A Message For Parents
13 tips for concerned parents from a detrans man
You may be convinced that your child, however old isn’t happy identifying as trans. But what if they are? How do you know for sure that they are unhappy? If they are happy and show clear signs of it and no alarming behaviours (cutting themselves off, avoiding you) you may need to think about that for a second, because it would be ridiculous to suggest that my experience is the end result for everyone.
For those who recognise traits of myself in my writings in your own child - neurodivergent, obsessive, bullied, chronically online, unmasculine, unhappy…I think this may help you and it may be something you’ve seen before. Either way, this is for you.
I was so deeply attached to the belief that I was trans that any counter point I came across I could dismiss, I learned the material that others shared and became well versed at debate. Often overwhelming people with statistics, studies, referencing findings, using terms that were beyond my understanding (bed nucleus of the stria terminalis). When I started talking about brains and neurology, I felt because I read a few articles and watched videos; I was suddenly an expert. Because no one else reads this bollocks, they take that knowledge as authority in itself and don’t question when they have every reason to.
I was a good salesman. I was calm, confident and with a zealous fever I believed so strongly I was right, more intelligent, more put together, more well read that there was nothing, anyone could say that would change that. I was able to realign my cognitive dissonance when I saw the undeniable things that all the rad fems and ‘anti-trans’ people were talking about and dismiss it through the various measures that were put in place.
We who have had surgerys, become a member of Opes Dei. The most revered members of the church, the most celebrated and the most sacred. You need to understand that surgery is a ceremony, It’s the penultimate form of commitment to the church and its absolutism is physical anchor to keep you within the church at times of doubt. “I’ve already done this, so…”
Is it any wonder that many detrans people who have had surgeries go through a non-binary pipeline? As their peers convince them “Oh ok, maybe not Trans, try this instead” They will call you everything but gay, does that not say it all? What’s wrong with being gay or offering that as a possible cause?
Perhaps that’s why you’re so alarmed, and so fearful? Because it doesn’t matter whether they’re 12, 18, 25, you know them and you can recognise a dramatic shift in their behaviour, and beliefs. There defensiveness tells you everything, with folded arms and crossed brows; they aggressively tell you how they know themselves and are ‘happy’.
In any instance, whether you perceive your child to be unhappy or otherwise, I hope this helps.
1. Forget confronting them
Imagine this. You tell someone, who is emotionally behind, but intelligent non the less; that the reason they didn’t fit in, the reason they hate themselves so much is because of this thing called Gender Dysphoria. And they have the solution, not a solution but the solution. You need to understand that in their mind, the only alternative they have been taught is death, to take this away from them is to feel as if they’re lives are at risk - how would you react if you thought that?
I got told until I was blue in the face and it only verified the belief what other church members had told me; that this would happen, they don’t understand, they have no authority, listen to us.
2 - Never break contact
If this has already happened, whether by their will or yours - all isn’t lost. There will be lines of communication you can use to send your love. If they have left or are limited contact, confronting them at this stage would be catastrophic.
Don’t use your limited contact to say how worried you are, how much you miss them, it will only make them not want to speak to you. Keep it pleasant, even if they have a go at you - it’s not fair, it isn’t I know, but your not dealing with a mentally healthy person.
And most of all, never break contact with your child, you may want to reduce contact if its getting too much but never ever give them room to break contact.
3 - Understand the ‘Deadly sins’
With absolutism at our hearts, we are scripted to respond to what I’ve called the Deadly Sins of gender ideology. Questioning them, not using their name, not using pronouns and not allowing them to dress the way they want are all seen as the highest form of sin. There are more of course, but this is the bread and butter of the belief; going against this will not help you.
Once you understand the If, Else, Then conditions set in our beliefs, you can fundamentally avoid activating those conditions by simply not playing the game.
4 - Field Test
This also includes tiktok, insta, twitter, discord and games. Check them all out, see what messages they’re looking at.
