his name, instead of shortening his “dead” name, again I made more mistakes with his name, that change was hard for me, but I tried. I’m also not supposed to have a hard time with any of those major changes, if I do, I’m unsupportive and transphobic. He’s 21 now, he met some people online and decided after being “friends” for a year and a half, He moved out of my house in on e day, while I was work. Him and his “now girlfriend” both wrote me notes, his friend does not know me at all, but I’m the worst parent ever and don’t deserve to ever see my son again…but they’ll be waiting for an apology…for all the abuse and trauma!! I am in shock, brokenhearted, and lost. I only have one child, and somehow he believes he was abused.

    2. Jennifer Saldana

      First of all I am with you. My daughter 19 is the same and I don’t agree with her decisions. I will support her as my kid and love her unconditionally but that is far as I will go. She hasn’t spoken to me.

  14. Heartbroken Mom

    My heart is breaking. We raised a son who at 27 realized that she was suffering from Gender Dysphoria. She spent years struggling and our relationship was always strained. No matter how much we supported her she had this sense of entitlement and underlining anger against us at the age 12. Before that we were very close. To our shock she sprang the news on us by phone, she was living in another state with wife and son, that she had a new gender, new name and new pro noun. Overnight we knew we had to change and accept everything. We worked very hard to join support groups, research and understand what she was going through. In reality, we were somewhat relieved because we now finally had some answers and although we lost our son we now had a daughter and were looking forward to a new relationship. Although she had hardships, lost the son, wife and incurred extreme debt, she now seemed so happy in her skin. That’s all we ever wanted. For her to be happy. Unfortunately after 2 years supporting her abroad, she moves back to the area and within a week, her abusive treatment of us returns and we have now not heard from her for 6 months. She has cut off all family, including her brother who has always been very accepting. They were very close growing up. No one has heard from her. We have tried to reach out and she ignores us. She has essentially killed us off like her dead name. I see by this thread, our situation is not unique and is rarely discussed. You always hear about the family rejecting not the other way around. It’s sad but I always thought if we accept our children for who they are they would accept us for who we are. Sadly this is a pipe dream.

  15. Shannon

    My son was an angry teenager. He hit me several times, I called the police and now he blames me for wrecking his life when he punched th epolice and got a felony after they were called for domestic violence. After that he lived with his dad and hated me from another state, no communication for years. After high school, he asked for another chance, I let him move in and gave him 3 months to find a job or go to school. He didn’t and I threw him out. He moved in with my sister. In 6 years he’s remained sulky and depressed with little communication and no adult progress in the way of employment or education. Two years ago he announced he was a she, no warning except to respect her new identity and boundaries. Fine. Legal name change happened and I am using female pronouns and her new name but still get the “I hate you, you don’t support me or understand me” message with almost every conversation. She says I treat her like a freak and not a daughter, that “everyone” is accepting of her transition except me. I want her to be happy but I’m really getting tired of being the fault of all her problems as an adult. She says she can never have a real job because I was the one that caused her to have a felony. She is offended by any and all references to her life before becoming a woman. She doesn’t talk to me yet I’m supposed to know implicitly how to talk to her. She says I’m supposed to treat her like any mother would treat a daughter but I’ve only have boys – no frame of reference how to “parent” a woman who hates me and tells me nothing about her life, friends, ambitions or feelings. She’s active on social media but not in real life, spending time looking for a husband to support, love her and allow her to be a stay at home wife. I want her to be happy but am I wrong for wanting her to be more ambitious than being a 26 year old trans woman looking for a sugar daddy while she wastes her life living for free at her aunt’s home? I don’t think I’m necessarily angry she’s trans, I was angry she’s wasting her life doing nothing when I thought she was an adult male? How can we ever connect? Am I supposed to accept that she’s happy to never work or go to school, have children and look for love online? Are my expectations of a real adult life unrealistic? I recently moved to another state and she’s saying that makes all the difference in our lack of relationship or communication but honestly we saw each other once or twice a year when we lived in the same town. I’d go over to my sister’s house to see me and she’d refuse to answer the door? Am I supposed to be the only one trying to communicate and understand her?

