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Why did my daughter become trans? The school encouraged her at every turn

I have made it clear I love her (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

I have made it clear I love her (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)


June 28, 2022   8 mins

Our third child was a quirky girl, into gymnastics, baking, music. She liked things requiring new outfits. She was keen on Disney princesses. She had some particular passions — fluffy clothing for a while, a collection of handbags, cast off heeled shoes, models of movie characters.

She had always found it difficult to make close friends, often feeling left on the side-lines when she was at primary school. Being studious and rather too demanding of devotion put some potential friends off. And starting secondary school was tough. The other girls were often unkind and our daughter increasingly found that her personality, appearance and preferences all fell short of their expectations. Girls seem to live in a phone-shaped goldfish bowl these days. There was a lot of mockery.

Along came puberty, with its painful and chaotic periods and unwelcome male interest in developing breasts. One boy who became a close friend for a while, and a bit of a crush. But he was handsome and sporty and popular — and had his pick of the girls. Our child was not a competitor. Then the self-harming began.

I was told by the school about the cutting — a senior teacher called me at work — handing over the problem rather than offering any solutions. The alarm had been raised by other pupils, although efforts were being made to hide it from adults. I would find blood on hidden pieces of fabric, and she would wear loose, long sleeved clothing even on hot days. We asked our daughter gently about what was troubling her but encountered only defiance and hostility in response. I tried to hide sharp things that I found in her room, but a house has plenty of objects that can be adapted for the purpose, even cut up drinks cans.

I repeatedly tried to get help. I rang our GP and we visited one evening with a doctor kindly staying late for us. I was left outside the consulting room. I don’t know what was discussed, but there was something conspiratorial in the air when she came out.  We engaged with a kind but unprepared school counsellor. She encouraged me to contact CAMHS — the NHS child health service. We were triaged through a written form and a brief telephone call, and eventually informed that we did not make the grade to be seen, given the strain on services. I tried several private therapists but my daughter rejected them one by one after the first appointment. They were, I think, trying to present a bit of challenge to the narrative in a way that was not acceptable to our child.

During this time Covid struck, along with its successive lockdowns. For long periods, pretty much all healthy interaction, exercise, productive busyness went out of the window. We managed some outdoor activity together for a while. But for the most part, children were forced to live online for school, extra-curricular activities, social interaction and entertainment.  It is hard to stay on top of what your children are viewing online. They know clever tricks about switching screens to homework when a parent enters the room. They run rings around adults. Sure, I used the internet service provider’s system to block some websites, but many have a mixture of acceptable and unacceptable content and it was hard to make any impact.

Then, in one of the brief gaps between confinements, we visited friends. They live in a city with undisputed liberal credentials, unlike our small-town backwater. Their daughter of a similar age was also troubled. They were going through a torrid period of domestic violence and a broken relationship. Always combative, the other girl was aggressively disruptive this time, and wore low cut tops and a short skirt that were troubling to see on someone of 13. The two girls spent time closeted together, whispering, discussing and sharing online material. For a while after that visit, our child made an attempt at glamour, which involved wearing provocative underwear and engaging in self-conscious preening. She drifted further away, leaving us facing a closed bedroom door, aggressive swearing and refusal to engage.

When I saw her phone and computer, I occasionally glimpsed online threads of kids who were identifying as trans. A lot of them were boys or young men. These were full of self-congratulatory stories of so many months on cross-sex hormones along with sexualised selfies. She showed me videos uploaded by adult trans people. They explained their personal journeys as straightforward, beautiful, attractive.

It seems that a trans identity is offered to kids these days as a way out of their confusion and misery. All of us, or at least everyone that I have been close to, can remember our adolescence as difficult years. Feeling unacceptable, substandard, not cool enough. We struggled, were unhappy, but eventually found our way through. In my case it was through academic success, for my sister, sport.  A close friend turned to music. What we did not have were people whispering to us in our bedrooms that our gender identity was the problem and changing it the solution.

For our child, not being a girl had never been a possibility. All that dressing up and dancing around, the playing with make up and the hilarious results — she enjoyed it all.

But after several months of following influencers and other distressed kids online, a formal statement of a trans identity came in the form of a nicely put-together document sent by email, complete with illustrations. She placed herself somewhere between the middle and the boy end of a continuous line. The language was not hers. It was full of Americanised terminology, and was clearly copied across from materials helpfully provided by someone else. The mother of the girl we had visited in the city told me that her daughter was doing the same thing – apparently she was literally now a boy. I spoke to the younger members of my family and a few close friends. All were puzzled and didn’t know what to say. The general “be kind” approach prevalent in our society was there, but mixed with a kind of silent bafflement.

I tried explaining to my child that I had a different point of view, that I believe in both biological reality and women’s sex-based rights, and just didn’t see how all this had appeared pretty much from nowhere. It did not go well. We as parents were classed as “cis transphobes” whose views were irrelevant, outdated and just wrong.

I did not want to go along with it, but we were in a dark place then. Instead of procuring the sexy push-up bras, I was buying expensive breast binders from a US company. Only clothing from the boys’ or men’s sections could be worn – the baggier the better. I still cannot explain the move from being sexy to denial of being female at all, expect perhaps as an admission of defeat as an attractive teen girl.

She was still cutting herself and we were desperate for it to stop. At that point, we didn’t care what clothes she wore or what hairstyle she wanted, and would risk the potential back problems and ribcage damage caused by the binders. But the more I looked into the trans issue the more worried I became.

I contacted organisations that profess expertise on the subject. But the trouble is, they nearly all point in one direction. You find Mermaids, the UK trans charity, on the first search. I called them to discuss binders and whether they were safe. That conversation was all about affirming my daughter’s decision and advising that the potential harm of not doing so was much greater than any drawbacks in doing so. They suggested getting on the waiting list for NHS gender services straight away “as there is a long waiting list”.

Inevitably, I started to question myself: had my instincts about my happy girl been completely wrong, and had she somehow buried a desire not to be female for all of those years? I looked back through childhood photographs. There she was smiling, dancing, laughing, trying new outfits, dressing up. Not always happy, of course, but never in the slightest bit a boy. So I did some more research, and the more I looked into it, the less coherent and responsible it seemed.

The school is not much help. In fact, the school is part of the problem. If my daughter is self-harming or tells them she is very low, they will call me and tell me to access the community mental health services or A&E. They pass the buck. They’re not keen to dive any deeper even though, if anything, they have encouraged the trans identification, whether through fear, or well-meaning and sincere belief. Some staff have used the “born in the wrong body” phrase, which in the context of troubled teenagers is rather like playing with matches in a parched field. They had me in for a meeting, two against one, and essentially informed me that the name and pronouns would be changed across the school by edict. It was all very smiley, but my views on whether this was a good idea were not sought.

The school brings in organisations to talk about trans identities in a positive way, but notably offers no differing points of view. I have tried to express concern about the approach but have gained little traction. In reality, the school seems to contain other perspectives, with some staff clearly not on board with the full agenda, although apparently afraid to say so.

Where are we now? I do not use the new name and pronouns myself, but I cannot use the old ones on pain of threats of self-harm or worse. The child herself seems to be happier, adopting a gender non-conforming style of dress – more Artful Dodger than Arnie. She is far from masculine though, spending most of her free time with other girls, on what would widely be considered feminine interests — such as trying new recipes, drawing, and watching or reading teen romances. The earlier attempts at ostentatious belching and man-spreading seem to have subsided. I get asked about outfit choices (this baggy hoody or that one) and what to say to a boy who is a bit too keen to meet up outside school.

