If you’d told me three years ago I’d be writing about estrogen and castration, I would have called you crazy. This was never something on my radar. My son was a typical kid, for the most part. He played with Legos, Pokémon and Minecraft. He played three different sports per year; he went camping, backpacking and fishing. He was a regular, outdoorsy kind of boy.
Nor was there anything unusual about my family. My husband is the breadwinner. He’s a present father figure, and always has been. His relationship with my son is very close, just like mine. Everyone admired how hands-on a father he was, completely engaged with everything my son was doing. We worked really hard to create a functional family, and we did.
Sex changes were things that other people did. Guys who were always different in some way. Guys who had a traumatic childhood. Guys who were super-feminine. My son enjoyed being a boy, and I never once thought he might be gay. And he isn’t gay: in fact, he has a girlfriend. There were never any signs of anything unusual about the way he saw himself. The whole thing came out of nowhere.
As soon as he started high school, he stopped hanging out with his friend group from middle school, and would not tell us why. That was when he started to withdraw. He became defiant towards both of us. He wouldn’t explain what was going on for him, or why he’d gotten so angry and disrespectful. We chalked it up to being a teenager.
Then came the announcement. He said he was really a girl. He wanted to take puberty blockers and estrogen immediately. He wanted breasts rather than a normal male chest. And he wanted a vagina. None of it made any sense. My husband and I were both in shock. Why would such a regular boy, from such a regular family, want to do that to himself?
It didn’t take long to answer that question. As soon as we got to the gender clinic we were referred to, I realized that the kids in my son’s generation are being pushed into thinking of themselves as transgender, even if there’s no basis to it at all. I thought that they would assess him, and talk him out of it. But it was a one-way street. As soon as a boy says he thinks he’s a girl, he’s on the path to transition.
It wasn’t just the clinic. The more I looked into it, the more I learned that his school was obsessed with talking about gender, and celebrating boys who say that they’re girls, even though they’re clearly not. As soon as a kid comes out as trans, there’s nothing but affirmation. They get attention. They’re told how brave they are. No one ever questions the absurdity of it. These children are teenagers, or even younger.
Then there was the internet. We were careful parents. All the other parents were giving their kids cell phones in elementary or middle school. We waited until our son was in high school. We weren’t the kind of family who used the computer as a babysitter. But it turned out that adults on the internet were grooming vulnerable kids. All it took was a Google search, and he was surrounded by voices telling him he was really a girl. None of them had even met him.
I started to research transgenderism, so I could figure out what was going on in my son’s head. But by the time I’d worked out how clinics and schools were operating, and how the internet was making it impossible for him to change his mind, it was too late. He was so convinced that the only path forward was hormones, and that we were failing to support him by withholding them.
A couple of years later, I now understand what got my son to this place. Puberty made him uncomfortable with his body. But it wasn’t just that: it was that he was such a smart, nerdy kid. And boys who are nerdy — even if they’re masculine — are told every day that they might actually be girls. Everything has changed. If you’re not G.I. Joe, you’re in trouble. These boys don’t understand that there are all types of men. They think if they’re not the stereotypical male, then they’re not male at all.
What my son is trying to do is opt out of manhood. He doesn’t really want to be a woman. He just can’t see himself as a man in this world. When I was growing up, boys had role models who were smart and creative: architects, engineers and lawyers. Nowadays, gender activists go into schools and tell young men they can be either sex. The quirky, gifted kids are the most vulnerable to this. They already know they’re different: but then, they’re told lies about how they’re different. And they believe these lies.
So far, you’ve only read my story. But since this all started, I’ve been in touch with almost a hundred other parents of boys, on online forums and support groups. My son’s story is typical of these kids. The mothers and fathers I meet also have smart sons who can’t find a place for themselves in modern society. Like my son, these boys are being led astray. Their parents don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to fight this ideology.
A lot of the young men calling themselves transgender have autism, ADHD, OCD or Asperger syndrome. Parents have sometimes known about these conditions for many years. But gender clinics aren’t interested in pursuing therapies which might actually help these kids understand why they feel the way they do. It’s the only field of medicine where you’re not allowed to talk about comorbidities or other treatments. This is the medical scandal of the century.
People reading this might know that this is also going on with girls. In fact, the number of girls going through this is so high that some people think that only girls are involved. And that’s often how it’s presented in the media. That means it can be even harder for the many parents of boys: it’s as though we don’t exist. It’s always easier to see young women as victims of a system. The young men just get written off as freaks. But it’s our culture which is the freak.
I have spent all of the lockdown researching transgenderism, and I’m more certain than ever that there’s nothing wrong with my son. I’m angry with society. I’m angry with the media. I’m angry with politicians. I’m angry with Big Pharma. I’m angry with his girlfriend for convincing him that he can be a ‘lesbian.’ He can’t. He’s just a vulnerable boy who’s lost his way.
I’m writing this to make people aware that this is really happening, all over America and beyond, from big cities to small towns. This isn’t just some Hollywood trend. We need your help. We need you to get the word out. We need you to help us save our sons.
I am a mother of two and a self-employed graphic designer. I have only recently started to write, since my son announced he was trans. In the last two years, I’ve done extensive research on transgenderism, and started actively campaigning to get the truth out. ‘Ruth Nyhus’ is a pseudonym which I am using to protect my family’s identity.