Heartbroken mom on trans teen: “My once-beautiful daughter is now bearded, homeless, and sterilized.”

By Jonathon Van Maren

Of all the emails I receive from readers, some of the most heart-breaking ones come from parents whose children struggle with rapid onset gender dysphoria, or ROGD. They are confused and heartbroken, and their children are often confused and heartbroken, as well. One mother ended her email to me with a sentence I’ll never forget: “If I had known the world was going to get so bad, I don’t think I would have had kids.”

That might sound over the top or even horrible to someone who has remained blissfully unaware of what the transgender movement is doing to families across North America. Many of the emails I have received I cannot share in case certain details are recognized and the senders are identified. And so I want to share a powerful article from Public Discourse with you, written by five anonymous moms who must remain nameless lest “we face legal repercussions if our names are revealed” because “parents who do not support their children’s gender identity risk being reported to Child Protective Services and losing custody of their children.” These parents are often suffering horribly and alone. These are their stories, in their own words:

I was shocked when my thirteen-year-old daughter told me she was really my transgender son. She had no masculine interests and hated all sports. But as a smart, quirky teen on the autism spectrum, she had a long history of not fitting in with girls.

Where did she get the idea she was transgender? From a school presentation—at a school where over 5 percent of the student body called themselves trans or nonbinary, and where several students were already on hormones, and one had a mastectomy at the age of sixteen. In my daughter’s world—in real life and online—transgender identities are common, and hormones and surgeries are no big deal.

I took her to a gender clinician seeking expert guidance. Instead, he accepted her new identity and told me I must refer to my daughter with masculine pronouns, call her by a masculine name, and buy her a binder to flatten her breasts. He recommended no therapy, and there was no consideration of the social factors that obviously affected her thinking. I was directed to put her on puberty blocking drugs. I was falsely assured that these drugs were well-studied, and that they were a perfectly safe way for her to “explore gender.” I was told that if I did not comply, she would be at higher risk of suicide.

I have nowhere to go for proper help. Therapists are actively trained and socially pressured not to question these increasingly common identities. In Washington, DC, and many states with so-called conversion therapy bans, questioning a child’s belief that she is of the opposite sex is against the law.

I have been living this nightmare for over four years. And despite my best efforts, my daughter plans to medically transition when she turns eighteen later this year.

Parents like me must remain anonymous to maintain our children’s privacy, and because we face legal repercussions if our names are revealed. Parents who do not support their child’s gender identity risk being reported to Child Protective Services and losing custody of their children. In New Jersey, the Department of Education officially encourages schools to report such parents.

Meanwhile, the media glamorize and celebrate trans-identified children while ignoring stories like mine. I have written to well over 100 journalists, begging them to write about what is happening to kids. I wrote to my representative and senators, but have been ignored by their staff. My online posts about my daughter’s story have been deleted and I have been permanently banned in an online forum. As a lifelong Democrat, I am outraged by my former party and find it ironic that only conservative news outlets have reported my story without bias or censorship.

We parents are ignored and vilified, while our children are suffering in the name of inclusivity and acceptance. I hope that some open-minded Democratic lawmakers will wake up to the fact that they are complicit in harming vulnerable kids. I hope that they ask themselves this question: Why are physicians medicalizing children in the name of an unproven, malleable gender identity? And why are lawmakers enshrining “gender identity” into state and federal laws?


My daughter, at age fourteen, spontaneously decided that she is actually a male. After suffering multiple traumatic events in her life and spending a large amount of time on the internet, she announced that she was “trans.” Her personality changed almost overnight, and she went from being a sweet, loving girl to a foul-mouthed, hateful “pansexual male.” At first, I thought she was just going through a phase. But the more I tried to reason with her, the more she dug her heels in. Around this time, she was diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. But mental health professionals seemed mainly interested in helping her process her new identity as a male and convincing me to accept the notion that my daughter is actually my son.

