From Blue to Pink – When the Trans Virus strikes home

Apologies for length of this but inspired by Lily Maynard and her daughter and  I decided to share. Purple Sage and Crash also great source of courage at a difficult time. Grateful to those who helped me and keen to keep getting the truth out there.’

From Blue to Pink – Negotiating the Trans Virus

My daughter is extremely bright, most articulate when argumentative and loves a cause. The early teenage years were predictable, arguments were over make-up, the height of heels, the off shoulder and belly crops. By 14 she looked 17 but socially, despite her best efforts to look good, she was mostly online or at school. Chief among her better qualities was a strong sense of social justice and she loved a cause. Over a few years she moved from animal rights, black rights, gay rights, before landing on Transgender rights.

To begin with, hair got shorter and shorter, but everything else, heels, clothes, make-up remained the same. Her life online revolved around Anime, Deviant Art, You tube vids and in my naivety, when she mentioned RuPaul, I confused him with Ron Paul. Her interest in American politics was pervasive. Outrage came easy and every persecuted victim or minority got her vote. She became more and more difficult to involve in family life, spent too much time in her room, compounded by a series of chest infections and flu. She became snappier, angrier, but I just thought teenage hormones, exam stress.

I first noticed a difference in her walk, she began to affect a kind of John Wayne swagger, would exaggerate squashing her chin down into her neck as if to thicken it. This was weird, she had been lurching between Bambi and ballet before now. Then suddenly, days after a splurge on make-up a pile of bin-bags appeared outside her room, Inside I found her online, she asked ‘what would you have called me if I had been a boy?’ Unsuspecting, I laughingly offered a few names, but ten minutes later I found myself back, perched on her window ledge, I probed. “The bin bags, is there something going on, that and the name thing?” It was a moment I regretted ever after, wondering what it would have been to never have given life to the opportunity for her response. ‘I think I am supposed to be a boy” My brain did its mum thing – support, panic, reach for an expert. “Confusion is normal, maybe if you speak to a GP’. ‘From now on call me Jo.’ she instructed.

Honesty here, I never drink in the day, unless its a wedding. That day I drank and lay down and drank and lay down and sobbed. I am a professional, I deal with crisis in lives of people, I am a fixer. This overwhelmed me.

From there a few key things happened. She became unhappier, our relationship deteriorated, my most inane and innocent of comments would be over-reacted to. At times I felt she hated me. She withdrew into a world that replaced old friends with new ones. Make=up was gone, bright trendy clothes were replaced with skinny grey jeans and baby blue T shirts from the boys range. I confided in an elderly but wise aunt. She dismissed it until she saw her, then said ‘She looks like she is half way there’. I cried some more, more than anything at the searing anger inside her bubbling just below the surface. The obvious unhappiness masquerading as a kind of militant self-righteousness. Where had my daughter gone?

My first response was to speak to a GP, she had never encountered this, but referred to CAHMS. I had googled a lot, discovered 4thwavenow, read blogs, mumsnet, the possibility of ASD dawned and a referral made. Meanwhile she stormed off a lot in the supermarket when I used her name. I learnt just not to say it. Once she refused to follow me unless I did, the only time I gave in. I cried into my pillow, had nightmares, fought a constant urge to sleep outside her room and hovered when she talked online. Bewildered as to where this was coming from. She wanted me to insist the school let her wear trousers, I refused, pupils do not dictate uniform. She wanted a Deed Poll name change, I told her to save up and get on with it, she didn’t. Meanwhile, I swear to God she looked like she was shrinking before my eyes, face, hands seemed to get smaller.

Never ask an expert who does not listen

CAHMS, I think, I cried more than she did. Both daughter and counsellor bullied me. Counsellor asked, ‘Did I object on religious grounds’. I firmly insisted – No, I objected on the grounds that it was, ‘too soon, too sudden, from a place of no experience in the world, too informed by the internet’. “How can she decide she is not a woman when she hasn’t finished being a girl?’ She sneered, ‘my mum thinks I have ASD’, Counsellor reassured ‘ well I don’t think you do’. This ten minutes in. My daughter explained her ‘feelings’, “I don’t think I am any good at being a girl’. Inwardly I cheered – Daughter had answered feeling question with thinking response = Red Flag. Daughter had given self esteem issue, measuring herself negatively. I was premature and over-estimated abilities of the blonde, buxom, too short a skirt counsellor. Her red lips drew wide across her face and she arched an eyebrow revealing a bit more blue eye-shadow. ‘Well, I think you pass very well for a boy”. Heart sunk, passing for a boy is now a short hair, no make up, jeans and baggy top. This woman looked my age, didn’t she remember punk?

