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Leaving The Trans Cult

Here’s the stunning story of [name redacted by request], 14, who had begun to change her gender, but ceased and desisted. [1]She talks about how she got into it, and how she escaped it. It’s a long story, and I’m only going to quote parts of it that talk about the role the Internet and popular culture played in exploiting ordinary stresses and cracks within a pubescent teenager’s psyche. Excerpts:

For a couple of years, you thought you were transgender. How did it start? Why did you think that?

It started when I was 11. I thought I might be trans after spending time online where I saw people saying that if you feel dysphoric, you must be a different gender. So many people were saying it, that I came to believe it. At first, I identified as agender and then after thinking about it more, I realized I was a boy because I wanted to be “masculine.”

What did that mean, be “masculine?”

 For me, it meant wanting the physical characteristics of adult males: a beard, being taller and strong. And being masculine was about feeling safe.

Were you dysphoric?

I felt like I didn’t want to be in my body. I didn’t like it. It kinda felt like my body wasn’t mine and I wanted a different one.

What was going on that made you feel like that? What was it about your body that “wasn’t yours?”


A few different things. Mostly, it was previous trauma and being in the early stages of puberty. I don’t know anyone who isn’t uncomfortable during puberty, but at the time, I thought the way I was feeling was something extreme and different.

I used being trans to try and escape being scared about being small and weak. I thought that if I presented myself as a man I’d be safer.


What first got you thinking about being trans?

Things online. First, it was on DeviantArt. It’s an art-sharing website, but the DA communities I was in, which were made up of kids drawing animals and other original characters, went from sharing and commenting on each other’s art to being super dramatic and depressed. It also turned into a disrespectful “call-out” culture.

Some of the people I was watching, whose art I admired, came out as trans. Some people posted about how much they hated themselves and how badly they wanted to transition. Some started to transition and talked about how amazing they felt. Suddenly, a lot of the people I knew on DA were making transgender artwork.

Why do they call it “DeviantArt”?

There are some “deviant” areas of DA but the places I spent time in were for kids sharing art but I don’t think it is the main focus anymore. It was originally a great art site and I made a lot of friends there and everyone was very nice to me. I liked it. It was a friendly art community.

But now it’s mean. And it’s also a place for kids to post about all their self-diagnoses and identity issues. I know lots of kids who post about their self-diagnosed schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

All these self-definitions, are they real?

I think the kids believe they’re real. But I don’t. If someone calls themselves “schizophrenic,” I believe they believe they have it! But it isn’t a disorder a teen can self-diagnose.

Were there other online places besides DeviantArt that influenced you?

I started to use Tumblr, also because of the art. Reading people’s bios, I learned more about being trans and that what I was feeling is called “dysphoria.” There are a lot of artists there expressing their dysphoria in comics and I identified with some of the things they were saying

From Tumblr, I found YouTube transition videos. When my dysphoria got worse, I started watching a bunch of FTM videos. All of the ones I watched were like, “I feel amazing!” and “I am finally my true self!” I thought it was weird that no one regretted anything but I wanted to believe medical transition would help me too. I started wanting hormones and maybe even surgery later.

I also talked to some of my friends. I was in a homeschool group and lots of the kids there were also trans.

“Lots” of the kids were trans? How can that be, when trans make up a miniscule proportion of the population?

 I wonder how accurate the data is that tells us only a “miniscule proportion of the population” is trans, because most teens I know identify as anything other than “cis.”

Think about that. This kid’s mom must have thought it was a wonderful thing that her daughter found a website where she could meet up with other kids interested in art. But it was a vector for psychological contagion, as was Tumblr and YouTube. How is it that “lots” of kids in a homeschool group are trans? Does that not tell us something about the transgender phenomenon, e.g., that it is in many, even most, cases simply a state of mind adopted by kids wanting desperately to fit in, to explain the anxiety they’re feeling as normal teenagers, and to have a community?

[Name] talks in detail about the psychological and emotional stresses she was feeling, and how she convinced herself that transitioning to male would be the answer. She talks about how her mother was skeptical but comforting, and only encouraged her to investigate more in-depth what she was feeling, and whether or not gender transition was the answer. Her mom even took her to a youth transgender health conference in Philadelphia so [Name] could meet other kids who considered themselves trans. Check this out:

What was it like going to that trans conference? Did you feel connected to the other kids there?

All the kids were really friendly. But I did feel some pressure after talking to kids there to “look more masculine.” It was interesting. It wasn’t a bad experience.  But most of them were like Tumblr-SJW trans; I definitely got that vibe from them. When I was identifying as trans, I was what they call “truscum” or “trans-medicalist:” you have to have chronic dysphoria to be trans, and you definitely want to get some kind of help for that problem—not necessarily hormones, but maybe talk therapy if you just want to learn to cope with your dysphoria.

None of those kids were trans-medicalists like I was. I hate saying the word “snowflakes” because it seems rude, but…There was stuff like, “you can’t be a trans boy unless you get your head shaved and dyed.”  It’s like the trans-boy starter pack. They all had the same haircut. I don’t remember if anyone said exactly “you need to cut your hair and take hormones” but I felt that vibe from the other kids who were all talking about their anxiety over passing and being more “masculine.” I wasn’t wearing a binder yet but I was sure I was trans. I had long hair and I loved my hair so I didn’t cut it. Even then, I thought it was silly that all the transboys I knew had the same haircut, shaved on the side and dyed blue or green or some blue streaks, and that they thought boys had to have short hair.

