My Experience with Affirmative Care and Transgender Medicalization
My daughter married when she was 23 and gave birth to a son at age 26. Two years later she gave birth to their only daughter, who we’ll call Ellie. During those early years, my daughter (who I’ll refer to as Gail in this account) was an extremely devoted mother, played with her children, nurtured their artistic interests, and her children flourished.
Her husband (called Peter for this account) on the other hand, seemed disconnected from family life, spending his free time playing computer games or reading sci-fi. He left my daughter temporarily when she was pregnant with their son, but returned, only to tell her two years later, while she was pregnant with their daughter, that he did not want to be married anymore. She was broken-hearted but wanted to keep their marriage intact and implored him to participate in marriage counseling. Gail would ask Peter if he’d play ball with their son, but he kept his headphones on and continued his online gaming. He eventually admitted that he had been unfaithful to her multiple times and wanted a divorce. By this time, my daughter had developed anxiety and depression and was taking medication for both, while remaining devoted to her children, keeping them involved in after-school activities and encouraging their natural musical and artistic talents.
She and her two children stayed with me for the first year of her marital separation, but Gail still hoped she and Peter could repair their damaged relationship and stay together for the children. Meanwhile, Peter purchased a condo in his hometown and arranged divorce paperwork such that, instead of making child support payments, he would make the mortgage payments on Gail’s condo so that she and the children would have a roof over their heads. He continued to be immersed in computer gaming and online porn, and eventually met a woman (through online gaming) that he dated during the divorce proceedings. After the divorce from Gail was finalized, he married this woman whom we’ll call Jenny.
Jenny was not happy with the financial arrangement of the divorce, so she and Peter urged my daughter to sign over the 50% equity in the condo that Peter had told her she would be entitled to. Jenny also encouraged Peter to fight for 50/50% custody rather than keeping the 70%/30% arrangement Peter had previously been fine with (70% physical custody with my daughter.) Gail was worried about a brewing custody battle, so she signed the agreement regarding the condo equity, hoping that by doing so, she would keep the peace for the sake of the children, and she and Peter could work out their differences through a court appointed mediator. Peter then deployed for a year, leaving Jenny with power of attorney to handle his finances. It was at this point that my daughter was served with a lawsuit to modify custody and child support.
Ellie was ten years old by now and showing signs of puberty. She had been receiving lots and lots of indoctrination about the transgender movement via Reddit and YouTube. Jenny (stepmom) bought a rainbow flag and a transgender flag and displayed them proudly in Ellie’s bedroom in the new home Jenny and Peter had just purchased. When Ellie would ask Peter or Jenny a question about some random topic, the reply at dad’s house was, “Go look it up on Reddit.” Ellie is an intuitive child and could feel her mother’s stress over the impending custody battle even though Gail did not make it a topic of discussion. Peter, on the other hand, informed both children that he was going to court to get 50% custody.
Ellie began identifying as non-binary. Ellie had never been a tomboy, but she had always had a “best-friends” type of connection with her older brother. They enjoyed playing Legos, but Ellie was the artist and dancer, a girlie girl, and her older brother, an accomplished musician. Ellie had never, not once, expressed any gender dysphoria, but now with a looming custody battle, the onset of puberty, and the deployment of her father for a year, Ellie, age 11, began identifying as he/him. I suspect that Ellie fell victim to the grooming of both her father and stepmother to “turn trans” because it could certainly help their chances of gaining custody as they are the “Affirmative Care” providers. Meanwhile, Gail insisted that internet access be limited at their father’s house because she could see the decline in both children’s communication skills after they spent time at dad’s house.
Gail allowed the children to stay with their father 50% of the time in hopes of keeping the peace, but she was not seeing benefits for the children; to the contrary. Ellie became self-harming in a cursory sense, more of a cry for help and attention, and still Peter refused (for those crucial two years) to allow Gail to take Ellie to a highly reputed therapist in their hometown who specializes in working with children in divorced families. Since they shared legal custody, Gail was unable to take Ellie to this counselor unless Peter agreed.
The court battle raged on, multiple appearances taking their toll on my daughter and both children’s sense of peace, while Peter paraded his acumen with Affirmative Care, negating his previous years of disconnection from nurturing interaction with his children. Peter had arranged child support as a “savings account for himself.” Peter played the Affirmative Care card to the hilt, going for 100% physical and legal custody of both children. He contacted a pediatric endocrinologist and had my granddaughter’s blood drawn at a clinic to establish a baseline in order to start puberty blockers for Ellie.
Ellie grew exceedingly faint at the time of the blood draw, but Peter never informed my daughter of any of this. The pediatric endocrinologist’s office contacted my daughter to gain permission to begin puberty blockers for Ellie, and Gail, of course refused. Our knowledge gained from reading Susan and Marcus Evans’ book “Gender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Children, Adolescents and Young Adults” and Abigail Shrier’s book, “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” alerted us to the dangers of puberty blockers, which inhibit the normal social and sexual maturation process. Many countries (England, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Hungary, and France) promote counseling for young people who are experiencing gender dysphoria (especially rapid onset) rather than starting treatment with powerful medications fraught with undesirable side effects.
Thankfully, the honorable judge—who oversaw Peter’s custody battle—only granted 50/50 legal and physical custody, so puberty blockers will not be happening under Gail’s watch. When I discussed the side effects of puberty blockers and testosterone with Ellie, she promised me she had no intention of ever taking cross-sex hormones until age 25 when her frontal lobe is fully formed. She’s now twelve years old. When I explained to her that some detransitioners who were medicalized for gender dysphoria are now finding that they are unable to have children, she decided to return to her previous identity as a female. This week Ellie told her homeroom teacher that her pronouns are no longer he/him, and she’s once again female. The custody battle, for the most part, we hope, is over. The best possible outcome for our beloved Ellie is that she is feeling comfortable in her own skin. She even thanked her mother recently for never giving up on her. She is finally able to receive the counseling that would have benefitted her greatly two years ago.
As far as I know, Peter has never read, or asked me a single question about, the many articles I’ve sent him on the health concerns and side effects surrounding gender-affirming hormone replacement. And while we hope and believe that the worst of Ellie’s discomfort is resolved, we can’t be sure we are out of the woods. With laws like SB107 being passed in California giving courts the authority to overrule another state’s court-ordered custody decrees in order to side with the “gender affirming” parent, I’m unable to let my guard down. Alarm bells sound in my ears because I know what ruthless people can do in divorce situations.
I beseech Governor Newsom to read this letter and I implore all Democratic senators to carefully consider sponsoring, promoting, and passing Senator JD Vance’s Protect Children’s Innocence Act, which would ban the genital mutilation, chemical castration, and sterilization of children currently occurring under “gender affirming care” protocols. I have voted Democrat in many elections, and I support gay rights and women’s reproductive rights, but we need some balance and centrist thinking so we can all come together to protect our children, our beloved daughters, our future.