The difficult first post, how I got here.
I have a beautiful, witty, smart wonderful daughter. She's always been quite quiet, shy but determined when she sets her sights on something. Late to puberty, lost her last milk tooth only a few weeks ago age 16.
A couple of years ago, she told us she was lesbian, our reaction was that we wondered when she was going to tell us, as far as I can tell we were totally relaxed about that, then after a while she was bisexual, fair enough its all a bit academic in my view until you start fooling about with other people.
She asked permission to cut her hair, we'd never said she had to have long hair, I thought it was a fine idea, she could never be arsed to look after it, and had the bone structure and long neck to carry it off. She got it cut and looked fantastic, you could see her smile so much more and her lovely eyes.
She got into wearing men clothes more and more, and wearing sports bras, then a binder, but hey I dressed like a fright at her age.
She dropped hints about trans stuff, nothing specific, just a bit of Social Justice Warrior rubbish that kids say.
In her small group of school friends, people seemed to be changing sexual orientation, then gender identity became the latest trendy thing, we decided to just ignore it, wait for the next thing to come by. She started going to a gendered intelligence support group, which I imagined to be a bit like a feminist consciousness raising group.
We went to a parents evening at her school, a teacher told how much she liked our kid and how well they got on and how she had made her a new name badge and used her preferred pronouns. Its all getting a bit surreal, but we let it ride, kids got important exams coming up, she's had ups and downs at school and doesn't need any more drama, just let it ride.
Then one night we go out for a family meal, lovely place, great food and she started talking about how much better it will be when she's 18 and can start taking Testosterone and have top surgery.
Now I'd always been a right on, lefty, Guardian reader sort of guy, supported LGB rights didn't think anything of it when the Trans got added, but this suddenly got very scary, this was madness, this felt like I was being asked to accept something that seemed so very wrong, what had made my wonderful daughter decide on a course of self mutilation and life long drug dependency.
I was supposed to support her on this difficult journey to a bright new gender fluid future, this was the new modern trans accepting way, that the BBC, the Guardian, the schools and the NHS was supporting as the cure for the latest children's problem gender dysphoria.
I just couldn't go along with this, it seemed like she had given up on being herself, betrayed generations off women who had fought for women's and lesbian rights. It was full of contradictions, it was full of danger for her and would leave her living a lie.
But everyone seemed to expect us to support or even celebrate this, as a liberating act and expression of who our daughter really was.
Was I in a rigid minded bigot, was I transphobic? The only people who seemed to disagree with all this were old women like Germain Greer, trans exclusionary radical feminists, who everyone agreed had lost the plot and just hated men and anyone who wasn't an old feminist.
I wondered if if was losing my balance, my ability to adapt, my sanity, or was I just a minority of one.