The opinions and statements contained in articles by guest authors do not necessary reflect those of Partners for Ethical Care. Partners for Ethical Care is committed to sharing the stories of those whose voices have been silenced by the gender industry.
This article was written at the request of the mother who shared her story with the author, because she is not able to speak publicly. The mother has approved of this piece as it is written, and wishes for it to be published.
“He has no penis.” Cynthia* is sad, angry, incensed. She is in disbelief about what has happened to her son, who just turned 19. “They wanted to ‘Save the Negro boy.’ They just wanted to heal the world and start with him, forgetting he had parents.”
Photos of her son David* show a broad-shouldered Black boy, a bursting grin, and his arms joined in camaraderie with his peers at track meets and school plays. In videos that she shares with me, I can hear his divine tenor voice singing and see his command of the stage as a lead actor. “He loved being the center of attention and was very bright. People were drawn to him.” Her son was excited to be accepted to a highly-selective, elite co-ed boarding school in Massachusetts for high school. He received a scholarship, which made it possible for him to attend, coming from a middle-class family of four in New Jersey. Cynthia works in government service, and she describes their family as close-knit. “We did everything together. My husband and I were both involved in our kids’ lives, at every performance and game, volunteering to coach or help in any way. We loved it.”
When David went to boarding school, Cynthia remained close to her son. “If we weren’t FaceTiming, we were on the phone, and I would go up to Massachusetts a lot. We had a great relationship. I didn’t see this coming.” David expressed to his mom before he went away to high school that he was gay, but that he didn’t like any boy yet. She said that she’d love him no matter what. At boarding school, he told her about dates he had at school with girls that seemed to go great. Cynthia went with the flow and continued to support her son through his experiences.
During his sophomore year, David went to his school counselor. “He was 16. He would have listened to anything they said. He told them he thought he was gay. They told him about gender dysphoria. He had never heard of it until they told him.” From that point, the counselor, a therapist, and the head of schools (at the time, a White woman), took him under their wings. They contacted Cynthia that year to tell her that David was having some trouble with math, but otherwise, his academic performance was excellent. There was some testing needed to determine why he was having trouble in math. Right before the December holiday break, the head of schools invited Cynthia to come on an all-expenses paid trip to the school so that they could discuss the results of the testing. She expressed that it was not possible to make the trip due to her job duties and that she could speak on the phone. They did not respond.
When David returned home for the holiday break, everything was wonderful, as Cynthia recalls. “We had a great time. It was nice to have the family all home and together.” Just after David returned to boarding school, Cynthia received a letter from her son. “He said that the real reason they wanted me to come up to the school wasn’t because of math. He wanted to tell me: ‘I am a girl. I was born in the wrong body. I played with dolls more than my sister. He said that he didn’t like sports so that made him a girl.’ We didn’t even have dolls in our house. That’s not even true.” This doesn’t make any sense to Cynthia. She knows her son, and this doesn’t make sense.
While searching her memory for anything that may help make sense of this, Cynthia recalls something significant that happened during David’s eighth grade year. “He was into girls up until 8th grade when this girl he liked didn’t like him back and then, he just changed. He was crazy for this girl. He would write her poems, but she didn’t like him back. She told David that she just liked him as a friend. She liked his friend, Arthur. She dated him instead. He was White. My son wasn’t the same after that.”
Back at boarding school, Cynthia was calling her son to talk about the letter that he sent to her after his return to school his sophomore year. “He wouldn’t answer the phone when I called. The head of schools called, and she spoke to me. She played me. I was so lost. I told them that he can finish high school before making such a big decision [about transition]. They said I was being unreasonable.” Cynthia tried to talk to the head of schools, to express her and her husband’s concerns as parents of David. Cynthia felt that her concerns were dismissed, the head of schools seemed to talk down to Cynthia. Thinking back on her son’s earlier disclosure to her that he was gay, this started to make more sense. “I think he believes that being a woman and liking men would be better than being gay.”
The family didn’t see David much after that. “He didn’t come home after he came out. He stayed with the head of schools, at her house. He said he didn’t want to come home. He was going crazy talking about committing suicide. I was so scared, I let him stay with her. I didn’t know what to do. Then she took over. She set him up with what he needed to do to be able to transition, like negotiating health insurance requirements. She set him up to ask the questions to my health care provider. She helped him get the letters he needed. She helped him find plastic surgeons to get all the surgeries. He got all this done in 3 years, start to finish.” Cynthia has waves of emotion that come out of nowhere: anger, sadness, confusion, hopelessness, and more anger.
