A mother has admitted regretting letting her four-year-old son socially transition to a girl – amid growing cultural tension in the US over transgender children.
Rose, who wishes to stay anonymous, raised her two sons as gender neutral with her wife, which was reflected in their clothes, toys and language.
When her four-year-old son said he felt like a girl, the mother encouraged him in his new identity – which she has now admitted was a ‘mistake’ that ‘haunts’ her and that realizing her mistake was like ‘leaving a cult’.
Her concerns rose when her younger son, then three, said he too wanted to transition to a girl, despite being more of a ‘stereotypical boy’.
Rose realised she had ‘led’ her sons to transition and immediately worked hard to reverse the mistake. She said both her sons, now around eight and nine, are living happily as boys and are ‘blossoming and growing’.
A mother has admitted regretting letting her four-year-old son socially transition to a girl (file image)
She described realizing her mistake as being like leaving a ‘cult’ and said she would never go back in an essay called ‘True Believer’ (pictured is an extract)
At the time, Rose said she was a ‘social justice organizer and facilitator’, who would introduce ‘the concept of intersectionality to progressive organizations, and having people share their pronouns’.
But following her experience she has stopped being an ‘activist’ and instead become a ‘sceptic’.
It comes amid a culture war in the US over transgender rights in schools – where some feel the agenda is introduced to children too young while others believe young people have the right to express who they feel they are.
In Florida the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill prevents the teaching or classroom instruction of gender identity or sexual orientation in children between kindergarten and the sixth grade.
Transgender swimmers are a particularly fraught topic – following U-Penn student Lia Thomas’ success in the sport after she transitioned from male to female.
Prior to her transition, Thomas was ranked between 500 and 600th in the country in the male division.
Rose told the ‘free speech’ podcast ‘Triggernometry’ that realizing her mistake was like leaving a ‘cult’ – a feeling she also confirmed in writing.
She told the YouTube show – which is hosted by comedians Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster and explores ‘fun-but-serious’ conversations – that she had ‘led’ her child into transitioning.
‘I am no longer a true believer,’ she said in an essay penned in August 2022 for the Parents With Inconvenient Truth About Trans (PITT) substack newsletter.
‘This experience for me has felt like leaving a cult, a cult that would have me sacrifice my child to the gods of gender ideology, in the name of social justice and collective liberation. I have left this cult, and I am never turning back.’
As the two boys grew up, the parents used ‘he/him’ for their pronouns but did not tell them they were boys.
In Rose’s essay – called ‘True Believer’ – she said this meant she was ‘primed to look for clues’ that her children could be transgender.
When her older son – who had always gravitated more towards women and had an affinity for feminine things – asked if he was a boy or a girl, she told him that he could choose.
She said: ‘I was leading my innocent, sensitive child down a path of lies that were a direct on-ramp to psychological damage and life-long irreversible medical intervention. All in the name of love, acceptance, and liberation.’
Six months later, he came back to her saying he felt like a girl, wanting ‘she/her’ pronouns and to be called sister.
Speaking anonymously on podcast Triggernometry (pictured), Rose said she realised she had led her son to transition
In her essay ‘true believer’ she tells the story of her journey from social justice warrior to sceptic
Parents are clashing with teachers across the US over whether transgender teenagers can transition in classrooms without their knowledge – and most cases are not always solved in the principals’ office, and often end up in court. Some states have put safeguards in place – in Virginia, a lawmaker is proposing a law to ensure parents are made aware. And in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has cracked down on teacher gender identity with the Parental Rights in Education Act
As a result, his name was changed and he wore girls’ clothes to be socially transitioned (the process by which transgender children can adopt a new gender identity).
The mother said she was praised by her peers and at support groups for the support she had given her child.
She also said she was told by a gender therapist to break contact with anyone who did not use the new identity – something which she finds shocking to look back on.
But alarm bells began to ring when her younger son – who had always been more of a ‘stereotypical boy’ – began to say he also wanted to transition to a girl.
The three-year-old became increasingly insistent that he wanted to be like his older sibling.
The gender therapist immediately said he should be referred to as ‘she’ but the mother began to feel clearly that neither son was transgender and the older was just ‘highly sensitive’.
Her son told her ‘Mama this is your fault – you changed my name.’
‘Our sons weren’t actually trans. It was something else,’ Rose said. ‘I had led my child into it. All I wanted was to go back in time and undo what I had done’.
Just before her son’s eighth birthday she told him that ‘males cannot be females’ – to which he at first was ‘mad and sad’. But the following day she said he felt ‘incredible relief’ at the revelation.
Single mom-of-two Aurora Regino last month launched a case against the Chico Unified School District , in northern California, saying a school counselor encouraged her fifth-grade daughter to transition to a male without notifying her
This chart shows insurance claims for puberty blockers in the US by year. It shows claims have doubled since 2017
Transgender swimmers are a particularly fraught topic – following U-Penn student Lia Thomas’ (pictured) success in the sport after she transitioned from male to female
Now, she says her sons are both ‘blossoming and growing’ as boys – but that her mistake will be one that ‘haunts’ her forever.
She said: ‘The grief and the shock of what we did is so deep, so wide, so sharp and penetrating. How could a mother do this to her child? To her children?’
She added that she only realized her former beliefs were part of a ‘system’ now that she is out of it.
Rose said she wanted to thank the blogs 4th Wave Now and Gender a Wider Lens for helping her to change the discourse with her son.
4th Wave Now was begun by Denise Canaan, after her 17-year-old daughter Chiara came out as a trans man in 2014 and wanted a medical transition.
The group is one of the first to question gender ideology and transitioning in young people.
Parents With Inconvenient Truth About Trans (PITT), where Rose wrote her essay, is another parent group that has sprung up since.
Cases of children in schools wanting to change their gender are becoming increasingly common – with many not wanting their parents to know about it.
On this frontline in America’s culture wars, parents, kids, teachers, and therapists have to make tough calls about rising rates of transgenderism, mental health issues, peer pressure and whether affirmation-on-demand is always the best answer.
The number of transgender children between the ages of 13 to 17 has doubled to about 1.4 percent, an analysis of government health surveys show. There’s been similar rises in teens seeking puberty blockers, hormones and surgery, insurance data reveal.
There are now an estimated 60 to 300 gender clinics that provide hormonal intervention and blockers to minors.
Advocates of ‘gender-affirming care’, as it is known, claim the rise is down to more awareness of gender dysphoria and support among clinicians. Other experts, conservatives and parents warn of an ideologically-driven ‘social contagion’.
Single mom-of-two Aurora Regino last month launched a case against the Chico Unified School District, in northern California, saying a school counselor encouraged her fifth-grade daughter to transition to a male without notifying her.
Regino bashes California’s ‘Parental Secrecy Policy’ and a school counselor who affirmed her daughter’s vague female-to-male transgender request ‘within minutes’ and even ‘pressured’ the child.
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