How it Started, How Gender Ideology has Ruined our Right to a Family Life
Gender ideology has completely derailed our family.
I grieve for the teenage years my kids could have actually enjoyed.
I grieve for the years taken up while we, their parents, were learning EXACTLY what our children were going through and how we should parent in light of that.
I think, along with their dead name, their dead teenage years could have been way more interesting and fun. And we would have parented them, as we always had, in an attachment parenting way, with gentle supportive guidance. We didn't know then what was happening.
We couldn't see it coming, despite being loving and supportive parents. Don't get me wrong, it started off fun and interesting. Pride marches, badges, posters, music and flags. So many flags! Some turned out to be L'Manberg, but when that one arrived, I was more prepared and I had done a bit of research. By that time, I was actually too scared to ask what all the flags stood for. It took me a while to find a casual, non- committal way of asking what it meant without an argument or a lecture or an eye roll.
There was talk of sexuality and gender at the dinner table for months. ALL 96 of those genders. There were (and are) LOTS. We cycled through so many my head was spinning. I was also becoming suspicious.
Then lockdown happened. I started intensely researching and I, a lifelong, radical, alternative woman and feminist, did not like what I was learning. No one would listen to me or could understand why, when it came to gender ideology, I had suddenly become utterly obsessed. I soon learned I was about to #Peak and was a TERF. I recall thinking those labels were a bit much but, at the time, I had still not fully comprehended the true and insidious danger.
Before my research, I didn't want to exclude anyone. Now I think I've outgrown the term TERF and its delicious 'rabblerousingness' and understand it to mean so much more than 'excluding' a tiny minority of 'unfortunate' folk.
I am not denying anyone's existence. We are still loving supportive parents, but I regret not realising sooner what was going on. Perhaps my vulnerable, impressionable children would have had the normal amount of cranky teenage years full of fun, confusion, mayhem, trauma and excitement instead of the self-loathing, harming, anger and hatred they did experience.
I could write so much more about how we dealt with name changes, pronoun changes, mood changes, all the changes. What we've lost and what we've gained. When it became clear, despite all the support and information and discussions, that things were not improving, we compromised and permitted them to use their new names at school. Even this concession was made under massive amounts of pressure. It was pitched to us as an 'also known as' type of change. To be honest, I don't think the name change helped. Rather it made them targets and created more bullying.
Meanwhile, we were trying to find support for our self-harming, depressed, confused, suicidal children. Over the years they have had mental health assessments. One had attended an anxiety workshop and gotten counseling (all with CAMHS). Our other child has been awaiting an ASD diagnosis which could take four years. We started family therapy with the aim of creating a space for us all to be able to communicate and live with our differing opinions within the family home, but again, we were blindsided by the pervasiveness of gender ideology which has truly taken hold at CAMHS. Before we knew it, we were slammed into a social services wall. We were expecting support and wisdom, instead we got personal unprofessionalism after being lured into a trusting therapeutic bond.
We haven't heard from social services, we are sort of in a quiet place. We all have our own counsellor. We barely talk about anything gender, sex or trans related in the house. There's a gender hefalump festering in the corner that no one wants to touch anymore. We are tired. We are done in. I think we are all just trying to learn to love each other again, opinions and all. My hope is we will eventually come out the other side of this somewhat intact.
My children still won't talk to me about any of it. I used to try to talk to them about it and tell them we loved them no matter what. I tried to explain that this ideology wasn't right, it wasn't helpful, and they were not born in the wrong body. I send occasional articles about the dangers of binders, but I still get total silence from my 14-year-old, who I feel has been traumatised by this whole situation. My 16-year-old calls me a TERF. I thank G-d every day her ambition for being 16 was to buy those monster energy drinks!! It's the younger one who worries me most and who has experienced the most harm just for being gender non-conforming and not following stereotypes. Gender ideology told her she was all wrong inside herself and, being a teenage girl, she took it straight to her heart like a poisoned arrow. An arrow that splintered into all our hearts 😢
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