At age sixteen, my daughter ran away and reported to the Department of Child Services that she felt unsafe living with me because I refused to refer to her using male pronouns or her chosen male name. Although the Department investigated and found she was well cared for, they forced me to meet with a trans-identified person to “educate” me on these issues. Soon after, without my knowledge, a pediatric endocrinologist taught my daughter—a minor—to inject herself with testosterone. My daughter then ran away to Oregon where state law allowed her—at the age of seventeen, without my knowledge or consent—to change her name and legal gender in court, and to undergo a double mastectomy and a radical hysterectomy.

My once beautiful daughter is now nineteen years old, homeless, bearded, in extreme poverty, sterilized, not receiving mental health services, extremely mentally ill, and planning a radial forearm phalloplasty (a surgical procedure that removes part of her arm to construct a fake penis).

The level of heartbreak and rage I am experiencing, as a mother, is indescribable. Why does Oregon law allow children to make life-altering medical decisions? As a society, we are rightly outraged about “female circumcision.” Why are doctors, who took an oath to first do no harm, allowed to sterilize and surgically mutilate mentally ill, delusional children?


In August of 2017, our seventh grade daughter came home from sleepaway camp believing she was a boy. She had a new vocabulary and a strong desire to change her name and pronouns. We never anticipated that we needed to ask the camp if she was going to be in a cabin with girls who were socially transitioning to live as boys.

We suspect that our daughter assumed that since my wife and I are lesbians, and liberal in our politics, we would support this new identity. We may be lesbians, but we are not confused about biology. She tried to convince us with a very scripted explanation that she had always “felt” like a boy. But we had never once seen or heard from her any evidence of this “feeling.” We listened to her, gave her the space to talk about her feelings, and tried hard not to convey to her that we were utterly horrified by this revelation.

As we began to try to find information to make sense of this, we found evidence of a social contagion all over the internet. YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit supplied a how-to guide and handbook on transitioning, complete with trans stars like Jazz Jennings and Riley J. Dennis, many with thousands of followers.

We are in no way out of the woods. Some parents dealing with this issue view us as lucky because she is so young, giving us and her more time to work through her discomfort. Maybe we will be, but we are facing this ever-growing storm of a social contagion without any help from the mainstream media or the negligent FDA, not to mention the pathetic capitulation of our physicians and mental health professionals.


My daughter spent her childhood happily engaging in what one would call typical, girly activities, with no gender-stereotyping encouragement from us at all. Everything changed after she went to college.

The environment of her new city and university celebrated transgender identities. She began speaking to us by phone of being “non-binary,” which I naïvely took to mean something like bisexual. Anxiety and depression then overwhelmed her. She dropped out and moved back to our home town, where she resumed psychiatric care for preexisting mental-health conditions.

Her appearance, always feminine, changed dramatically. A shaved head, boys’ clothes, and obvious unhappiness were now her camouflage from the world. She went from non-binary to claiming that she was really a boy.

She parroted online advice: “I always knew something was wrong but didn’t have words for it until I started watching videos on Tumblr and YouTube. When I was little, I was afraid to tell you that I didn’t feel right.”

This narrative matched nothing about her past—but I was still naïve. Because her psychiatrist did not consider her to be transgender, I assumed she would be unable to get a referral for the testosterone she was determined to start.

I was wrong. In only one visit, and with just a little bit of blood work, Planned Parenthood will cheerfully enable young women and men to pursue their “authentic” selves through cross-sex hormones. All that’s needed is a few bucks and signing a form that the risks have been disclosed and understood.

That is the route my daughter took at the tender age of twenty, bypassing her psychiatrist altogether.

My husband wrote to Planned Parenthood, explaining her mental-health history and providing her doctor’s name and telephone number. Planned Parenthood’s lawyer wrote back curtly that they presume anyone over eighteen is capable of giving informed consent.

No matter what anyone thinks of Planned Parenthood’s other services, the fact that they will instantly prescribe powerful hormones with many unknown long-term effects—especially to people with underlying mental-health issues—should shock one’s conscience. People need to know that this is Planned Parenthood’s new line of business.


