© 2019 The Kelsey Coalition

California Mother Can’t Find A Single Therapist to Help Her Son

When our 14-year-old son told us he was gay, we reassured him we loved him no matter what and that we were glad he told us. Then a few months later, he told us he was transgender and wanted to take hormones.


I knew nothing about this. So I began making calls and looking for information. One of my first calls was to Children's Hospital of Los Angeles which has the largest gender center in the US. I talked with the social worker who works with Dr. Johanna Olsen-Kennedy (leading US gender doctor) and told her about my son.


Without ever meeting him or even asking questions about him, she told me that I should make an appointment and advised us to put him on puberty blockers quickly because once the Adam's apple comes out and the voice drops in a male, there is no turning back.


I called back a few weeks later and spoke with the same woman and explained that I wasn't sure if he is transgender. So she referred me to take my son to a therapist who could help us. She recommended Ayden Olsen-Kennedy, who is an LA therapist who just happens to be the transgender husband of Dr. Johanna Olsen-Kennedy.


This is when I knew there was something seriously wrong. I began researching this hours a day and realized the "affirmative" care model was the only treatment that is offered anywhere. My son is now 16 and hasn't transitioned, but is still struggling with this issue.


My son was affirmed by two school counselors who didn't inform us after meeting with him multiple times. The schools are keeping this from the parents. These counselors are being taught this approach and damaging and confusing our kids even further. There are other ways to treat these vulnerable kids. 


This needs to change immediately because kids lives are at stake. We need laws to protect them.

I feel utterly alone in trying to find help for my son because doctors and counselors have all been taught that the "affirmative approach" is the only method.