I felt like she was setting me and her father up as the enemy of our child. She was the savior who was going to come in and save our daughter from us.

Mother whose 10-year old daughter was socially transitioned at school behind her back speaks

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Jennifer, who asked to be identified by her first name only, talks about discovering the efforts by her daughter’s public school teacher and the psychologist to which her daughter was referred by the school to encourage her child to embrace a transgender male identification.

Full transcript follows.

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Mon, Nov 07, 2022 10:46PM • 30:45

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

happening, therapist, kids, boys, daughter, school, teacher, child, parents, medicalization, gender, felt, people, talking, girls, friends, affirm, ideas, primed, meeting

SPEAKERS

Wesley Yang

My name is Jennifer. I'm with Partners for Ethical Care. We are an organization that is fighting the medicalization of children. We want to end it. We think it's unethical. And so we we do things to raise awareness and we support efforts to fight against medicalization.

Wesley Yang

And can you talk about what got you involved int this?

Jennifer

What brought me here? Yeah. Well, my daughter was in fifth grade. And she was being socially transitioned by her school, behind my back.

Wesley Yang

I say with that means.

Jennifer

So what that means is that they were the school was using a name that she made up — so not her name that was given to her, and different pronouns for her. And she was actually using — she didn't use the girls bathroom, for instance, she used the bathroom in the office. If she would have been — so she was 10-11 years old when this was happening. If she would have been older — in my state at 13 — she could have gone in to opposite sex spaces without me ever even knowing

Wesley Yang:

What state?

Jennifer

Washington State

Wesley Yang

Okay? And what, how long ago did this happen?

Jennifer

So this happened in 2019, and 2020. Right before the pandemic, she used the words — so they were using this name and pronouns for her from the beginning of the year, which I did not know. And she used the words “suicide” and “cutting” about three months into the year, which then got the attention of the school counselor.

And she called me and convinced me to use a special therapist that was contracted with the school who also incidentally, worked at a hospital that had a transgender clinic. So, I did not know that this therapist, from the first moment she sat down with my child — so I had to get permission again, because she was under 13 — at 13, she could have gone and I would never would have known. That's important, because it's an issue in our state. That's, that's very terrifying for a lot of parents.

But she was using male pronouns and the made up name for my daughter for the first half hour she sat down with her. She saw her for — and I didn't know this — she saw her for a half hour, once a week for two and a half months, so a total of five hours. And she called me right before the pandemic hit. And she was using the male pronouns and the made up name. And she was telling me that she wanted to have a meeting with with my me and my husband and my daughter, to help her come out to us as a boy. She gave us three days, because she thought we needed some time to process this. So she gave us three days.

Wesley Yang

So that was that was your first notification. Yes, that she had been transitioned socially transition. Since the stars of the year

Jennifer

Yes.

Wesley

And how long? Was it? Six months?

Wesley Yang

So for six months, they've been here. Yes. And you did not know that this was the policy? No,

I did not.

Wesley Yang

How long had this been the policy?

Well, okay, so this therapist was contracted. So she was not technically a school employee, which I think now that I look back is like a wall of liability. But I didn't know that it was a policy until this happened. You know, then I started doing research. I, we actually canceled the meeting with this therapist. The other thing that was happening was she told us that our daughter wanted to be in the boys cabin for fifth grade camp, which we were never going to allow, because that's just dangerous. And she had a male teacher. I mean, she would have been in a cabin with boys and a male teacher.

I recently found out that that male teacher actually asked her if she wanted to be in the boys cabin. So it was presented to me as though she had asked to be in the boys cabin. But what happened was he asked her so I've had conversations with my daughter recently because she's desisted.

Now, that's because I pulled her out of school when all this happened. We pulled her out of school, I homeschool her now. We took all of her devices. She was not in her friend group, which was all LGBTQ 10--11 year olds. And so we pulled her out of all the influences, and slowly over time, she desisted — which goes against, you know, what all the professionals are saying. They say, once a kid says that, you know, they know themselves, right? Well, I mean, my story goes against that narrative. My daughter's story goes against that narrative. All the professionals are saying, we have to affirm, the President says, that's the thing to do. And if we had affirmed, and if we had left her in that situation, where would she be now? She might be, you know, taking drugs and having surgeries.