What is particularly baffling is why a mental difficulty that suddenly arises in adolescence is treated as a newly revealed truth, rather than a problem to be worked through and overcome. Many of these girls are struggling mentally, and indeed some are diagnosed with autism. If my child had an eating disorder, I do not think I would be encouraged to order diet books and seek gastric surgery. Youth has always found ways to challenge the aged. Is this, perhaps, a young-versus-old frontier, and a new way to challenge sex-based roles and expectations? And yet it has taken on a certain kind of holiness.

Many are building their careers on this issue, both in the medical profession and in the burgeoning diversity industry. But for those of us who are not paying attention, it is time to wake up. For those involved from schools, clinics, support service I ask that, before diving in with affirmation, social transition and medical intervention, you just consider asking parents whether the questioning child has ever in the past shown discomfort with their sex. Ask them if the child was troubled and unhappy beforehand. Ask them if the child has been deep in an online rabbit-hole.

School-leaders, ask yourselves why you have an annual month of excitement about the sex and gender diversity alphabet and precious little else the rest of the year on other issues like physical and mental disability. For those making and implementing policy, ask yourselves whether you are being told the full story by the diversity industry, and why the voices of concerned parents and detransitioners are being widely ignored. For parents with young children, especially girls, do not assume that your child will not be affected.

If all of this turns into generally non-conforming quirky behaviour in adulthood, then I will be highly relieved and move on. But there is the widespread promotion out there of hormonal treatment, mastectomies, sterilisation and “bottom surgery” to gender questioning teens as aspirational next steps. Some parents clearly feel that this is right for their child. But for those of us who don’t, the prospect is a frightening one. Early on in this journey our daughter made some glib statements about top surgery (she is, in fact, horrified by a visit to the dentist). Now, we don’t discuss any of this. I admit that I avoid the whole subject to avoid any more harmful rows. I think I have made clear that I love her, but that I disagree with the analysis and don’t support the solution

I grew up in the Seventies and Eighties. We knew as girls that life was tough but that it was our biology that kept us down, and while we were striving to change that, we knew it would be a long fight. I knew that being raped at 16 was entirely down to my biology as a transiently useful vagina-haver, lacking the strength and confidence to fight back. I knew that the handicapping of my professional career in my 30s was due to my biology as a uterus-haver and chest-feeder. I was aware that the lasting damage to my pelvic floor from a forceps delivery was tied to the biological role of birthing parent. I know that my current invisibility is due to my biology as a woman in menopause.

For now, I am putting one foot in front of the other, avoiding certain teachers, firefighting arguments at home, trying to demonstrate love while clinging on to my own sanity and understanding of the world. But my daughter’s identity struggle has reawakened my interest in feminism, quietly folded away at the end of the 20th century. It seems now that some of those uncompromising voices from the “second wave” still need to be heard. How I would love for my child, and many other young girls and women caught up in the same way, to remember the feminism their mothers and grandmothers fought for and thought that they had won.

***

Names have been changed.


Jo Brown is a mother-of-three.


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W T
W T
1 year ago

I am a young person who went through this myself and has now detransitioned – not an enjoyable thing to have to go through, especially after medical interventions. Your daughter has been indoctrinated by online communities. Limiting her internet use, trying to get her good quality therapy, getting her out in nature, and possibly getting in contact with detransitioned women who might be able to reach out to her, may be the way forward. My heart goes out to you, challenging this identity is considered ‘transphobic’. There is a blogger called ‘4th wave now’ who went through a similar thing with her daughter, who eventually desisted from a trans identity. Desistance and detransition is much more common than people think.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  W T

That very therapy is soon to be banned.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
1 year ago

Not in the UK – conversion therapy is due to be banned for gay/lesbian people but they have removed the reference to trans people from the proposed legislation for this very reason. There was a worry that talking therapies for confused teenagers would become illegal, talking therapies are not likely to be of any use for someone who is same sex attracted and indeed are homophobic.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Nikki Hayes

That’s a victory for now. But the “progressives” rarely lose.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  W T

Thank you. The world needs to hear more from people like you.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

You have my sympathies. My daughter’s friend is doing the same thing and we adults regard it with scared bafflement. We are all scared she will try and transition. I have told my daughters to be supportive but not encouraging – and to their credit they agree. I honestly think this is going to be sorted out in the courts in the form of lawsuits for professional negligence. But that won’t happen soon enough to help your daughter. I hate to say it – but as a last resort you may want to get legal counsel to threaten anyone your daughter engages to give her drugs or other permanent treatments. Most physicians realize this is wrong – they are just too scared to fight the ideologues. There is nothing like a lawyers letter to get everyone to snap to attention.

Bill W
Bill W
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

“I honestly think this is going to be sorted out in the courts”: exactly what my litigator lawyer wife thinks.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bill W
Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill W

When did a lawyer not think that the threat of legal action was the solution to every problem?

M. Jamieson
M. Jamieson
1 year ago

I think it’s a a prediction rather than a recommendation.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I understand what you are saying and I can understand the reaction, but truly…if you were to see your ‘daughter’s friend’ playing with a live hand grenade, or taking little sips from a bottle of arsenic, you would not gaze upon that horrific scene with ‘scared bafflement’, nor would you direct your daughters to be supportive but not encouraging of the girl’s suicidal behavior.
It’s a live hand grenade, for God’s sake. It’s arsenic! It’s something that could destroy the life of your daughter’s friend (and catch them in the surrounding back burst). It is a self-murdering behavior which not only should not be encouraged, it should not supported. It should not even be tolerated.
My father, towards the end of his life, used to tell us he saw our dead mother at breakfast that day. He would say, ‘I know she’s dead. But she was here this morning!’ He was quite insistent. He was also 97 and his mind was going (his body not far behind). Sometimes, from love, from pity, we would ‘support’ that delusion. Sometimes, from love, from pity, we would not. But he was 97…at the end of a long and good life. The man I knew and loved as father all those decades would NEVER have ‘seen’ such a thing; never would have believed it; never would have indulged it. But at 97 with weeks left to live, did such encouragement really matter save in the sense that it soothed him for a little while before the end?
But to equally indulge a dangerously delusional child…in behavior that could obliterate the fullness of her life, still to be lived??? I think we must move beyond ‘scared bafflement’ & not-encouraging support into strong and active opposition. What they imagine is not real; will never be real; and it is dangerously misguided to surround such lost souls with enabling and supportive ‘acceptance’ of their Never Never Land.

Tiddles Bilbo
Tiddles Bilbo
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

What a wonderfully honest response.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
1 year ago

The truly scary thing for the girls groomed online to reply ‘correctly’ to gender services, is that the Testosterone they are prescribed can uglify them rapidly and permanently.

A young woman who is shy about her body, or appearance more generally, risks being traumatised by facial and body hair, acne and baldness. But they will rarely pass as ‘men’ or become ‘one of the boys’.

The chances of any mental health issues improving, or the young person becoming less isolated and more socially adept, are remote. They are less likely to ‘fit in’ anywhere other than with the online trans ‘community’.

Whilst it is the male to female transitioners who receive most publicity, no damage is done to the male body by female hormones. Genital surgery is rare in this group, so detransitioning is always an option.

The prospect of young women, often undiagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, being encouraged down a path of no return is terrifying.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

Unfortunately it is not true that “no damage is done to the male body by taking female hormones”. Female profile fat will be deposited in areas which will not disappear on detransitioning. Douglas Murray’s book “ÂŁThe Madness of Crowds covers this issue. .

