Leave The Kids Alone
The tsunami-like wave of gender indoctrination, from which Southern Europe has been shielded for the most part so far, is about to hit us and our children at full force.
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Every person has their own personal red line, an individual point where they say: This far and no further. One of my fundamental, non-negotiable red lines is the protection of children, not least because I work as a teacher and I’m very passionate about my job.
Two years ago, I had my first experience with a trans-identifying student, let’s call her Nina. I met Nina in 2019, when she came to our middle school at the age of ten (our school is a big school complex combining pre-school, primary, middle and high school). Even back then Nina was already very tall for her age and a little curvy, and around the time she turned eleven, she underwent a rapid physical change. She was the first one in her class who developed curves, while most of the other girls of her class were still very childish, both mentally and physically. Nina’s class was quite an interesting mix of all kinds of kids: little girls with pigtails like Pippi Longstocking, diligent straight-A students and a tomboyish basketball player, pre-pubescent soccer boys, some well-behaved bookworms and a Netflix nerd, a rebellious dyslexic boy with ADHD—it was a real hodgepodge of different and adorable students. And then there was Nina. Despite being well integrated in her class, I always noticed a kind of barrier with her, a certain kind of distance that separated her from the others. She got along well with both her male and female classmates but, at the same time, she was so far ahead of them and her mind moved in completely different spheres. Like many ROGD children, she was an avid manga reader who was lost in fantasy worlds and loved drawing. It soon became clear to me that, thanks to social networks like TikTok and Instagram, she knew about many “fashionable topics” from the US – such as the newest Netflix show or ideas about gender – that the other students were completely oblivious to.
Half a year after I met Nina the COVID pandemic hit and contact to my students was limited to video calls on screens. When the children came back to school after three months of remote classes and two months of summer vacation, I didn’t notice a change in Nina straight away—we were all just happy to see each other again and to be able to go to school, even if we had to wear a mask. But then, during sixth grade, things changed: Nina suddenly cut her thick black hair short and wore a sports cap. She started to dress in wide black sweaters which would cover her chest.
When I returned to class after a longer period of sick leave, I noticed that some of Nina’s close friends had started to call her by a new name and to address her as “him”. I asked my colleagues what this was about and they explained to me that, during my absence, Nina had changed her name and wanted to be addressed as a boy. Many of my colleagues were a little skeptical about this, but did use the new name at least. After careful consideration I decided to just not address the matter at all; after all I didn’t officially know anything about Nina’s name and pronoun change. I already intuited back then – even though I was much less informed about the topic of transgenderism than today — the fact that Nina was very precocious and that finding herself inside the body of an adult woman at eleven years old inevitably had to cause her great discomfort. This phase is anything but rare with girls. I myself ran around with a boy’s haircut and plaid shirts for around a year at that age because I really disliked the “girly” girls and wasn’t quite ready to leave my childhood fantasy worlds behind. My big idol at that time was George from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five novels (and I looked exactly like her). But just because a girl runs around wearing boys’ clothes and likes being tomboyish doesn’t mean she is a “trans boy”.
So I was careful to steer clear of having to use Nina’s name or use a pronoun. I just left her alone on that topic, but at the same time I went ahead with my classes as usual. I remember one lesson about conditional sentences in English class that I like to introduce using Beyoncé’s song If I Were a Boy: The girls had to formulate sentences about what they would do if they were boys, while the boys had to write down sentences about what they would do if they were girls. Children tend to have a lot of funny ideas and we had a blast with that lesson. The kids were singing that song for weeks to come. When we collected the ideas on the board, I remember that Nina didn’t raise her hand—and I simply left her be.
Because, observing her closely, I noticed that, beside the uneasiness about her body, there was also an uneasiness about her new name. She never insisted on it, she didn’t write it on class tests and, if I inadvertently used her real name, she didn’t correct me. When we went on a class trip in seventh grade, it stood beyond doubt – thank God – that Nina would sleep in one of the girls’ rooms along with her girlfriends. She felt comfortable with them. And when she finally started to wear revealing tops under her wide sweaters, which could be zipped open in the front, I slowly began to feel relief, interpreting it as a sign that she might now be ready to accept this part of her body. No breast binders, instead she wore tops with low necklines.
