Over the past few years, I’ve received many emails from heartbroken parents who discovered, too late, that their children were determined to pursue transgenderism. One mother came up to me after a panel I was speaking at to tell me that two of her children had begun to identify as transgender and were planning to pursue gender transition. The parents of these children are often bewildered, crushed—and told by the press, educators, and ideologues to shut their mouth and support sex change surgeries and hormone treatments if they know what’s good for them or their kids.
When parents speak out, they often do so anonymously to avoid the tidal wave of hatred that greets any dissension from this fresh, ugly new orthodoxy. Many mothers mourn the loss of daughters who are determined to become male—one mother wrote sadly that her daughter was now “bearded, homeless, and sterilized.” This tragedy is still unfolding; these parents are often forgotten. The culture has a gun to their head and has stolen their children, who are being transformed and mutilated before their eyes.
One of these mothers has put her name to her awful story. Lynn Meagher wrote a powerful column called “When transgenderism discards my daughter, I will still be here for her” for The Federalist:
Let me tell you about my daughter. She is smart, funny, creative, artistic, amazing. I would give my life for her. But now she won’t talk to me, and I’m powerless to change that.
She has a new name, one I’ve never called her. I’m no longer allowed to call her by the name we gave her on the day she was born, the name I sang to her in the night and taught her to print in big childish letters. It’s a beautiful name. But now it’s considered an act of hatred and bullying to use it.
She has a new voice, which I’ve only heard once. It was a stranger’s voice, deep yet familiar. When I heard it I knew she must be on testosterone. I realized then I will never hear my daughter’s voice again.
Even if she stops taking testosterone, many of the effects will be permanent, including the deepening of her voice. I recall the sound of her voice every day, but I worry someday I will forget what it sounds like. I can’t find any recordings of it.
Most painfully, we have a new type of relationship. I’ve been invested in this issue for quite some time, and even more so since this insidious mania took my daughter. I’ve been deeply concerned by the explosive cultural shift on gender, and made that concern known. My daughter knows this, so perhaps I should have expected her letter.
At first I didn’t even realize it was from her. I thought it was a thank you note or a note from a friend. I opened it up and slowly digested its words:
This is difficult to write, but I feel the time is right to do it. I don’t believe it is good or healthy for me to maintain our relationship. I will not be initiating further contact with you, and ask that you respect my wish for no further contact. Please avoid attempting to contact me through phone, email, social media, in-person contact, or friends and family. I wish you well and hope you find peace and happiness in your future.
She signed with her new name, typed.
That’s our new relationship, or lack of one. I’m supposed to forget she exists while, every day, memories flood my thoughts. Her drawings, pictures, and the places I drive by remind me of her. I remember the foods she loved and the ones she hated.
I wonder, where is she? Is she OK? One of the hardest to wonder is, what does she look like? I try to imagine her as a man with a beard, then sometimes wonder if it’s a good thing I can’t see her. But it’s so much worse to be locked out. I can’t imagine a complete life without her.
In the first weeks after losing her, I genuinely wanted to die, because I didn’t think I could face my reality. For days I was unable to get out of bed. I cried until my body ached, and the spaces behind my eyes throbbed. I don’t think I ate for several days.
Eventually, I made it to counseling. I nearly ended up in the hospital. I got on antidepressants. Friends came, and sat on my bed while I ugly-cried. They coaxed me out of bed, took me for walks and lunch and motorcycle rides. They were concerned, and still are.
I don’t plan on killing myself, but I often wish I could stop living. A year ago I was traveling, strong, facing the world with a brave and adventurous spirit. I was full of joy and my faith was vibrant and strong.
I know what it means to face adversity and come through stronger. But nothing prepared me for this. Being a mom was the most important, challenging, and deeply meaningful thing in my life.
As crippling as it is, my grief at the loss of our relationship isn’t the hardest pain to bear. Far beyond that, I’m terrified for her.
Is she planning surgery? Will she regret it? Many do. I’ve seen reports of phalloplasty, a surgical procedure in which tissue is harvested from the arm or leg to fashion something resembling a penis. It’s a gruesome procedure with a high complication rate. The mere thought of a surgeon cutting my healthy daughter’s body this way is beyond excruciating.