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
1 year ago

Transgender is one of the many false religions buffeting the West at the moment.

Its falsity and bigoted intensity enrage me and many others.

But we’re not the people with the power – that’s a caste of Guardian liberals, riding high (and largely untouchable) even with the Tories in power.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

I agree with you that it is a false religion but not that it is a function of any left/right divide.

Last edited 1 year ago by Judy Johnson
Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I don’t believe there is a left and right. This divide rarely applies anymore and is a notion that exasperates me when talked of by writers. Despite this, if we were to define the left and right using groups such as guardian and telegraph readers/ staff, I would find it hard to believe that Charles Moore not Owen Jones walks among the zealots. Those not aligned with this definition of the left would appear to me to be more agnostic about the matter in fear of repucussions. Not that this helps at all but such are the class of people, sans morals, sans belief, sans humanity, we are surrounded by today.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sonny Ramadhin
Laura Kelly
Laura Kelly
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I think it’s nonpartisan homophobia and misogyny. The Left is pushing it louder, but on the Right, transitioning your child is a convenient way to avoid the embarrassment of an effeminate gay son or a butch lesbian daughter.

Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I don’t believe there is a left and right. This divide rarely applies anymore and is a notion that exasperates me when talked of by writers. Despite this, if we were to define the left and right using groups such as guardian and telegraph readers/ staff, I would find it hard to believe that Charles Moore not Owen Jones walks among the zealots. Those not aligned with this definition of the left would appear to me to be more agnostic about the matter in fear of repercussions. Not that this helps at all but such are the class of people, sans morals, sans belief, sans humanity, we are surrounded by today.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Transgenderism has become a false religion, or better yet, a disease, but that doesn’t mean all cases fall under those umbrellas. My aunt/now uncle left home at age 15 in the 1950s and transitioned because he felt so strongly in the wrong body. It was not the “cool” thing to do back then. I’ve never discussed the current disease phase with him – he likely is very happy the trans stigma is mostly gone but also likely feels a lot like native Hawaiian surfers felt when in the 60s and 70s they were suddenly being cut off on all the good waves by newbies as the sport exploded in popularity.

Pamela Booker
Pamela Booker
1 year ago

When I was an adolescent in the 1960s, there was no social media to influence me or to spread off-the-wall ideas to me at a very confusing and impressionable age.
Isn’t this the downside of the internet where not only can our children be stolen from us by powerful influencers but where even professionals fall to its latest fads and fashions?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Pamela Booker

I fou d this interview by Lex Fridman with Jonathan Haidt on the subject of the internet and social media very interesting.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Rule 1 for blocking social contagion: ban your child from using the internet. At a minimum do not allow them a smartphone. Livejournal/Tumblr/Twitter narcissism culture has infected every part of the web.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Agreed – it sounds like she’s been too compliant with her daughters activities, in order to be a good parent, instead of being the bad parent that stops the activities. It’s a drag but it gets results.

Bill Tomlinson
Bill Tomlinson
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

I agree in principle. The trouble is that if you stop them having a smartphone they’ll simply borrow a friend’s.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Tomlinson

Borrowing a friend’s phone won’t allow them to disappear down a brainwashing rabbit hole for hours on end. We can always find a reason why something won’t work as inaction is easy, but are very reluctant to try something that probably will work because of the effort and/or hassle necessary to implement it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pete Rose
A D
A D
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Exactly. People are always telling parents, “it’s impossible to keep your kids away from this stuff.” And that’s not true at all. They’ll all be exposed here and there to various ideologies, but if they don’t have free access to the internet in their own home, they will not be able to go down these rabbit holes. Peeking at a friend’s phone at a sleepover or at recess is not the same as unfettered access in the privacy of their bedrooms.

Starting around age 10, I had unsupervised, unlimited access to the internet on my own computer in my own bedroom. I don’t blame my parents, really, because back then most people weren’t aware of the depths and insanity out there online. But looking back, it was extremely damaging to my mental health and the reason behind self harm, eating disorders, sexual issues and so much more. It would have been impossible for me to get into all of that without free access to the internet at home.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I read the article with great sadness and compassion until I reached the penultimate paragraph and then my blood ran cold. The author not only appears to reject her own biology but in such a manner that if she were my mother, I would believe she blamed me for ‘handicapping her career’ and damaging her pelvic floor. If the author shared those thoughts and feelings with her daughter, it is likely, she sowed the seeds of her daughter’s rejection of her own body. So shocking did I find the paragraph, I genuinely wondered if it was a spoof article.
ï»ż

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

I thought she was being ironic. Also to understand the anti-feminine angst of the younger members of that side of the biological divide.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

Maybe you are right, I was a child in the sixties, grew up in the seventies and eighties but never considered myself a feminist, so I wouldn’t really know. I believed in equality, yet difference. I never thought women were either inferior or powerless, just had a different type of power. I came from a background dominated by women. My mother grew up in an orphanage and was raised by women who would rather have married but there was a lack of men – too many killed in WWII. My father worked away. The idea labour was segregated was totally alien to me. I chopped wood with an axe from a young age and made fires.
I find it ironic that trans women complain about the cotton ceiling and try and pressurise lesbians into sex with them because in the eighties there was definitely the idea only lesbians were real feminists. Karma I guess. There was the idea women should be self sufficient in all aspects of life – do their own plumbing etc. ‘A Woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’ was the slogan. The DIY appealed to me but I didn’t want to be a lesbian.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago

The fish and bicycle slogan was met by the response “But who needs a stationary haddock?”

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
1 year ago

So-called trans-women trying to pressurise lesbians to have sex with them is just disgusting! Funny how most of these new trans-women are all lesbians and have no desire to have the meat and two veg removed. They deliberately misunderstand the idea of same sex attraction, and talk about same gender attraction – calling lesbians who refuse to have sex with trans-women bigoted. I firmly believe that most of these “trans-women” are misogynistic men who have no real desire to transition, just to force women who do not care for men to have sex with them. Funny how we don’t have all these issues when it comes to trans-men. Women’s rights are being threatened and I am glad that the general populace seems to be finally waking up to the danger the trans lobby pose to our sex-based rights.

Mary Thomas
Mary Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

I too read the final paragraph as angry and bitter irony. The author has at no point tried to obscure her sex and the use of the lunatic, woman-and-mother denying “newspeak” was illustrating the debasement of the female in current terms.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Thomas

I was shocked by the underlying sentiments of the rant and the possible origins of the sentiments. The idea that for a woman to give birth and nurse a baby is just a cause of irreparable damage to her body and causes great resentment. It brought to mind the husband of a woman I once knew whose mother could not forgive him for her stretch marks. No mention of the joys and delights of being a parent. It does remind me of feminist rage which tended not to consider its psychological impact on children. This is an era of strange double think. The enraged feminists at the overturning of Roe versus Wade, when we are expected to agree the destruction of a foetus is necessary for the mental well being of the mother, and yet at the same time we are expected to join in the mourning of a miscarriage, the loss of a baby, for the mental well-being of the mother. The aborted foetus is not granted personhood but the miscarried baby is very much granted personhood, often named and buried. What is the difference between the aborted foetus and the miscarried baby, one was wanted, loved, the other not. As a general principle, I am not sure where that leads us.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

Hopefully too she enjoyed the acts that gave her the child and stretch marks.