  16. Sara

    My autistic son left for university and said he wanted to transform he was taking hormone tablets lost loads of weight we had some phone contact he has now cut us off and we are as a family completely devasted and have no idea how to contact him he has a group of friends who have a big influence on him we are due to visit soon but worried he won’t turn up …last conversation was the girlfriend said we are not able to call by his birth name but his new name or she will say something

  17. alib

    This pattern of trans children rejecting their loving parents is very clear.

    There is an online group called PITT that provides a forum for discussion. PITT stands for Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (Pitt.substack.com). If you contact them, there’s a brief vetting to be approved for the group.

    Different individuals have different reasons for joining the trans movement, but from my perspective the anger, the violence and denunciation of loving parents: all of that to me seems like 21st Century hysteria. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one diagnosis that might fit. Indulging the delusions is one way to try to keep a relationship, but for those with hysteria or BPD, medicalization will not cure the underlying illness and could make it worse.

  18. Ty S.

    After 5 years of no contact from my son, I learned through his mother inadvertently that he was trans. I told him at an early age that the only thing that I cared about was that he was a good person ( my way of telling him that I knew ). I have never stopped loving my son even after the immense feeling of being disrespected for so long. The only thing I want is to have my child back in my life. This is new as of yesterday, he doesn’t even know that I know. This isn’t a deterrent for me, it only solidifies how much I Love my child and want to be there for him.

  19. Theresa

    We had probably our last Zoom family therapy session last night. Our daughter was adamant we needed to use her new name, which we had for three years. We were using they but stumbled over he.
    We were told we had to prove we were attending a support group. We had cut our daughter off of our medical insurance to stop her from having a mastectomy. We also stopped paying for her phone and expected her to pay some for her car and pay for car insurance. We also expected her to pay for therapy. We were upset and unhappy that her therapist didn’t involve us more. We have paid for much of her education. Despite asking her to get a summer job for three years, she resisted and only worked for six weeks during high-school.

    I now feel I cannot participate in this delusion anymore. I am tired of being abused and made to feel wrong. I kept hoping we could save our relationship but now I see we can’t. We have never set appropriate boundaries with our daughter or haven’t applied consequences when we should have. Better late than never.

  20. Mary C

    My son told us recently that he is “trans.” The only thing he has done since 8th grade (when he said he “discovered” he was “trans”) is adopt a female avatar for his video games. I asked him nicely if he wanted makeup. He said no. Asked him if he wants female clothing. He said no. Asked him if he wanted surgery someday. He said no. (Now he says he does). He is bipolar and sporadically takes his meds. He has Tourette’s, epilepsy, serious gastrointestinal problems (had a major surgery for this), and had cancer in 2022. He’s been through a LOT. We have ALWAYS been there for him. I do think my poor kid experienced some degree of emotional trauma growing up (all 3 of my kids have mental disorders) and his dad and I have had a very difficult marriage. But we have always tried our best to show our kids that they are loved. I’m not into all this “accepting” and obeying these demands to be called a different name or pronoun. Sorry. This is all brainwashing and extreme mental illness that is being encouraged by a psychotic online cult. It would be WAY DIFFERENT if he’d shown signs of wanting to be female before exposure to the online psychos. I’d been a lot more understanding if he’d shown actual signs. Sorry, but I’m not supporting the insanity. Not buying the “they are going to commit suicide” if they aren’t supported nonsense. “Supporting” them, as evidenced by numerous comments on this page, doesn’t work. They are coached to hate their families no matter how much “support” they are offered. I think people who make permanent changes to their bodies on a whim are a LOT more likely to commit suicide than people who spend time digging into the underlying reasons they feel the way they do.

  21. Lynn

    Going through the same thing with sudden onset GD of my 22yo. How can we get our voices heard about this being like a cult, that these kids are influenced by the internet groups to disown their famlies, that they are delusional. This side of the story needs to be told. It is not rational to do medical interventions and hate your family who did everything for their child that good parents do…nice home, family life, vacations, college, etc.