I’m concerned about the side effects of the medications she might be taking. The statistics tell me people who use transgender treatments have a shorter life expectancy, a higher rate of mental health issues, and a host of other problems.
Women on high doses of testosterone have a much higher risk for heart attacks, stroke, and blood clots. They suffer from vaginal and uterine atrophy, painful conditions that normally precipitate a hysterectomy at a young age, putting them into menopause before they are out of their twenties.
A high rate of serious sexual dysfunction threatens young women who undergo transition. Many are unable to orgasm. There’s a high probability my daughter will suffer from sterility, so if she ever desires to bear a child, that may not be possible.
Beyond her physical health, I know being transgender will not solve the aches of her heart. The suicide rate for transgender people is much higher after transition than before.
My daughter, like a lot of bright girls, experienced challenges socially. She was often left out and rejected by other kids. She was sensitive and it hurt.
I’m sure she believes her new identity will heal those wounds. I’m also sure it will not. When it doesn’t, what will she be left with? I want to believe that she will be alright. I’m here, waiting for her. I pray she knows I’m still here, waiting, for as long as it takes.
I’ve talked to other moms and dads who are going through this. They come from all walks of life. They feel helpless. They can’t find help from counselors, teachers, friends, family, or their faith communities.
They are judged as unsupportive and unaffirming. Their daughters and sons were bright, often happy, and now are angry, defiant, and distant. I wish I had answers for them. I wish I had some for myself.
Lynn Meagher is one of many. My heart aches for these parents and these girls. There are so many of them.
21 thoughts on “Letter from a mourning mother: “When the trans movement discards my daughter, I’ll be here for her.””
My words exactly. I could have written the same of my adult son who has finally cut ties with me because I will not acknowledge him as my daughter.
I’m so sorry to hear that, Kezza.
Thank you for this post. My daughter and her daughter recently cut ties with me as well. My granddaughter and I were engaged in a thoughtful and respectful conversation when she announced she was transgender. It was demanded that I give up on all I believe and support her and her mother in this decision. Because my daughter did not like my well reasoned and compassionate response she posted her rejection of me on social media and blocked me every way she could. I like others, will still be standing here with open arms should either one want to be part of our family again.
I am so sorry to hear this, Michael.
My heart aches for the parents on this post.
I am a broken mother who lost her son to the transgender world. I cried every day for two years before my husband, youngest child and I got on antidepressants.
It is going on five years now, and all he and I can do is text. He blames God for the mistake of making him male when he believes and feels he is female. He blames us for raising him as a male.
There is more to tell because the story continues and so does the pain, but I will stop with my painful story here for now.
My message to parents on this post is that some counselors, social workers, doctors, pastors, and other parents tell us we have to accept what our child is doing.
I am a psychologist licensed as a professional counselor, and I know the truth about my child. He was a gift from God, a boy to love and raise. I do not have to accept what he is doing. I will continue to pray for him, love him, and be ready for him when he returns.
I agree with everything you said, Our family is going through this and I feel it’s ripped out my heart…hugs and prayers to yiu
I am grateful to have found this blog of likeminded people. Words are so limited in attempting to express how my husband and I are feeling about our 25 y/o son who is transitioning. His community convinced him that they are his family now. He moved out very suddenly last December following a tearful disclosure to me. He ended up homeless. The psychologist and neurologist that I had gotten him hooked up with 2 years ago to help with his ASD and depression, turned out to secretly encourage this decision to transition as the answer to all of his issues . Losing our son, and not being allowed to grieve, or express our real turmoil and disbelief has left us numb and depressed.
As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, my own community expects me to not only accept my son as a female, but celebrate his decision to mutilate his body.
I know this is a complicated issue, and that his autistic rigid thinking; anger at his father; social isolation due to Covid; excessive computer use; and rejection of his parents values are all major contributing factors to his decision to transition.
We feel lost and alone, afraid of the ‘support’ which denies our right to feel confused and devastated. We have communicated nothing but unconditional love at every chance but continue to have no place to express our torment. We love him so much, but have lost him.
this is our story too. I mourn my beautiful boy every day. I am having a very hard time every spring. That is when he was supposed to come home after 6 yrs in military but only days before arriving told us he was no longer our son and was a girl. He now will not talk to us or join any family functions. he also wont speak to his brother that was his best buddy growing up. I will be adding all of your families to my prayers.