At the age of seventeen, after immersion on Tumblr and after two of her oldest and closest friends in high school declared themselves transgender, our daughter told us that she is “really a guy.” Her therapist diagnosed her as high-functioning on the autism spectrum. The therapist was also quite clear that we would “lose all control over the medicalization” once our daughter turned eighteen.

As a federal employee, I could not find health insurance that does not cover hormones for self-declared gender dysphoria.

My daughter is now twenty, has been on testosterone for a year, and has made an appointment for a consult about a double mastectomy—all this, even though she can’t legally buy an alcoholic drink. I can’t get any answers from doctors in response to my questions and concerns about the risks of these “treatments.” I get no answers from mental health professionals about what makes this treatment appropriate . . . or what makes my daughter different from those young women who are “no longer trans” and have de-transitioned, sometimes after being on hormones for years. Having to watch these adults enable my daughter to do this with no medical science to back it up is a scenario that I never dreamed any parent would have to face, at least not in the United States. But this is our reality now—a reality that the mainstream media won’t touch.

I interviewed a former transgender person recently, a man who transitioned to female before realizing that this did not address any of his actual struggles. He described the moment he realized that the surgeries did not work as a pain so unbearable it is hard to imagine: He had permanently mutilated himself, and spent years of his life chasing an impossibility. He now says that the transgender ideology ruined his life, and that although he has detransitioned, much was taken from him that he cannot get back.

I’m often asked why we should care about these issues. There are many reasons, and one simple one: Real people’s lives are being torn apart and destroyed as we speak. There will be a social cost to all of this, and it will not be a low one.


For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

43 thoughts on “Heartbroken mom on trans teen: “My once-beautiful daughter is now bearded, homeless, and sterilized.”

  1. Angela Ross says:

    How do I respond to my friends response to this article in love and kindness? I strongly disagree with her, but am not sure how to put it.

    “Such a sad article, looking at the negativity of having non-accepting parents.

    Difficult to read, specially on the effects on these struggling children.
    I have a few trans friends, so grateful they were able to find the help and support needed in their transition! They all have flourished in their new identity. Thank goodness for a way to finally be themselves. ”

    I’m sorry you don’t see it that way. But no matter the case, I am glad I could be there as a ray of positivity through it, as it is not an easy journey, that’s for sure.”

  2. Ryan Grafton says:

    Thanks for publishing these REAL scenarios as others continue to pretend that their pursuit of delusion masked as lgbtq ideology affects no one.

    • Elizabeth says:

      It is criminal. These people are dragging our country into barbaric dark ages. They are lauding child mutilation and abuse equal to ancient civilizations that collapsed as a result of such imploding evil. So ironic that the proponents of this (regressive) barbaric progressiveness are the same ones who for generations swore upon absolute science as proof of our origin and existence and rejoiced they had finally ‘disproved’ a creator God. Yet so quick to now throw science out the window in their depravity.

  3. No says:

    I pray these are truly from real emails and that you aren’t found out later to be another fraud in the media.
    If so, please recant now and have time to rebuild trust with your audience so we know we can rely on you to tell the truth, because that is so absent in the culture and media today!

  4. Kimberly says:

    This is an intentionally manufactured issue by those who seek to harm children and society. This wasn’t an issue 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. This is devastating to families and humanity and even the gay community. Many children experience self-identity issues when in their early teen years – some turn out to be straight, others turn out to be gay but the horrifying people who seek to essentially wipe out the gay community are convincing CHILDREN they are ‘TRANS’ which is literally a mental disorder.

    Instead, leftists have decided that ‘trans’ is part of the LGB community (which makes no sense since it’s not a sexual orientation) and are effectively destroying that community.

    It is an extremely sad day for our society when people intentionally seek to destroy children, their families and a community.

