These two stories are about Eau Claire, Wisconsin but the truth is, they are not that out of the ordinary. Yes, both rank high on the egregious scale in terms of tone and disrespect but on substance, they pretty much mirror what is happening in public and private schools all over the country, including in my own backyard.
During a teacher training on “safe spaces” (omg, the irony) in this Wisconsin district, one slide was so jarring that several in attendance leaked it to a local media outlet. It said:
Remember, parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned.
The National Desk invited me on this morning to discuss the story:
In the same district, parents became concerned when they discovered the poster shown below was hanging up on a classroom door. Not only is it covered in the LGBT support colors but it states,
If your parents aren’t accepting of your identity, I’m your mom now.
According to local reporting, other parents discovered that more teachers in the district had hung the same poster on their doors. The principal, who seemed to be caught off guard by all of this, said he was “looking into concerns over this poster.”
I spent over ten years working in schools and I have three children of my own; my jaw hit the floor when I saw this. It is hard to fathom how many people working in schools have gone from being advocates for building trust with parents and seeing them as partners, however imperfect they may be, to pushing them out of the picture completely and working to make ideological recruits out of their children.
Of course we worked to ensure students felt respected and safe. Of course there were outlier cases where a child’s well-being in the home would be cause for concern and an adjustment was needed in how to handle a sensitive situation.
This is something different. And insidious. And dangerous.
Down the line, if the trans-thing doesn’t work out, as is so often the case with adolescents who fall victim to the lure of this gender ideology, will these educators who have enthusiastically crowned themselves “mom” be there to hold the student’s hand and say “it’s gonna be ok” while they pick up the pieces of their life and grapple with the consequences of the emotional pain as well as puberty blockers, hormones and possible surgery that have altered their bodies forever? Will they be there to apologize for the lie they told about how all the student’s problems would go away and everything would get better if they changed their gender identity?
They will be long gone, having left so much collateral damage in their ideological wake.
You know who will still be there? The people who love those children most. The people the school staff tried to swap out of the child’s life. The people who were trying to do right by their children only to be painted as intolerant and hateful monsters.
Below I am sharing the best and most thoughtful, honest and informative first-person account I’ve seen by someone who, as a teenager, thought she was transgender. It is long so carve out a half -hour or so. I promise it’s worth it if you really want to understand what is going on and why.
Here is one very relevant excerpt that comes in the middle of the piece:
To add fuel to the fire, I went to my school guidance counselor and told her I was very depressed (true) because my parents wouldn’t accept me as trans (not so true). She completely affirmed my perception and told me how sorry she was that my parents weren’t more supportive. She looked online with me at the local children’s hospital gender clinic and said she would call to see how long their waiting list was. We also came up with a budget plan for how I would pay for testosterone using an informed consent clinic if I waited until I turned eighteen. In the meantime, she said I should talk to the school psychologist to help me deal with my family being so transphobic. I asked my mom if I could stop seeing the therapist I had been seeing occasionally and switch to the school psychologist. My mom, having no idea that the school was affirming me and helping me put together plans to transition behind her back, agreed
By Any Other Name
The story of my transition and detransition.
My name is Helena, and as of this writing I’m a 23-year-old woman who, as a teenager, believed I was transgender. In the years since detransitioning (stopping testosterone treatment and no longer seeing myself as transgender), I’ve become interested in exploring why, in the last decade, nearly every English-speaking country has seen a meteoric rise in adolescents believing they are transgender and pursuing cosmetic medical and surgical interventions. Here, I’d like to go over how and why I came to see myself as transgender, the process of transitioning, and the events leading up to and following my detransition.
The short version of my detransition story for those who want the bare details is that when I was fifteen, I was introduced to gender ideology on Tumblr and began to call myself nonbinary. Over the next few years, I would continue to go deeper and deeper down the trans identity rabbit hole, and by the time I was eighteen, I saw myself as a “trans man”, otherwise known as “FtM”. Shortly after my eighteenth birthday, I made an appointment at a Planned Parenthood to begin a testosterone regimen. At my first appointment, I was prescribed testosterone, and I would remain on this regimen for a year and a half. It had an extremely negative effect on my mental health, and I finally admitted what a disaster it had been when I was 19, sometime around February or March 2018. When the disillusionment fully set in, I stopped the testosterone treatment and began the process of getting my life back on track. It has not been easy, and the whole experience seriously derailed my life in ways I could never have foreseen when I was that fifteen-year-old kid playing with pronouns on Tumblr.
To keep reading Helena’s piece, click here.