That sort of made me question. I mean, all these kids were following the same exact trend. I never wanted to brag about being trans. Stuff like pronouns was the least of my concerns; I just wanted to deal with my dysphoria.  Because that’s a mental feeling, something people can legitimately feel.

In the banquet hall where they had a pizza party for trans kids and their parents, a few of the moms had their kids pull up their shirts to show off how great their binders worked to flatten their breasts. My mom remembers that a few transboys also showed off their bare chests and people talked about what a good job their surgeons had done. Some of them were like 14 or 15.

So did that event push you more or less in the direction of thinking you were trans?

It pushed me toward wanting to medically transition, but I saw what those kids were doing as trendy. Like, there was a whole line of penis packers there, in different colors and sizes. There was a neon pink one hanging up on the wall. It was horrifying. There were some for 6 year olds. Six year olds shouldn’t be worrying about what’s in their pants unless there’s a problem going on. I think it would make little kids sad to think about having to fake it.

Did you want one?

God, no. During that time I did want a penis, but not a fake one.

The culture of medicine as well as parents conspired to push this thing on kids. “Penis packers” for six year olds! Notice the way parents are manipulated, and again, the way online culture facilitates this:

Until quite recently, believing oneself to be the opposite sex was considered a mental disorder and treated as such.

It is a mental disorder sometimes. People who feel mild dysphoria are like “I hate this thing about my body” which is different than “I hate this thing about myself and I am willing to hurt myself to relieve the feeling.” The second is a mental disorder. Somebody wanting to hurt themselves is a mental disorder. Dysphoria always has a deeper root.

“Trans” isn’t the right word. We’ve learned to know it as trans but really what I think some people feel is extreme, chronic dissociation, possibly from trauma and PTSD.

And for adults, it is different. Adults can do whatever they want, even if they don’t have dysphoria or other mental health issues. But kids need their parents and sometimes a psychologist to help them think about why they feel the way they do.

I don’t know any trans kids who have gender-critical therapists. And by the way, being gender critical wasn’t pushed on me either, but my mom and my therapist and other friends would gently suggest that I think about things beyond just “being trans.” They’d say I should think about why I felt that way, the reasons for feeling that way, and any other perspectives or reasons someone might feel that way. And that I should also think about my history and my experiences and relationships and why I might feel uncomfortable or not want to be a girl.

Parents who put their kids on hormones are trying to take care of their kids. I know they want to do the best thing. But what if they haven’t heard other ideas and they don’t understand about being gender critical, or about how to see their kids’ identity or presentation without stereotypes?

Most parents just want their kids to be happy, and their kids say “I need hormones to be happy.” Some kids even threaten to kill themselves if they don’t get the treatments they want. I’ve also seen kids say that after they started cutting, their parents took them seriously, and let them take hormones. There are places online that tell you, “This is how you come out to your parents to get hormone therapy.” I always hated those, because it was always … just threaten something to get what you want. That’s just putting so much pressure on your parent to make an impulsive decision and it’s such a terrible thing to say. I know people who’ve killed themselves and also people who have tried to kill themselves. People who are suicidal need help and love but using suicide as a threat is manipulative and cruel.

 Did you see a lot of that online?

 Oh, everywhere. Everywhere. Most ways to come out were like, “say this, you’ll be sure to get them to take you seriously.”

Noor believes that there are true transgenders in society, but that most kids are just confused. Here’s the final question. Observe how she tells the kids to get outside their heads and get offline:

What would you say to other girls who think they are boys? Any advice for them?

 There’s nothing wrong with your body. To be straightforward, you will never be male. You will never have a Y chromosome. You will never have a real penis. Stop hurting yourself. Not wanting to be female doesn’t mean you’re really male. Not wanting to be female makes sense when girls are sexualized before we’re ready to even feel sexual, and when people think we’re weak both intellectually and physically, when people don’t take us seriously, when people tell us to smile and be nice.

You weren’t born in the wrong body because that’s not possible.

You were born into a society where looks mean everything. But really our bodies are just what keep us alive. Why don’t we fight back against the idea that any person looks wrong as they are? Your “outside” doesn’t need to “match your inside.” The outside isn’t important enough to hurt yourself over.

Get angry at gender stereotypes. You can dress however you want but that’s called “fashion” or presentation. Your identity should be who you are and the things you do, not what you look like. I have resting grouch face. I don’t need to train my face to look kind or have surgery to make my face look kind, I just have to be a kind person.

You think, how can I act male? There’s no such thing as acting male. Male is a biological sex and you will never be that. Just act like you.

Go outside. Move your body. Make art, do something. Don’t spend time with other people’s stories about self-loathing and self-diagnosis. Stop feeling oppressed when you’re probably not oppressed. I know transitioning can make you feel like you get a lot of control but medically transitioning doesn’t give you power. It just makes someone else money.