Wesley Yang

So what kind of school was it?

Jennifer

Just a public school, a regular public school in elementary?

Wesley

In a suburb of a big city?

Jennifer

Yes, we're in the suburbs of Seattle.

Wesley Yang

So what kind of education was she getting? Had she been told in the third grade that gender identity is a thing — that she can be a boy or girl, both, or neither depending…

Jennifer

You know, I don't know. I don't actually think that's where she got the ide. She's an artist. And a lot of the kids who fall into this are artistic. They get into online drawing forums. And so she was in an online drawing forum with some friends. And that is where she learned about these ideas. So I'm not sure that she learned them at school, although I know they're teaching it at school now as as low as kindergarten. Yeah. I'm really concerned about those kids. But -

Wesley Yang

So even just through peer influence — she got there at a very young age. This was before the schools are really doing it at scale. But now the schools are doing it. So they're priming — they're gonna multiply this by —

Jennifer

It's gonna be exponential. And what's gonna happen? These kids are in their formative years, and they're teaching this stuff to them! They're teaching them that they might not be, you know, the sex they were born as! And I just, I can't imagine what we're going to see in the coming years as far as these kids.

Wesley Yang

So what was your consciousness of this issue prior to finding out your daughter?

Jennifer.

You know, I heard about the bathroom issues. And I actually thought, ‘I don't know, maybe it's not a big deal.” You know, the stalls are all separate. And I never thought anything of it, really. And I didn't think there were that many kids were like that, right?

Wesley Yang

But you knew all her friends were LGBTQ identified already.

Jennifer

So here's the thing. She didn't just all of a sudden one day say I'm transgender. Yeah, she was getting these ideas from her friends online. And it was like she started with a romantic, you know, at 10 years old. She's a romantic. Yeah. And then she went on to, like, Demi sexual and non binary and gay. I mean, she went through all these different identities. I mean, I didn't I wouldn't have even known to call them identities at that time. But I just thought…

Wesley Yang

So how old was she when she was doing this

Jennifer

10-11. So I just thought she was kind of playing with…

Wesley Yang

So these are online friends or these were real world friends that already all identified…

Jennifer

So it started with the online friends. And then it went on with her friends at school…

Wesley Yang

So all of her friends are into this stuff. They're getting it online, but they're also doing it with each other.

Jennifer

Yes.

Wesley Yang

They — none of them have kissed anyone…

Jennifer

No. No!

Wesley Yang

but they are every letter of the alphabet and it is changing every day.

Jennifer

Yeah.

Wesley Yang

So you could say, Oh, it's this cute, funny thing.

Jennifer

Yes. Right. Yeah, something

I think what happened was I realized…

Wesley Yang

So how long were you aware of this this kind of stuff?

Jennifer

So I was aware that she was playing with these identities before the school year started.

What I was not aware of is that there were adults that were supporting it. I thought this was the kids they're playing with this, you know, this identity exploration. Right. I thought it was something they were just playing with. I did not take it seriously. Yeah. I didn't know there were adults who were supporting it and taking it seriously.

Wesley Yang

And who are the adults or Teacher?

Jennifer

Teacher? Therapists? I don't know what other adults at the school were. I don't know. But I do know her teacher was and I do know that the therapist was

Wesley Yang

Was there any reason to think that she had been gender nonconforming prior to this?

Jennifer

She was a tomboy. I think she could have been confused. You know, she got these ideas and they're saying, ‘well, if you, you know, you don't really like girly things, and if you don't like boys…’ The whole sexual attraction thing is confusing, I think with this whole thing, because I thought that it had something to do with that when it first you know, when she first started exploring these ideas.

But really, I've learned it doesn't have anything to do with sexual attraction. You know, they, some of these kids will say, you know, the girls will say, ‘I'm a gay boy.’ So they're still attracted to boys, you know? So, same thing with the boys — they'll say ‘I'm a lesbian,’ you know, because they're still attracted to girls. It's all very, it seems very silly to me. But also very confusing, especially confusing, when you don't know anything about what's going on with it.

Wesley Yang

So you find out that we're gonna have a meeting, she's gonna come to you as a boy, this has been going on for six months. And because she's under 13, which means they have to inform you…

Jennifer

That's right, because she's under 13.

