Trans Through A Teacher’s Eyes
A teacher who reads this blog comments:
I would be sued and lose my job for what I’m about to reveal here, if my identity were known.
I am a teacher at a very socially liberal arts school in a major American city. I have seen the entire gay marriage fight play out over the decades, from cultural fringe to Supreme Court victory. I have also been watching the transgender revolution in recent years, and it terrifies me. The gay kids and the gay rights kids were generally the same as their peers–maybe more politically extreme, but their lives were usually stable. Not the trans kids, though. They’re in desperately bad shape.
Kids started to come out as trans in significant numbers about four years ago, around the time of Obergefell. At my school, being gay had long since lost any stigma, and has even passed the stage of dignified rebellion, to becoming a boring commonplace. At such an artsy school, everyone always knew that a big portion of the student body was gay.
Four years ago, I had my first student who was publicly trans. He was growing out his hair and asked to be called by a girl’s name, but didn’t make a big deal about it. His mother was a prominent professional figure in the community, and I asked her what name she wanted me to call her son. She said she was confused by all this and didn’t know what to do, but wanted to support her son.
The year after that, I had a young woman who made a bigger deal out of being trans. She wore a shirt that said, “I may be a sissy, but at least I’m not a cissy.” That’s where I learned the word cisgender, and how it is used as a pejorative by leftists. That student was moody and unstable, and was withdrawn from school for mental health reasons in the middle of the year.
The year after that, I had two trans students. One was generally stable, but the other was not. Guess which one wore a button declaring preferred pronouns. The other one graduated and soon dropped the whole trans identity and started living as a lesbian.
The button-wearer mysteriously wasn’t in our school anymore at the start of the next year. I asked her friends about it, but they could only shrug. Nobody ever heard from her again.
Last year I also had two trans kids–maybe more, since by then it was already not such a big deal to their peers anymore, and they just did their thing. When each year begins, I ask students to fill out an information card so I can get to know them. One of these two answered “What’s something interesting about you?” with “I’m trans!” and the question “What do I need to know about you to help you succeed?” was answered with “I’m super mentally ill.” Like the girl the year before (also a female-to-male trans), this kid ended up being pulled out of our school for her serious mental health needs.
That brings us to this year, where I have several trans students, at various degrees of militancy about it. By far the most serious is a young man who has *fully* transitioned physically to a female, and who also (surprise!) has a host of major mental health problems. This poor young man (and yes, I will aver that he is still a young man) had the same crippling anxiety issues that the other students I’ve mentioned here had, plus verbal tics.
Throughout the year, his mother and school counselor have kept us updated on the side effects of new medications the child is “trying,” plus the drama of switching doctors when treatments backfire (for some reason!). Just this week we were told that he is being withdrawn from school (again, surprise!) to continue school at home, for medical reasons.
Here’s the scariest part: this young man’s mom is an evangelical pastor. He was gay in middle school, then trans, and is now a doped up basket case so dysfunctional that he has to be removed from an incredibly tolerant, liberal school where he was literally celebrated for being a “she.” NONE of these kids have been bullied in any way–many students cheer on what they’re doing. The minority of religious/conservative kids keep their heads down about it. In fact, two years ago, in a class discussion, one Christian boy referred to a trans classmate by the wrong pronoun, and the class immediately tensed up, but he quickly backtracked, “corrected” his mistake, and apologized, saying that he “didn’t want to offend anyone.” All this kabuki theater in the space of three seconds.
The elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about is that, over and over for years now, these trans children are clearly suffering from massive mental and emotional problems, and all their pronouns and transitioning do nothing to heal that. Their fellow students, indoctrinated by this kind of ideology for their whole lives, uncritically foster it. The few adults–like me–who would like to point out that the emperor has no clothes, are prohibited by fiat from doing so. (For example, the trans student with the pastor mom has a 504 plan–a kind of mild special education accommodation–that requires teachers to use the preferred pronoun in class. These documents are legally binding on teachers.)
I haven’t seen any kind of fad that’s this profoundly damaging in my entire 20 year career. Nothing else comes close to being so clearly and needlessly tragic. As with hate crime hoaxes, I’ve started wondering how many more cases of broken youth we’ll all have to turn a blind eye from before we can look away no more, and finally stare truth in the face.
Being gay may have become old fashioned, but being transgender never will because it never can–the dangers associated with it are just too great. The circumstantial evidence is already clear. The moral and intellectual evidence has always been solid. Sooner or later, this farcical trend must stop, because that which cannot go on forever, won’t.
UPDATE: A reader writes:
My wife asked me last night what we’d do if one of our children (6, 3, due this summer) ever got sucked into this madness.
“Well,” I said, “when I was young, my mom watched a TV movie one night about parents whose adult daughter wouldn’t leave a cult. Eventually they decided to kidnap her and take her to a country without US criminal extradition, and keep her confined until they could un-brainwash her. If someone wanted to castrate our son or neuter our daughters, I think that would justify us doing the same sort of thing.”
She was quiet for a while, and then just said “Yeah.”
That’s the future Christian parents need to be ready for.
I honestly cannot believe more parents don’t flee with their families
Do you remember years ago when you were blogging about why the heck no one beat up [Penn State assistant football coach Jerry] Sandusky when they caught him hurting boys?
I think about that constantly in reference to how any father would let some doctor castrate his son or (spay?) his daughter
Those with a means to set up an underground railroad, please do.
UPDATE.2: Reader Katherine Cave writes:
This teacher describes the climate at my daughter’s former school where over 5% of the student body identified as trans. Some actually passed for the opposite sex. One young teen had been a testosterone for quite a while, sporting sideburns and facial hair. I had no idea she was a girl until my daughter excitedly told me she was trans. This girl had her mastectomy at the age of 16.
Other students looked nothing like the sex they pretended to be. One boy looked exactly like a boy, yet went by a feminine girl’s name and became hostile if anyone “misgendered” him. These kids all presented differently, but what they all had in common were signs of autism and mental health issues.
Disturbingly, the school not only normalized this, but promoted it, and changed my daughter’s name and pronouns without my knowledge. They had her sleep with the boys on an overnight school trip. I didn’t know this until after we left the school.
There was not a single teacher or administrator who seemed at all concerned. They prided themselves on being accepting and non-judgmental. Before we left the school, I gave them information about the epidemic and what these trans identities were all about. They argued with me and became very defensive.
Rod, you wrote: “I honestly cannot believe more parents don’t flee with their families.”
I have fled. And I have tried to remove all trans-affirming influences from my daughter’s life. And that has been nearly impossible to do. Unlike other cults, this cult is everywhere and it is spreading.
If only schools did not promote this. If only doctors did not medicalize this. If only therapists were trained to truly help these children and not affirm them. If only the mainstream media would stop glamorizing this and perhaps assign an investigative journalist to look into the dangerous hormones and surgeries that doctors are pushing on children and their families. If only the Human Rights Campaign did not pressure lawmakers to enshrine gender identity into laws. If only medical associations, school associations, mental health associations were not run by ideologues. If only those who question were not labeled bigots and at risk of losing their jobs for doing so…Because transgender ideology has become so institutionalized so quickly and has been promoted as a human rights issue, it is truly impossible for us parents to remove our kids from the cult.
Your letter makes me realize that “fleeing” would be hard to do, in terms of getting to a country where we could be safe. We are not wealthy. How could I possibly support my family in a country where we didn’t speak the language, and I had no job, and we had no health insurance?