ASD assessment went rather better. In response to daughter’s assertion that CAHMS counsellor told her she did not have ASD, psychologist firmly pulled rank, explaining that was her job to assess and inform CAHMS. We proceeded, psychologist noting that from that point she was bad cop. They could list the interests before I proceeded to tell them, clearly a pattern is emerging, even down to the bands they like, loud, Gothic. End result – inconclusive, adult services in a year, but doubt was planted. And although she discarded books I offered about Aspie girls, and chatted about traits, it did resonate.

By this time, I had resolved the binder issue. Bought online from a dodgy site I secretly picked at the stitching and stretched in furious tempers. She restitched until finally I retrieved it from the wash and binned it. Told her I would not allow it under my roof for health reasons and took her for sports bras. No protest much relief.

Conversations became quickly fraught, I was accused of giving her ‘all my hang-ups’. She asked if she had the same ‘awful indents in her cheeks’. Kindness and compassion, never strong in her, disappeared.

Car journeys were my best opportunity. She was a captive audience. Casually I asked, ‘have you noticed the girls who want to be boys seem to hide from attention but the boys who want to be girls are very attention seeking’. She enthusiastically agreed. I added nothing.

Outwardly nothing changed, her presentation could not be described as masculine, more Hazel ‘ O’ Connor with big fringe and no make-up. It was confusing – she filled her room with scented candles in pinks and purples but wore “men’s” roll on deodorant ( with unshaven armpits). By now I felt I understood the causal factors, the trend, the aspie, insecurity, but trying to reach in and rescue her was harder. I learned that she was brilliant at argument, so stopped having them, I would not reach her that way. There was tightness in her, as if she was holding on to something that hurt but she could not let go off.

I disclosed to close family and a friend. A visiting cousin mistook her for her brother, a shop keeper called her son. Meanwhile, in between outings she gamed and sang along to Frozen. The best advice I got, was do not fight it,, it will add energy and drive to it. So I worked on the relationship, routines and responsibilities. Tried to get her out and more into the real world. Driving lessons, A’levels, Uni, a dog. But I will admit, I obsessed and it leaked into every aspect of my life. I became focused on getting ‘the truth out there’. While blogging and emailing media, lecturing friends and family was in a way cathartic and made me feel I was doing something, it was frustrating, ineffective and in it’s own way reanimating. Deprived of sleep, depressed, terrified, a GP suggested sleeping tablets, I refused and suggested she share my concerns with my daughter’s GP to add weight to caution. I was educating for Britain.

There was never a point at which she announced, ‘I’m back’. It emerged as if out of a mist, sometimes glimpsed, sometimes in front of me in killer heels, jump suit and make-up. I regretted no prom dress but was grateful.

That coincided with a new set of friends, one of whom became a boyfriend. A lovely boy who did not care for arm candy fashion statements but enjoyed sharing gaming and Sci Fi. (They are out there). She became more feminist and fixation switched to hating on most of the male population and evidence of ‘patriarchy’. I, with my much older well worn T-shirt let her explain it to me like I was hearing it for the first time. She tripped off pleased with herself.

Now she bears all the hallmarks of cult escapee, no longer sees herself as within but reluctant to ‘dis’ on her old community. I do not press for it. It is not discussed but she is happy to be and be seen as a girl. But not the type of girl the media presents. Still no make-up, still no deference to hyperfemme, but one single bold statement. The promise I made when she was 11, ‘as soon as you leave school’ was called in. She dyed her hair the brightest of Pink.

Although dealing with this has felt supremely isolating, nothing happens in a vacum and some factors that kept her safe were accidental. It was easy as a family for us to decide to give it no energy. But the sources that seem to propel girls further along this path were not available to her.  Her school was more likely to hold Scripture Union meets than have a Trans Day.  Living in a remote, quiet, rural area and without means to access such groups beyond the net, the fixation did not sustain. If anyone other than a parent is reading this I hope that is noted. I believe that there is such a powerful voice to be inclusive of men who choose to dress as women, and even claim to be, that society is in danger of offering up our children to prop up that demand. For fear of causing offence to a minority of adults, we risk harming a significant number of children.

Name withheld to protect.

