By Jonathon Van Maren
Over the past several years of writing on the subject of the transgender phenomenon, I’ve received many phone calls and emails from despairing parents. The details are always different, but the stories are always very much the same: Their child, often struggling with body image issues, autism, or mental illness, was persuaded by peers and the public school establishment that he or she—usually she—was transgender. Other possibilities are almost always rejected, and often the parents face threats from the school authorities or social services for not being “affirming” enough of their child’s desire to switch genders. The results are always heartbreaking.
One recent example was detailed this month in USA Today by Jay Keck, a suburban dad who lives just outside of Chicago. His nightmare began in April of 2016, when his 14-year-old daughter became convinced that she was in fact a boy—with the staff of the public school in Hinsdale District #86 emphatically endorsing this delusion and opposing Keck’s attempts to help his daughter every step of the way. In fact, the teenage girl, who had shown no indication of gender dysphoria or a desire to be male throughout her childhood, is on the autism spectrum—a fact her school ignored when she declared herself to be transgender after beginning to hang out with another girl who professed to be a “boy” trapped in a female body.