Find people to talk to and ask for help if you need it. And find people who will ask you hard questions.

Read the whole thing.  [1]

I came across this essay via this Twitter link:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [4]

It’s true. If you only go to the entire Noor interview to see the art she was making during this time, it’s worth it. Those images tell a story. A very dark story.

[Name’s] interview appears on 4th Wave Now [5], a website for parents and others skeptical of the transgender trend. You might think this is not an issue that will ever affect you, but if you read her story, and see how a girl enduring the ordinary discomfort and alienation from her body that most adolescents go through at puberty became convinced that she was a boy, you’ll be a lot more careful about your kids going into the Upside Down that is the Internet.

85 Comments (Open | Close)

85 Comments To "Leaving The Trans Cult"

#1 Comment By EarlyBird On November 9, 2017 @ 11:29 am

Sorry, Pagan Girl (Jane): “It’s a circumstance of the brain, which increasingly seems to be based in biology….”

While I am certain there is such a thing as “real” transgender persons, I expect that they are exceedingly rare.

Rob made a very important observation earlier this year: it is because human sexuality is so malleable, that as we become more comfortable imagining what had once been unimaginable, we are able to “be” what we had not been before. (For better and for worse, I might add.) It’s not merely a coincidence that as society now accepts and celebrates transgenderism that suddenly there is a wave of children “discovering” that they are transgender. Where were all of these kids just ten years ago, apparently at violent odds with bodies they had been born into?

Now, should transgender persons, “real” or otherwise, be shamed, mistreated, made illegal, etc.? Of course not. But an understanding of objective reality and human nature is at stake here, and must not be swept under the rug, nor should children who are confused be allowed to be led astray, in the name of celebrating some non-existent, or exceedingly rare, human phenomenon.

#2 Comment By Debbie On November 9, 2017 @ 11:41 am

Mary Eberstadt has a good article on identity politics, which I think the trans fad is a part of:


She thinks identity politics has to do with people being so disconnected from their real families, through divorce, relocation, etc., that they are grabbing onto identity politics. I think that she’s right, and being part of the trans community online is a way for people to deal with being disconnected from their families and communities. In liquid modernity, people don’t know who they are, and having some group tell them who they are is very appealing.

#3 Comment By anon parent On November 9, 2017 @ 12:58 pm

This 2013 New Yorker Magazine article remains one of the most distressing things I have ever read. Exec Summary: over controlling parents create a culture in which PRESCHOOLERS feel left behind if they haven’t already been “transitioned.”

Anyone with the slightest toe-hold in reality has a term for this: child abuse.


#4 Comment By Daniel (not Larrison) On November 9, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

William Foster wrote:

Leaving aside the obvious fact that transgenderism, and sexual identity in general, is not “simply” anything, I would humbly suggest that declaring oneself trans might not be the best way to “fit in”. Conformity, no matter how self-negating and dysphoric, is always the best way to “fit in”.

Conformity, yes…but conformity to what?

Even in my day (I graduated High School 34 years ago), kids who were “nonconformist” always “nonconformed” together–they listened to the same music, wore the same fashions,used the same in-group slang, cut their hair the same way, etc. And if you admitted to liking something outside of those parameters, you were essentially shunned for your non-conformity.

And that is EXACTLY what I read on what this girl experienced in her LGBT group. True, it was not “conforming” to, say, the fashion sense of the cheerleaders or metalheads, but just as restrictive in it’s own way.

Teens want to belong, and often so much the better if they can belong to a group that is “us against the world”, and “no one really understands us.”

#5 Comment By a commenter On November 9, 2017 @ 1:03 pm

“But neither side’s activists are innocent of trying to inject politics into what ought to be apolitical patient care.”

Hmm, well I think one of the problems is the assumption that there exists some kind of apolitical patient care. What actually happens, in our leftist-driven medical ethics universe, is that patients have become entitled to a kind of medical care wherein the medical provider (and everyone else in society…) is required to abandon their own morals and subject themselves to the patient’s morals. If an adult transgender patient wants a medicalised transition, it’s one thing for the law to allow it. It’s another thing for the law to require plastic surgeons who disapprove of it on moral grounds to remove healthy breast tissue, or to require natural-born schoolgirls to undress in front of transfemales at school.

Our society seems to have accepted a sort of moral mishmash whereby vendors of goods and services become robots when they open their business. They are no longer entitled to have a moral code by which they can run their business (unless they are Tim Cook, of course, then it’s ok, I suppose). But then we also have this newly developed wierd attitude that private citizens aren’t allowed to have moral codes either, if that offends an offical member of a victim class. Hence the attacks on adolescent females who might not want to address the needs of their changing bodies in front of biological males.

#6 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 9, 2017 @ 1:21 pm

Also: what if I choose to self-identify as a Robot? How do we comment?

Taking that question as the humor it was clearly meant to be, I answer in the same spirit:

If you have opinions to share and motivation to comment, you are not a robot.

We are way down the rabbit hole and the only solution – to mix metaphors – is to flush.

Ummmm… to dig one self out of a hole, and to flush, are two very different responses.

