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Maybe families who never experience a child’s ‘trans’ identification still get to operate within the old framework. I wouldn’t know. My hunch is that the new diagram, which reads like a prescription for malign chaos, was written just for us, but I’m not very objective about this.

Originally Published by Pitt through Substack


At 14, my older son was academically gifted but functionally… well, less so. His most daunting challenge that year — getting out the door in time to catch a ride to the bus — was an epic battle that demanded a fresh re-enactment virtually every school day morning while his two younger siblings, teeth brushed and backpacks loaded, quietly rolled their eyes and hoped for the best.

This wasn’t a victimless crime: whole carpools and commutes to work stood to be derailed when this one cog failed to engage. Something had to be done.

After a pleasant dinner on a day that had begun unpleasantly in the manner described above, we parents calmly explained to our son that the next time he failed to be ready, the carpool would not wait, and he would have to find another way to get to school. There being no public bus route in that direction, and no ride-sharing apps yet invented, this would mean calling a taxi and paying the fare with his own money. As with nuclear-weapons diplomacy, the known consequence of careless action was meant to be all the deterrence necessary. We parents congratulated ourselves and had a good night’s sleep.

Reader: he did it again the very next morning.

Having backed myself into a corner with only the nuclear option available, that’s how it went down. As it happened, his cab rolled up to school during the interval between first and second periods, so there were spectators on the scene. The episode thus achieved campus folklore status and elevated my reputation among parents and staff for the rest of our time at the school.

Update, twelve years later: that son is now a college graduate, a software engineer and a homeowner who is, as I write this, enjoying his honeymoon with someone I’m proud to call my new daughter-in-law. The anecdote from his youth follows a simple diagram of how one might assume society was designed to work: parents, being responsible for their kids, teach them how to solve their kid-sized problems so they don’t grow into adult-sized problems, as those tend to burden other people in their wake. Sometimes the job demands creativity, and when we pull that off, we get approval from our peers, which incentivizes more pro-social parenting.

If I were to contrast that story with any of the anecdotes relating to my daughter’s most daunting challenge at 14 — an epic battle to accept and care for her healthy female body, in opposition to pressure from social media and her school community — it would illustrate how thoroughly that simple diagram, with its direct link from family to society, has been decimated.

That last statement might need an asterisk: maybe families who never experience a child’s ‘trans’ identification still get to operate within the old framework. I wouldn’t know. My hunch is that the new diagram, which reads like a prescription for malign chaos, was written just for us, but I’m not very objective about this.

Even if I’m right, before it could become the official New Rule, the chaos diagram had to be not just ratified, but energetically embraced by all those other grownups first! That’s the piece of the puzzle that I find utterly impossible to explain. I am desperate to understand precisely what words, delivered by whom in what setting, formed the insanely effective covert campaign to re-educate teachers, school staff, private therapists, journalists, politicians, many medical professionals, and even some parents; and convince them that either 1) biological sex is a lie cooked up by the patriarchy, or the colonizer, as a tool of oppression.; or 2) biological sex is real but meaningless as a legal or social concept, so get over it.

That question: “How did they pull this off?” is a noisy, permanent tenant of my brain that I’m slowly learning to live with. I know I complain about it a lot (sorry), and I know I’ve already spent my whole allotment of Twilight Zone and Black Mirror analogies, so I’ll move on right after I say this: if anyone has any tips or clues, please, for the love of God, throw me a lifeline.

Moving on: we actually have a ton of clues to the narrower but still critically important riddle that is: who decided families are bad? That’s where I find my Tale of Two Teens, six years apart in age, illustrative.

To make this argument, revealing anecdotes about my trans-identifying daughter aren’t even necessary since proxies abound both in public reporting and in family dramas I have seen up close. For example:

  • The four different adults who, in their imagined professional capacities, each urged me to ‘affirm’ an imaginary son lest I one day mourn my dead daughter; and who militantly spoke of her as male in our face-to-face conversations when she wasn’t even there, as though they believed her very life depended on their belligerent defiance of my authority
  • Isabelle Ayala, who reported being coached by adults online to lie about suicide attempts she hadn’t made in a bid for the ‘affirmative’ medical treatments she now regrets
  • A girl I know who contrived a violent, over-the-top story of her own rape, also 100% fictional and suggested by influencers online for the purpose of obtaining testosterone
  • Adult online influencers, like Jeffrey Marsh, who encourage ‘trans’ teens to liberate themselves from parents who fail to respect their pronouns and seek safety elsewhere, among ‘glitter families’ who advertise themselves online. In one case I know of, a 17-year-old girl ran away and moved across the US with train fare provided by her new ‘glitter parents’, who then proceeded to exploit her sexually for six months before she finally found her way back home.
  • The Governors of states like mine who campaign for sanctuary laws to enable more stories like the one above while restricting the rights of responsible parents even to locate their minor children, much less assert their custodial rights
  • The nonprofit group currently lobbying the FDA to approve a menopause drug as safe and effective ‘healthcare’ for trans-identifying young men, and the FDA’s response that the experiment should expand to include 13-year-old boys, because why not?
  • Dr. Shayne Taylor of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Clinic for Transgender Health, who said the quiet part—“female-to-male [sterilizing] bottom surgeries are huge moneymakers!” —out loud
  • The individuals who support crowd-funded aesthetic amputations, many of them on minors, with online donations
  • The corporations who perform showy rites of ‘trans’ allegiance to please the self-appointed brokers of corporate moral power— GLAAD, GLISN, Stonewall, the Trevor Project, the Human Rights Campaign, etc.— whose seals of approval are ‘de rigueur’ enhancements of shareholder value that cost almost nothing to procure
  • The ideological capture of the American Civil Liberties Union, which was founded to protect free speech, but had one of their staff attorneys write “Stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on.” . That book being Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters
  • The millions(?) of Americans who sign every email with a pronoun declaration because someone told them doing this was ‘inclusive’ and kind. 

These people, to put it gently, are not helping.

That list doesn’t even acknowledge the garish obscenities of men in women’s sports, or men in women’s prisons, or men in women’s domestic-violence shelters, or in women’s YMCA changing rooms, etc. etc. What we have is a monumental cl*sterf**k comprised of equally outrageous constituent insults to women and children, most of them blissfully unproblematic to the Americans in charge of such matters. If the essential rights of parents, based on the dignity of the family’s role in society, don’t score some legal wins soon, it’s hard to see a path back to sanity.