Many enter teaching and mental health professions for noble reasons. They have personal and professional goals to serve as facilitators of children’s growth and development and hope to spend their lives building resilience in children. Sometimes in this process, an identity as a Savior begins to subconsciously take hold and drive the actions of those who began a teaching or mental health career or role as a foster or adoptive parent. The image of the White Savior in literature and media is still prevalent in narratives that address communities of color. The ideology of transgenderism has perverted once-admirable pursuits. This belief system has convinced teachers, therapists, and well-meaning parents that “supporting” children means separating them from existing long-term familial and community networks of support. This isolates them from anything that requires critical thinking or promotes habits that build resilience.
The creation of a Savior has a script. First is the affirmation of a child’s “true and authentic self” as something separate from the physical body. Then, parents, teachers, and therapists who affirm a child’s gender identity give “support” that is short-term. This “support” is an endorphin-producing drug that requires repeated injection through social media likes, “You’re so valid” statements, and “Don’t worry, I’ll protect you” relationships. These adult enablers do not allow children space and time to sit with mental discomfort until it resolves naturally; they disable children and create a perpetual victimhood mentality. This pattern keeps children from developing long-lasting resiliency, a skill that doesn’t require a protector. The performance as Saviors requires a victim, a subject to be “saved” in order to maintain the identity as Savior. These are the flag-waving, virtue-signaling White women who want to save transgender children, especially Black ones, from the “cruel and hateful world.” And thus, a victim is born and a Savior created.
As a parent, Cynthia felt powerless against the prestige of the school, but she knew one thing for sure. She told me of a quite famous boy who attended the school with her son, a White boy from an elite class of society with a name known the world over. “They never would have done this to him. That boy would have received therapy to learn to love himself. I always told my kids they were smart and beautiful and perfect the way they are. The school did this because they want to show how inclusive and extra woke they are. David was their pet.” Cynthia’s feelings toward her son are sadness, but when it comes to the school, she feels rage. “When he said that he felt awkward and even out of place, they didn’t reassure him that those were normal feelings of adolescence, like I would have done. Instead, they said, ‘Oh, you are a girl, we can get you girl clothes, do your hair, and fix you up like a doll.’ They were going to save him. ‘Save the Negro boy’,” she repeats this phrase for the second time during one of our conversations. As the witness to her story, I am asking you, the reader: For what purpose is he to be saved? Who benefits as a savior and from whom was he saved?
Cynthia describes the process of the symbolic death of her son, David:
He turned 18 in December.
He had breast implants in March during spring break of his senior year.
He had his penis and testes removed and a vaginoplasty in June, right after graduation.
She received his high school diploma in the mail, and it did not have his legal name on it. “How can they do that? Isn’t a diploma a legal document? How do they get away with this?” I ask if he was at home during this time or still living with the head of schools. “By the time it was time for his surgery, she had left the school, so he had to come home for spring break, when his first surgery took place, which had all been set up with the help of the head of schools. Then COVID hit, and he never went back to school. The head of schools was gone from his life. His 17 year old sister took care of him after his surgery. She wanted to. She babies him.” One night when they thought I had already fallen asleep, I heard David say to his sister, “I hate Black men.”
When Cynthia reflects on how this all happened, how she sent her son to school as a 15 year old freshman with an enthusiastic smile and a heart for the stage, and he returned as a person she did not recognize. She says, “When all this happened, I had no idea about this stuff. The school took advantage of me being naïve. Now I know what’s happening. I understand how it works. It’s a system, a machine. But at the time, I just wanted the best for him. The school preyed on my love for my child, and they told me how I should support him. But this—this is another way of beating the Black man down, another way to kill off our men.”
