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An Army of Moms; 5 Things I Learned from the Frontlines of the Transgender Resistance
An Army of Moms:
5 Things I Learned from the Frontlines of the Transgender Resistance
A few months ago, I joined a small group of parents of transgender kids. It has grown from a half dozen or so to more than eighty members and is still growing. The group is well-educated, highly intelligent, successful and caring. Supporting each other, using our significant skills in the areas of research, teaching, the law and medicine, and consulting with experts from around the globe, we are now an army of trans-realists with an artillery of science.
My son, 16, told me he was transgender two years ago, but it did not make sense to me based on everything I had seen in him from birth. Now, it makes complete sense to me. More on that later. When I joined the group, I was struggling to figure out if being transgender was like being gay — which would merit total acceptance — or being anorexic, which my daughter suffered from at his age. He was not happy with his body, and was extremely anxious — so I saw similarities between the two. You may find that comparison offensive. But keep reading, and then tell me I’m wrong.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Trans-Realists Are Not “Transphobes”
When I joined, I worried the group would be religious right and faith based. If it were, I would have silently exited. My worries were completely unfounded. We have political views from the right to the left. Among us are Catholics, Protestants, Jews, a Buddhist, and atheists like me too.
There are various points of view in the group (as there should be) but the focus of the group is on scientific evidence to debunk the theory that the affirmation of transgender youth is always merited and to fight against the medicalization of those under 25. The other focus is to support each other. This isn’t always easy: it’s mentally challenging and lonely when you are not accepting the status quo presented by the transgender activists.
We are from all over the country, and a few from overseas: we now have members from Florida, Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, California, Australia, Canada, Sweden, England and Wales and more. Among us are gay couples, straight couples, divorced moms and dads. We have Ivy League degrees and the money and resources to start getting our voices heard. While we do not agree about everything, we are bound together by the knowledge that something has gone terribly wrong in the treatment of transgender youth presenting with gender dysphoria.
It should not matter but I’d be considered on the “left.” I donated to Planned Parenthood (until they started these treatments), and to the ACLU too. Never again. The horrific reality of the medicalization of the spiking number of transgender youth is something that is much easier swept under the rug by a society that puts she/her/hers on email signatures — as if pronouns make the person. That said, if you are transgender, I support you and your legal rights 100% and your equal (actually more) protection under the law. While you may see it differently, not supporting medicalization of youth does not mean I do not value and support transgender individuals.
2. The State of Transgender Care is Much Worse than I Thought
Being part of the group exposed me to the horrific reality of the skyrocketing number of transgender youths.
Our kids have attended both private and public secondary schools, which “affirm” different names and pronouns for our kids without our permission — and sometimes without our knowledge. And yet giving them a Tylenol requires our consent.
We all heard the same story from our boys, none of whom showed any signs of being transgender before. I’ve always known it. If you don’t affirm me, I’ll be taken away from you. Or I’ll commit suicide.
We are constantly told by health professionals justifying putting our kids on experimental treatments that our kids will kill themselves if they do not transition but “do this or I will kill myself” is abusive logic and is generally not TRUE. There is no robust, high quality evidence that medically transitioning improves life satisfaction long term. Some studies show many who do transition have poor outcomes and a high risk of suicide. The stability of a self-reported transgender identity or a gender identity that departs from the traditional male-female binary among non-clinic-based populations remains unknown and requires further study.
When my son “came out” as transgender, I was pressured to put him on puberty blockers to “give him time to decide.” I am so grateful I said no. These puberty blockers (Lupron, Triptodur) are experimental, are prescribed off label, cost thousands of dollars per month and have significant side effects such as stunted growth, lower density bones, and weaker tooth enamel. I knew I was not going to help my son change his body based on feelings that could change, but I did not know how bad things were.
At 18, things get worse: hormone therapy, removal of testicles, breast implants, and converting penises into neo-vaginas. And, of course, giving up the ability to father a biological child in the natural way, and never having orgasms.
For several moms in the group, their sons went off to colleges at prestigious colleges and universities and ended up getting prescribed hormones from student health centers practically as soon as they arrived with no meaningful medical evaluation.
Another parent’s son — who has cancer and who lost his mom to cancer — went off to college at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Despite being treated for cancer, the son’s self-diagnosis of gender dysphoria was met at the RIT student health center with, of course, immediate affirmation that he is indeed transgender and a referral to the University of Rochester Medical Center for hormone treatment. Luckily, his son’s oncologist stopped this, but the parent’s meetings with school medical professionals about this madness ended with the parent being admonished, saying he should fully support his son’s new gender identity.
