The Influencer Next Door
Medicalization. Surgery. Pronouns. Name and sex marker changes. Influencers at school. We parents navigate through these troubled waters where our kids are suddenly “trans”… and will do something—ANYTHING—to slow our children down from medicalizing their identities. We rightfully place a good deal of blame on the process, and on the medical personnel and clinicians advocating and prescribing these permanently life-altering hormone treatments and mutilating surgeries, just as what happened with our son in our story. But my article today is written to expose another group. A group of individuals with the ability to help slow this process, tamp down this insanity, and help these confused children take a step back. A group who would normally stand up and fight for young people who are on a destructive path, one which is very difficult to return from. A group who often perceives something wrong with what is happening but instead of questioning, this group signals to the world just how wonderful and supportive and affirming they are. A group that receives just as many accolades, and “likes”, and love-bombs as their troubled kids do. A group called Affirming Moms.
Before you lash out at the screen and insist that we not blame the mothers, let me explain. Early in our journey, our pediatrician suggested I reach out to another mom who has been down what the Doc thought was the same path as we were on with our son. Her daughter was confused about her gender too…but at a very early age (2-3 years old). She explained her story, I relayed ours. She recognized that our story was completely different from hers and suggested that I join a private Facebook group called Serendipitydodah - Home of the Mama Bears, dedicated to all LGBTQ+ kids and their moms, (33,000 members and growing) and their subgroup for moms of transgender kids (4,600 members). She cited that she had seen other moms on this page with a story like mine, with ROGD kids. She helpfully thought maybe this group and the member moms could help us with our situation.
After joining this group, I found very few moms truly questioning this sudden change in their child. I found no support for our desire to slow down and explore what was really going on with our son. What I did find are some of the saddest and heart-breaking stories of children and young adults I’d ever heard, and came to believe that these young people were not truly helped by those entrusted to protect and care for them.
The overwhelming majority of the members of this group are totally complicit in medicalizing their kids. They ignore the import of what to me and many others are the red flags of root causes for distress other than “trans”—underlying depression, anorexia, suicidal thoughts, autism, divorce in the family, abusive exes, and more. There are “Suicide Warnings” before a story is told, where it is clear there is a history of mental illness or some other condition. Disregarding all these potential complicating factors, these moms proclaim that their kids need “life-affirming and life-saving” care. One mom even posted about her very young gender-questioning child with Downs Syndrome! The glee with which these moms post is abominable, disgusting even.
The following are actual quotes from this Facebook group—and YES, these are actual quotes:
“My son is having top surgery tomorrow. I’m so excited for him!”
"Top surgery – (check!)” with a picture of the obviously young teenager in recovery
“T minus 7 days for my son’s top surgery, and he turns 18 shortly after!”
“My child wears a gc2b binder and has for a while now. …They are having rib pain, only on one side. Has anyone had a child that developed pain/issues from the binder?”
I could quote many more. They go on and on.
These moms repeatedly ask for recommendations for surgeons, tips for recovery, questions about complications, and inquire about side effects. (Of course, the moderator chimes in with links to this group’s organized help pages for all this!) They make requests for how best to bind breasts, while at the same time acknowledging how it could be harmful—somehow the trans id has superseded healthy behavior and safeguarding for these poor children—by their own moms. There is a serious disconnect with reality with these mothers. They expect complete acceptance in the real world for their children who are presenting as the opposite sex.
This Facebook group is an adult version of Reddit’s echo-chamber for our gender-confused kids. These moms are constantly and consistently praised for their bravery, their love (like I don’t love my kid?), and their overwhelming acceptance of their child’s “authentic self”. The pictures posted of the MtF (Male to Female or Transwomen) or FtM (Female to Male or Transmen) are sad and often pitiable. What you see are boys with long hair and overdone makeup, wearing a dress or heels. But read the comments…and EVERY post will exclaim: “She’s stunning!”, “she’s beautiful”, “what gorgeous eyes”, “she rocks that dress!” They are just fooling themselves…and all the while they are positively reinforcing to their children that there is nothing wrong, they look great, and that the world will have to accept them and even praise them. This is not a service to their children.
What I write here today is my take-away after several months of following this group. I haven’t taken the time to be very scientific. I tried to track the numbers, the ages, the everything, but I couldn’t stomach doing it in the end. It was too painful, too close to home. I can tell you that, while there is no one demographic, they tend to be a younger group, quick to state their inclusive nature and political party, and very ready to put THEIR story out as they share information on their kiddos.
These are moms who care about being recognized as being the good mom, the mom who supports, the mom who defends what her child wants, but who are so quick (dare I say eager?) to be that mom, that they have neglected to question. In fact, they will apologize if they DO question or wonder if their child wants to slow down. They are feeding the same rhetoric as the trans activists to their children AND to all the other moms in the group.