Tiddles Bilbo
Tiddles Bilbo
1 year ago

Angry , bitter feminists have destroyed so much. The CoE run by feminists. The CoE ,in its secular stupidity , allowed women wanted to be vicars (absolutely not biblical), those feminist women then pushed for gay ‘marriage’, then trans
. Watch out for paedophilia Promotion from them. It’s already in education. A 5 year old is taught to befriend & embrace gay culture
 what does a 5 year old know about sexual preferences? Have you seen the way Gay Pride freaks dress? Deviance in abundance & we sell this to 5 year olds? You parents are allowing your children to be sullied & brainwashed . With ppl like N Sturgeon these children haven’t a chance!

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

I also thought that she was being ironic. I also thought that her irony was not necessarily helpful. Would her daughter have appreciated it? Sometimes irony can be too close to the bone.

Bryon Grosz
Bryon Grosz
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

I don’t think so. I read it again after seeing you say it was being ironic, but I don’t get that at all. I’m pretty sure she was serious about that part.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

I do sometimes wonder how the impact of feminist tirades is affecting their daughters and other peoples daughters via social media. Unfortunately whilst being sexualised by boys and young men as a girl can be scary, when you start living as a boy, the sexualisation doesn’t stop. However instead of attracting normal boys and normal relationships. Now they’re attracting sick individuals. Keep in mind that a girl dressing as a boy at 16 looks much younger but is legal to consent!

Vincent Beasley
Vincent Beasley
1 year ago

She is definitely being ironic.
These are the numerous ‘inclusive’ terms used by various professional services these days in their onward negation of the the word ‘mother’.

Last edited 1 year ago by Vincent Beasley
Rosemary Throssell
Rosemary Throssell
1 year ago

I took the last paragraph as irony too.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

It was obviously ironic. You need to be less reactionary or easily offended otherwise you’ll miss such nuances, which would be your loss.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I disagree. Not at all ‘obviously’ ironic…rather obviously dogmatic.
Now the satirical use of dogma to make a point is definitely a doable thing… but when the author says, “I grew up in the Seventies and Eighties. We knew as girls that life was tough but that it was our biology that kept us down,” is she being serious — for seriously that was indeed the understanding sold by Women’s Lib of that era — or is that somehow intended as ironic (to your point)? If ironic, is she being ironic about 2nd Wave Feminism? Does she not believe — as those Feminists tended to believe — that biological essentialism does indeed hinder and hobble the ‘women roaring in numbers too big to ignore’? And if, as an anti-feminist, she doesn’t believe that, what does she believe? More importantly, how is either belief relevant to the preceding tale?
When she says, “I knew that being raped at 16 was entirely down to my biology as a transiently useful vagina-haver, lacking the strength and confidence to fight back”…what is she actually saying, if we choose to not take this statement at face value? Was she raped at 16? If she wasn’t, how can the use of a hypothetical rape of a 16 yr.old be crafted as an ironic comment on Feminism? If she was raped, certainly it’s a strange but understandable way of describing her cruel objectification by the rapist (her reduction to a mere vagina-haver). And again, what is the point of the statement?
And finally her passing comment, “I know that my current invisibility is due to my biology as a woman in menopause.” Do you believe she is saying she is invisible? or not? Or is she saying her ‘invisibility’ has nothing to do with menopause (which would be an anti-dogmatic assertion)? Or is she instead, ironically, implying that she is far from invisible (e.g. her publication in Unherd) and that her visibility has nothing to do with menopause.
In her final paragraph she tells us, “my daughter’s identity struggle has reawakened my interest in feminism.” … especially 2nd Wave Feminism which is the feminism to which you suggest she is ironically referring. Hard to understand how she can both embrace the Second Wave (as something her daughter needs to understand) and equally ironically distance herself from it by using trans-semantics to undermine it.
Perhaps we’ve both missed her ‘nuances’ because the author herself is unsure of the point she seeks to make?

Kenneth Moore
Kenneth Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

I believe she is not indulging in irony. She is the classic example of a 2nd wave feminist who complains about the consequences of her own movement’s heralding of this nonsense. It was they who wanted speech changed, it was they who wanted promotion on gender basis not meritocracy, it was they who changed the laws to provide exceptional treatment to one part of society. They now reap as the sowed. TBH I have absolutely no sympathy for feminists’ who have been bitten by the very dog they trained!

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Kenneth Moore

Agreed! A sad and classic example.

Maureen Finucane
Maureen Finucane
1 year ago

I thought she was ironically using the dehumanising terminology that is used to describe women these days, usually by so called left wing people.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

I’m not at all sure she’s being ironic. That paragraph also threw me. it seemed not to fit. And if indeed, intended as irony, it failed — if only because it can quite clearly be read, sadly, as dead serious. Welcome to Poe’s Law! “Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, every parody of extreme views can be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied.”

Ddwieland
Ddwieland
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

The penultimate paragraph is jarring in its abrupt shift in tone, but I understood it as a sarcastic use of novel, faddish, “inclusive” terms. At least I hope it’s a fad that will pass, as the absurdity–and damage–become more apparent.

Bryon Grosz
Bryon Grosz
1 year ago

I had the same reaction, although I also started to detect the crux of the problem when the author said her daughter rejected multiple of the psychiatrists. Why does the daughter have veto power?
Another problem was when the author said the school system was passing the buck. Uh, no. This is a parental issue to deal with, not the schools. It appears the author was the one trying to pass the buck of her parental responsibilities.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago

A tragic and compelling article – thank you. “Phone-shaped goldfish bowl” seems to me to sum up the current challenges of teen and pre-teen years wonderfully well.
I watched the BBC pushing trans, at first subliminally and then, in my perception, relentlessly. Followed by the inevitable news sections about the “crisis” in the NHS because of the waiting lists for gender counselling/surgery etc.
As an aside, combined with their war on a significant element of their own customers because they vote the wrong way, resulted in me losing any lingering respect for them. I now dislike the BBC with a passion and feel sure the feeling is mutual.
The phrase “A close friend turned to music. What we did not have were people whispering to us in our bedrooms that our gender identity was the problem and changing it the solution.” resonated with my own experiences of youth. That’s how my generation got over watching Bowie perform Starman for the first time on (ironically BBC’s) Top of the Pops!

Gavin Thomas
Gavin Thomas
1 year ago

I have three (different) daughters but all of them went through a ‘Tom Boy’ phase. Girls undergo big hormone changes at puberty and this results in a lot of confusion. Teenage girls can be very bitchy and hurtful to each other and peer pressure is enormous. The reaction is to spurn female traits – cut hair short, wear male clothing, etc. However, this phase wears off and the female side emerges within a few years.
I covered this by including them in many activities, sport, theatre, cooking, mechanics etc. and my girls have become very well rounded women who can cook, shoot, row, play hockey, draw, play the piano, change a tyre, scuba dive, snowboard, sail, water-ski and enjoy opera, theatre and art galleries.
There’s a whole world out there for youngsters other than sexual identity, so stop blaming the schools – YOU are the parent.

