I care because my 12 year old daughter announced she is trans and is socially transitioning 11 months ago. I care because strangers have been given access to and coached my daughter to delete her childhood and replace her future with their transgender story. I care because my 12 year old daughter has been asking to go on hormone blockers before puberty because they’re safe. I care because it feels like my daughter is being taken away from me.
It was very clear to me from the beginning that raising my voice in any visible way would very quickly lead to being cast as transphobic and bigoted, someone to be excluded and worked around. I have spent months looking to understand what is going on, how the machine works. I have learnt that as a parent I am up against YouTube with adults selling the transgender story to my daughter. I am up against a local LGBTU+ youth charity tutoring my daughter privately on the transgender story. I am up against the NHS with their services to process the transgender story. I am up against my daughter’s school who are validating and authenticating the transgender story, and I am up against my ex wife who affirms the transgender story.
The transgender story is just that, it’s a story. Someone has made it up. There’s no science, there’s no law. But it’s story that is consuming children, women and parents to provide evidence the story is real, that it’s not a story. It’s as big a story as creationism, as big a story as Father Christmas.
The machine is literally just that, a machine, at its core it’s just a defined pathway of tick boxes to account for and ultimately protect institutional decisions. Its purpose is to provide a group of adults with validation the story they made up is real, based on children lives. The machine’s existence in this country is an outcome of institutional neglect and cowardice, my disbelief has no bounds.
Raising my voice means a number of things. Being the best possible dad I can be, be more available and listen more. Keeping close to the YouTube algorithm to see what’s being pushed to my daughter. Making it clear that the LGBTQ+ youth charity does not have my parental permission to continue time with my daughter. Telling the GP that I do not support a referral to Tavistock that my ex-wife organised. Opening up a private psychotherapy route to support our daughter with her development in a professional and open minded way. I haven’t worked out how to deal with the school. The school are more detached, their motives and use of safeguarding best practice and resources on any topic is hugely fragmented and difficult to work with.
I have benefited from the bravery of Keira Bell, and many women, teenage girls and a few men willing to put themselves on the front line of extreme personal aggression to bring this story to the attention of many people. I cannot effectively express my gratitude enough, their work is having an immediate and direct effect on offering protection for my daughter from the machine.
I have benefited from the recent political interest their work has generated, and I have benefited from Covid19 that has put a huge brake on the machine.
I contribute financially to support mumsnet in the face of the realities of #nodebate, I support crowd funding legal cases as they appear. I would like to spend more time working 121 with other parents but I don’t have the reserves of energy yet for this.
I have been called transphobic, bigoted and verbally abused for questioning the machine, questioning the story. Asking questions like what’s the rush, why does this have to happen so fast? Exactly when does professional child psychotherapy actually happen to take a look at a gently bumpy childhood? How can a LGBTU+ youth charity with no child professional qualification have such free and protected access, and influence, over a child’s life choices? Which school roles, what qualifications and what criteria do they follow to bypass my parental authority at the school? Why does social transitioning need to delete a child’s history?
I have been very careful about how and when to visibly raise my voice. I am in a fragile position where my daughter has been well tutored with the transgender story, and unqualified people have the authority to transact the transgender story without my parental authority. The natural outcome will be to reduce my role in her life to being an absent father who’s principle purpose is to provide money. That popular, age old stereotypical man we thought we’d lost many years ago.
When I did choose to raise my voice with the LGBTU+ youth charity not having my parental permission to continue their time with my daughter, my daughter attempted to work around me with the school to continue. An action the school had coached her to follow if this happened, based on the trans inclusion policy they follow. I got lucky with Covid19. The impact over the last eight months, has been massive. I have lived a life of sole dedication to this topic, it is the hardest thing I have had to deal with. This has been much, much harder to handle than our divorce, the stress has been monumental.