Wesley Yang

You're like, okay, you decide not to take the meeting. You pull out immediately.

Jennifer

Yes, because it was just perfectly timed with a pandemic. I felt like, this therapist was not working in partnership with me. I felt like she was working against me. I felt like she was setting me and her father up as the enemy of our child. She was the savior who was going to come in and save our daughter from us, or help us, you know, come over to her side or whatever.

Wesley Yang

She was going to ambush you with this meeting?

Jennifer

Yes.

Wesley Yang

And say to you “Do you want to live son or daughter?” All of this kind of emotional blackmail that we've heard? Yes. So you're like, let's not go to this meeting.

Jennifer

That's right.

Yeah, I didn't think it was a good idea. So we pulled her out. And everybody was being homeschooled, then shortly after that. So we just we just pulled her out before everybody else.

It was really lucky for us, actually. And so she just continued doing the homeschool with the school for the rest of that year. Honestly, I couldn't wait for the school year to end because I got a couple of calls and emails from her teacher, which — I felt like he was kind of like, checking up on her and, and kind of watching us — so I couldn't wait for the school year to end and then, you know, the next year, and since then we have homeschooled her because I don't believe I can trust the public schools.

And I knew that there were worse things happening at the middle school with the GSA clubs. I knew that there were kids out there that were pressuring each other to take testosterone. And that there were girls that were, you know, going into the boys locker room. The boys were not happy about it. So I also knew that these things were happening at 13 , and nobody would tell me in my state. So the public schools to me are not safe.

Wesley Yang

So the state the state has passed laws that ban conversion therapy.

Jennifer

Yes, we have a conversion therapy ban. I didn't even know about conversion therapy.

Wesley Yang

They allow minors to dictate the terms of their own care even without parent consent — even in defiance of parental will.

Jennifer

Yes

Wesley Yang

So a 13 year old can get hormones. And the parents can't say no…

Jennifer

Parents won't even know. They can do this stuff without the parents even knowing. The parents will get a bill from insurance with no explanation of benefits. That's how it works in our state. Unless a child gives permission, but if a child wants to do these things without their parents permission, they can.

Wesley Yang

So people are suing?

Jennifer

Not yet.

And actually, we were going to sue this therapist because she took a course of treatment of therapeutic treatment without telling us and I believe that is illegal. So we were ready. We were talking to a lawyer but he wasn't the kind of lawyer that could help us and we were trying to find somebody to represent us. Butat this time, there really wasn't anybody. We couldn't find anybody. And I realized that we were in uncharted territory.

And we also were afraid that somehow we were going to allow the state into our home and be able to get our child. I had fear that somebody might call CPS on us, you know, and this was before I knew that people actually have done that to other parents. So I was right to have that fear.

Wesley Yang

Well to be public about it is to make yourself a target for that kind of thing

Jennifer

Yes. Yeah. So I've had to warn my children,

Wesley Yang

…So you took away her devices?

Jennifer

Yes

Wesley Yang

And you saw what she was doing?

Jennifer

I did.

Wesley Yang

So you learned about the online drawing courses?

Jennifer

Yeah,

Wesley Yang

So what did you find there? It was all just like kids being like, Oh, you're non binary?

Jennifer

Yes. And they were all having sort of like these online relationships. You know, it seemed very silly to me. But there were also kids talking about cutting, talking about suicide. Yeah. You know, she learned that stuff online. It was a surprise to me when I got that call from the therapist. But of course, I was concerned, which is why I allowed her to see that therapist…

Wesley Yang

And this is all just a normal part of elementary school life in certain schools, certain parts of the country, where like, half the girls will be non binary or trans or whatever. And that's, that's true of the middle school. Right?

Jennifer

Oh yeah.

Wesley Yang

And the parents just accept it? They affirm it? They feel it’s weird?

Jennifer

You know, there's a lot of pressure on parents. I think that most of the parents, because the doctors and the teachers and the therapists, all the, the professionals are, are putting pressure on these parents, and they're saying, you have to accept your child, and you have to affirm them. Otherwise, they might commit suicide. And that's, that's scary. That's terrifying. It's like blackmailing parents.

