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Scaring Parents With Suicide Threats Shuts Down Their Ability To Consider Options for Their Kids

The following article was originally published in The Federalist on May 22, 2020.

As one of the co-founders of the Arlington Parent Coalition, an organization that helps parents demand accountability from public schools on issues of parental rights, sex and gender training, and children’s protections, I receive considerable venom from transgender-rights groups and people who have been led to believe that transitioning a gender-dysphoric child is the only kind and scientifically rational thing to do.

My team and I — and myriad others who have pushed back on this agenda — have been hissed at during school board meetings, called names and lied about in the media, and personally attacked in parts of our lives completely unrelated to this issue. Such are the despotic strategies taught and modeled by certain unscrupulous factions of the LGBT lobby: attack, defame, and destroy in order to make the rest of society too scared to resist.

I understand the playbook, but I struggle to grasp the depth and pervasiveness of the hostility I encounter from parents in my district who have children who identify as transgender. Many times I’ve reached out to these parents, offering to take them out for coffee so we could talk. It would make sense to have a confab since we both have a strong interest in policies that profoundly affect our children’s lives at school.

After every single one refused my coffee offer, I did some soul-searching. Am I scary? Have I behaved hatefully or in any way belittled or hurt these parents? I don’t think so. I tried to put myself in their position, to see things from their perspective.

Maybe it’s as simple as this: If pro-transgender parents allow themselves to consider even the whisper of the possibility that they’ve made the wrong decision for their kids, they’ll then have to consider that they may bear responsibility for their children’s physical and psychological destruction.

That is a terrible, gut-wrenching thought for a loving parent — because of course these parents love their kids. They really do. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their impassioned voices. They are genuinely trying to do what they think is right to give their children the best lives possible. The problem is that they have been systematically and pervasively lied to.

Experts Are Failing Parents and Children

Time and again I hear about the same experience from parents of gender-dysphoric children: After their child announces that he or she wants to change genders, the parents consult the “experts” — the principal, the school counselor, the pediatrician, the therapist — who tell the parents, “Affirming the child’s gender transition is the only option. If you don’t, your kid will likely commit suicide.”

Nothing about that guidance is supported by research, data, or long-understood principles of child development, but this emotional manipulation coerces parents like the thumbscrews of a torture device, terrorizing them with the idea that unless they capitulate to the transgender industry’s demands, they will inevitably lose their child.

To quote my colleague at the Arlington Parent Coalition, “The gatekeepers have failed parents.” In no other medical, psychological, or educational field does a one-size, simplistic answer fit all.

The transgender lobby has been clever at getting its preferred guidance — with little-to-no research or empirical evidence backing it up — accepted and promulgated by the American Pediatric Society, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Education Association.

One frequently finds, as is the case with the 37-person group who wrote (without input from the other 67,000 member doctors) the American Pediatric Society’s transgender guidance document cited above, that the team leads have financial ties to some of the gender clinics that have sprung up like dandelions around the country over the last few years. While I’m sure some in the LGBT lobby believe, as do the parents of trans kids, that their pushes for trans ideology are in the best interests of children, other players face perverse incentives, such as in education, health care, and entertainment.

The deck is stacked against parents before they even know a card game is going on.

Parents Are Coerced into Transgender Ideology

It’s hard to swim against the flow of a powerful river. It’s even harder when there’s so little real scholarship out there about what’s actually going on with this burgeoning population of kids who claim a transgender identity. This is still a relatively new phenomenon, and the research hasn’t begun to catch up.

I often hear people who support their child’s transition decried as absolute fools and terrible parents. For the most part, however, the ones I’ve met are neither. Rather, they and their kids have been brainwashed by a powerful team of Machiavellian strategists who have political, social, and financial reasons to suck as many children as possible into the trans pipeline.

If these parents have any doubts or hesitations about the right pathway for their kids, they are not allowed to express them. If they do, they risk being socially and publicly ousted, roasted, and devoured by the same community that applauds, defends, and gushes over how stunning and brave trans kids and their parents are.

It’s hard to give up that kind of affirmation, admiration, and sometimes even celebrity, especially when you know that doing so will make you a pariah.

Speak the Truth with Love

My heart breaks for these families, and it’s for that reason that I try to keep the door open. I desperately hope a parent will seek help from one of the many organizations like mine that are working to save kids from this destructive ideology. I hope that just one parent will remember that my offer to go for coffee is still on the table, and call me.

No lie can persist forever. This insidious episode in our culture’s history will eventually come to an end, and there will be pieces to pick up and lives to rebuild.

Until then, we must continue speaking truth, enduring the venom without returning any hostility. If these parents have no soft place to land when they realize what’s been done to them, their children, and society at large, how can they ever hope to heal? How can any of us?


Read the original publication of this article in The Federalist.


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