Spread Awareness: ROGD is Real!
Common sense is infectious in this world gone mad - do your part to spread it
“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” Thich Nhat Hanh
When we think of awareness, it evokes the opening of minds to new information. If you google it, you get “concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development.”
Today, August 16th, is Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria Awareness Day (ROGD), the word itself takes on a new meaning. What I have learned about awareness in the last three years has changed my entire worldview. Forever.
Rather than focus on the negative experiences I have had since my daughter declared she was a boy nearly three years ago (in a classic case of ROGD) I would like to highlight the positive ways in which this has changed me as a person. Most major life changes force us to reckon with the parts of ourselves that we have yet to develop, and this experience was no different. In my search to make sense of the science fiction movie that I was now starring in, I discovered parts of myself that were making this stressful for me—fear, anxiety, ignorance, helplessness, and tribalism. I also found mentors, like-minded people, and concrete ways to cope with this uncharted territory that have served me well.
We cannot do this alone.
I have become an Awareness Ally. Now, I despise the word ally for reasons that most of you can understand, but I am reclaiming it here for the purposes of this essay and will use the acronym AA going forward. The irony is not lost on me that this acronym is already is use and that its creator, Bill W., shares the same initials with the person who is giving me the tools to not just cope but to understand this mess we are in—Barry W., a very wise Irishman and a teacher. His learning program is integral for anyone who wants to understand what the hell is going on.
While the twelve steps from AA show a path to freedom from alcoholism, the dozen or so modules designed by Barry offer a similar path to freedom from paralysis around discussing subjects that are taboo, uncomfortable, or likely to cause a fist fight. My reason for taking this class was to arm myself with the knowledge and skill to calmly discuss the elephant in the room: Gender Ideology—but it works with any kind of groupthink. It may take some time. One mother I spoke with (who had actively ignored this issue of gender ideology for a decade until it affected her daughter) said that she needed to consciously give her liberal, pro LGBTQ Democratic self permission to question the narrative. It can be painful to realize that much of what you have believed in thus far has been corrupted.
Do not lose hope. The fairy tale from whence the ubiquitous learning tool the “Gender Bread Person” was borrowed comes with a moral: be careful who you trust. While our delicious protagonist was running from those he thought were a threat, he ran right into the mouth of a fox. “You can’t catch me, I‘m the gingerbread man!” takes on a whole new meaning in the context of gender, and the answer is, yes, we can catch you, because we are learning to be the fox. We will catch the Gender Bread Person and eat it for lunch. How? Spread awareness.
Tell everyone who will listen that ROGD is real. We know it is real. Despite the attempts by activists and doctors to discredit Lisa Littman’s hypothesis that this phenomenon, which is globally affecting tens of thousands of teens/adolescents and young people, is a maladaptive coping mechanism for a variety of normal feelings, we have watched it take hold of our children. No amount of denial or obfuscation can change that. It is not surprising that the most vocal opponents of ROGD are also the most bizarre, cruel, and inappropriate people on social media. Some of them are medical professionals, one is a pornographer, and several are gender studies professors at universities. The one thing they have in common is that they have NEVER MET YOUR CHILD WHO THEY KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT. They also routinely troll parents of ROGD children who are trying to raise awareness. Ignore them. Trust yourself.
Be advised that otherwise intelligent educated people with impressive degrees from pedigreed universities can look you in the eye and tell you they don’t see the ROGD/social contagion piece and that this is just a byproduct of acceptance of transgender people becoming normalized. These are the same people who think putting a healthy 8-year boy on Lupron is a good idea, even with the knowledge that he will never have sexual function. They ignore the emerging data that is casting serious doubt on this practice and choose to continue on with it in hopes of gathering the sorely lacking data that they would need to justify this atrocity. My guess is they will be disappointed in the outcomes, and my hope is that they will be sued for malpractice and stripped of their licenses. Tavistock is one to watch. They are expecting thousands of lawsuits. Get your popcorn.
I am fully aware that the left leaning media, who I used to rely on for accurate and fair reporting about world events, has largely ignored this issue in lieu of protecting their image as being inclusive. Or perhaps they are being paid to look the other way. While the NYT and the Washington Post regained a modicum of respect by at least showing curiosity about this issue and attempting to write articles and publish op-eds that have balance, NPR is a lost cause, as are CNN and MSNBC. I don’t trust any media anymore unless I personally know the reporter or the writer. This is because I have read too many articles from “experts” that ignore what is obvious to the rest of us. Ideological capture is real.
I am fully aware that most people, even if they agree with you about an issue, will remain silent. I am anonymous for a variety of reasons—but I am not silent. I can’t judge those who are, but I can encourage them to do whatever they can to keep this conversation alive. Every chance I get, I bring it up with anyone who will talk about it in an open, general way. This is how we build alliances. If we all stay silent in our own personal nightmares, nothing gets accomplished. If your closest friends or family refuse to engage, wait for openings to engage and ask questions. In the meantime, build a support system of parents that understand. We are everywhere.
I am fully aware of the power of person-to-person storytelling. A small group of parents have spoken with ten gender doctors in the last year. We told them about our experiences as parents with the hope that they might exercise caution with the next kid who walks through the door asking for hormones. They can’t say they weren’t warned. We also spoke with twenty state representatives in the last several months. We told them everything about why teaching gender ideology in schools is creating a school to surgery/hormone pipeline. We shared all the data about desistance and detransition and the lack of evidence behind gender medicine. Most had no idea about any of this background. All of them listened intently—and when it came time to vote on SB107, enough Democrats abstained that it resulted in a no vote. It’s not over yet, but we have their attention. There are only a hundred more meetings to take and then the entire CA legislature will be aware of what is going on. Keep talking.
I am fully aware that major hospitals with the finest reputations for ethics will use the power of their legal departments to shut down ad campaigns that challenge the gender affirmation narrative. These same hospitals employ doctors who, when sent information that calls their medical protocol into question, were more concerned about how their email addresses were acquired than about the content of the message they received. It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
I am fully aware that to change the course of this cultural tidal wave that has created ROGD, we must become master communicators. We must give others the opportunity and the permission to question the current narrative. I am at the very beginning of this process. The main thing about awareness is that it is a lifelong pursuit, and it requires practice and knowledge to successfully gift it to others. Awareness is a skill.
I am fully aware that detransitioners exist and are a rapidly growing demographic. The wilful blindness by the Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU and the majority of other organizations that claim to care about the LGBTQ community is astounding. There have been three legitimate studies that all concluded that the main reason for detransition was overwhelmingly that subjects discovered, after medical intervention, that their gender dysphoria was related to an existing comorbidity or other issue and not caused by being “trans”. In short, it didn’t work. Detransitioners are the key.
Become an Awareness Ally. Barry W. is very intelligent but also very good at not making you feel stupid that you don’t know more than you do. He discusses Socrates, and Plato and Bloom’s Taxonomy but he helps us interpret these concepts through the lens of mastering communication. He has given me the courage to crack on, as he says. Spreading awareness about ROGD has become my purpose and it can be your purpose, too. All you need is the ability to ask questions, listen and impart the wisdom you have gained as you go. Common sense is infectious in a world this mad. Crack on.