Putting It All Out There and Hoping for Understanding, Not Backlash

Before starting this blog, I spent many hours researching the Internet, seeking information from those parents who were questioning their daughters’ perceptions about their perceived gender dysphoria/thinking they are “transgender”. It’s been difficult to find information which challenge the current trendy trans-crazyness.   Parents who question this transgender propaganda and agenda have been vilified and accused of being transphobic and that they are the cause of the suicides of teenagers.  This is not true!  Having parents who question or challenge does NOT cause a teenager to commit suicide.  Undiagnosed or poorly/untreated Clinical Depression causes people to commit suicide. We love our kids and long for them to keep them away from harm.

In the last few weeks, I’ve read about 4 different parents who are in a situation similar to mine. I have also been in contact with 2 parents via the wonderful world of the interweb and email. We are travelling this similar, difficult path on different roadways.  We are trying to navigate a virtual sea of mis-information and misguided assumptions. We love and worry about our young daughters. They are a part of our hearts.  Our situations are different and yet, at the same time, eerily similar or the same. Our paths have crossed and I am so glad to know that I am not alone. It is reassuring.  Any other mothers/parents out there…I hope that you will contact me. Knowing that we are not alone is empowering and also gives us hope.

Two years ago, our then 16-year-old daughter suddenly told us she thought that “maybe I should be a boy”. We had not seen any past or current evidence that this is the case. She has never previously complained about anything related to gender.  Unbeknownst to us at the time, she had been spending time “researching” on the internet and using YouTube videos to get her information.  As soon as we found out, the laptop (which had been in her bedroom) was taken out and she was made to do any internet stuff in plain view/public spaces in our house. By the time we did this, though, I believe she had already been brainwashed into thinking this as being her reality. See www.transgenderreality.com    The information online which the folks running this website are uncovering and exposing is truly disturbing and scary.

My daughter has always been socially/emotionally young compared to other girls her age. She remains very socially/emotionally young when compared to other graduating grade 12 girls.  She is also very academically smart (just below the “gifted” status). She excels in subjects like Math and Physics. She is also very musical and actively involved with technical theatre.  She was a bit behind her peers in development of physical secondary sex characteristics. However, that being said, her physical development happened over a very short time at about age 16 (around the time of her reported discomfort). I can certainly understand her confusion in comparing herself with other high school girls her age and a feeling of not belonging in that category.  Recently she purchased 3 chest binders through Ebay. Aside from all the physical risks associated with chest binders, I am also worried that her wearing these binders will not help her supposed “dysphoria” get better, but will only serve to make her discomfort worse.

I am a Registered Nurse. I work with a family doctor who is seen as being “trans friendly”. I worked with him for 2 years before my daughter first spoke of her feelings. I have cared for a number of both MtF and FtM transgender young people. I am keenly aware that many of them have co-morbid psychological issues, not the least of which is Depression. And I have yet to meet any of them who are truly “happy”. I have had to change the dressings from a lower arm donor site on an FTM patient who recently had a phalloplasty surgical procedure. The donor site was ¾ the diameter of the lower arm and ran from just above the wrist to just below the elbow.  The diameter of that arm now is substantially smaller than the arm which has had not surgery done to it. The donor arm will never look the same again.  I have absolutely no issue calling this surgery “mutilation”, as this donor/muscle and tissue removal surgery was not performed to remove anything dangerous like cancer or flesh eating bacteria.  Also, the vagina was not cancerous or dangerous, and yet it’s been obliterated.  The patient is only 24 years old.  Will she end up having “regrets”?  I don’t know.

I do know that the first hospital to perform “SRS” surgeries stopped doing so when they realized that there was no benefits from this procedure for their patients.  I also know that, no matter what the number is (41%, 25%) the suicide rate for transgender people is significantly higher than people who are not transgender, and that this rate is significantly higher, whether or not the transgender person goes through SRS surgery(ies).  This frightens me, as a parent, and causes me to think that the medical and psychiatric professionals are missing something.  There is no other mental health issue which “requires” surgery as a treatment.  This current focus on “transgender” as “normal” could actually be a smoke screen for other mental health issues- which could be treatable or manageable without surgical or harmful medications.

As our daughter has recently turned 18, I worry that she will make life changing decisions and live to regret them and it will be beyond my parental control (whatever that term means, exactly).  My husband and I keep letting her know she is loved and that she is a beautiful and amazing person. We hope and pray that, as she gets older and becomes more socially/emotionally mature, she will discover this for herself.  She is beautifully female-bodied and her gender is simply the essence inside her body.  I pray she will one day focus on changing her world and not her body.