  22. Natasha Burrows

    Wow. I have just found this article and read all your posts. This is exactly my story. My 14 year old daughter told me she is trans at Christmas (which followed earlier announcements of ‘pansexual’, ‘non-birary’ and ‘gender-fluid’). I have been in shock for around 6 months. I tried to go along with the social transition, name change, pronouns etc. I provided consent to the school to change her name on the role. Despite my support the whole time she has been combative with me, disrespectful, uncooperative and angry. She left and went to live with her father and refuses to see me. I joined an on-line support group and was absolutely horrified at the ‘celebrations’ of starting cross-sex hormones, and worse medical surgeries. I realised I needed to educate myself and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m horrified by what I am finding out about the transgender movement and the lies it is based on. It is like a cult and my daughter has been swallowed up in it. She hasn’t asked for hormones or surgery yet, but if she does, and I most definitely will not support it, she will no doubt hate me more than she already does. I feel sad, hopeless and powerless. I miss her very much

  23. Karen

    I am not anti-trans. I have a good friend who transitioned in the 1980s, before transitioning was as common and accepted as it is today. My AMAB child annouced that s/he was a trans female lesbian two years ago. For a year after that, his/her name and pronouns didn’t change, clothes didn’t change, etc. My husband and I were left wondering if our child still identified as trans. Then one year ago, our child started wearing female clothes around us, 10 months ago started hormones, and 6 months ago we were asked to use female pronouns and a new name. Okay. We did. We were supported by our child on our journey of acceptance. She told us it was okay to take all the time we needed. But she announced she was no longer coming home from college for the summer because it was too painful to be around us when we were not 100% supportive. I asked repeatedly if she could help me understand how she knew she was a female. While she has been comfortable sharing statistics and physiology and other generalizations, personal questions are met with anger. We went to visit her this summer since she didn’t come home. We used her new name and female pronouns the entire time. Neither of us quesitoned one single thing. We said we were visiting because she is our child, we love her, and we want to maintain a relationship with her. But while there, she told us we basically violated her by visiting without her explicit permission. She said she didn’t feel safe around us. When I explained that from my perspective, this all felt sudden and I didn’t understand where this all was coming from. She then accused me of victim blaming. While I felt like I was the victim, I bit my tongue. She asked us not to visit again, and not to call, text or make contact with her.
    I consider myself fairy liberal. We homeschooled our only child – not for religious reasons. I’m agnostic and leaning towards Buddhism. The three of us have been very close. Until our kiddo went away to college.
    This is such foreign behavior for her. We didn’t oblige. Once home, I bought her a feminine wallet. I texted and called. She spoke with me for over an hour the past two weekends. She considered getting together at Thanksgiving.
    Then I said something that hurt her. I have no idea what, She wasn’t answering any correspondence. Yesterday she emailed me, addressing me by my first name. She said she didn’t want or need me in her life. Her home is with her college friends.
    Wow.
    I thought adjusting to my child’s new gender was hard. That doesn’t even matter any more. I’m devastated by the rejection of my child. I never in a million years would have anticipated this.
    What a lesson!
    All I know is that I really don’t know anything. The stronger that I feel I do know something, the more likely it seems that I am incorrect. I feel so ungrounded and disoriented. I am trying to be patient and not cling too tightly to my hope that things will change. I am sad, heartbroken and also angry. I don’t know whether to bite my tongue, speak compassionately or totally lash out.
    I find myself wondering why any of us have children. And I’m horrified by that thought. I try to console myself by remembering that we had 18 phenomenal years together. My kid was a joy – a bright, optimistic, compassionate spark that I feel lucky to have had in my life. I will miss her.