#7 Comment By Free Speech Advocate On November 9, 2017 @ 1:56 pm

For those who think we can *simply* take refuge “in science” just recall this year’s notoriously pc “Sex Junk” episode of “Bill Nye Saves the World.” Thankfully it did infuriate science-protecting liberals like this guy:


(Warning: helpful analysis marred by some F-bombs)

#8 Comment By Dale Matson On November 9, 2017 @ 2:06 pm

How much of this is young people feeling powerless, wanting to fit in, wanting to be someone different? Years ago the role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and more recently EverQuest were outlets for young people to actualize their fantasies. Comic book characters are now the substance of many blockbuster movies. Deciding to live in a fantasy world is not safer or more rewarding nor does it bring the peace we all thirst for.

#9 Comment By Rosita On November 9, 2017 @ 3:09 pm

To Gia and others; whilst I agree with many of your comments I also think that reaching out to and getting help from the transgender community is an OBVIOUS first place to start. Medical doctors are clearly not the only subject matter experts out there, and not every trans supportive community is a cult hell bent on reinforcing that identity. META Center Inc. is one such organization out there that is a great resource for families; there are many others. If kids are going on tumblr to find sources of support and community that is already the first sign that there is a un-supportive family environment committed to helping them figure out what is going on and hence they are drawn to more destructive influences. I suspect there are even faith communities that have the resources and expertise to support families.

#10 Comment By anon parent On November 9, 2017 @ 3:22 pm

pbnelson makes an important point about missing fathers. Not only is a father missing from Noor’s account, none of the comments on Noor’s blog came from fathers, only moms. These children are likely from divorced or single parent homes. Here’s what science has discovered about why teens need dads:


Also these vulnerable children urgently need to get off line — away from the bullies and cult-like evangelists of sexual indeterminancy — and go outdoors for their mental stability, as argued in Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Spending 90-95% of time indoors, no doubt, contributes to the perfect storm of well-documented youth anxiety.

Also, William Foster must not have school-aged kids. Today “declaring oneself trans IS ONE way to ‘fit in’,” all aggressively reinforced by the SJW educational & counseling establishment.

#11 Comment By redfish On November 9, 2017 @ 4:23 pm

I’m afraid the election of the transgender Danica Roem to the Virginia legislature over the long-time incumbent who sponsored a (failed) bathroom privacy bill in that state is going to exacerbate this contagion cult even more. The Dems are certainly going to make a lot of hay over the narrative of a transgender candidate defeating the throwback bigot that sponsored the bathroom bill.

Its a little weird hearing how much is being made out of her win, just considering that where I live almost nobody knows who their state legislator is, not even mentioning whether they’re transgender or not. I’m doubting that most even knew her opponent either, Bob Marshall, since he’s been a bit more extreme on these issues that even just his support of the “bathroom bill” would suggest — and people can just go to Wikipedia to confirm that. Maybe the media attention exposed some of his past positions — I don’t know, since I’m not in VA.


But my point wasn’t to ignore the phenomenon of “why you must be trans! Here, take these pills before you change your mind!”, but to simply rebut the cult in the other camp. The “it’s-all-in-your-mind-and-God-gave-you-a-vagina” cult can be just as wrong, and just as destructive when it is.

Certainly, medical ethics in this subject needs to be cleaned up. Some people may be better of transitioning, others may be going through a phase. But neither side’s activists are innocent of trying to inject politics into what ought to be apolitical patient care.


Even if the person is not just going through a phase, “better off transitioning” is subjective. There are some people who are trans-identifying who decided not to transition.

When you’re implying that it may be harmful not to transition, it’s like saying if someone is gay, it might be harmful to be celibate. Which is a lot of BS. Its troubling when “patient care” just becomes a euphemism for affirming the patients feelings.

The other side to this is social acceptance of their personal decisions, if that’s what you’re getting at. Yea, and there’s a degree that people have to accept those who make the decision to transition and not make their life hell over it. Its a little more complicated, though, when it involves things like asking public assistance for surgery and hormones or penalizing people for using the wrong pronoun.

#12 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On November 9, 2017 @ 4:40 pm

Wow, she’s extremely well spoken for a 14 year old. Color me impressed.

Here’s a link to an interview with Noor’s mother, also on 4thwavenow. It’s also excellent.


Here’s a quote where, after Noor told her she thought she was a boy, she spoke to Noor’s grandfather, a psychologist:

I called my dad that night after she’d gone to bed. He reminded me that she’d always “been her own person” and that imagination and sensitivity could have been heightened by almost obsessively reading/thinking about Leelah Alcorn. He explained body and gender dysphoria, and drew a connection to eating disorders. “You wouldn’t help her starve herself if she thought she was too fat,” he said. “Help her just be her, in her own body, whatever that means.”

#13 Comment By Pagan Girl (Jane) On November 9, 2017 @ 5:29 pm

“Born in the wrong body”–this is shorthand. As such, it fails to capture the complexity behind what’s being described.

The “sex gene” sets in motion a cascade of developmental effects. Usually these line up, and someone’s sense of gender is congruent with their body. But, crucially, they don’t always line up, every time, for every single person. It would be strange if they did. (Think of other high-frequency and low-frequency human characteristics.) This is how someone can end up with the body of one sex, but at least some brain characteristics of the opposite sex. (Disclaimer: I prefer truth-seeking to ideology. If the science turns out to be wrong here, let’s revise it, or throw it out altogether and start over.)

