My daughter grew up like so many other little girls, without manifesting any problems, dancing to cartoon songs with her friends, playing with little girl toys, dolls and make-up, wearing girly clothes, and dressing as a fairy or a princess at carnival. Without any compulsion, she loved all that dancing, playing, and wearing princess clothes. At that time her life was a carefree fairy tale.
One day the fairy tale seemed to end: her parents separated, fortunately without conflict or disagreement.
Years passed along, adolescence arrived, and her womanhood began to blossom. A plunge to the heart, realizing that my little girl was becoming a woman.
At sixteen years old, she met her first boyfriend. Time went by and I realized more and more that she was with the wrong person, in a relationship with a thousand problems. I saw her transforming, moving away from her friendships, no longer caring about her appearance, having eating problems and gaining considerable weight, until she became obese. I realized that there was no way to bring her back to reality, not with disappointment, nor with understanding.
More years passed and her relationship with that boy ended. Her mother shared with me some of the relationship details our daughter had confided. These confirmed for me that it was a toxic relationship. In that relationship she suffered years of psychological violence and emotional abuse that led to depression and feelings of inadequacy.
Then slowly she seemed to recover, but the path was long, and she was still far from the ability to truly take care of herself. Time seemed to stand still in her mind. Her relationship with reality was that of a teenage girl and not a young woman of twenty-five.
She started exercising and losing weight. She finally seemed to have a goal for herself. She also started meetings with a psychologist but after a few sessions she told me that she decided to change therapists because she wasn’t seeing enough benefits. So, she found a new psychologist with whom she was very comfortable, even enthusiastic.
Everything seemed to be going well until her mom confided to me that she was worried about our daughter. She didn't explain the real reason. She told me only about a negative attitude our daughter had towards her. I thought these were normal problems between mother and daughter and I continued trusting in the positive change I saw, all the while knowing there was still a long way to go.
One day our daughter told me she needed to have a medical examination. She didn’t provide any details, but I could intuit that there was something she didn’t want to tell me. I didn’t push her for more information but later I phoned her mother asking for some explanations. What I heard made me feel as if the world had fallen apart: my daughter wanted to transition to become a “man” and her visit had been to an endocrinologist.
I now comprehended why she had changed her first psychologist: that first psychologist was deemed too cautious to accompany her on the transition path. The goal of all that physical activity wasn’t just regaining physical fitness. It was mostly to make her body more muscular, more “masculine.”
After hearing the news, I wanted to run to her and talk to her and try to figure out how she had come to this. Maybe I would have gotten angry and screamed but for sure I would have hugged her and cried. But instead, her mother and I decided it was better to pretend I didn’t know and wait for her to tell me her news. Then the moment came when, with a prepared speech that didn't really seem to be her own, my daughter explained her intention to transition. I listened to her carefully, trying to understand her feelings and I felt an immense pain realizing that in her speech, in her explanations, there was no awareness, but only the illusion that by "becoming a man” her life would have been happy.
An immense suffering accompanies my life every day, knowing that, in a moment of psychological fragility, my daughter made a decision that will lead to irreparable damage to her healthy body. A decision that one day, I am sure, she will regret. A decision towards which she has been accompanied by people who know only the facade she has built for herself, without investigating deeply what that facade hides.
A little more than a year has elapsed since her decision to “become a man”. It took only six months to go from the psychologist, a psychiatric examination in which a “plausible gender dysphoria” was stated, to an endocrinological examination and then testosterone intake.
I am appalled by the speed and ease with which the healthcare facilities, designed to “protect” her health, led her down a one-way exclusively trans-affirmative path, with no willingness or attempt to try to resolve her state of distress in any other way.
I try to fight the anguish I feel inside to face the challenges that life holds for us. I will always be there for her, even if I do not approve of her decisions. Even if I make mistakes, I will always try my best to pour all my love on her because she is my daughter.