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8 thoughts on “Putting It All Out There and Hoping for Understanding, Not Backlash

  1. I have only been a mother to other people’s children (exchange students, foster daughter), but I cannot imagine the pain and frustration you are experiencing. I read another mother’s blog about her daughter following this path, and it was very upsetting. 1) I do not think parents should in any way support or fund this behavior. What is the difference between giving a child money for heroin and giving a child money for hormones and surgery? 2) I do not think a child following a fad (remember when pet rocks were a fad instead of self-mutilation?) should be told she is amazing. She is not amazing, she is troubled and needs help; she needs better ways to spend her time. I cannot believe how little children these days have to do.

    The other mother whose blog I read said she and her husband were paying 80% of her daughter’s college tuition. Why doesn’t her daughter have a job? My husband was in his FIFTIES, going to nursing school — which is about 40 hours of school and clinical a week — and still working full-time as a nurse’s aide. If he could do this, why is a 21-year-old getting her tuition paid for and left with too much time for spending online? I believe very much in being a loving parent, but I also believe in being a firm, guiding parent. All my kids needed both love and attention, and they all needed to have limits set for them which hadn’t been previously set. If any of them had suggested doing such stupid things to themselves, there would have been serious consequences (NO computer, etc). Adolescents, in my experience, long for firm supports no matter how much they fuss and whine.

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    1. Dear Dogtowner
      Thank you for your comments. You are correct in your statement that you cannot imagine the pain and frustration we are experiencing. Nobody can, who hasn’t been in the same position that we are currently in. My daughter is a piece of my heart and will be forever. My heart and soul do NOT believe that this was supposed to be her life situation. I will always believe that she has been changed/brainwashed into her way of thinking about herself, which makes me both angry and sad.
      I do not know or clearly understand the other mothers situation you speak of so I will not be making any comments or judgments about what that mother has and is doing, lest I be judged myself (which I already do to myself, by the way).
      I want to be clear, my husband and I will NEVER financially support any changes (T, surgery, etc) our daughter might decide to do to her beautiful, perfect body. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. As she is now 18 years old,however, there is NOTHING I can do to prevent this from happening, but I will NOT support this. I agree that she is troubled but honestly she is and has the ability to become an amazing young woman. We have tried to get her help. With the current “normalcy” of “transgender” currently, this help is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find. Any treatment which opposes that which she currently believes to be true about herself would be viewed as “conversion therapy” which currently is strongly opposed to by psychologists and therapists.
      Also, we cannot take away computer access as she is in Grade 12 in our current world where the internet is used as a tool for most school and it would be unrealistic to try to remove it. We can use what we find on the internet as data points to start conversations, though, which we have been doing.
      Again, thank you for your thoughts and comments. I appreciate knowing that I have been heard.
      J

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  2. Our teenaged daughter also is convinced she is a male. I can sympathize with you and I send you hugs. Thankfully ours has two more years of high school to go yet, but I’m not sure she will change her mind before turning 18.

    She told us about 2 months ago and I have been a complete mess ever since. Pretty much every spare moment I find myself doing “research” on the internet and lately I find all sorts of things that would convince ME that she isn’t transgender, but it isn’t helping to convince her.

    I was really hoping that she would wake up one day and just say “I guess I wasn’t transgender after all!” But it seems to be locked into her head and isn’t budging. She is a very smart girl, so I keep hoping. But the longer it goes on the more dread I feel.

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    1. Hello Overwhelmed (that could be my name too). You need to know that you are not alone. Your story mirrors mine. I will be contacting you privately. ❤

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  3. Wow, I feel like I found a support group. I have a teenage son who was born a male, but he believes that he is a transwoman. He knows that he will always be loved by his parents even if we can’t comprehend why he feels like he was born into the wrong body. He has only publicly told a few of his friends that he is trans. Although we are supportive of his feelings, he knows that we will not support any attempt to alter his body so he intends to wait until his 20s to start transitioning. Right now, we are trying to find a psychologist/psychiatrist that is familiar with gender issues but will not see transitioning as the only solution.

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  4. Just want to let you know that I’m with you in your pain. My daughter, same story. I told her I won’t pay for her college expenses if she started any medicalization. She will be 18 soon. I just hope she will mature enough, as you said, to realize she doesn’t need to do this. Let’s hope this trend turns around.

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