If true transgender children can transition as adolescents, they can acquire the appearance of ordinary men and women; this may spare them the lifetime of pain associated with having the appearance of someone who’s been through two puberties.

That being said, the idea that non-transgender children are getting caught up in transgender diagnoses is utterly horrific, nightmarish, and disturbing. That’s the reverse tragedy. May our society protect these vulnerable and precious children.

#14 Comment By Jack Park On November 9, 2017 @ 6:04 pm

I thank you for publishing this and calling this movement what it really is: a cult. A hot-button word. We lost our daughter to this cult. She was not a tomboy. She was an ordinary girl. She had a bright future; she could have accomplished anything.
She became addicted to her computer. It completely changed her demeanor. She decided that her parents were terrible. she was a troubled girl. We tried to get her help and we failed. All she had to do was say that she was transgender. She received hormones.
It has been a terrible thing for our entire family. She will not speak to us.
The only news about transgender is that it is all good. There are always stories about supportive families.The parents are told that their kid will commit suicide if they don’t go along. We would not agree to lie about our daughter.
We want our daughter back.

#15 Comment By JS On November 9, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

I feel compelled to respond, but I don’t know what to say. Just know that you are not alone.

The only thing that I can think of that equals the trans-tragedy is the Viet Nam war. Young people are being drafted into an insane, hypocritical, and duped situation for which they may never recover.

I don’t want my family to read this, so I’m just posting my initials. Warm regards and thoughts to you.

#16 Comment By Youknowho On November 9, 2017 @ 7:39 pm

@Grumpy realist

Some tomboys were lucky to be accepted. Others were no so lucky and faced harsh treatment bordering, and stepping into abuse.

For effeminate boys, the abuse was a given. The parents often stopped at nothing “to make a man out of him”, not to mention mockery and bullying from their peers.

For every genuine case of gender dysphoria, there a lot more of those who were abused for not conforming to gender stereotypes. Alas, this transgender “cult” is reinforcing those stereotypes and casting them in cement. Before, if you were a “sensitive” male, you got beater by your father’s belt. Now, you are encouraged to have surgery. And if you were a mannish girl, you got yelled at and punished for not being feminine enough. Now, get hormones and an appointment with a surgeon. The result is the same.

But the worst characteristics of the transgender cult, it would not surprise me, come not from the transgender part but from the “cult” part. Group pathologies happen irrespective of ideology.

#17 Comment By MichaelGC On November 9, 2017 @ 8:04 pm

EngineerScotty says on November 8, 2017 at 6:53 pm:

Engineer Scotty: No. As long as “long hair and lipstick” are used to signify one as trans, I will consider it the grossest, most sexist reduction of womanhood. And in so far as this movement preys on children, I will call it what it is: an attack on our very humanity.

You seem to be confusing drag culture and drag queens with transgenderism.

{Facepalm} I’m taking an outside chance that this isn’t tongue in cheek and that you are actually serious. If a woman born woman encounters a drag queen and a transgender woman in the rest room, how does she distinguish between the drag queen and the “proper” trans woman? How does anyone anywhere know, since we are told that we can’t trust our lying eyes?

#18 Comment By MichaelGC On November 9, 2017 @ 8:38 pm

Pagan Girl (Jane) says on November 8, 2017 at 7:37 pm:

Being trans isn’t connected to the Bible, God, Christianity, non-Christian religions, left wing activism, right wing activism, pro-trans feminism, anti-trans feminism, reductionist conservative ideologies, or reductionist liberal ideologies.

It’s a circumstance of the brain, which increasingly seems to be based in biology. Every kid, trans or gender-nonconforming-but-not-trans, deserves protection from the wrong diagnosis, without political, religious, or cultural interference.

So it’s a cluster of brain cells that really matters. If someone has the organs that produces the gamete that fertilizes the ovum, that biology is not important, because it’s all in those brain cells that drive one to affect the mannerisms and dress customary for the female. Furthermore, the biology of those brain cells cause one to want to behave in stereotypical feminine ways according to the culture one was born in. In the West, biology determines that formal dress for women includes high heels, dresses, a full compliment of makeup, a clutch purse, etc. while in Japan biology causes women to wear certain kimonos such as the furisode, the tomisode, etc.; while in China biology requires females to wear the chang-ao.

Wherever and whenever the culture one is born into, biology alone determines how women dress and act, whether cis or trans. Furthermore, it’s that brain cell cluster alone and the dress that it dictates, along with cosmetics and demeanor, that truly make a woman a woman, not her anatomy, not her biology, not her DNA. Got it.

#19 Comment By minimammal On November 9, 2017 @ 8:57 pm

DeviantArt… That’s something I thought I’d never hear about, again.

Ten years ago, when I was in high school, my best friend, an artist, was into DeviantArt, as were a group of kids who hung around with us – though I wouldn’t describe them as friends. They came into our orbit out of a mutual “misfit” status and, in my case, an enjoyment of anime and Japanese culture. Yet, even with this common interest, these kids, many of them girls, irked me.

