An American mother who transitioned her 4-year-old son to live as a girl and then realized her mistake and transitioned him back to live as himself has told of the harrowing experience in a recent interview on the Triggernometry podcast, describing the realization that her son was not trans as being like “leaving a cult.”
Rose, who says she was a social justice warrior and a “true believer” of gender identity ideology, explained that she and her partner had socially transitioned their older son, a gender-nonconforming little boy who shows signs of autism, because they truly believed in innate gender identities and saw their effeminate boy as a “transgender girl.”
Rose said her oldest son was always different, and because they were looking at his differences through the lens of social justice and gender ideology, they saw a transgender child. Despite a nagging sense of discomfort, they did what good progressive parents are expected to do in that situation: they affirmed him and changed his name and pronouns.
It was only when his younger brother, at three years of age, announced that he too was a girl that the two mothers started to question the entire concept of the transgender child.
Rose describes bringing up their younger son’s transgender identity with the gender therapist, expressing her doubt that the identity was genuine, telling the therapist she felt it was more likely because he wanted to be close to his older sibling. But she describes being shocked when the therapist instantly began referring to her younger son as a girl.
“Immediately she switched to saying ‘she’ for our younger son. Just within seconds, literally seconds,” said Rose. “You know, you hear the stories of ‘my child wasn't assessed.’ Assessment doesn't exist when you believe that someone is innately trans. Assessment is actually in violation of that.”
The incident led to the two mothers no longer suppressing their doubts, nor ignoring their instincts, and they began to research and ask difficult questions. At the end of this, they came to the conclusion that neither of their sons was transgender.
Rose feels an important aspect when it comes to the concept of the transgender child is the idea at the heart of the belief system that the child should lead the parents, which she believes is contradictory and subverts the natural hierarchical parent/child relationship.
“It's contradictory because once children say they are the opposite sex, then adults lead them to gender affirmation,” she explained. “What I realized in those two plus years of anguish was that I had led my child into it, and therefore I must lead him out of it. It is my responsibility. I am the one who's taking him off. I saw it as a highway, where I drove him on the on-ramp; I'm driving him off.”
Her young son was initially angry at being told the truth, that he was male and that meant he could never be a girl because girls are female.
“He said to me, ‘Mama, this is your fault. You changed my name’,” said Rose.
But his anger was short-lived. The very next day, though he was still hurting, Rose detected a sense of relief in him. Relief that his parents were back in charge, that an adult burden had been lifted from his shoulders.
Rose feels that applying gender identity ideology to children involves “a subversion of instincts” and “an inversion of reality.”
“Parents who are in this are absolutely believing they're doing the right thing for their child,” she explained. “So all of those instincts to protect at all costs are there, but it's based on something that is not real. That is the power of having this locked-in belief system.”
She said liberal parents are told that only bad conservative parents don’t want to transition their children, and to be a good progressive parent, you must grieve the loss of your son and accept that you have a daughter.
Loving parents are forced to ignore their instincts, swallow their doubts, and deny their natural impulse to protect their children from harm by the built-in narrative that all questions and doubts are the result of transphobia.
“When you have questions and doubts, you tell yourself that that's transphobia,” said Rose. “So there's a self-reinforcing kind of circle loop of keeping you in something even, and maybe especially, when you're uncomfortable with it.”
The most important piece of advice Rose has for parents who find themselves navigating a similar nightmare is to understand that it is not transphobic to ask questions, and to picture their child at 20, 30, 40, or 50 years old.
“It is not transphobic to question whether or not essentially telling your child that they can change sex is in their best interest. It's not transphobic to not feel good about this…and it's a place where I just really encourage people if you have doubts, to listen to them.”
Rose uses the analogy of a train as a way to help parents envision the pathway they are setting their child on when they embark upon the seemingly harmless, compassionate intervention of social transition.
“Some people have talked about this as a train. You know, if you are affirming your child currently you have put your child on that train, your child is on the train, and it has one destination,” she said.
That destination is an experimental sex change, with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that leave the young person infertile and lacking sexual function, as well as the amputation of healthy body parts in the form of bilateral mastectomies and genital amputation.
“You need to have the courage to grab your child's hand, and jump off [the train]. And there may be distress, there may be anger, there may be tears at the impact. But just be patient. Stay calm, and over time healing will come.”“My core belief at this point…really rests on the fact that it is impossible to change sex…why are we telling children that they can?” concluded Rose.
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