I’m not Nina’s teacher anymore, but I still see her in the schoolyard with her friends, all of them girls. She is still wearing those low necklines and she’s growing her hair again. I haven’t seen her wear that sports cap for a while now. A colleague told me recently that Nina is using her own name again in her new class.
Nina was able to develop and progress the way she did because, here in Southern Europe, gender ideology has not yet gained significant societal traction. Even though there is a loud and powerful minority that has captured political and academic institutions in order to push gender ideology (see Ley Trans, the self-ID bill that was recently passed in Spain), the situation cannot be compared to countries like the United States or Great Britain. Not yet. Slowly but surely, through political institutions, via the internet and social media, ideas about transitioning and transgenderism are trickling into the minds of our children. And more often than not, it's children like Nina who are already struggling during their puberty that are hit by these ideas: They are the perfect target for this ideology that threatens to push them on a dangerous path towards puberty blockers and hormone therapy, towards sex reassignment surgeries and mastectomies. A path that denies them their right to be children for as long as they can be. A path that propagates falsehood.
When observing trends in the anglosphere, where finally measures are being taken against the epidemic of transgenderism among children (the shutdown of the Tavistock clinic in Great Britain as well as proposed laws in several US states to make access to medical transition more difficult for children), I feel like someone who is vigilantly awaiting the calm before the storm here in Southern Europe, someone who is still living in the past but has already seen the terrible future. The tsunami-like wave of gender indoctrination, from which we have been shielded for the most part so far, it is about to hit us with full force. In nearly ten years of working as a teacher I did not encounter a single “trans child”, Nina was the first.
This school year we suddenly have two trans-identifying students in our high school—both “trans boys”, i.e. girls who identify as boys. In the pre-school section of our school complex, a new teacher introduced himself with his “preferred pronouns” for the first time. This spring there is a new sexuality workshop for our ninth graders where they won’t just talk about things like relationships and contraception but also about the concept of gender. It’s undeniable that by increasingly making gender ideology a subject of discussion and continually propagating it via peers and the internet, we are creating a powerful social contagion effect. It’s a vicious circle and in extreme cases the price for it may be a horrific one.
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I’m terrified that soon there won’t be just two trans-identifying students at our school but two “trans children” per class. That the confusion created by gender ideology will spread like wildfire and that stories like the one about a class in the US where a quarter of the students identify as trans will be become reality here, too. That parents will lose the right to educate their own children. That at the end of the transgender epidemic there will be hundreds and thousands of girls like Chloe Cole, who was pushed into medical transition by neglectful therapists and doctors and their misdiagnoses, and who underwent a double mastectomy at the age of 15. She doesn’t know whether, after years of taking cross-sex hormones, she will ever be able to bear children.
The transgender trend – and yes, it is a trend, it is a cult even – is about to cause damage to a whole generation of children and teenagers, which will in many cases be irreversible. When I think about how narrowly Nina escaped from harm’s way, I hope from the bottom of my heart that this trend will just pass us, that we will be spared and that we will learn our lesson from what happened and is still happening in countries like the US and Great Britain. Our individual influence on the political level is somewhat limited. Therefore, we must use everything we have to fight this destructive ideology in our everyday lives. Children cannot protect themselves. It’s down to us, the adults, to lead by example with wisdom, foresight and courage and to expose the incoherence, irrationality, destructiveness and lies of transgender ideology, so that it cannot inflict harm on our families and communities.
Nina didn’t take the step towards hormone therapy. Nina still has both of her breasts. She is growing her black hair again. She seems to be on a good path to understanding, accepting, and hopefully one day embracing the fact that she is a girl and will be a woman. She has found her way without any pressure of peers, teachers, psychologists or doctors. Sometimes when I see her out on the schoolyard, my eyes well up with tears thinking about what could have happened to her if the circumstances had been minimally different or if someone had strongly affirmed her in her delusion. Children like Nina, they are my red line. And protecting them from the mutilation of their own body, that is the reddest line of all.