They were extravagantly emotional and pseudo-artistic. They seemed to think that one’s artistic talent was merited by one’s level of insanity. Thus, they boasted of the various mental illnesses they had (as in Noor’s experiences, schizophrenia was a popular illness and most cases were apparently self-diagnosed). Many had visible, shallow cuts on their forearms and thighs to demonstrate their inner turmoil. Cutting, even if the cuts were only cat scratch equivalents, was cool. Remember, the emo subculture was at the height of fashion, at this time. Depression and flirtations with suicide were marks of distinction.

Although trans-culture had not yet reached the prevalence it has today, many of these girls identified as bisexual, as well as some of the boys. Many of the girls dated older guys – including some whose ages would classify their relationship as statutory rape. In addition to their streaked and dyed hair, they also had in common “daddy issues;” most seemed to lack a father figure and came from broken homes. Some claimed to have been or hinted at being sexually assaulted as children or else having endured some dark event which left its indelible mark upon them.

In short, they were highly sexualized, dramatic eccentrics who either fabricated or embellished their mental and emotional disturbances as a way to be different and get attention. Perhaps, some of them actually had the illnesses and experienced the afflictions they claimed, in which case I hope they got the proper treatment, but I highly doubt that every single claim was authentic. Granted, this kind of confusion, drama, and crying for attention are not necessarily uncommon among teens (I know I experienced my share in regrettably embarrassing ways), but these kids clearly lacked the proper outlets. Unfortunately for them, a diseased popular culture was more than happy to indulge and legitimate their fantasies. I can only imagine how much more confusing and depraved it is for teens to come of age today…

#20 Comment By smarticat On November 9, 2017 @ 10:46 pm

There’s a lot to unpack here. It’s difficult to diagnose all “trans” identifying individuals from one person’s account, or even multiple person’s accounts. From what I understand, this is a very individualized condition. I don’t like that it’s being made fodder for political football in either direction. “Trans” shouldn’t be a new fashion of “emo” teens, nor should it be a bashing board for social conservatives to persecute actual trans individuals.

FWIW, I would hold the line on any medical/hormonal/surgical intervention on teens. Trans surgery and treatments should wait until after puberty, at least. There’s very little understanding of the affects of these treatments on pubescent bodies, long term and otherwise. Medical providers I think should be a lot more cautious about medical interventions, instead perhaps recommending “safe” trans experimentation in the form of hair cuts, clothes, even binders or other non-physically altering forms. If feeling “trans” is truly a “phase” for a lot of teens, than they can experience non-permanent altering of their appearance, use pronouns (and families, FWIW, should respect this) to their perceived identity.. and wait and see. A *real* trans person after age 20 still feeling strongly about their gender dysmorphia can then explore hopefully safer alternatives on a body that is in less flux than a pubescent body (and mind).

I’m all for acceptance of emergent gender/sex ID’s but let’s hold off on permanent, and physically modifying changes for just adults (outside of extreme cases – typically identified at birth when birth deformities may necessitate surgical/hormonal intervention).

On the side, “Noor” sounds more mature and introspective than most adults I know. If nothing else, perhaps this experience was somewhat healthy for her to get to the root of her real issues. I’m sure, at any rate, that having a supportive family and community (with brakes) on her journey was more productive than sending her to “pray the gay away” sessions or excommunicating her from family and community.. Which seems to be a hidden message here as well, for parents and community members to NOT FREAK OUT and provide a safe space for growing and self-realization.

#21 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 9, 2017 @ 11:26 pm


If you’re a social conservative, I’d advise you (not that you need it) to be very careful about who you choose as your ‘allies’ across the aisle.

“Radical Feminists” (trans-exclusive or not) are, in my view, very rarely right about much of anything, and they’re not right about this either. And more importantly, you don’t share each other’s basic premises. An alliance of socio-sexual conservatives and radical feminists is likely to end up damaging both sides as much as it damages your opponents.

#22 Comment By kijunshi On November 10, 2017 @ 6:12 am

I don’t think anything is achieved by writing “You will never be ” – philosophically or psychologically. That stance isn’t going to convince anyone.

Having said that, I find this piece fascinating and insightful. It’s tragic how clear it is in retrospect that what Noor actually needed was 1) to be protected from whatever rape/assault/trauma happened to her at a tender age, and given a sense of safety going forward and 2) to have a positive example of what she could be as a woman, which fit with her personality and interests. Heck, given this framing, it’s possible the best way to fight back against transgender movement overreach is to join the #MeToo movement… just saying…

I also think she is correct to note that a decent proportion of the trans* youth nowadays have a long, long list of mental problems that exceed gender dysphoria. Time (and research) will tell, but I wonder if whatever process destabilizes the gender sensor in the brain has a higher chance of causing other brain wonkiness? I’m cautious in declaring that because it doesn’t seem to be the case for gays and lesbians at all, once you remove the societal strictures, but it *is* possible that gender is more deeply seated/less flexible than sexuality.

