Saturday, 30 April 2016

Keeping secrets, being hated, hoping and waiting.

Good parents love their children. They want the best for them. They want them to grow into independent, happy adults. They enjoy being with them. They feel proud of their achievements and support them in their challenges, They are there for them in their setbacks and drop everything to be there in their despair.

Good parents accept that their children have to choose their own way. They have to make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes. As the children grow nearer to adulthood, they may offer guidance but never give orders.

Which is fine, until they make really bad choices and those choices threaten their permanent well being. When those choices have serious irreversible consequences.

If these choices involve serious drug abuse, crime, abusive relationships or can be seen as part of mental illness, there are support groups, interventions, X-anonymous and mental health systems and therapies.

The rules of parenting then change. Kids will hate their parents and rage at them. Society and friends will support them, understand that the parents are seeing the bigger picture and have their kids best interests at heart. The parents will be told how courageous they are. Everyone will sympathise with the hard choices having to be made and reassure the parents that they are doing the right thing. Their child will thank them in the end.

When your child falls under the spell of transgender none of that happens.

They will hate you. They will tell you that only surgery and drugs will make life bearable. You are an evil hateful person for not helping them down the path laid out for them by bright new progressive world of trans gender.

And you will feel utterly alone. The media, politicians, rock stars, your child's school and the health service will tell you that you have to support your child by agreeing to whatever they feel they need to do. To do anything else is to show what a bigoted, prejudiced and transphobic person you are. You will be to blame if your child self harms or commits suicide.

You have to keep all this secret, for your child's privacy and to avoid confrontations that will push you child away. You have to protect your friends and extended family from the grief and from having to pick sides.

Your have to face the well meaning parents of your child's friends. They smugly use the new pronouns. You will see the flash of liberal revulsion on their faces when you don't join in and instead you use the name that you have used for the whole of your child's life.

You desperately try to keep some relationship going, without giving in to the insane demands, but avoiding confrontation. You weather the rage and the sulks, bottling down your anger and hurt. You will do anything you can to draw your child back to reality and to set up situations where you can do something together that makes you feel like a normal parent and where you can be happy together.

That's all  you can do. You keep as much of a relationship going as you can and wait and hope for reality to reassert itself.

You have (maybe, please god) your partner and those few friends who you can trust, but are distant enough to not get drawn in, that you can spill your story to. You have the radical feminists and lesbians you find on the internet, who have never believed the crap and are kind and wonderful heroes. You have the few professionals who put their heads above the parapet. They are mostly anonymous and in fear for their jobs.

We have each other and share our stories, so we know we are not alone. We have the really brave trans survivors who can tell us their stories and show us a future, full of struggle and pain but with some sort of hope.

And we have our pain, hate and rage. Its bottled up. Its making us ill, threatening to explode and hurt those we love. All we can do is keep it bottled and hope that the day will come when we can get together and use it to bring the whole hateful dogma down.


  1. Dad, please know there are a lot of us out here with you, feeling your pain and frustration. It's an amazing mindf*ck to be told that your natural desire to protect your kid's long-term mental and physical health makes you a phobic bigot. It's amazing to know that a counselor will give you a lecture about how you just need to get with the program and be brave. You know? It's unbelievable to know that your once-solid belief in progressivism is no longer sustainable. It's hard. And it pisses me off that very few people acknowledge this. I am sending you solidarity vibes from across the miles. I am sending you a wish for wisdom and strength and the ability to see your child as ... your beloved child, no matter what transpires. This too shall pass, brother. Hang in there. You're really not alone.

    1. Thank you for posting. As parents we need empowered and reminded we are the adults. Any professional complying with the wishes of an adolescent maturing brain should be sensitive but not endorsing. Too much, too young, too soon. Labels are for jam jars not people.

  2. what a great Dad you are, putting yourself on the line to keep her safe from these predators until she is old enough and independent enough to make permanent decisions about her future and for caring about her true wellbeing despite the proliferation of shills and mountebanks eager to recruit cult members.
    its much the same for 'trans widows'- so frustrating, your whole world turned on its head, nowhere you can get appropriate help, no one you can trust, no one you can speak openly to.. its a very lonely, painful place to be - i wish you fortitude and i hope your daughter remains safe from harm. good luck out there in the shitstorm.

  3. Someone who has good reasons to remain anonymous wanted to post the following. I am flattered to be able to post this for her:

    I am so enormously relieved to have found you, a voice of truth and reason echoing exactly what is swirling around my head at this moment. Thank you for sharing this space and laying bare your thoughts, frustrations and hopes. It just helps to know that I'm not alone in trying to protect my daughter from making momentous decisions based on how she thinks she feels at this moment which she could regret for the rest of her life. All I want for her is to wait until she is fully able to consider all of the consequences of this one way path that has her so mesmerised. At this point ih her like she needs to focus on getting through her A levels and college and give herself a fighting chance of making a living in this crazy and competitive world before she makes such a weighty choice. Thank you for being here, deeply and truly thank you.

  4. You're not alone. What you're going through is horrendous, but you're not alone and one day, people will listen to you.


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