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25 thoughts on “From Blue to Pink – When the Trans Virus strikes home

  1. This is exactly what is going on with my daughter, 16, but she hasn’t given up yet. I try to remain positive that she will eventually realize and quietly go back to herself.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was in tears reading this…it’s exactly what we’re going through…down to anime, deviantART, and YouTube. I miss my daughter and have firmly said no to binders and different names and pronouns…it’s heartbreaking. I’ve cut off social media and monitor online usage closely. It is exhausting . I feel like she doesn’t even like me and her dad anymore…I hope one day I’ll see my little girl, young woman resurface

      Liked by 1 person

      • You will, or more likely a better version having come through it. I recognise the feeling of being the enemy and difficulty of maintaining relationships. Very important you take care of yourselves and other relationships in your lives. This is trauma and can take its toll on the whole family. Meanwhile keep broadening her interests. I found once I got over the not being loved/liked it was easier to parent with tough love and stop her having all the power. As mums we just see a victim but behind it all is a teenager who still needs boundaries. In the end she look back and be grateful you did not choose to be the ‘best friend parents’ at a time when she needed mature parents.

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  2. Is there any particular piece of advice in dealing with this heartbreaking situation? Some kind of something that is repeated in all these stories that really seems to help?? My daughter seems unhappier and depressed with her ‘transition’ and I am at my lowest point in a life that is filled with so many blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What seemed to work was a balance of not affirming, not reacting to obvious ‘pokes’. Making clear her demands would not all be met as that would be bullying allowed space. Otherwise just time and to be honest, she is very bright, keen on Science and i think found it increasingly distasteful. Avoiding the celebrity of support is great if you can manage it. I suppose I would now advise parents to be wary of causes their teen girls support and online forums like Tumblr.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Maybe you shouldn’t have filled her mind with feminist BS about oppressive gender roles and patriarch privilege? Take responsibility for the part you played, because teenage kids rebel.
    Welcome to the world of parenting 😛

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      • Same with my daughter. She learned it all on her own.

        A lot of this could have been from my own experience with my daughter. We went through so much in the last 3 years. She now is planning to attend college and has a great boyfriend.

        Tumblr, Reddit, DeviantArt, etc. all had a huge hand in getting her exposed and connected to manipulative trans activists.

        Parents should love and support their children. NOT the trans agenda. It is harmful and wrong.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I read this with regret. My adult son who still resides with us decided that he is female and has always been a female. I thought I could bring him back to reality with presentation of facts. I realized too late that his rationale has no basis in reality, nor does it need to to carry him down this path. He has “faith” that everything that isn’t currently known about the human brain contains the fact that transgenderism is an inborn trait. We can’t speak about it at all because as he puts it, I get too upset. I’m devastated by his assertion and furious at his obstinacy. He doesn’t understand why it would even bother me, unless I’m a bigot. I have to reopen communication with him, but it’s becoming an impossible hurdle. Thank you for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found facts and argument just gave her opportunity to quote chunks of Tumblr in her arguments back at me. Decided this was reinforcing. After that just aimed to develop her as a person, and engage her on levels of the personality that was still in there.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I want to stress something separately. becoming a guy is now the only way a girl can keep her clothes on. If it is suggested, the so-called sex-positive feminists say that this is the same as calling the female body shameful and that its like right-wingers demanding modesty.

    No, it isnt. Are men’s covered bodies shameful? Look at how the most powerful people, straight white men, dress and appear. Look at magazines and sitcoms and dramas. Their bodies are dressed simply, comfortably and privately. No matter how great their muscles, they arent almost naked. They arent all over every single music video writhing about, licking their lips, pointing to their crotches: we would find it horrible if men did that. Straight men, anyway.

    it is the less empowered people who have to watch their appearance. Black men may pull at their crotches on TV and assert sexual power, because white men are just quietly continuing to enjoy all the money. Gay men may go almost naked on the covers of magazines.- But straight white men dont…and nobody says they are being ‘forced to cover’ or ‘made to be modest’.

    If women are truly empowered, then they are empowered to keep their bodies private. and spend their time and money on their education and experiences. Note how misogynist males will mock this. they talk about how men should live full lives and have careers, but how women will have ‘careers’ and ‘educations’, always in these mocking quotes.

    I think bands like Little Mix and people like the Kardashians have a lot to answer for. Where are the models for young girls? There’s Adele…and I note my students love Adele, for NOT going on extreme diets and for focusing on her voice, not her looks. There’s Emma Watson. And who else? Even the powerhouse Serena Williams has become ‘hot’. Even Olympic athletes are posing like strippers now. I’ve seen ONE male rugby player do that..and it was for a gay magazine. Men have endless models for living successful lives. Although its true that its now spreading to men.

