Having been a far left progressive my entire life, a bisexual who married another woman before it was legal, I had not given much thought to the recent widespread emergence of trans activism and acceptance other than to think, fantastic, another group gaining civil rights. I vaguely wondered why there were so many trans kids when I had never before heard of this phenomenon in childhood, but I assumed increased visibility came from decreased stigma. I was confident that rigorous psychiatric evaluation must precede any gender reassignment procedures, to address any confounding issues. I celebrated people being accepted for who they are. LGBTQ is my tribe, and social justice is my religion.
My eldest daughter Sophie turns 21 in a few weeks and our family is nothing like I imagined and hoped it would be one the day that she was born.
We have had no contact with Sophie for over a year. She is due to finish her course this summer, but I have heard that she's had difficulties with her studies, even though she had previously been a grade A student.
I've recently learnt through a family member that Sophie has an appointment to discuss surgical transition into a transgender male.
I guess I was lucky that all of this started years ago. Today my son probably would have declared his transgender identity at an earlier age and might have requested surgery. In my ignorance I may have gone along with it. My heart goes out to those parents who are living this nightmare and are being forced to participate in this hideous social experiment. I’ve cried reading these letters and I can’t even imagine having my child taken from me.
Last week Belle was picked up by police under a special warrant and forcefully taken to a locked psychiatric unit. Over the last few months, she had been hospitalized twice for manic episodes, and had developed an obsession with guns, knives and violence. On her Tumblr account, she posted pictures of death, gore and suicide—some of the vilest images on the Internet—posting up to 100 pictures per day. In her diary, her aunt found something so terrifying she called the police.
She had dreams of becoming a professional dancer and she had the talent to do it. Now, she has traded hours of dance training for hours of seclusion...exchanged her pointe shoes for a chest binder, her ballerina bun for a buzz cut.
The powerlessness is the worst part of this nightmare. I work and work and think and think. I have run out of words and ideas and theories and angles. There is nothing left but a paralyzing powerlessness. Nothing left to do or say. Just sit and feel.
All the kids in the new school already had their cliques, and weren’t open to her, but there was one group that was willing to welcome newcomers, and that was the QSA kids. They were nice, smart kids, who were all a little quirky, and I was grateful that they were welcoming of Liv, but I noticed that they all seem to have created these micro-identities. For example, one girl called herself a demi-boy aromantic. They all seemed preoccupied with identity and presentation. Shortly after becoming friends with them, Liv cut her hair and dyed it pink. I saw this as normal teen exploration at this point. I was uneasy about how preoccupied she and her friends were with these issues.
In her new environment filled with support, “unconditional love” and affirmation, Belle’s mental health declined precipitously. Her anxiety and depression exploded. She became heavily dependent on weed. She had her first manic episode and has been admitted to the psych ward several times since, including once where she was brought in by police.