Brian Pan
Brian Pan
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Thomas

I concur. It’s a rough world. But, it always has been a rough world. It’s the parent’s job and responsibility to help their child navigate through it safely until they reach adulthood.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Thomas

The difficult aspect of this is that so many parents have handed the job of raising their children to schools, even the author accuses the school of “passing the buck” to her! The buck should stop with the parent! Where the schools fail children is with affirmative care, by using preferred pronouns and new names! I read a recent NSPCC article about how LGBQT+ kids are more vulnerable, the article, using quotes from childline callers and Stonewall, describe how children, encouraged by their school’s LGBQT club, have outed themselves to their parents and are not being supported with their new identity and are at risk of being made homeless and put in to care!! The blame is dropped at the feet of the unsupportive parents, not the irresponsible actions of the schools LGBT club! Good grief! Grown adults risk losing their family when outing themselves but let’s encourage children to do it over a phase they’re probably going through because that’s going to end well!!! (Sarcasm for those that miss it)

Last edited 1 year ago by Lindsay S
bill hughes
bill hughes
1 year ago

Future generations will gasp when they discover our solution to childrens mental illness was to tell them to change sex!

David Bell
David Bell
1 year ago

Is there a husband or male partner to help in this?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  David Bell

It’s a good point. I do think feminism has devalued the traditional female roles, those related to biology, and recreated the idea of woman in the image of man whilst insisting men should become more feminine (In the eighties, men were told they should get in touch with their feminine side.). Maybe the rise in the transgender population is the consequence.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  David Bell

One can assume the answer. When i was addicted to the web in my teens my dad hid my PC from me for three months until I’d recovered.

Last edited 1 year ago by R Wright
Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

I respect your dad!

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  David Bell

‘To answer your question with another question…’

I read this earlier, wondered that and came back to see if anyone else had had the same thought. “We asked our daughter gently what was troubling her” implies the father’s in the picture, but to what extent is unclear given other bits like “a senior teacher rang me at work”/”they had me in for a meeting, two against one”/”I think I have made it clear that I love her”. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, as the man said.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Watson
Possum Magic
Possum Magic
1 year ago

This is, with just minor tweeks, the exact story of my own experience with our erstwhile daughter. My anger is that, just as young people are co-opted into mass movements (Think communism, extremist Islamic groups, extreme right-wing Christian groups etc), so my daughter has been a victim and due to her wonderful neuro diversity is suffering the consequence. Sadly she has saved up enough money to have “top surgery“. An elective double mastectomy by another name. At 22 she is still struggling with so many things that many of us managed to get through by the age of 18 or 19.

Thank you for your essay and story on the subject. It has inspired me to join in the debate and pushback at the industry that is damaging our children.

For the record I am happily male and always have been.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Possum Magic

You need to try and make sure she understands the lifelong consequences of her actions.

Debbie Ashton
Debbie Ashton
1 year ago

My daughter is 12 and at the age of 10 declared they were “trans” on a school Teams chat during lockdown. Since then I have been battling with school to listen to my concerns but I am always considered to be the one in the wrong. I love my child dearly, but even though I have nurtured them and have a deep understanding of them, my point of view or common sense thinking isn’t thought relevant!!!! My daughter has now been diagnosed with anorexia which gives me the same feelings as the cutting behaviour. We have to be so careful of what we say and how we manage their fragile mental health we can’t challenge their “trans” view point as just keeping them out of hospital and healthy is our 1st concern. I would love to be able to get in touch with Jo (author) or any other parent that is going through this truly frustrating senerio. People are too scared to discuss matters logically for fear of being labelled “anti” anything.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Ashton

I might think that many parents are now facing these issues so well expressed by the author and some comments. Groups really need to form to share openly among the mothers and daughters their concerns. What seems clear is that schools and many professionals for many unclear reasons are affirming these trans ideas. The teen years for children are difficult enough without having trans notions to complicate matters.

The 2nd Earl
The 2nd Earl
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

They won’t get their LGBT gold/silver awards if they don’t act affirmatively.

TERRY JESSOP
TERRY JESSOP
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Ashton

at the age of 10 declared they were “trans”:- I think I see part of the problem here. By referring to your daughter as “they” (which I guess is her preferred pronoun), you are indulging her illogical thinking.I would think that polite but firm disagreement would be the way to go.

M. Jamieson
M. Jamieson
1 year ago
Reply to  TERRY JESSOP

It’s becoming very common to see this construction even with people who use standard pronouns. Horrible but often unintentional.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Ashton

Take your child’s phone and stop them from being groomed in Discord servers.

Jay Bee
Jay Bee
1 year ago

‘We know as girls that life was tough but that it was our biology that kept us down
.I knew that being raped at 16 was entirely down to my biology as a transiently useful vagina-haver, lacking the strength and confidence to fight back. I knew that handicapping my career in my 30s was due to my biology as a uterus-haver and chest feeder. I was aware that the lasting damage to my pelvic floor from a forceps delivery was tied to the biological role of birthing parent. I know that my current invisibility is due to my biology as a woman in menopause’.
ï»ż

.and you are wondering why your daughter is interested in transitioning?

Last edited 1 year ago by Jay Bee
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Bee

Language matters, that’s for sure!

Last edited 1 year ago by Lindsay S
Karen Mosley
Karen Mosley
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Bee

As stated above, she is being ironic. Indeed, ‘bitterly ironic’ as one commentator used. These awful phrases are the ones transidealogues use to describe women, as we’re not allowed to use that term anymore for fear of upsetting ‘women’ who don’t have them. She is angry that these terms are used are used against her.

Joff Brown
Joff Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Mosley

Yes, this is so obvious it shouldn’t need pointing out.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Joff Brown

I know, rather surprising that Unherd readers are so reactionary and lacking in sensitivity to identify such a flagged nuance.

Jay Bee
Jay Bee
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Mosley

I’m aware of the ironic intent of the paragraph under discussion – obviously
 The woke-speak now by used by trans-activists to describe women is, I agree, repugnant.
However, the writer’s litany of woes she uses to illustrate and confirm her sex are not helpful to her essential argument, in my opinion. For this reader, it came across as unnecessarily self indulgent and ‘bitter’, regardless of the dripping irony.

Gillian Johnstone
Gillian Johnstone
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Bee

I was about to write a comment on exactly this. The mother seems to blame all the disappointments in her life on being a woman. No wonder her daughter has absorbed that message and come to the conclusion that being an adult woman is not something to aspire to.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
1 year ago

I think this is one of the best crafted articles I have ever read, as well as having apparently been created by somebody with the patience of a saint, and the knowledge of Solomon – or should that be Sheba?
Either way, a wonderful contribution. Thank you

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Elon Musk’s son’s simultaneous embrace of a transgender identity and rejection of his father supports the conjecture the taking on of a transgender identity is a form of teenage rebellion. In the past rebellious teenagers identified as goths or punks.

Sheila Dowling
Sheila Dowling
1 year ago

I wonder if Elon Musk’s child has rejected Elon’s fortune?

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

Many alternative kids today are heading down the Trans route, it’s no longer enough to be punk or goth or emo, now you have to be either trans or non binary too. These are the kids who have always felt like they were on the outside and were seen to be more likely to self harm and attempt suicide so I guess it stands to reason


Heather Erickson
Heather Erickson
1 year ago

Well becoming goth or punk didn’t include surgeries and hormones that leave you infertile. Also school psychologists didn’t demand your parents call you by your goth name and pronouns.

The 2nd Earl
The 2nd Earl
1 year ago

I agree only in part. Rebellion is present but it is not true rebellion in that same tribal, counter-culture sense for this group. All these trans-boys would indeed have been emos ten years ago – that culture adopted the use of mental health fetishism as a way of making awkwards seem interesting, and moving it into biology is the next step in raising the stakes – or self harmers, so indicative of genuine, deeper troubles.