  5. Rebekah says:

    I have transgender friends that I knew long before they changed into the body they were meant to be in. I always knew they were something else, I pegged them as lesbian because at the time, transgender wasn’t in the vocabulary of the 1990’s. My personal opinion, though I am not a parent, all children who feel they are transgender should be counseled thoroughly by a psychiatrist. And their parents should also be in counseling as well when the psychiatrist has deemed that the child has no mental illnesses and truly is transgender in order to help them with the situation. If the child has any history that would challenge their transgender feelings upon wanting transition, such as mental confusion of being raped, incest, experimentation with same sex, it needs to be discussed in therapy. Also, certain illnesses need to be addressed before hormone therapy should be started. Schizophrenia, severe depression, body dysmorphia, and something as simple as being told it is okay to be lesbian or gay and be the way you are. I am an LGBTQ supporter in every way. And the transgender friends I have, looking back I can now say, “Ah ha, that’s what it was all along.” There is no doubt in my mind that these friends are exactly what they are. They lead full and happy lives with the bodies they have now. I hope you all find comfort somehow and are able to be as supportive as you can even if you don’t think they are on the right path.

    • Georgia says:

      I am so sorry that you are so dilusional. Everyone is born male or female. Can’t you understand that it is not natural to change your gender because you “feel” that way. It is a fact that satan hates Jesus so much he is attacking our youth. Destroy the family first.

    • De nice says:

      What a frickin joke…if you have a penis that came with you at birth, and your DNA says you’re male, then you’re a male…the same goes for females. You cannot change your DNA. You can cut your dic k off or try to add one, it still won’t change a thing.

  6. Christopher Morvant says:

    In all of my reading on this issue I can’t help but refer to an article from the former head of psychiatry of the John’s Hopkins Institute in which this well respected doctor stated bluntly that “transgenderism is a mental disorder properly called Gender Dysphoria that is treatable”. He went on to state the statistics of how many pre and post operative transgendered persons commit suicide yearly in the United States, 45% pre-op and over 70% post-op. He further stated that, “No matter how much surgery one has, no one can truly become biologically male or female through hormone treatments, sterilization, and surgical procedures. These are cosmetic “transformations” that hold no bearing on the biological nature of maleness or femaleness.”. In other words, transgenderism is an illusion much akin to putting on permanent theater makeup that one can never fully reverse after surgery and that takes many years to reverse pre-operatively once hormone treatments are started. I feel sorry for the parents in this article that are suffering because of this sickness in society of “acceptance” of transgenderism. Our governments and legal institutions, as well as our mental and physical health providers, have failed us miserably. The system is now rigged with highly dubious liberal/democratic career politicians whom have enshrined transgenderism into our legal system so they can feel protected against the label of “bigot”. Truly this epidemic has reached fever pitch. More and more “transgender” and “non-binary” persons have come out of the woodwork in recent years because the law states that we, as a society, should be more tolerant of these truly mentally ill persons whom seek to cosmetically “become” genders you which they were not born.

    I accept people for what they are, with limits. I have gay, lesbians, and bi-sexual close friends that understand that I accept them but they are not to force their lifestyle choices on me or mine. I’ve have acquantences that are true hermaphrodites that I have had frank discussions with on why they chose not to “pick a gender”, most cite the suicide rates of “transgenders” in their lists of reasons not to undergo medical reassignment of their gender. It baffles me as to why anyone would willfully surgically mutilate themselves and destroy the balance of their hormones to undergo such a painful and irreversible “transition”.
    A lot of what I read in this article was once known by another name, that was “brainwashing”. These children are being brainwashed by those on social media, in schools, in the mainstream media, and the mental and physical health communities to believe that just because they “feel” like they were born in the “wrong gender” that they will be happy and productive once the very costly and painful “reassignment surgery” is complete. The truth is, more often than not, they will only live to regret the surgery, sink into deeper depression and debt, and ultimately end up one of the over 70% of “transgendered people” whom are no longer with us today. That is the reality of the situation. This has reached epidemic proportions in our American Society and must be halted at all costs.

