Help for parents
THE TRANS MINEFIELD
Navigating the complexities and misinformation around the trans issue can be incredibly distressing for friends and family of trans youth. There's no question that loving parents want the best for their children, yet in a world where even the most trusted institutions have been captured by gender ideology, exactly what it means to be 'loving' has become blurred.
Does love always mean affirmation? (Hint: NO!). Couldn't there be other underlying issues contributing to their obsession over gender? (Hint: YES!). Aren't children and adolescents too young to make life-altering medical decisions like the loss of fertility? Shouldn't I be allowed to ask them to wait? (Hint: YES!).
Many parents would be shocked to discover that questions like these are now illegal in states like Victoria under the charge of 'conversion and suppression' practices.
Despite the pressure and misinformation, it's vital parents understand compassion and love doesn't have to mean agreeing with their beliefs, or condoning their behaviour.
HOW TO TALK ABOUT THE TRANS ISSUE
Many detransitioners (former trans-identifying people) caution parents of gender dysphoric children against simply presenting scientific facts and arguments about biological sex. While truth is certainly on your side, there are complex layers underlying the gender issue meaning a guns-blazing approach is likely to drive them further down the ideological hole.
It's important to prioritise building a quality relationship with your child and move the conversation away from gender and transitioning as much as it's possible. Remember, studies show around 90% of children will grow out of their gender dysphoria if left to go through normal puberty.
Many young women who were caught up in the transgender craze in their teenage years describe body image issues, unrealistic expectations of womanhood, and a hypersexualised culture as contributing factors leading to their trans identity. Parents play an important role in combating these negative cultural messages and engaging in constructive conversations around some of these damaging lies they may be believing. Flaunting your body and liking 'girly things' do not make a woman, nor do muscles and cars make a man. Gender ideology is purely based on stereotypes and denies the beautiful diversity of character and temperament of males and females.
TIPS FOR FINDING A TRUSTWORTHY THERAPIST
By the parent support group, Parents of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.
Gender dysphoria is a complex and multi-faceted issue that can be caused by many factors. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a therapist who understands this. Many therapists will simply "affirm" your child and set them on the path to social and medical transition.
It is essential to find a therapist who will take a more cautious, psychologically-informed approach to your child. They must take the time to truly understand your child and explore the roots of their dysphoria. And they must be willing to consider healthier, less-invasive alternatives for dealing with your child's dysphoria before resorting to social and/or medical transitioning.
To that end, here are a set of guidelines to help you find a therapist you can trust.
DO NOT take them to any therapist who claims to specialise in 'gender identity,' 'gender dysphoria' or purports to help those who are 'questioning their gender identity'.
These therapists are likely to simply affirm your child and encourage them to persist in their belief without ever questioning why they may feel this way. In some cases, such therapists have recommended social and medical transition after as little as one visit. We have even heard reports of therapists recommending this over the phone without ever having met the child.
Choose an experienced therapist (minimum 10 years) who has a large population of adolescent and young adult patients, especially young girls.
They are most likely to be noticing that a lot of their patients are suddenly deciding they are trans and may already be growing suspicious.
Be proactive. Help them to learn about this dangerous trend by bringing them helpful, authoritative articles, such as
“Gender Dysphoria is Not One Thing” written by Drs. Bailey and Blanchard, two of the world's most respected researchers in gender dysphoria,
“Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Young Adults”, Dr. Lisa Littman’s groundbreaking new study, and
"Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents stirs debate" posted in MedScape.
Before you allow your child to spend any time alone with a therapist, prescreen them by asking them open-ended questions to learn their approach towards gender dysphoric kids.
Really listen to their answers. This should give you a very good idea of their approach.
If they act insulted that you would dare to question them, leave.
If they refuse to tell you their approach, leave.
If they tell you they will 'affirm' your child, or ‘let the child be their guide’, leave.
Be extremely wary of any therapist who intentionally excludes the parents...
from the child's therapy and insists on only seeing the child alone. They may be encouraging your child behind your back. (We have even heard reports of this - and it was at a major children's hospital.)
Find a therapist who is willing to involve the parents - at times - as part of the therapy. Gender dysphoria can have roots in the family dynamic, so it is important to find a therapist who is willing to take this into consideration.
At the very least, please know you are not alone.
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