The story I am about to tell you is still evolving. It began in the year 2019. It is a story of struggle but also one of hope. I pray that our stories make change.
In the summer of 2019, my daughter had been joyously homeschooled for 4 years. She excelled. She was happy, social, and outgoing. She expressed herself through her art and inspired her friends. That summer, though, she made a decision that I would later regret submitting to. She decided to go to middle school. The school year 2019/2020 started off like any other school year. Her grandparents bought her an iPhone, so she could stay in contact and fit in with the other kids. (Another regrettable mistake.) She excelled in her academics, an honor roll student. She made many friends, mostly kids like her who were purely their quirky selves. This was except for the two that were identifying as trans boys. One came to her 13th birthday party. The child was quiet, slouched, and seemed truly depressed, even at a party. I was worried for this child.
Fast forward to March 2020 and I was relieved to have my baby girl home with me again. As soon as the schools closed due to the pandemic, we submitted our letter of intent to homeschool again. There was no way we were going to attempt the chaos that was virtual schooling. We jumped back into the homeschool community immediately. Within a few weeks of the shutdown we were organizing meetups. These kids needed their social time. Meanwhile, she kept contact with her schooled friends as well.
In May, my daughter asked if we could meet up with a girl she met in camp who lived about an hour away. They had been chatting and started up what I thought was an innocent little romance. Little did I know that this girl who was just a few months older than my daughter was much more experienced. I thought it was just kids being kids.
There was a sleepover at this girl’s house at the end of May. After that is when everything changed. My daughter told all her friends to call her a boy’s name. Her once creative fashion turned into boring boy’s and men’s clothes. She became despondent. Her activity online over the next month or so increased. I had thought I had her tech on lockdown, but I am sad to say she found ways to get around it. By the time I realized fully the impact of what was going on, it was in full swing. I didn’t know what had happened at the sleepover.
I spent a lot of time over the next few months working with my daughter to understand what was going on. She had been coached by the internet trans activists to tell me she would kill herself if I didn’t accept her “identity.” (This is a huge issue that needs to be dealt with. We need to go online as young people like they do to lure pedophiles out and see what these people are saying.) Luckily I have some mental health background and know how to assess these types of situations.
Eight months later, when I found out that at that sleepover this girl had pushed herself on my daughter sexually I was furious. Nonconsensual, oral sexual assault. This girl is nearly twice my daughter’s size. I was angry at this girl but all I can think now is “where did a 13 year old learn to do this?” I pray it was from the internet and not from abuse. But neither is ok. I now am learning that oral sex is taught about in school sex-ed classes.
Now, here’s the BIG ISSUE. I cannot get a licensed therapist in my state for my daughter that will not affirm her as a boy. They will lose their license. It is considered conversion therapy in my state and is illegal. She is on a 6 week waiting list for an out of state therapist who does not take our insurance. We also have other resources in place. We are lucky to have these resources and the funds to provide these things. My daughter is beginning to come around and be more comfortable in her body as she processes her trauma. That is what these kids need: therapy to process trauma and other triggers.
They have this backwards. Transition is conversion therapy. It is telling these young girls “It’s not ok to be a lesbian.” “It’s not ok to be a gender non-conforming woman or a tomboy.” We are sacrificing the many to protect the few transitioned kids who may be bullied. It’s the classic trolley problem and right now the trolley is headed for our children. Let’s switch the tracks.
Partners for Ethical Care shares these stories to give voice to individuals who cannot share their stories publicly due to the possibility of losing their jobs, their friends, and their children. All stories are confidential and anonymous. You can share your story too. Go to partnersforethicalcare.com and click on the Share Your Story button. We welcome your story, your time, and your donation to support this important work.