Dear Principal, Teachers, and Social Workers at my children’s high school,
It’s August, and just like you, I am getting ready for the new school year. But perhaps unlike you, I am facing it with a great deal of trepidation. That’s because I have a trans-identifying daughter (whose name and pronoun usage you ostensibly keep a secret from me, even though of course I know) who is entering her final year at your school - and this autumn her younger brother is starting his first year at your school too.
My son does not know about his sister’s trans identification. He does not realize that she suffers from gender dysphoria (GD), although she loudly proclaims she’s bisexual and therefore queer identity every chance she gets and has a lovely girlfriend that he knows and likes. Of all this, he is entirely respectful.
The reason he does not know is because while we believe our daughter has GD (and in fact, it is quite clearly ROGD, given she never had any gender distress before age 13, something your school likely has no clue about, nor do you likely know she is being treated for a mental health condition and known comorbidity of GD), we know - as has been recently demonstrated by the UK’s recently published Interim Cass Review - that there are many ways into and out of GD.
However, your school has decided that there is only one solution for my daughter - social transition - even though social transition is a powerful psycho-social intervention, akin to a medical treatment, that should really only be made in consultation with us parents, her doctor, and her therapist. After all, you seek my permission to give my daughter a tylenol or whether she can go on a field trip or if she needs special accommodations due to something like a concussion or anxiety (which would never be self-diagnosed, as GD almost always is these days, even though it is a psychological condition listed in the DSM-5). You have made this treatment decision under the guise of the human rights code and have shunted my husband and me out of the process, even though after next June you will never have to deal with the consequences, which includes the strong possibility of lifelong cross-sex hormone medicalization with many long-term and unknown side effects and/or a double mastectomy of healthy breasts (you might call that by the more fun name “top surgery” - but we need to call it what it really is.) These treatments have just been discouraged in the UK with the closure of the Tavistock youth gender clinic due to such medicalization being “not a safe or viable long-term option,” in favor of a more “holistic” approach that includes mental health services. You deciding what is best for my child over my objections is known as triangulation.
All this, despite a recent peer-reviewed paper entitled Not social transition status, but peer relations and family functioning predict psychological functioning in a German clinical sample of children with Gender Dysphoria, which says:
Peer problems and worse family functioning were significantly associated with impaired psychological functioning, whilst the degree of social transition did not significantly predict the outcome. Therefore, claims that gender affirmation through transitioning socially is beneficial for children with GD could not be supported from the present results. Instead, the study highlights the importance of individual social support provided by peers and family, independent of exploring additional possibilities of gender transition during counseling.
Perhaps you will shove a much-trumpeted recently published paper at me that claims that most socially transitioned children don’t back down from their trans-identity. But that same paper also proves the point that social transition can solidify a trans identity in a child who, if left to watchful waiting under the care of loving parents, has a nearly 90% chance of naturally desisting:
Taken together, the whole body of literature suggests that if you don’t socially transition a child, you’ll decrease the likelihood of medicating and increase the possibility of having a gay kid; and if you do socially transition a child, you may increase the likelihood of a persistent trans identity with lifelong medical interventions. Social transition seems to make permanent what might have been temporary. This is known as iatrogenesis: the treatment creates the condition.(emphasis mine)
Or maybe you’ll tell me it can’t be ROGD because the latest Jack Turban study asserts it doesn’t exist. However, that study was debunked later that same week by an Oxford professor.
You might also tell me that your hands are tied because of the human rights code, bullying code, or equity and equality code. However, according to this British analysis, this very well is likely to be a misreading of such codes:
Supporting full social transitioning in schools is incompatible with child safeguarding and the duty of care that schools have for all their pupils. Schools are not clinics, and teachers are not mental-health professionals: it is not appropriate for them to be overseeing a psychosocial intervention with such potentially grave consequences.
Many aspects of social transition pose serious safeguarding risks to the trans-identified child. Breast-binding, for example, can cause permanent harm. A socially transitioned pre-pubescent child will naturally fear the coming of what is now framed the ‘wrong’ puberty, and will be more likely to demand puberty blockers.
So at the very least, please rein in your radical activist teachers and students and not accuse any student of - or discipline them for - “transphobia” for continuing to use the name and pronouns of the older sibling who they have known since birth, who held them on the day they were born and who they have seen nearly every day of life. You might scoff, and say this is not a legitimate worry. But I’m here to tell you that indeed it is. I know personally someone whose younger child this happened to. And more news is coming out every week on such educational overreach. Even the left-wing Washington Post is finally reporting on it.
To those activist teachers who think they are saving an LGBT kid from their evil parents: you are probably hopeless and truly believe in your savior complex. But to those teachers who are wavering, who are wondering what is going on and why parents are being omitted from the process, who are just putting their heads down and doing their job, who at every parent-teacher conference look me in the eye and directly lie to me about my daughter’s name: I ask you to grow a backbone and speak up to your principal and coworkers. Tell the parents your concerns - tell the parent that the child is using a different name and pronouns. Be like this brave teacher. Vulnerable and confused children - minors! those with brains still undeveloped! those still forming their identity! - and their parents - need you.
Your school has already wreaked enough havoc on my family, putting a wedge between the natural parent and child bond and making me out to be the villain. I won’t have you interfering in the relationship of me and another child of mine. One’s enough.
Every parent of a trans-ID student in your school