But it is a failure in female subjectivity also: there are no ‘pretty/popular’ girls who suddenly reject femininity in this demographic. None.

They also do it in groups, competing for labels and discussing them like accessories. Some of this grouping is not online as often peer-groups of around three or more friends suddenly advise their school they were all boys/non-binary simultaneously.

Some are very obviously lesbians but channelled by goodness knows what toxic forces into believing they are male.

Finally, being around trans-boys for any amount of time confirms one thing the mother above tacitly acknowledges: these girls haven’t the first idea what being a boy actually is. It’s like a form of camp where the characteristics being exaggerated are not understood. Their friends are all girls and a few non-threatening boys, just like the mother reports. They have no interest in rough-and-tumble, sports, male banter or interests. Instead, they dress *exactly* in line with emo fashion from a decade ago, have a group of similarly dresssed female friends – some of whom they hold hands with – and progress into arts and humanities degrees.

The problem with it is that there *are* some young girls and boys (and adults) who have gender dysphoria, and this appropriation of their difficulty – and the desire to be so publicly obvious about it as a means of seeking attention – devalues that usually more private and legitimate struggle. There is something very wrong about society not questioning that.

As an interesting aside, those ‘non-threatening boys’ I mentioned above are always straight and not really playing in the friend-zone at all. Kudos to them for investing in the long game.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  The 2nd Earl

I agree there is a large performative component of being transgender. I am mystified by the argument I am a boy/girl/man/woman because I feel like I am a boy/girl/man/woman. I don’t feel like a woman, I am a woman who feels many different things.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Will D. Mann
Will D. Mann
1 year ago
Reply to  The 2nd Earl

My daughter played rugby and football at school, was pretty and popular as a teenager then decided to transition to being a boy in his twenties while researching for a science PhD. As parents we found this bemusing, our child was of course an adult and able to make their own decisions, we were supportive and today our new son is happily married and enjoying their career in science.
I suppose the point is that one shouldn’t make to many assumptions or generalisations or assume transitioning is always a mistake.
Looking back on his childhood there were many pointers to his later need to transition, though we were oblivious to them at the time and would have benefited if more help and information had been available from the school or elsewhere

Last edited 1 year ago by Will D. Mann
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Will D. Mann

I hope your child is content but, she is not a he.

Joyce Brette
Joyce Brette
1 year ago

Well said. So many people seem to not want to rock the boat and go along with the deluded notion that by putting a dress on, a man is now a woman. A man is a man and a woman is a woman, no amount of woke verbal cr*p , dressing up or surgery can ever change that. The country is being overrun by pathetic brain dead lefties who think they can change the world because they demand it.

Ian Ryder
Ian Ryder
1 year ago

“What is particularly baffling is why a mental difficulty that suddenly arises in adolescence is treated as a newly revealed truth, rather than a problem to be worked through and overcome..Many of these girls are struggling mentally, and indeed some are diagnosed with autism. If my child had an eating disorder, I do not think I would be encouraged to order diet books and seek gastric surgery. â€ Spot on.
Trans by Helen Joyce and Material Girls by Kathleen Stock offer insight into the insidious ways the trans lobby propaganda has captured the narrative and bewitched both the lay and medical establishments into accepting affirmation as the only option. Social contagion of both young people and the professionals looks to be the most likely explanation for the burgeoning trans movements advances.
I wish you luck. But I doubt you will find much help from the psychology industry, which has bought into this madness just as much as in the last millennium they held homosexuality to be a mental illness (it was only deleted from the American Psychiatrists Diagnostic manual in 1973).

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Ryder
Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Here’s a piece that argues that the trans thing in girls issues from their guilt about being privileged whites.
https://amgreatness.com/2022/06/24/the-assault-on-childrens-psyches/
True? Or eevil right-wing conspiracy theory? You make the call.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

I think there is 101 reasons that we have this epidemic of Trans boys. I believe it starts on the internet and then is compounded by affirmative care.
If ever there was a reason to be put off having kids, it’s raising them in this environment!

Toby 0
Toby 0
1 year ago

This de-transitioner says explicitly that when she decided to become trans her thought process was: “I don’t want to be cis because cis means you’re uncool and you’re privileged and you’re an oppressor and you’re bad. I don’t want to be that… Obviously I can’t change my race. I can’t change my sexuality. So the only thing left was to start playing around with the gender stuff”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibq3ld087Y4

Michael James
Michael James
1 year ago

‘I was told by the school about the cutting — a senior teacher called me at work — handing over the problem rather than offering any solutions.’
Self-harm is an issue for parents, not teachers.

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael James

Yes, that comment was a misfire in an otherwise sympathy inducing piece.

Veronica Lowe
Veronica Lowe
1 year ago

Schools appear to be swallowing all the trendy stuff, and it seems to affect young people who feel less able to be ‘part of the group’. Schools are rushing to make uniform and toilets unisex. Any child who ‘decides’ to change gender will immediately be referred to in the chosen gender, or in the plural neuter. It is extrememly dangerous.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
1 year ago
Reply to  Veronica Lowe

Perhaps a Church school might be the answer to some of this, where state schools seem all too ready to support this. Certainly an RC school would be resistant to this sort of indoctrination I would think unless they have changed since my convent school days.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Veronica Lowe

They are not just swallowing it they are teaching it. A delightful year 9 boy told me there are eleven different genders and babies are not born either male or female but are on a spectrum. I was shocked and tried reasoning with him but he was adamant it was true because his biology teacher told him. He attends an academically outstanding state comprehensive. When I broached the subject a few weeks later, he said there aren’t eleven different genders, there are seventy two. Truth matters to this boy and he couldn’t deal with the thought his biology teacher was wrong, he also said he doesn’t want to offend anyone so clearly it has been drilled into him, he mustn’t offend certain groups of people.

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
1 year ago

Puberty is a difficult period as you do move away from being a definite child towards a sexual adult. My brother and a friend of ours both have this problem, funnily enough both of the girls in question wanting to be called the same boys name. Changing your name or claiming to be male or female, when you have a body that is obviously the opposite doesn’t make you what you aren’t. I could claim to identify with millionaires but I obviously don’t have a penny to my name, so would be laughed out of court and it is the same here. Chopping off bits of your anatomy or creating false organs through surgery won’t change a problem that exists principally between the ears – hence those going through gender reassignment surgery can find it is not the miracle cure they had hoped for but now they are saddled with a wrecked body that really is gender neutral. When I look at the world I see a generation that has lost its way and I don’t mean just in this respect but also any significant roles in society.

John Tyler
John Tyler
1 year ago

An emotional, heart-felt article. Thanks for speaking out with such honesty.