  7. Betty Edmonds says:

    Parents don’t pay any of your money for anything involving your child making such a choice. Tell them they will have to wait until they can afford such services themselves. Maybe that would slow the trend or do away with it completely.

      • Roselea Laufenberg says:

        There is one answer and ONE answer only to this anguish and that is Jesus Christ. Satan is destroying our children and this world, yet people will not accept the only answer. He can dispel the chaos, set hearts at rest and restore hope. If you reject Him, there is nothing left but total destruction and total despair. Call upon Him and He will answer. Life as we once knew it is over. God is going to put an end to all this sin and shame. Those who turn to Him with their whole heart will be delivered out of this sinful world. It’s your choice, but He is there if you want Him. He will receive you but will not force Himself on you. It will be the most glorious decision you ever made….

  8. Big Al says:

    Because the devil rules the world at the present he is stirring up all the trouble and blasphemy he can muster. The establishment is fully under his control. All of this is designed to test the faith of the faithful.

  9. Jan says:

    As a Christian this is wrong if you are born a man you are a man & vise versa no matter what you do to your body. I will never accept this delusion.

  10. Nina says:

    It is written that in end times, wrong will be seen as right and right as wrong. This is satan at work in the final days. lord help us!

  11. Freya says:

    On ONE hand, we have young folks who may be experiencing such a severe depression they are disassociating with their bodies. The coupling of ADHD, Autism and Gender Disforia cannot be ignored. Granted, there are PLENTY of people who feel like they are ” trapped” in the wrong body and feel more like themselves in their new identities, As Adults, I think that is an option they should explore at their own discretion.

    Out of fear of being intolerant we may be ignoring children who need REAL help. What if the hormones are actually exacerbating their existing imbalance. I know some amazing trans folks. This is not to disparage at all. But we should be going through the proper checks and balances to ensure we’re not neglecting mental illness out of fear of being politically correct. Especially with decisions that are SO permanent. Could you imagine getting married at 13? 12? thinking that you know exactly who you want to spend the rest of your life with? We don’t have the emotional maturity to know that at that age. So this is a marriage of ideas and identity before most people even have the time to figure out who they are and what kind of philosophy they would like to evolve by. Out of dozen or so transgender folks I know, 11 of them are high functioning Autist with ADHD. That can’t be a coincidence. One girl went from identifying as a man to identifying as a dog and started attacking animals on the street as well as accusing me of hypnotizing her through the internet. [ you can’t make this stuff up] She really needed help and her family is more focused on a mastectomy than seeing the real issue underneath. So heartbreaking I wish I knew what the answer was.

  12. Pho says:

    Gender disphoria is common with female Asperger’s patients. Telling to me that alot of these were on the spectrum.

  13. StudioJoe says:

    “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria”? People have to be grounded and have been brought up with a sense of balance when assaulted with these $2-words and conditions dreamed up by the psychiatric industry. I see stories of kids who haven’t even hit puberty yet “announcing” they “think” they’re the opposite sex from the one they’re born with and genetically encoded. They get a lot of attention in the early stages, but these phases eventually wear off and they’re confronted with the reality that they made a terrible mistake and become derelicts like this one, or suicides. There are all kinds of temptations and deceptions out there trying to lure in impressionable young people who don’t have the experience to know they’re being taken. That is why strong nuclear families growing up are essential building blocks of healthy grownups.

  14. Loving mom says:

    Rapid onset Gender dysphoria is running rampant at my child’s school. Suddenly the awkwardness of puberty is defined to mean you are transgendered or non-binary or whatever. And you get to be in this cool club of kids where the school holds you up on a pedestal and protects you from bullying. You get out of class any time when you are feeling “unsafe” and school counselors no longer counsel about career choices, now they teach you how to get your friends and teachers to stop calling you by your “dead name” and call you by your new name. It is a fantasy wonderland that lulls in innocent youth like a drug. It is peer pressure and they will even help you get to planned parenthood for your puberty blocking drugs while promising not to tell your parents. Probably 10-15% of the kids in my son’s school have joined this club. Kids are encouraged to choose this lifestyle. Kids who were never confused as children or had any inkling of being anything less than themselves. And you can’t fight it. Because you are already determined as a bad parent for non-acceptance no matter what you say. This is happening to my son, and I am powerless to stop it.

