Dear Parent,

I am a male transsexual. I have had “issues” with my gender since I was 5 years old (being gender non conforming) and have been through extensive psychiatric and psychological evaluation. As an adult I transitioned however I oppose affirmative care for children and the use of hormones and blockers.

You can dismiss woman as “TERFs”, doctors as ignorant and society as transphobic but I am someone who has been there and I’d like to share with you my thoughts and experiences.

1. Sex is binary. Human beings cannot change sex. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Transition does not bring about a miracle fix to anything. The lie that human beings can change sex can only be made because of an attempt to redefine woman to say a woman can have a penis or that reassignment surgery works miracles.

There are some skilled surgeons out there but make no mistake you can’t turn a penis into a comparable vagina and certainly not vice versa. Nerve damage, chronic pain, incontinence are just a few possible side effects. The end result may look like a vagina but it’s not.

2. Hormones and puberty blockers are not wonder drugs; they carry significant side effects. This isn’t swallowing a piece of candy every morning. Do your research and don’t be taken in by the modern narrative. Do you really want to commit your child to a lifetime of drugs and blood tests ? Don’t ever take these drugs lightly.

3. Look at detransition rates. Over 80% of children who do transition ultimately revert to their natal sex. Kids explore identity and often move on. Let them explore their identity but don’t direct them down a one way path. I can’t think of any kid who didn’t say when growing up “I want to be a footballer”, “I want to be a pop star” or “I want to be an astronaut”. How many actually do ?

4. Explore with your child gender roles and gender stereotypes. These are the root of the problem in most cases. When a girl is told “you can’t play football because you are a girl”, that girl can start to resent being a girl. If a boy is told “you can’t wear makeup because that’s only girls”, that boy can start to resent being a boy. Explore what it is about being the opposite sex that is so appealing and allow them to experiment.

5. Don’t tie up your child’s self worth in how they express their gender. I have seen numerous cases of young children being told what wonderful, brave children they are for being trans. Parents who go on about how proud they are about their son who is now a “special little girl” risk tying their child’s identity into being transgender. Of course you encourage your children but first and foremost the message has to be “I love you no matter what path you choose in life”.

6. Look at societal influences your child may be picking up. Does your daughter believe that she needs to be a man to succeed in life for example ?

Never underestimate peer pressure or how easily children can be influenced. Does your child have friends that are identifying as transgender ? Have they been subject to a presentation in school with the modern narrative ?

7. If necessary support your child with non affirmative counselling and psychotherapy. Rejecting your natal sex doesn’t always mean Gender Dysphoria and this should be explored. Past trauma frequently crops up in adult detransitioners. A rejection of natal sex doesn’t necessarily mean identification as the opposite sex.

There is an increasing recognition of a link between autistic spectrum disorders and childhood transgenderism, albeit research is in the early stages. Sometimes when a child struggles in their interaction with peers due to a neurodevelopmental disorder it can be all to easy to jump to the conclusion “It must be because they are transgender”.  It’s a dangerous assumption to make to say a boy, for example,  who struggles interacting with other boys does so because he must identify as a girl. Spent time investigating autistic spectrum disorders remembering too that male and female presentations are different.

8. Could your child be gay ? The vast majority of those who detransition turn out to be gay. Sadly homophobia is still rife in society and in some circles we see the message that it is better to be a straight transgender than gay. Religious groups in particular (and I say this as a Christian) can be very outspoken on this matter.

9. Even if your child does have gender dysphoria why is transition the only “treatment” ? Look at adult detransitioners online who transitioned as children. So so many share the same message “Why did no-one help me deal with ….”. In the rush to encourage transition so many fail to look at the child’s needs holistically.

10. Don’t make knee jerk reactions based on suicide stats. Create an environment first and foremost where your child can be open and honest with you about how they feel without fear of condemnation. Of course with any mental health issues and concerns call the professionals.

Just maybe your child could turn out to be transsexual. I can’t say it’s not a possibility. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t jump straight to assuming your child has Gender Dysphoria, from there jump to an assumption that that must instantly mean transition and from there jump to looking at medical intervention. Patience is vital.