Lana Hunneyball
Lana Hunneyball
1 year ago

“Playing with matches in a parched field” – this says it all. What’s the difference between traditional war and the war being waged on youth of today by toxic capitalism (sorry, that’s what’s behind it) wielded by the media, its weapon of mass destruction.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

Tragic, pathetic, depressing, horrible — yes, all of that. The mother and daughter, both, have my heartfelt sympathy.
But I hear her telling us, “a formal statement of a trans identity came in the form of a nicely put-together document….All were puzzled and didn’t know what to say.”….and I am gobsmacked by their puzzlement.
What is there to be puzzled about?
If my daughter one day tells me she is a Martian…and has a ‘nicely put together document’ detailing where she stands on the ‘I’mAMartian’ scale, who would be puzzled? There are no Martians. It is impossible. And just because she hangs-out with others who equally believe themselves Martians, this does not make Martian-hood a puzzle of a problem requiring new pronouns and breast-binders and down-payments on tickets to Mars.
If one day I find my daughter, in her room surrounded by vials of poison, jars of nightshade, pill bottles full of arsenic, I don’t simply have some mild concerns that, maybe, she is misguided. I don’t find myself rationalizing that “It seems that ‘poison’ is offered to kids these days as a way out of their confusion and misery”…so maybe I need to be more tolerant. NO!
Trans identities are not a way out of anything save sanity. If we are confused and miserable, immersion in even more confusion and misery solves nothing. Even worse, immersion in the impossible fantasy that I have superhuman abilities that allow me to change sexes (my so-called ‘gender identity’) at will & whim is not just miserably confused but dangerously and absolutely wrong. It cannot and does not and will not happen.
The author says, “The school brings in organisations to talk about trans identities in a positive way”…but that, too is or should be impossible. Responsible, mature adults….teachers, counselors, et al should be categorically unable to talk about ‘trans identities’ in any way other than condemnatory. There is no such thing as a ‘trans identity’; there is only our identity as individuals and as category reps of the demographics we are born into. You are woman, hear you roar! And it doesn’t matter how much a man want reality to be otherwise, he is not and will not ever become a woman roaring.
Now as an adult, we are all free to do as we choose. If I choose to live my life believing myself to be the King of Siam (my preferred pronoun is ‘Your Majesty’), then that’s entirely my business. And it remains my business alone until or unless I begin to demand that you use my pronoun and bow deeply when you do so.
But children? No. There should be absolutely no reinforcement of whatever delusion they might currently inhabit. As Morrison told us quite clearly, “Ghosts crowd the young girl’s fragile, eggshell mind!” To prey upon the most vulnerable among us, to pour poison in their ear and call it good — THAT should be unforgivably impossible.

Nina Murden
Nina Murden
1 year ago

For extensive advice from an organisation set up to question the trans ideology go tohttps://www.transgendertrend.com/
The founder Stephanie Davies Arai was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to children last month. She is a tour de force and has resources such as schools packs that can be taken into, or sent into schools that are factually and legally correct on for example single sex toilet facilities and sports’ provision.

Ruth Conlock
Ruth Conlock
1 year ago
Reply to  Nina Murden

Brilliant organisation!

Catherine Burke Mueller
Catherine Burke Mueller
1 year ago

I am in the states and it is quite rampant here. What is not being addressed are the teens and young people who also find the entire situation baffling but are terrified to speak up and be seen as transphobic. They learned so early to shut up and go with the crowd. My daughter has a close friend who is very troubled and has suffered for years from several incorrectly diagnosed mental illnesses. Sure enough, a year ago she began to question her sexual orientation. She has a boyfriend now and seems to have drifted from that path, but my daughter came to me at the time and said, “You know, I don’t think she is trans. I think she’s just depressed and confused.” From the mouths of babes.

Last edited 1 year ago by Catherine Burke Mueller
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

The conjecture – embracing a transgender identity maybe a form of teenage rebellion – is supported anecdotally. I apparently cannot say more.

Ken Charman
Ken Charman
1 year ago

An all too familiar story. How has a minute minority view taken control of our public institutions, the media, and even has the law on its side to silence perfectly valid scepticism and science based doubt?

J. Hale
J. Hale
1 year ago

If I tell people I’m Napoleon they will tell me I’m crazy. But if I tell people I’m a woman, they’ll politely agree. How weird.

Richard Abbot
Richard Abbot
1 year ago

A terrible and sad tale.
However, assuming that the last but one paragraph is real, and not intended to be ironic, then that is the soil from which the problem emerged.

TopCat
TopCat
1 year ago

I have three daughters 10, 7 and 5 and this piece terrifies me. Important and rare to hear it though, thank you.

belinda shaw
belinda shaw
1 year ago

You are a good mother and I hope your daughter escapes from the transgender cult and flourishes as a young woman. The gender ideology activists are as evil as the anorexia promoters and the self-harm enthusiasts. It is a pathology and a mental health problem. We will look back on this awful period as an exercise in child abuse and misogyny.

h w
h w
1 year ago

Parents: changing or avoiding the sad situation described in the article will take serious adult effort, maybe taking child out of school, doing less paid work, moving. Our children need us to raise them.
1 – Do not be displaced by peers, screens, social media, gurus, or counsellors and guest-gurus at schools.
2 – We are the people responsibile for our chidlren’s well-being. If a school or any institution is ignoring you as the parent or harming your child, remove the child from that institution.
3 – minimize screen use; find learning that does not require screens; your kid does not need a cell phone; go play outside.
4 – delight in and spend a lot of time with your children so they attach primarily to you – have a family life.
5 – love and connect with your children’s friends and their parents: form a village. Paid gov’t ‘service provider’ staff who treat you as a ‘client’ are not villagers.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago
Reply to  h w

Yep and the obvious way to achieve this is to have parent(s) at home with a full time job of looking after the offspring.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago
Reply to  h w

Very wise but hard to do in practice. If two parents are working, they also need to contend with peer pressure and media, and be prepared to be unpopular with their kids.

Johnny West
Johnny West
1 year ago

My heart goes out to you – and it seems like you have done the best you could. Here in Germany, we have a similar situation with the daughter of a family friend. From one day to the next the school announced a new name and pronouns. Last year, one counsellor pressed a card into the girl’s hand and told her to call at any time at all if she was having suicidal thoughts. A few days later – she had suicidal thoughts and from then on was calling various social services from her bedroom while her mother cooked supper downstairs. I realise the above could sound heartless – what if she *did* have suicidal thoughts? But it has been impossible to escape the feeling that there is a system in place geared to find and nurture problems, and that most schools just want to put their heads in the sand. The reaction of our kids and most of their friends is interesting: they are careful to acknowledge the issue, but at the same time sometimes a sense of distance pokes through from some casual ironical comment. And to be fair, the broader environment in which they are becoming adults is one in which, in general, there is less emphasis on facts and truth than in whole of the last century – so it’s not as though we are setting them a shining example.

Last edited 1 year ago by Johnny West
Kimberly Schreder
Kimberly Schreder
1 year ago

My sympathies to the mother of this child, but perhaps it was the teacher in me who reacts to her comment “handing over the problem rather than offering any solutions”. I’m an American, and for too long there has been an expectation schools should raise children. Of course the teacher should inform the parent of a problem–that’s who is raising the child, and who ultimately has to deal with the child’s issues. It isn’t “handing over the problem”…it’s asking you to do your job as a parent.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kimberly Schreder
Pete Rose
Pete Rose
1 year ago

A friend of mine’s wife died when their daughter was 12 years old. His daughter’s school gave her 2 sessions of grief counselling. Not long after, she decided she was a boy in a girl’s body. So far the school has given her over 10 counselling sessions to help her cope with her transition, not even seeing the blatant connection with her loss.
Schools are now worse than useless because they are obsessed with whatever fad is currently in fashion, primarily to feel relevant and ‘with it’. Teaching core subjects now comes in at a very distant second, while critical thinking and diversity of thought are nowhere to be seen. I have two kids under 10 and I’m concerned for their future educational and mental development, as I’ve lost all faith in our schools and the clown-like quango that oversees quality of “teaching”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pete Rose
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

“I still cannot explain the move from being sexy to denial of being female at all, expect perhaps as an admission of defeat as an attractive teen girl.”
I think you may hit the nail on the head with that statement.

