An Alabama Father's Plea For Help
Last summer, my 14-year-old son left a note for me and his mom stating that he was transgender and he had gender dysphoria “for as long as he could remember.” This felt like a punch in the gut. He was a typical boy and had never expressed any feminine traits before.
When he returned to school in the fall, he socially transitioned. He told his friends to call him by his preferred name and use female pronouns. He grew his hair out. He sneaks cosmetics and female clothing to school to wear, and then changes back before we pick him up after school.
I have no idea how many other kids at the local high school identify as transgender, but I'm almost certain that my son is not the only one. That in and of itself should be a red flag to the medical and psychological fields. I have no issue with someone who felt a disconnect with their body at a very young age. But a perfectly happy and healthy teenager who suddenly decides that he was born in the wrong body?
He has a totally different personality now. He used to be funny, happy-go-lucky, and cheerful. Now he is withdrawn and resentful. His main resentment is directed towards me because I'm “transphobic.” I'm depicted as the horrible ogre because I don't want him to transition.
We have tried working with a therapist, but the therapist is affirming. We had a family session where my son expressed that he felt something strange in 8th grade, did some research, and it led him to the conclusion that he is transgender. He spends a lot of time online, is into manga characters and role playing games, and has ADHD and anxiety. But the therapist ignores all of this and doesn’t look into why he feels he was born in the wrong body.
I found a paper he'd written for school regarding his future plans. A huge part of those plans involved medical transitioning. He stated he wants to move to Canada and become a citizen there so he can get all of his surgeries and treatments through the national health system. He seems to have come to the conclusion that the only way he will ever be truly happy is through transitioning. I have this feeling of hopelessness and that I will eventually lose my son as soon as he finds a doctor who will start him on the path to medical transitioning.
Why aren't more leaders in the psychological community researching this? Why is my once-happy little boy now a sulking adolescent who is convinced that he will have to undergo surgical procedures and be on hormones for the remainder of his life in order to be “happy”?