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Wesley Yang

So you weren't exposed to that? Because you didn't go to the meeting? Do you think you'd that think you could have been blackmailed into it? If you had gone? Or did you have enough wherewithal to be like ‘Uh, no. She’s not a boy.”

Jennifer:

That's a really good question. I thought there was something weird about this whole thing. It wasn't making sense to me. She had just had a sleepover with a bunch of girls. Why did she need to be in the boys cabin? That didn't make sense to me. Which, by the way, I should make that clear. When she told me recently, the teacher asked her so I said, ‘What gave you the idea to go into the boys cabin?’ And she said, ‘that wasn't my idea. That was my teacher's idea?’ And when he asked her that she felt like she had to say yes, because she had already told the whole school that she was a boy. You know what? Oh, yeah, I guess I have to say, yes.

Well, then shortly after that — and I didn't realize at the time — why she told me she didn't want to go to the camp.

So this teacher was leading her. And I think that's happening quite a bit.

Wesley Yang

So how long did it take you to pull her out of it? And what form did it to take? What did you do? And how did you get to the point where she you can say that she desisted? And what does that mean? She's like — yeah I’m a girl, of course? What do you mean? How could it be otherwise?

Jennifer

Yes, that is what I mean. She knows she's a girl now.

She actually kind of looks back on it now like, you know, she was young, and she didn't know any better. Right, which, you know, it's true. But she's 13 now. But it took a while. Like I said, it took a while — she went through all these identities. It took her a while to end up on transgender. And it took her about, so a little over a year, I'd say, and it took her about that much time to come out of it.

So what happened was, at first I started with: Why do you feel like you're a boy? and honestly, she was defensive when I said that. “Well, I’ve just always felt that way. She didn't really have much explanation. “I don't like girly stuff.” And I backed off on going direct at the transgender identity, and I started just talking about, “you can't always trust doctors.” And we talked about the opioid crisis and how doctors can be incentivized to do things that aren't really good for you. We talked about other things in history. We talked about cults, we talked about Scientology, we watched some documentaries.

So I just started talking about things that I thought were parallel to what was happening. Parallels in history. And then eventually, we got to the point where I talked about detransitioners, and how they were really encouraged and everybody loved them when they decided that they were transgender; they got all kinds of attention, a new friend, group, all this stuff — and then later when they got older and realized that it was a mistake, and they had done these medical things to themselves — when they changed their mind — all those people who loved them so much, dropped them, and in fact, were nasty to them.

And she was like, “well, that's just like a cult.”

She just was taking in the things that I was telling her. And I think also, she wasn't in that environment, where she was getting something from it. She was getting social cred at school. She was getting more attention, special attention. She had more friends. I know people don't understand that might be happening. But it is. These kids are being very much celebrated and encouraged. And so she was out of that. And plus, she had been having a little bit of social trouble with friends. So I think, this was a thing that helped her, which is true of a lot of the kids who I think are doing it. And it just wasn't, it just wasn't an issue anymore. She wasn't being affirmed. She wasn't in that situation.

Wesley Yang

Are you surrounded by normal human beings? Who are like, yes, of course. Or are you surrounded by people who have been captured and who think that you're hateful bigots that are abusing your daughter by not affirming?

Jennifer

Well, there are definitely people that think I'm bigoted now, because I speak out about what's happening.

Wesley Yang

But prior to that? Where you were like — oh, our daughter had this thing. And now she's not? Were people like — What? She says she's a boy? Or are people already primed?

Jennifer

Oh, no. People are primed for sure. They're like, Oh, that's so great. What's her new name? What's her new pronouns? I'm like, “well, hold on a minute.” I think, you know, our whole culture is infused with these ideas. Everybody's confused about them. They don't really know. Until it hits their family. They just want to be kind and inclusive, and they don't understand that this all leads to a really scary medical harm, potential harm. I don't know they're confused. They've been told these kids can go through the wrong puberty. I had a teacher actually telling me that, some kids go through the wrong puberty, and it's really horrible for them. This is a teacher. That's concerning to me.

Wesley Yang

Yeah. So any teacher, any female teacher under the age of 28? Maybe even older?

Jennifer

Yeah, they've been indoctrinated

Wesley Yang

It's not even something to think about.

Jennifer

It's taken for granted. .That's right.

Wesley Yang

And it's true of almost all.