Max Richardson
Max Richardson
1 year ago

Hang on minute. The manifestations of transness in this example seem to be limited to boy’s clothes and haircut, breast-binding, belching and man-spreading. And the kid still confides in her mum about clothing choices and difficulties at school. My guess is that this trans identity is providing an effective bridge out of her adolescent traumas, and is actually a positive proactive choice when compared to some of the more nihilistic things that teens do to self medicate.

If I was her parent I might be thinking that I got off lightly. But I’d be very annoyed at the school for the pronoun validation and absolutely terrified that she would take things further, medically.

And this is the crux of it. Playing around with gender is as naff as any other teenage rebellion, but no less effective; previous generations have proved that the rebellion itself is sufficient for an adolescent to find release. So it follows that we can be clear that the validation from the adult world isn’t needed. This whole topic would be a non-story if it wasn’t for the adults deciding to get involved.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

No discussion of the possibility that your daughter might be a lesbian. Maybe the time spent with the daughter of friends who flaunted her developing female sexuality was a awakening for your daughter as to what was her true sexual orientation ?

Nunya Bizness
Nunya Bizness
1 year ago

Re: “I grew up in the Seventies and Eighties. We knew as girls that life was tough but that it was our biology that kept us down, and while we were striving to change that, we knew it would be a long fight. I knew that being raped at 16 was entirely down to my biology as a transiently useful vagina-haver, lacking the strength and confidence to fight back. I knew that the handicapping of my professional career in my 30s was due to my biology as a uterus-haver and chest-feeder. I was aware that the lasting damage to my pelvic floor from a forceps delivery was tied to the biological role of birthing parent. I know that my current invisibility is due to my biology as a woman in menopause.”
It’s no wonder your daughter hates being a girl; you seem to hate being a woman. You see all of girls’ and women’s natural biological functions solely in negative terms. Where’s anything of the joy of feeling a baby kick inside the womb? Of being able to feed a baby with your own body? Do you think men are happy enduring callouses, broken bones, and injuries they do when working (it’s they who suffer 92% of workplace injuries)? Do you think they like male-pattern baldness, erectile dysfunction, and prostate cancer? You really need to expand your horizons and develop some empathy for men.
And you really need to stop using phrases like “chest-feeder.” No wonder your daughter’s messed up. Get your head straight, start praying, think things through. I truly hope your daughter comes around!

Jay Bee
Jay Bee
1 year ago
Reply to  Nunya Bizness

Made a very similar comment earlier in the thread and was bombarded with ‘writer was being ironic’ responses . I agree wholeheartedly with you. There is also the whiff of martyrdom surrounding the particular comments you reference.

Ruth Conlock
Ruth Conlock
1 year ago
Reply to  Nunya Bizness

She’s highlighting the erasure of the words ‘women’ and ‘girls’ promoted by gender ideologists and the centrality of women’s biological sex in the way women as a sex class are oppressed. Stop lecturing her and listen!

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Heartbreaking. I hope there is a happy ending for you and your daughter.

Maureen Finucane
Maureen Finucane
1 year ago

This is a desperately sad story. Meanwhile in the US, while the left were busily promoting the trans ideology, the right with laser like ruthless focus, have achieved the biggest assault on women’s rights in 50 years by dismantling Roe v Wade.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

A desperately sad story, true.
But there is no ‘ruthless focus’ in the American Right; nor has the Right actually achieved anything themselves in the recent Court finding. Rather SCOTUS ruled on an issue of law, as they should always so rule. Roe v. Wade was bad law; it’s always been bad law, founded on a cotton-candy of a ‘right’ to abortion which was magically hidden within a discovered ‘right to privacy’ which was itself buried in the 14th Amendment which states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Can you find a right to Privacy in there, let alone a right to kill an unborn child? I can’t. Neither can I link a right to Privacy (wherever the Justices found it) to a right to kill the unborn. Though I can instead quite easily find a Constitutional commitment to the ‘right to life’ of the child targeted for abortion. The truth is, no one is naturally endowed with a right to kill their children. That is not a ‘privilege’ of citizenship.
We could, of course, argue that, yes, if a State chooses to make abortion illegal via ‘due process of law’ that does ‘deprive’ the mother of some degree of liberty, but the alternative is the state depriving the child of her life to give the mother her freedom. The two imperatives collide. But even given such a collision it would be difficult to argue that a right to liberty gives one the right to commit murder to avoid the ‘bondage’ of motherhood, at any age.
Again, the truth is that parenthood DOES inevitably deprive the Parent of some degree of liberty. But it is not the State which makes one a Parent; rather it is the decision to have sex which creates the potential to become a parent.
The thing is, at the most fundamental level, no woman has a right to not be pregnant. Neither does she have a right to BE pregnant. Pregnancy is a condition beyond rights and beyond choice. If it were a matter of choice there would be no infertile couples. Rather pregnancy is a random, largely uncontrollable outcome of sexual intercourse. When we choose to have sex with Sandy we accept the fact that there is a possibility (however dim, however much we might seek to prevent it) that Sandy will be tied to us forever as a co-parent of a child neither of us actually — at the time — wanted.
That’s how life works. And life, sometimes, many times? is inconvenient.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

Beautifully put!

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago

Great article. Thank you.
However, I think your subtitle ‘The school encouraged her at every turn.’ is unfair as this is only a tiny part of the issues covered in the article.
Schools simply are not equipped to deal with these precialist, personal issues, and, why should they? They should flag the issues, be supportive and point towards help. This is a societal issue.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mike Bell
Marianne Vigreux
Marianne Vigreux
1 year ago

Thankyou for your article.

I can recommend contacting The Association of Child (and Adolescent) Psychotherapists (ACP) for expert professional help for your daughter, and you as a family.
Another thought: what often seems to get overlooked is the correlation between gender dysphoria and undiagnosed Autistic Spectrum Disorder; ASD all to offen gets missed in girls, and it is often only in adolescence, when the difficulties re social commuication and identity emerge,that distress gets picked up as it impacts on mental health with self-harming to manage unknown/un-nameable and manageable emotions; screening and assessment for ASD is via Community Paediatrics; GP can refer.
But I would contact the ACP in the first instance.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I think I understand exactly why the penultimate paragraph sounds so bizarre.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
D L
D L
1 year ago

Well said

David Batlle
David Batlle
1 year ago

Read the last two paragraphs of this article, and you will understand why the authors daughter was so vulnerable to the trans cult.

S Hunt
S Hunt
1 year ago

Go read a Substack called PITT. It’s very enlightening.

Amos Sullivan
Amos Sullivan
1 year ago

The sickness of liberalism has created a deeply flawed concept of inclusion which requires our children be a=sacrifices to the sickness that is homosexuality.
Until these people are placed in camps for full psychiatric counseling to clear their minds of sexual deviancy, they are a great threat to society.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

Your penultimate paragraph explains everything about your daughter’s problems.
Poor girl.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
vinu arumugham
vinu arumugham
1 year ago

Role of vaccine-induced juvenile autoimmune hypothyroidism in gender dysphoriahttps://vinuarumugham.substack.com/p/role-of-vaccine-induced-juvenile
Cow’s milk protein contaminated vaccines cause 75% of autism caseshttps://vinuarumugham.substack.com/p/cows-milk-protein-contaminated-vaccines
Autism and Gender Dysphoriahttps://pitt.substack.com/p/autism-and-gender-dysphoria
It is an industry that thrives on making us sick and keeping us sick for life.