Finally, I’d like to draw a laser-focus on how her parents (mother?) dealt with this issue, because it is brilliant and sensitive and successfully saved her daughter from unneeded medication and/or surgery. You notice how she never once told her teenager that she was wrong, or that her feelings were wrong. (Really wish I could bold that last line.) On the other hand, she didn’t immediately agree with her daughter’s new worldview either. She allowed/encouraged her daughter to go to a conference to get a good look at the culture she was thinking of joining in meat space, and I’d bet money she never once had a meltdown about her daughter’s gender issues in front of her. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect if her daughter had actually been transgender – if she really, genuinely had gender dysphoria – she would eventually have accepted and worked with that. In summary, she respected her daughter’s intelligence, and allowed her time and space to figure things out for herself. Taking notes as a future parent…

#23 Comment By Youknowho On November 10, 2017 @ 9:28 am

Elaborating on my comment on the dangers of the transgender cult, and that the worst part of it comes from the “cult”, I can offer my observations on groups formed for this or that purpose “going south”

There is one inescapable fact in any group. Some members will have more time or inclination to spend time in it. Well adjusted people, with full lives and other interests will give it the time they think adequate. Other people will give a lot more, because they do not have full social lives, or because their problems make them seek validation somewhere.

Guess who ends up running those groups? Not the well adjusted people. The question is how many problems those running things have. And how they use the group as therapy, or worse to stroke their traumas.

I watched how a group with a harmless agenda – a fan club for a defunct TV show – gets torn about plot points, and accusations fly back and forth. Or how the revelation that the show star was gay tore so many of them apart, sparking bitter feuds.

And this is just a fan club. Nothing of import.

So when a group of young people, who have serious mental problems to begin with, goes so incredibly bad is not a surprising thing.

Maybe parents should be concerned about the groups their children join, because of the mental stability of the participants. Never mind what the group espouses or how harmless their agenda seems to be. When they start acting weird, pull your children before they start thinking that this is a normal way to behave.

#24 Comment By Youknowho On November 10, 2017 @ 9:41 am

Sorry about that sentence.

instead of “how many problems those running things have” it should be “how many problems those who run things have”

#25 Comment By Glaivester On November 10, 2017 @ 10:05 am

“The “it’s-all-in-your-mind-and-God-gave-you-a-vagina” cult can be just as wrong, and just as destructive when it is.”

Yes, the “2+2=4 cult” is as bad as the “2+2=5” cult, don’t you know?

#26 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 10, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

Glaivester delivers a hard punch, but there’s no substance behind it. “2+2=4” is a very hard empirical fact. Sexuality is in fact determined by a variety of hormonal influences, including the well documented fact that for the first trimester, all human fetuses are female, and only after those with a Y chromosome are washed with a flood of male hormones, do some of them acquire male characteristics. I suspect that the high profile case of the kindergarten student who insisted he was a girl, was related to the fact that he was the one male in a set of triplets, meaning the fetus from which he developed had an unusually high level of female hormones in its immediate environment. (In addition to the fact that growing up with two girl siblings, he may have had a desire to “join the group”).

I see lots of reasons to be wary of the “trans” fad, cult, political platform, but not because everything is cut and dried. Rather, because everything is NOT cut and dried.

#27 Comment By Potato On November 10, 2017 @ 12:49 pm

Trans-sexual is a accepted medical diagnosis. The very limited number of people with a valid diagnosis should be able to count on some reasonable accommodation while they are going through what could be a very long transition, and perhaps should be. Individual private facilities are a reasonable accommodation. Crashing the girls, or boys, locker rooms and bathrooms is not.

Siarlys Jenkins being sensible again. Where will it all end?

My own opinion is, if someone who is trans (or whatever) is merely interested in a safe rest room or a safe place to change clothes, they will be content with individual private facilities. If they insist on crashing the facilities reserved for their “new” gender, they are up to something quite different, and something worth a lot less deference.

(I saw somewhere online a Rogue’s Gallery of males who had utilized the newly accessible ladies’ rooms at Target to commit sexual assault.)

#28 Comment By Bowl of Petunias On November 10, 2017 @ 1:01 pm

“Not wanting to be female makes sense…when people think we’re weak both intellectually and physically, when people don’t take us seriously, when people tell us to smile and be nice.”

I know this stuff happens in all sorts of places, but it’s really frustrating when I keep running into it in Reformed and Lutheran circles, backed up with the Bible of course. I hope her situation does not include having these ideas reinforced by her inherited religion, if she has one.

#29 Comment By Youknowho On November 10, 2017 @ 1:37 pm


“It is all in your mind” is too often the answer of the incompetent doctor who does not want to listen to your symptoms, and check for an answer instead of dismissing you.

People have died because of incompetent doctors, and others lived because they went for a second opinion.

#30 Comment By James On November 10, 2017 @ 7:03 pm

The more gender dysphoria is diagnosed, the more it will be misdiagnosed. A misdiagnosis of gender dysphoria, leading to hormones and surgery can be devastating.

Frequently, those who claim to be non-cisgender are fixated on extremely rigid gender roles and gender stereotypes. They may have been taught consciously or subconsciously in the home or they may have picked them up from society. I fear that an unintended consequence of the pro-trans movement is to strengthen these gender stereotypes, so young people see that the only way to be a “real man” or “real woman” is to conform to the stereotype.