Jennifer

Yeah, it does seem that way. Although her teacher was a male, right? With young kids. But you know, most of them are young, and they don't have children, especially not teenagers.

Wesley Yang

What did you know about the medical harm when it was first being broached? I guess you learned it later.

Jennifer

I didn't know about it at first. It really wasn't until I we pulled her out of school. And we were sort of scrambling to figure out what this was all about. I started finding out about the medical stuff and, and, other really, actually terrifying things like kids in GSA clubs — 13-year-olds hanging out with, you know, 20 year olds. 13 year old girls who identify as boys hanging out with 20-year-old boys who identify as girls and dating each other.

Wesley Yang

Just at the local school.

Jennifer

Well, yeah, I mean. in clubs. There's some commingling of inappropriate age differences. And it just felt very predatory. To me, so that was really scary too.

Wesley Yang

And so, you've gone on to become an activist on this, tell me what the organization does.

Jennifer

So Partners for Ethical Care, we support efforts and we do things to raise awareness about what's happening with with “gender medicine”, I want to put that in quotes, “gender medicine”, because I don't really think of it as medicine and also social transition, because social transition is not harmless. Supporting a delusion is not good for a child, especially if they actually have real mental health issues, and you're not paying attention to the real issues, when you're telling them that this is the answer, that this will solve all their problems, and we know from the detransitioners, that it clearly does not.

Wesley Yang

Yes. So your daughter is not “gender dysphoric”?

Jennifer

No!

Wesley Yang

Most of these kids are not gender dysphoric. There are gender dysphorics out there that have a problem of tremendous pain…

Jennifer

A strong discomfort, would say…

Wesley Yang

There is a small population who are afflicted by that

Jennifer

Extremely rare.

Wesley Yang

There's like 50 kids now for every one of those — there's 100 Kids — there's 300 Kids — for every one of those kids just playing around with whatever shit that's floating around the culture. And that is being taught to them by their teachers and their counselors…

Jennifer

Yeah, I mean, think about that the kids starting now from kindergarten…We haven't seen what how that's gonna affect these little kids that are growing up with this.

Wesley Yang

I tend to think that those kids will not be so vulnerable, that they're not gonna actually put themselves out…Like, they'll play with it, but they're not going to actually…but they’re being propagandized so hard by everyone…

Jennifer

If their parents are convinced…and they are convinced…then I don't know. How many more kids are going to be medicalized?

Wesley Yang

So you're an awareness raising organization.

Jennifer

And we support efforts to fight the gender industry.

Wesley Yang

So what do you think can happen here? Why are you here? And what do you think will happen as a result? Or what do you hope will happen?

Jennifer

Well, I would say this is a raising awareness event,? That we're trying to educate the pediatricians. Because, I think what happens with a lot of the professionals is they are in their lane only? And so they don't really see what's happening with all of this. They don't know what's happening in families, where children are being turned against their parents, or being told that if their parents don't support them in these ideas, that means they don't care about them, which is insane. I think it's another big raising awareness event, which is very important, because really, we'd had such a hard time getting people to pay attention to what the real harms that are being caused by this.

Wesley Yang

What is your sense of what the scale of visit is?

Oh, I would say, I compare it to the opioid crisis, I think it's going to be much worse. I think we're going to be dealing with the repercussions of this for a long time.

Wesley Yang

So there's so you know, Reuters found that they were, you know, we're talking at a scale of like, tens of thousands on puberty blockers, based on insurance recorded. Is it your sense that there to two private practitioners for every one on insurance? What is your sense?

Jennifer

I think what happens is they all just get sent to the gender clinic. And so, the private practitioners, when they hear a kid come in and say that they're transgender, they're like, “Well, you need to take them to the gender clinic,” and once you take them to the gender clinic, that's a one way ticket to medicalization. I can only see that getting worse at the moment, before it gets better.

Wesley Yang

How long did it take your daughter to desist?

Jennifer

It took a little over a year. So just about the same amount of time that it took her to get into it. And, you know, I think that we were really lucky that she did this young because we still had a lot of influence on her. And, you know, we were able — I'm lucky because I was able to, I can homeschool her we have the means to do that. There's a lot of parents that can't do that. They're stuck with the public schools. And it's — what they're doing is wrong.

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