  15. M. says:

    Welcome to transgenderism, a sub-product of feminism and its roots, socialism and cultural marxism (Gramscism, Frankfurt School critical thinking, etc). Now, go back home!

    Simply move away and give up on those girls. They have made their choices, now make yours.

    Women have no limits nowadays, and whoever tries to set them is going to end up in jail.

    Any father? Had they had any authority at home (or even been and had any influence at home), none of those things would have happened. Now it is time for mothers to be disenfranchised and overthrown too.

    Thank you, feminists! You destroyed our families, our children and our society. R.I.P..

  16. Nope says:

    Reading this has confirmed that I utterly hate people… and people my age in this generation are complete morons….

  17. Robbi says:

    It is really criminally woeful and governments should be sued in the West. We are killing future generations right now…. sterilisations! Hysterectomies!! Good GOD please intervene! You know people are so hungry to know of a personal relationship with Jesus. Those of us who are Christians must start testifying who He is because there is a world out there who doesn’t even know WHO he is and the life breathing changing hope He is. My daughter is told every day about Him and He is real in her life. I teach her about people changing their God given identities and that it isn’t natural. I will be watching her school life like a hawk, and any weirdness being taught or clubs after she is 10 that are teaching her against the law of God, she will be homeschooled

  18. Nads says:

    Your daughter needed Jesus, the only healer and protector ! It’s never to late he will forgive those who repent and turn from sin ! Your daughter is loved more then words said.
    She has a purpose it’s for God’s glory and grace ! He is there just knock he will answer !

  19. james cleaver says:

    Pardon me if I am wrong, but the issue of Gender Dysphoria seems to be a very personal and difficult choice.The person that is considering the repercussions of such actions, would have to be completely aware of the short an long term repercussions of surgery and chemical treatments, as well as realistically comprehending the full ramifications of there choices. the mental preparation should be paramount in this case. Many parents will find this whole process to be a nightmare, one that you cannot wake up from. Do you do this or that, do you tell anyone ? do you just take it as it comes. The average person, including many that have offered an opinion on this subject, can’t possibly understand what child and parent will endure throughout this long and painful process. The one thing I know for sure, taking sides and approving or disapproving will not make much of a differance. The person wanting the procedure is likely to have already made up there minds before anyone even suspect somethings not right. My opinion is just that, an opinion, as none of us really know what another person is going through. The shame here is the comments of so many do not make the situation any better. The believers are for one way or the highway. The so called liberals, will always take the side of the individual involved with the procedure. I can point out that in our distant past people have caused a great deal of harm to others. The burning of witches, demon possession, mentally ill people, individuals that claim the world was round or the sun revolved around the earth. Since we were not aware of the truth, we simply made it up. KILL what we are ignorant of, and destroy anyone that gets in the way. We have not made that much progress to say we know everything now, so we can pass our judgment without much backing. What is so upsetting is the comments that sound like the writer is always correct, and anyone that dose not agree will burn in hell forever. I suggest and it’s just my observation, that those kind of people are fairly screwed up themselves, that is why they pretend to be interested in the subject or just spewing garbage they heard or make up in there heads. God is in control, but you would never quess that the way some of you go on. I certainly hope, that those that are the most involved in this problem, have the comfort they are not alone, and there are many going through the same thing. Please know that there are people that can and will help if they can, and that there will always be those who point fingers, and call you names, and say your probally a godless sinner, just as the ignorant of old did. The only one that matters in any of life choices, is the individual that decides to change there lives to better suit there internal thoughts, emotions, and mental health. These individuals will be the ones to live this new reality, whatever the cost.

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