I could continue to summarize the stories I have read in these posts, but instead, here are a few I copied and pasted. Note that on this Facebook group, the moms refer to their gender-questioning children as “Reasons”. Everything below is as written by these moms, who are found all over the United States, Canada, and beyond. And these posts appear every day every hour with the same heart-breaking rush to medicalize.
“We had my 15.75 year old FTM son’s top surgery consult yesterday. The consult itself went very well. The surgeon that I found is excellent, and does a great many of these gender affirming procedures (like 8-10 per week!!). I have complete confidence in him. Our son is excited because we learned he does not have to wait until he is 16 to have his surgery, which means this could be coming up much sooner than we anticipated. I am also pleased with that news, because it means that (name) can recover in time to enjoy his summer swimming, exercising, and just being a normal teenager. …. We are in WA. Here there are no legal barriers. It is more about provider willingness to offer the procedure to minors. Both legal guardians must consent and be present in person.”
(My daughter changed her name at) “13. My daughter came out last March and by September we had gotten the court order and changed birth certificate, SS, bank, and and school records. I wanted to do it before driver's licensing and high school to make it easier for college and DMV.”
“My daughter was 12 when she started estrogen. She will be a great mom, should she decide to become one. If she does decide to become a mom, it likely won’t be biologically hers. That hurts me a bit—because my kid is amazing. She was not in the correct state of mind to have that discussion. So we did not. Sending love and comfort.”
“Hi! Would you take your reason and a small group of close friends to an afternoon all ages drag brunch? It’s my daughter’s 16th and I want to take her to do something fun! My sis says they’re sexual in nature and not appropriate for teens, I disagree”
“The Universe is a mysterious, magical force. My oldest Reason, my daughter (AMAB) just became a parent to this perfect child. (picture posted of newborn) She assumed she was sterile because of HRT for 5 years, but there was a supply chain issue and she was without estrogen for a short while. My grandbaby was meant to be!!”
“My 13 yr old is on blockers. Hoping to start T in the next year or so. Will be starting the process for top surgery during the same time as well. However, everyone has their own time frame. Let your kid lead the way as hard as it may seem.”
“Well we're not non binary, we're back to trans. I want off this f-***ing rollercoaster. I just want my little girl back. My heart is broken. I love them no matter what but I’m having an awful time with this, even though I have many trans friends and I have no issues with them. But she's my only daughter. The only granddaughter on birth sides if the family. They also picked a name I absolutely loathe, (name). I’m not a trendy creative name person. Their named after family members. In fact she's named after me. I’m having a really bad night. And I can't even talk to my recovering alcoholic husband about it, because I'm pretty sure this would trigger a binge. He doesn't understand trans at all, he thinks sex and gender are the same thing. I can't stop crying.
“Son came out as trans on his 14th birthday. Started working with therapist 3 days later. Went on meds to stop period within a month. Went on T 6 months later. We initially said 18 for top surgery but due to major dysphoria and therapist recc, he is having top surgery this summer 3 months after he turns 16. Also of note once he was on T for 2 months he no longer needed period stopping injection because T stopped it completely.”
“Mine is 12 (AFAB). He's been on birth control for a few months and starts blockers this month. Once he turns 14, we'll start T.”
“Hello mommas. My reason is struggling to the point of needing inpatient care. I am lost in a sea of websites, ads, insurance requirements and on and on...Currently he is a trans male who deals with depression/anxiety, self harm, ADD and a general lack of motivation for life. Can anyone point me in a direction that could be a good fit for my baby? We are looking for fairly long-term (we have previously done the 30 day thing multiple times with no real results) HELP Also note that transportation to these facilities could be a financial struggle”
“My 14 year old non binary reason had top surgery yesterday! So happy and proud of them. They are so strong and brave”
So why write this post? It is not to fully lay blame at the feet of these moms, but simply to enlighten those of us fighting this ideology about the existence of this other influencer. While we rush to blame the government, the doctors, the activists, and the universities, we cannot forget these other so-called allies out there. These moms support their own children’s transitions…and will often assist when “transphobic” parents won’t jump on the bandwagon for their own gender-questioning child. This mom is there for your kids (eg, your mom won’t affirm, I’ll be your mom now!)… when you aren’t willing to use a different pronoun. This mom will purchase a binder for your daughter, and have it mailed to her house…when you won’t. This mom will put makeup on your son, and take him shopping for a dress, so that he can go to a dance with her FtM child as their date…because your son is not safe with you. This mom will offer so-called sanctuary from your home…when you won’t affirm.
And make no mistake, these moms will keep fighting every one of us personally and on social media and in the streets and with our leadership, all while we work in desperation trying to save our children from this spreading social contagion and perilous ideology.