At this point, I recall the Tuskegee syphilis experiment sponsored by the U.S. Government, in which at least 128 Black men died, fed the lie that they were being given free healthcare. We recently saw a similar poisonous gift in the announcement from Point of Pride, announcing the recipients of free HRT for a year, all given to Black people. Who benefits from this “generosity” and what do they have to gain? The social construction of Black trans women shifts the focus away from the systemic issue of racism and the commodification and commercialization of Black bodies. The “epidemic of black trans women being murdered” is not supported by data, rather it is upheld by those in power who wish to signal virtue toward a population to which they focus very little action but a whole lot of lip-service. Gender non-conforming Black men (identifying as “transwomen”) in poverty face a society of johns ready to trade money or violence for the ability to act out racist sexual fantasies. These not only objectify but defile the human being whose socially-shaped mind has convinced him that prostitution is the best option to survive. Outside of the darkness of rancid alleys and hourly hotel rooms, the television spotlight shines on Black men fulfilling the expectation of serving as objects for entertainment, like the minstrel shows of yesterday made with more hairspray and makeup to match modern day America. With no space to exist as gender non-conforming Black men in a society that values their utility rather than their humanity, we perpetuate the reality with our own words, as James Baldwin describes.
If you’re treated a certain way you become a certain kind of person. If certain things are described to you as being real they’re real for you whether they’re real or not.
When will we start actually believing that Black Lives Matter enough to keep their bodies healthy and allow personalities to flourish outside the bounds of stereotypes for Black boys and girls? How can we sleep knowing that Cynthia’s son David has mental health issues compounded by a whole host of physical health issues for which there is no treatment but a time machine? At what point will we allow Black boys like David to sing, act, speak eloquently, experience and share emotions, and not feel compelled to describe this as the behavior of a girl? If politicians and cheerleaders for transgenderism addressed the systemic and intersectional issues of race and sex in meaningful ways rather than the tokenism of Medicaid-covered injectable drugs, we might actually be getting somewhere. Free healthcare as part of the process of dismantling a system of oppression might be celebrated as a good first step if it did not diminish the already dismal health and life outcomes of Black boys in this country. We cannot continue to direct our energies towards upholding and maintaining the oppressive, capitalism-driven system of transgenderism that requires the adherence to sex-based stereotypes and deny Black boys the right to exist as sentient human beings, complex and likely traumatized by the centuries of race-based stereotypes that have been forced upon them.
Who has the power and who is benefiting from the “transitioning” of a child like David, other than the White Savior? The same Saviors who declare that “capitalism is evil” proclaim the revolutionary idea of transgenderism as a source for solving the more challenging problem of creating a genderfree world, which wouldn’t require any bodies to change—just minds. But that is hard work; isn’t there something easier, they whine, to get rid of this uncomfortable culture of gendered expectations? People can’t change their sex any more than they can change their race. Wouldn’t it be lovely to identify out of oppression? If only it were so easy.
Of course “Trans Lives Matter” to the nonprofits, gender clinics, and surgeons; if young people learned to love their bodies as they are, no one would be lining up to hand over thousands in GoFundMe donations and second-job earnings to pay for body-harming “treatments” that create medical patients for life. There’s no money to be made from healthy people. Plant a seed of doubt in a child’s mind—“maybe you were born in the wrong body”—and watch that weed grow into a money tree, then pluck off dollars to hand over to the gender doctors and nonprofit Savior centers.
It is no mystery to Cynthia anymore as to how this happened to her son David. “It’s a script. He is used to scripts. He is an actor. It’s in him. He loved singing and acting. He always got the big parts. He was great—too great because now he has people believing this. But the play is over. The head of schools is gone. This is his life now.” Cynthia is quiet for a moment. I wait. She says, “You know what the sad part of this is? He still isn’t happy. He cries and says he’s ugly. That he still looks like a man. He now wants to have surgery on his face.”
*Names are pseudonyms to protect the privacy of the family.
Partners for Ethical Care is a grassroots nonprofit organization made up of individual volunteers from across the globe focused on one mission: to raise awareness and support efforts to stop the unethical treatment of children by schools, hospitals, and mental and medical healthcare providers under the duplicitous banner of gender identity affirmation. We believe that no child is born in the wrong body.
We will be sharing more testimonials received from parents, teachers, therapists, doctors, and detransitioners about their experiences with gender identity. All stories are confidential and anonymous. You can share your story too; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your story, your time, and your donation to support this important work.
Jeannette Cooper is a guest author at Partners for Ethical Care. Contact Ms. Cooper via email@example.com.