#31 Comment By DRK On November 10, 2017 @ 8:50 pm

… I’d like to draw a laser-focus on how her parents (mother?) dealt with this issue, because it is brilliant and sensitive and successfully saved her daughter from unneeded medication and/or surgery. You notice how she never once told her teenager that she was wrong, or that her feelings were wrong…. In summary, she respected her daughter’s intelligence, and allowed her time and space to figure things out for herself.

Absolutely agree, kijunshi. Jack Park’s story at Nov. 9, 6:04, is a sad contrast to this approach, with tragic results. I am not trying to pile on the poor man and his family’s sorrow, but it’s clear that “refusing to lie” about his child’s perceived gender has led to the utter estrangement of that child from the family. Leelah Alcorn’s family also “refused to lie”, and now they have a child dead by suicide. There has got to be a better way to deal with this issue, and Brie Jontry’s method may be that way.

Her balanced and compassionate approach to this would be a very good blueprint for many families, whether or not they believe that this is a real condition. I have a young relative that has announced they are transgendered, and although I have serious reservations about this, my using the “wrong” name or pronouns is not going to convince this child to suddenly change their mind. Telling the kid that they are sick or crazy and sinful won’t do much to help, either. Kindness, respect, and giving them the room and support they need might, however. It’s worth a try. And if there’s a change of heart, the kid will know that the family loved and accepted them, whatever their condition. (Sorry, cumbersome pronouns I know, but I would rather not reveal the gender of my relative, now or in the past, for privacy reasons).

One last thing; DeviantArt, like most online communities, has great sections and toxic ones. There’s some really great art on it, and lots of lousy stuff. Don’t be afraid to check it out yourself — but for the love of Mike, monitor your kids’ use of it! Just like you should with all online communities.

#32 Comment By Glaivester On November 10, 2017 @ 11:23 pm

“2+2=4” is a very hard empirical fact. Sexuality is in fact determined by a variety of hormonal influences,

I’m not arguing that gender dysphoria does not exist. I am arguing that being a biological male with gender dysphoria does not make you a female.

“It is all in your mind” is too often the answer of the incompetent doctor who does not want to listen to your symptoms, and check for an answer instead of dismissing you.

I am not suggesting that people with gender dysphoria should be ignored or the doctor should not find a way to deal with them. I am saying that we should not base our treatment on the idea that you are whatever gender you feel you are. This problem won’t necessarily go away, but the solution is not, I would think, to foster a delusion.

#33 Comment By Potato On November 11, 2017 @ 9:54 pm

being a biological male with gender dysphoria does not make you a female.

Depends on what you mean by “male” and “female” I guess, but I would agree. Putting any other meaning than the most obvious one on those words very quickly lands us in all sorts of absurdities, as we have noticed increasingly of late. (Pregnant “men” and the like.)

Of course there is no moral onus on having gender dysphoria, any more than there is in having schizophrenia or autism or the measles. Gender dysphoria is not a sin, whatever tidbits fundamentalists may claim to find in the Bible (which in fact does not address the issue). These are all for the most part diseases, or at least failures to function normally, but they are not in any way the fault of the person involved.

People so afflicted should be treated with wisdom and compassion, just as we all wish to be treated when we are ill. One does not treat schizophrenia by actually believing in the sick person’s delusions, however. In all such cases kindness will go a long way.

Perhaps shifting pronouns and social expectations would make sense for someone with gender dysphoria, but I reserve the right to know, in spite of it all, that no one can really change his or her gender. For example, “Caitlyn” Jenner is actually a somewhat elderly man in his 60’s who is now putting himself forward as a young woman. With the expenditure of a fair amount of money and effort it is a mildly convincing illusion, but that’s all that it is. (Of course I would never say so to his face, because that would be unkind.)

#34 Comment By Anomie On November 12, 2017 @ 4:17 am

Ha, phone battery
ran out during earlier attempt.

Fourthwavenow: Of what are they the ‘fourth wave’?

I asked on their site once, no reply. I guess fourth wave of feminism.

Most of the mothers there seem to be lesbian feminists, mainly concerned about their daughters wanting to become ersatz men.

Not a bad cause, re. the daughters.

You are very imperceptive if you did not notice that none of the posts on the site mentions a father.

I am someone who was almost dragged into the trans phenom., too, the two things that stoped me were a post-op who showed me the results,(not like the real thing) said she regretted it, and said ‘now I can’t feel anything’.

The other was reading Walt Heyer, and a brief e-mail correspondence with him.

If you have never read any of his writing, I recommend it.

I am a regular reader of your articles and blog posts, agree at times (fellow Christian), disagree at others.

To repeat, I am surprised that you did nce perceive the real point of most of what is on fourthwavenow:lesbian feminist mothers, irritated by the trend for those who, in the past, may have been reflections of themselves, now seeking hormonal and surgical intervention to be ersatz men. Sure, the latter is bad, but the mothers are hardly a force for good (though careful to hide their nature on the site, and yes, I’ve read enough to see it).

#35 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 12, 2017 @ 9:37 pm

Glaivester has admirably clarified the intent of his earlier remarks. Accordingly, I fully agree.