God Bless you Friend!…You will have to wait on the Lord. This is the hardest thing you will ever do.See Habbakuk the last chapter. When there is no harvest..my horses all die…My loved one is Trans….Yet I will Trust! Look it up…. the Spirit will teach you by such verses.
Yours was the first comment that I have read that confirms that you are a Christian, believing in the saving grace of God and his plan for my trans child. I can relate to many of these posts as my son suddenly decided he was a woman at the age of 26 and has broken ties with me because I will not affirm his decision nor call him by his created female name. Have you found any support groups of other Christians who are choosing to side with the Lord and have lost their relationship because of that decision?
There are online support groups and more and more are popping up all the time. I heard of a virtual group that does zoom meetings and Bible studies, then small group work etc. I will try to find the information and post here. In the meantime, my family will pray for yours. Gods plans can be so confusing and trusting in His grace can feel impossible at times. We will pray that the Lord sends you peace and clarity. We will also pray that your son is carried by Jesus in this time of struggle and upheaval. God Bless you and yours, Jean
I desperately need to join support groups. Unfortunately, trying to find any on social media or Google meets with a wall. Absolutely everything others have said I agree with and/or have experienced. My heart is broken for my child who has been maneuvered into this cattle drive to the butcher shop. Sometimes I just can’t breathe.
Hi Alix, can you share some of the online support groups/zoom you’ve mentioned? I can’t find any, and desperately need to talk to someone
My daughter recently started her transition with a person who she met online 5 months ago. She was happy, wore makeup, curled her hair then because she has social problems she elected to transition and demand her father and I call her by his new name. This has been painful and she has cut contact with both of us because we want her to wait on testosterone and don’t support her new relationship that encourages impulsive behavior. I still cry every day it’s been almost two months since she left our home.
I am so sorry to hear this.
If so many of Us feel and experience the same …. Then what is it precisely that hinders each of Us from NOT feeling so inexplicably alone nonetheless ???
I am currently going through this as well next week will be one year since we discovered that the school was helping him take on another identity. My son is angry with us all the time because we will call him by a girls name or use female pronouns. We go out of our way to avoid names and pronouns – it’s exhausting. It is so painful to watch him become a different person. He used to be kind, sensitive, thoughtful. Now he is moody, sarcastic, and mean to us, even when we go out of our way to be kind and loving. We too have chosen to love him until he realizes that what he is looking for can’t be found in denying physical reality. But until then it’s gut wrenching
So sorry to hear this Todd.
This is the first thing I have come across that doesn’t tell me I have to accept what’s going on with my son. I have been googling about this since my 23 yo son told me he was transitioning in November. He is away in college and started going to a therapist that encouraged him to do this back in august. As he told me he said he felt my love was conditional. We were very close I spoke to him daily by text and now I don’t hear from him. Everything I have read in the article and comments resonates with me. It’s painful I feel so many different things. I feel hate towards him for doing this and picking this life. I feel like I lost my child. I feel guilty because so many other parents have actually lost their children and mine is still living but it’s not him. Society is telling I’m wrong for feeling this way. My older son has accepted it and calls him by the new name and pronouns. I haven’t told my 10 yo about what’s going on he doesn’t need this while he still trying to figure out his own identity. My husband is hurting about the whole thing but tries to act supportive. This entire situation has destroyed our family. All I can do is pray that God intercedes and makes him realize this path is not meant for him.
I found a group for parents and wanted to share it. I’m guessing I can’t link it so it’s ourduty (dot) group. I found a video on youtube with an interview with a woman named Erin Friday and learned about it there.
I also wanted to share a video titled Science, the Transgender Phenomenon, and the Young. It’s a talk by an author/journalist that has done extensive research into this and she breaks it down into the groups that are pushing this movement. She’s also done an interview with Jordan Peterson that is eye opening. I think it’s too late for me, my daughter is 24yo. But hopefully this information will help someone else. One of the hardest parts of this is that we feel alone in our grief and suffering.. it’s helps to know there are so many other parents also struggling. Wishing all of you peace
So sorry to hear this. Prayers for you and your daughter.