Parent of a Trans-Identified Child: When You're Told You Must Affirm, Think Twice
Nearly every parent who’s consulted an “expert”—a principal, school counselor, pediatrician, or therapist—after a child announces a transgender identity, has heard the same emotionally manipulative slogan: “Do you want a dead son (daughter) or a live daughter (son)?” Parents are pressured to participate in the affirmation-only dictum with threats of their child’s impending suicide, should the child be questioned about his/her belief about gender/sex. There is no data to prop up the claim that affirmation-only is the best response to a trans-identified child.
The “research study” that purports to undergird the suicidality argument is merely a survey, created and administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (the funding and lobby arm of the LGBTQ business) of 12,005 self-identified LGBTQ children, ages 13-17. The respondents are overwhelmingly white (77%), and all volunteered to take the survey. Reported results do not appear to distinguish between the responses of children who identify as homosexual and those who identify as transgender (two very different populations), with respect to suicidality. The survey reflects teens’ self-reported feelings and perceptions; it does not capture real-world data about numbers of suicides or attempted suicides. For that reason, it is both an unreliable record of facts and an unreliable predictor of behavior. Affirmation-only is a strategy demanded by people and organizations with political and financial incentives to drive children toward life-long medicalization. In fact, much robust research points to the positive outcomes of exactly the opposite policy: watchful waiting. The World Professional Association on Transgender Health states in its Standards of Care guidelines that 73-94% of children will align with their birth sex if allowed to pass through puberty naturally, without medical interventions like puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or sex-reassignment surgery (p. 11). Even social transition (presenting as and being affirmed by others in the preferred gender identity) results in increased persistence of the transgender narrative. As Dr. Ken Zucker explains: "parents who support, implement, or encourage a gender social transition (and clinicians who recommend one) are implementing a psychosocial treatment that will increase the odds of long-term persistence." If a child announces a transgender identity, and the prevailing “expert” opinions are pushing policies that lead to unhealthy outcomes, what can parents do?
Trust Your Common Sense & Ask Hard Questions
Humans have recognized since the origins of our existence that we come in two sexual varieties—male and female, based upon our reproductive functions—and that those sexes are pervasive and immutable for the duration of a person’s life. It is only the advent of postmodern philosophy’s ironically self-defeating premise that there is no such thing as ultimate truth which has wrought the destruction of critical thought and a collective understanding of facts. Contemporary academia has taught an entire generation that it is “literal violence” to say something another person doesn’t want to hear. When confronted with affirmation-only pressure, ask yourself and the “experts” some salient questions:
Is gender (sex) fixed or fluid? If fixed, when is it fixed (at what age), and why would we even see a change prior to or following that fixed age? If gender is fluid, why affirm it at all, if it is so prone to change?
What is the basis for arguing that a person’s biological sex does not inform his/her gender? Can you give me an explanation of gender that does not rely on stereotypes about expected male/female preferences and behaviors?
Why has there been a 4000% increase in the numbers of females presenting at gender clinics? If the explosion of trans-identified children is explained by greater social acceptance of transgenderism, why have the demographics flipped since 2006, from more males identifying as females to more females identifying as males?
Why are transgender identifications occurring in so many friend groups? How can you be sure this isn’t evidence of social contagion?
Love Your Child & Do Your Research
If your child blindsides you with an announcement about gender identity, stay calm, communicate that you love your child and always will, and figure out what next steps are best for your family. You probably need to do some research. It’s perfectly reasonable to tell your child, “I’m not sure what to make of this. Thank you for being honest with me, but I need some time to think and process.” Consult trusted resources. If you’ve also become convinced that the party line on pro-affirmation is spurious and potentially harmful, find gender-critical support: The Parent Resource Guide: Responding to the Transgender Issue is an invaluable handbook from the Minnesota Family Council which investigates and explains this cultural phenomenon. You can download a digital copy at no cost. The Jung Soul by Dr. Lisa Marchiano offers interesting guidance from a psychoanalytic perspective. Transgender Trend is a site for everyone who is concerned about the social and medical ‘transition’ of children, the introduction of ‘gender identity’ teaching into schools and new policies and legislation based on subjective ideas of ‘gender’ rather than the biological reality of sex. Parents of ROGD (Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria) Kids is a group of parents whose children have suddenly—seemingly out of the blue—decided they identify strongly with the opposite sex and are at various stages in transitioning. The Arlington Parent Coalition also has a number of helpful resources for parents:
Set Your Boundaries & Enforce Them With Love
Children are under their parents’ authority because adults have the necessary wisdom and life experience to make better decisions than do children. The brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making, planning, and reasoning, does not complete its development until a person’s mid-twenties. It is not only permissible to contradict a child’s thinking or countermand his wishes, but it is imperative that adults do so for the child’s own health and well-being. Transgender activists’ insistence that “children know who they are” is an outrageous snippet of absurdity that was discredited by volumes of research and evidence regarding identity development in children long before it was ever first uttered.
If you have decided that social and/or medical transition is not in your child’s best interest, then do not permit it to the extent that you are able.
In your home and personal/family relationships call your child by the appropriate pronouns and the name on his/her birth certificate as given by the parents.
Indicate to the school that the child should be called by his/her given name and associated male or female pronouns. Understand, however, that government schools are unlikely to comply, and will likely undermine your authority and decisions. You should also be aware that some parents have lost custody of their own children because they refused to capitulate to the transgender narrative.
Give serious consideration to extracting your child from all environments which encourage a transgender identity. This will likely involve cutting off internet and social media, as well as pulling your child from a school that overrules parental authority and affirms the transgender identity at any and all costs.
While holding firm on these big-ticket items, balance your approach with as much flexibility and gentleness as you can:
Parents have fought their children’s clothing choices generation after generation after generation. This is probably not a hill worth dying on, unless your child’s clothing is directly offensive or dangerous (e.g., t-shirts with words or phrases you don’t allow in your home, or clothing you already deem immodest or provocative).
Try not to provoke your child’s combativeness (which may be extensive in the beginning) by intentionally and repetitively referring to him or her in ways s/he doesn’t like. For example, it’s not wrong to introduce your girl to a new acquaintance as your daughter, but don’t keep repeating “daughter”, “girl”, “female”, “feminine”, and “woman-child” ad nauseum throughout the conversation just to make a point.
Look for everything you can do to strengthen your relationship with your child and re-align the child with the family. Take a class together, exercise together, go on excursions. Find out what the child wants to do and do it together as much as possible. There are some convincing arguments that the transgender narrative has significant cult-like characteristics, and reminding a cult member of the things they enjoyed doing prior to joining the cult can have a powerful effect toward pulling him or her out of it.
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The ranks of regretful detransitioners (people who identified as transgender and then changed their minds) are growing in droves. Many of these people bear horrific scars—both physical and psychological—from their experience under the sway of transgender activism. Children who took puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones suffer myriad consequences, from bone density loss to infertility. Those who had double mastectomies or sex reassignment express horror at the “Frankenstein hack jobs” performed on them. Parents are the last and in some cases the only people standing in the way of the medical and surgical destruction of vulnerable children in the name of transgender rights. Until the rest of society wakes up from the horrific nightmare of this unconscionable medical malpractice, parents must be awake, vigilant, and determined to shield kids from the harms inherent in this ideology.
An Arlington Parent Coalition member alerted us to the good news that Irreversible Damage: the Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters is on order for the Arlington Public Libraries and will be available soon. We recommend this book highly, especially for anyone working with children.
Information presented in this article is intended to help parents consider their options when supporting a transgender-identified child. It is not to replace the guidance of a trusted therapist, it is not legal advice, and it does not suggest guaranteed outcomes.