  24. HEATHER CAIN

    My son told us 2 years ago that he is transitioning. I reluctantly accepted it, but my husband cannot. But he took the time to come with me to see “Anna” at christmas last year. My husband called our child “Michael” which angered our child so much that they went mental, made the day very difficult, and when we got home told us that “A random stranger on the internet told them that I had enabled my husband to be nasty to our child, that I am worse than he was for calling our child by their DEAD NAME> I absolutely hate that word. We named our son after his grandad, we were proud to do so. Now our child has said he is a man again! And changed his name again to Elliott. Not his rreal name. He has completely cut us off and his girlfriend who supported him throughout all this, has done the same. Our daughter is in a tiny bit of contact luckily, but we think all this was caused by his drug taking in his teens. He nearly killed himself with the mix of drugs two or three times. We are to blame apparantly for all this, but all we did was love and support him through HIM being a difficult teenager. These internet trans people are just the nastiest people I know, the language my son used and the nastiness, was heartbraking. These people have completely brainwashed him into this, he had a partial operation, he still has his penis (I did not tell my husband that our son had his testicles cut off). I just dont understand how he could be allowed to just buy hormones off the internet with no meetings with anyone. No psycologist etc. And the op was done privately. I knew he wore female underwear occasionally, (his dad doesnt know) but he never showed any signs of wanting to be a girl when he was little. He is definately suffering with his mental health, is very easily swayed, and the drugs didnt help. I think its a shame that this has happened. Its too easy to be persuaded that you can just change sex if you want to. I could go on all day but have to stop somewhere. I just dont understand why these internet people tell our children (of whatever age, they ARE our children) to cut off all ties with us for little or no reason!

  25. Jennifer T

    I actually blame the healthcare professionals who are facilitating these changes, sometimes after a single consultation, and, as in my child’s case, with NO psychological follow up. Even the school were shocked that hormone therapy had been prescribed for a 17 year old after a single consultation with a psychologist who used a checklist to diagnose “gender dysphoria”. I am a medical doctor; in my opinion, this is utter negligence on the part of my colleagues. On top of being frantically worried about my child, who is heading for risky and painful surgeries in the long run which will ultimately make biological parenthood impossible (I really hope this is not a source of bitter regret later in life), we were not offered any kind of family therapy or mediation, which led to family breakdown. I try to reach out every now and then but each time hit a stone wall. Has anybody tried taking a malpractice suit if adequate psychological counselling was not provided in conjunction with physical treatments?

  26. Shelly

    Thank you for posting this article. I came across it because a friend and mine dated a set of best friends. We settled down. We had kids. Now both of them have abandoned their children to pursue life as trans women. I am bisexual and have never had a problem accepting trans identity until I had my kids abandoned. It’s hard to respect someone’s identity or have those conversations of womanhood when you are straight up committing a moral crime to most women (child abandonment). Over time I have met other trans women (30-65) who have also abandoned their children to pursue a life as a woman but not motherhood in their new found identity. It’s very hard to discuss the pain the transition has caused my kids without being told I’m transphobic. From reading this article and it reading the comments of parents it feels like the out of no where give me time to embrace it motion is relatable as someone who’s co parent is trans but won’t parent.
    I will continue with looking for articles and studies about this issue. It’s hard not to see transitioning as mental illness when it’s a transition that made it so my kids lost a parent. I used to be so “embrace trans people no matter what” till my kids and others were neglected for transitioning. Seeing it’s not just mine but friends and others I met? How can I support something that leads to terrible parenting and dividing parents from that child cause they didn’t use the right pronoun?

      1. Sue Reynolds

        I wish there was support for older parents and siblings, my younger brother is transitioning in his 50s and it’s devastated my elderly parents and myself, it feels like a bereavement. I know it’s something I can never accept, especially because he has two teenage girls, I can only imagine the harm this is doing to them seeing their father looking utterly ridiculous in lipstick with fake breasts. I’m an adult and I can’t handle it, it is making me ill, my parents the same. Our family is broken, my parents later years marred with deep scars of sadness, confusion, worry and anger. The impact on our lives is beyond measure and there he is celebrating his “trans joy” thinking that women’s underwear and lipstick are the cure for his very shaky mental health. I would be content never seeing or speaking to him again, accepting that he is “dead” but I know my parents are desperate that things remain civil so that there’s always support for him and his girls. This is also causing me great turmoil and unhappiness I don’t want to know him anymore. He does live in a different country to us so the distance does help a little.

  27. Exhausted Parent

    I have completely supported my trans child for the 5 years since they came out. Then, I argued with them about not doing some basic adult tasks and they completely blocked me. Refuse to talk about issues at all. Have gone from shocked, to worried, to angry, to frustrated… This behavior seems very cruel and deliberately hurtful.

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