    I cant blame girls for wanting to be male. How else can they dress comfortably and be free of this sexualised world?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Totally agree, I know schools struggle to deal with crude comments to girls from boys. The Saville enquiry should have extended its remit into the sexualisation of young girls through fashion, media and, film and music industry. Some perpetrators were caught, the facilitators are still creating the culture that meets their needs. Hard to put the genie back in the bottle, sex sells, promotes and girls are persuaded it is their best asset.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “How else can they dress comfortably and be free of this sexualised world?” Well many of us managed to do it. It’s about knowing your value as a human being and being strong enough to let the judgements and sexual expectations be their problem, not your defining moment. Women need to stop victimizing themselves when someone is sexist and know how to shut it down. Becoming your opressor has got to be the stupidest solution anyone could ever think of. The mob mind of Tumblr, Reddit, Susan’s Place and now health professionals bullied by transgender activists is a huge disservice to teens who are just trying to figure out things.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As a girl in her twenties I can confirm that social medias play a big role in these changes of mind, especially Tumblr. However I’ve personally witnessed the growing of a community (on Tumblr, Twitter or YouTube) that fights against gender activism and that community is feminism, the radical kind. So it’s not true that feminism is responsible for this, liberal “feminism” yes, gender/trans activism yes, but not “feminism”. I’m part of the radical feminists and we’re there to help women, here to give them an other perspective, one who critic gender instead of multiplying them, and it’s working. I was involved in liberal/mainstream feminism for quite a time and believed in all those things that get in those young people’s head. I know it from the inside, it’s truly toxic and functions like a cult. You get harassed if you express doubts, you get told you’re really a man inside if you’re a tomboy, etc. There are more and more ppl out there speaking up about gender/trans activism, you just have to look up for them: radical feminists, gender-criticals lesbians and gays.
    Read their content and repeat it with kindness to your kids if they’re leaning toward transactivism, it might help. XX

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with you and it is sad to see young girls brainwashed into seeing Rad Fems as the enemy. Given today’s news in the UK I am hoping the debate moves off online to a wider audience. I suspect if some of these girls were confronted with MTT in reality or appearing on TV they might be more easily turned away from it. Thankyou for replying, it all raises awareness.

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  7. thank you so much for your story. your daughter sounds exactly like ours though ours is 12 and self harms too out of supposed gender dysphoria. 2 years of therapy through camhs hadn’t helped us yet and inspired by your story I am going to insist on assessment for ASD and BPD today. thank you. You’ve given us hope. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck, and while you wait those appointments there are good resources online. Rudy Simone – Aspie Girls and Josephine O’Toole two I found useful. You may find you can do as much and more than any counsellor that way. One of the problems is Aspergers needs particular counselling – social stories, CBT better than talking therapy for them. If it helps a metaphor my daughter recently shared – ‘life is like a corridor with rooms going off, you can go into one, stay a while and leave to find another’. Made me think experimentation is at the heart of this in finding who they are, just susceptible to anxiety of not knowing and influence of others. Best wishes.

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  8. I am pretty sure Blanchard predicted a higher rate of autism in those claiming to be female to male, and that prediction has also been proven correct as far as I know (autism is more prevalent in men also). Those with autism and an unstable sense of identity should not be allowed to transition. Whenever I read articles about sex change regret, it mostly seem to be female to male or autogynephiles (or those with other mental conditions), I have yet to read an account of sex change regret of those Blanchard calls “homosexual transsexuals”.

    Anyhow, I am sure you did great in protecting your daughter, but why expand that against deciding it’s wrong for every kid? Those high autism rates are not there in the boys wanting to become girls.

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    • The figures for Autism in girls are inaccurate and the diagnostic criteria currently under-going revision. Because young brains are still developing and life and relationships experience is limited until adulthood, I remain convinced no Transitions should be affirmed until then. Agree with you unstable sense of self is important in assessment as this will not be resolved by any Transition.

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    • 17 is tricky, at 18 she will be adult and they will only see her at her request. Yes mine was and is resistant and yet to get full diagnosis. I suspect it will traits if she attends. But was effective in opening her mind to idea that there might be other reasons for her sense of difference. So in that way win win. GP will do referral for you or you can avoid waiting list by private. My GP pushed hard, knowing her years they saw gender confusion as symptom.

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