University administrators and the heads of their medical centers are completely complicit in the medicalization of their students. The safety and effectiveness of hormone treatment has not been demonstrated. Some hormonal dangers, e.g., to heart and fertility, are already known, but long term risks are unstudied.
3. Our Kids Are Amazingly Similar
We’ve filled out charts of our boys. We found that many suffer from social anxiety and are unsure about their sexuality.
Eighty-five percent of our sons are gifted, exceptionally gifted or profoundly gifted (IQ over 160). Fifteen percent have been diagnosed with autism and another 70% have one or more of the following: poor social skills, sensitivity issues and/or poor eye contact. None showed any gender confusion behavior prior to age 12.
Many also have sensory overload issues and eating disorders (see above), as well. We have been talking to experts in the field of gender medicine from all over the world. One has told us that his male patients are generally autistic.
These young people often see things in black and white. So, if they do not feel right as males, they must be females — paradoxical, given how they claim to reject gender stereotypes. It is circular thinking. When you ask them what being female means, few, if any, can answer. Many explode in anger.
Cognitively they are very advanced, but may be relatively emotionally delayed.
In puberty (some after growing a foot within a year) they feel bad about their bodies and go seeking answers on the internet and medicalization is presented as the solution to this issue.
Social influence should not be dismissed when the spike in those presenting with gender dysphoria is so high.
Our sons are white or mixed race, and socioeconomically privileged. It seems that, when you have that privilege, you have more time to ruminate about your gender.
4. Diagnoses are Crazy-Making
All of our sons self-diagnosed themselves as having gender dysphoria. They did not show up to receive treatment for mental or physical distress and receive a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria.” Instead, with their self-diagnoses in hand, they show up to the offices of medical professionals. Within a session or two — bam — a “professional” is telling them they have gender dysphoria and depending on age, should start on puberty blockers or hormones.
There is no examination of any underlying mental conditions or the distorted thinking that can come with them. Instead, gender dysphoria is given as a cause of the other illnesses rather than a result of them.
Looking at the DSM-5 for Gender Dysphoria –many of us would have met the criteria for gender dysphoria during certain periods over the course of our lives.
What doesn’t happen — and what, based on the experts I’ve listened to as part of the group should happen — is to deconstruct what they are thinking and feeling. Certainly they would not be there if they were not feeling distressed about their bodies and it is extremely important not to dismiss their feelings.
We parents have found it virtually impossible to find any such care. In certain locales (including Australia) any questioning at all of the self-diagnosis of gender dysphoria is seen as conversion therapy. Gender identity is equated with sexual orientation. Transgender is seen as the new gay. But being gay does not involve a lifetime of medicalization.
While being transgender is not widely considered an “illness”, gender dysphoria is; and insurance companies, including for those on Medicaid, pay for the expensive “gender-affirming” treatments.
An established clinic in Chicago diagnoses “endocrine disorders” for perfectly healthy natal males (trans females) because they do not have estrogen levels like natal females. With that kind of thinking, they might as well be described as having chromosome disorders, too.
My son can’t get medical treatment until he is 18 and he says he won’t after. You do not know the relief that gives me. So you may wonder why any of this still matters to me. Well, first, he may change his mind, and second I believe that initial diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” has harmed him in more ways than the therapist will ever know. He has told me that because the therapist said it, it is true and he should continue to use his female name and pronouns and dress, which all in themselves may leave him too embarrassed to desist later even if he wants to. More than that, I’m worried about the sons of my new friends and about all youth who may or may not find this was the right path for them.
5. People Do Regret Transitioning; Lawsuits are Coming
We are told no one regrets transitioning. Not only is there no evidence to back that up, the number of detransitioners and desisters is in fact growing, demonstrating a need to re-evaluate the medicalization of transgender youth.
I am trying to help two young men seek legal recourse against medical professionals who failed to provide warnings, failed to address other mental health issues, and failed to allow time for them to contemplate such life altering decisions. Instead, transgender activists stood by, telling them exactly what to say to get treatments and how to defeat anything which got in their way — including taking a reasonable amount of time to think about what they wanted. They were both prescribed hormones, had their testicles surgically removed and had breasts implanted in rapid succession. They soon realized that, while their other mental health issues remained, the diagnosis of gender dysphoria was wrong. Insurance paid for the breast implants (costing $20K), they had to pay to have them removed.
There are various groups of lawyers from around the country who are readying cases. There is too much money being made from too many people, and we believe one of the only ways to stop this madness is through the law. And lawsuits mean damages.
The evidence we’ve presented is dismissed categorically as “transphobic” — even by so-called specialists in the field. Where else would you find that language from “professionals”?
So, no matter how many comments calling me a “transphobe” I get here, and no matter how quickly my article may be taken down — the Army of Trans-Realists is growing, and we are going to be heard.