PUBLIC DISCOURSE — When a child says he is transgender, we are expected nowadays to accept and celebrate this announcement.
But there are many parents who are not celebrating. They are suffering in silence. They know their children were not born in the wrong bodies and that hormones and surgeries are not the answers to their discomfort and confusion.
Their stories are heartbreaking. Here is one, in her own words.
My daughter, at age fourteen, spontaneously decided that she is actually a male. After suffering multiple traumatic events in her life and spending a large amount of time on the internet, she announced that she was “trans.” Her personality changed almost overnight, and she went from being a sweet, loving girl to a foul-mouthed, hateful “pansexual male.” At first, I thought she was just going through a phase. But the more I tried to reason with her, the more she dug her heels in. Around this time, she was diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. But mental health professionals seemed mainly interested in helping her process her new identity as a male and convincing me to accept the notion that my daughter is actually my son.
At age sixteen, my daughter ran away and reported to the Department of Child Services that she felt unsafe living with me because I refused to refer to her using male pronouns or her chosen male name. Although the Department investigated and found she was well cared for, they forced me to meet with a trans-identified person to “educate” me on these issues. Soon after, without my knowledge, a pediatric endocrinologist taught my daughter—a minor—to inject herself with testosterone. My daughter then ran away to Oregon where state law allowed her—at the age of seventeen, without my knowledge or consent—to change her name and legal gender in court, and to undergo a double mastectomy and a radical hysterectomy.
My once beautiful daughter is now nineteen years old, homeless, bearded, in extreme poverty, sterilized, not receiving mental health services, extremely mentally ill, and planning a radial forearm phalloplasty (a surgical procedure that removes part of her arm to construct a fake penis).
The level of heartbreak and rage I am experiencing, as a mother, is indescribable. Why does Oregon law allow children to make life-altering medical decisions? As a society, we are rightly outraged about “female circumcision.” Why are doctors, who took an oath to first do no harm, allowed to sterilize and surgically mutilate mentally ill, delusional children?