They will not tell you themselves, they are taught not too.
5 - Work with everyone around you
Did they randomly cut contact with friends they’ve known for years? Stopped seeing family members or otherwise? Get in touch with them, find out what they know and think.
Get their old friends thinking, it may just spur them on to get in touch. Do not ask their friends to contact them on your behalf. Hearing from old friends I had cut off always made me feel more “myself” - I could feel my voice slipping back, my demeanour change, I wanted to talk to them desperately but didn’t know how.
This also goes doubly so for family, especially those your child had an attachment too.
6 - Learn about High Functioning Autism
They may not be diagnosed, but if they’re anything like me there’s a high chance they could exist on the scale.
Learning how high functioning autistic people think and handle situations is key to you and your child’s relationship, even if they’re 40 years old it will still apply.
7 - Struggling using the name?
Use terms of endearment you’ve used before with your child, perhaps from when they were young. When used in a warm, meaningful manner it can install a lot of positive memories and begin to help them remember a time when they were happier.
8 - Introduce them to the ‘Steel Man’
When the conversation opens up a bit more, learn and teach them about 'The Steelman'. This is where a person will argue for a viewpoint they do not hold themselves, with the aims of learning something outside of their conditioning and bias.
This isn’t about using this to show them your viewpoint, but to allow them to discover it themselves. Its imperative that they feel as if this learning has came from within, and it may cause distress to acknowledge the other view point, at which point you can listen without being tempted to give your view.
9 - Be a mirror
Do they look happy today? Tell them! Do they look like utter shit? Tell them!
Be kind of course but the mistake here is that people say “You look like you’re tired, is this getting to you?” Rather than “Wow you really look exhausted, how come your not sleeping?” Remove the chance for them to counter with a flippant “I’m fine” by observing and reflecting their demeanour.
Compare them to when they were last happy. This is powerful - why were you so happy at x age and so miserable now?
They must discover the answer themselves.
10 - Show them detrans stories
One of the common advice for people who have lost family members to cults or sects is when possible, when the time is right and kind; to show them accounts of people who have escaped that situation.
First hand accounts of former cult members are said to be the most powerful ways of drawing people back if you suspect that’s whats occuring.
Out of all videos I’ve ever seen, this was the one that resonated me the most strongly. Sinead is a detrans woman, not a male; but her eloquence, compassion, confidence and diligence at this topic is what really brought me home.
11 - Look after yourself
You can’t help anyone if you’re not okay yourself. Make sure you put those measures in place to get help, whether its from friends or family. Create a strong support network for yourself and other people around you.
There are many who understand, many parent groups out there you can join if you find empathy is lacking in your life.
12 - Understand, the realisation MUST come from them
It takes a lot of mental energy to get there, to get to that stage where you realise something has went awfuly wrong somewhere down the line.
So many people tried to confront me and I lied to so many people about how confident I was even though I knew I wasn’t. My mother was right from the start, but she was never unkind about it, but did get very upset and distraught. Because of that I felt a need to hide it further and not be open about my doubt and fear. But I did, and I take responsibility for my part.
13 - Get the computer/phones out of their room
With adults, its different and more complicated but in teens you have the authority. I’m not telling you to take these things away, but remove the physical barriers that have been put in place. When they’re alone in their rooms, they don’t need to worry about if anyone can see just what they’re looking at, who they’re talking too.
Sure, play games - get them some good headphones, but don’t allow them to cut themselves off and connect with people who will give them a distorted truth that will harm them.
There is no reason a kid should have a mobile phone in their bedroom during night time. Ask for them to hand it over and give it back in the morning - not to look through (get them to lock it infront of you and turn it off) - this will stop the panic if they’re trying to hide something.
I wish I had a golden phrase that would help, but I don’t. What I do understand though is the constructs and mechanisms at play. Once you see it for what it is; a script - you can navigate through it and eventually rip it up
I hope this helps.
Take good care of yourself no matter what.