Transin’ the Suburbs

I never believed I would have a negative word to say about the transgender movement. I was born into a middle-class family of liberal Democrats. My grandparents emigrated from Europe in the 1920s to escape fascism. My father was a small business owner who lobbied for socialized medicine in the 80s due to his health issues. I was a nerdy science girl who loved the outdoors and earned a degree in environmental science in the 90s; my liberal roots run deep. I’ve been a fan of the Squad, have a Black Lives Matter flag flying in my front yard and a garden of native plants to support wildlife in my backyard. I was appalled at the bathroom bill business in North Carolina a few years ago. Of course, my thinking was that transwomen are women, transmen are men; who can that possibly hurt? (As it turns out, the answer is my family and me.)

My son has always been a bit of an outlier. He was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (now autism spectrum disorder) at age five. As part of the diagnosis process, his IQ was measured, and the results classified him as highly gifted. He was my first child, so I did not know what ‘normal’ development looked like. My sister was shocked when he was reading signs at the zoo at only two years old. As he grew, he became obsessed with farm equipment, then aircraft, then arachnids, then ancient Egypt. That year he was a Bastet cat for Halloween (look it up, I had to!). He was different, but to adults, different in the best possible way. To his peers, not so much. He was physically clumsy, did an inordinate amount of unexpected humming, and had absolutely zero interest in tossing a ball back and forth.

Elementary school was a slog. In kindergarten, he refused to do the “choral reading” (because he had read the entire board upon entering the classroom, including the teacher’s personal notes about meetings and schedule changes). In later grades, he would walk around and look out of the window to get some sensory input but could still turn around and answer any question the teacher asked. Teachers and administrators did not understand or tolerate this. They saw it as a “behavioral issue”. Fortunately, my husband and I found an excellent charter middle and high school for smart kids. Our son thrived there, reading Shakespeare in sixth grade, placing in the county spelling bee, winning the school science bee, hanging with other quirky outliers. He was finding his groove and finally making friends.

Then came high school and puberty. At age 15, my quiet and anxious—but generally content—kid became extremely moody, isolated, and generally miserable. I finally did a mom-snoop of his computer and saw he was declaring online that he was “TRANZ”. My first instinct was to believe this. I must have one of the one-in-a-zillion kids who was “born in the wrong body”. I didn’t pay much mind to the pictures of anime girls that I’d also seen on his computer or the questions about “feeling weird in my body” that were posted on forums and answered with “You’re probably trans, hormones will make it better”. I did inwardly question why I’d never seen any typically feminine behavior or interests from him. Still, then I told myself that I was stereotyping women. I was a liberal democrat! The articles I’d skimmed on NPR and MSNBC seemed to indicate that transgenderism was a real, medical thing. Even though I have a science degree, I blindly assumed that the science behind this was correct because it was all over the mainstream media. Dwayne Wade, an NBA star, had a trans kid!

When I pressed my son about not ever seeing earlier signs of this desire to be female, he agreed. Somewhat strangely, a day later, he told me that he had “always felt this way.” (Look up transgender online influence.) I had seen a female name he was using online and asked him about it. I then began to address him with his preferred name and pronouns. I asked a million questions. He had no desire to change his clothing choices; he’s a sweatpants and Star-Wars-T-shirt kid. He had no interest in makeup or nail polish. He didn’t know yet if he was attracted to girls or boys. I thought I was being supportive by asking all these things! My son’s answer to how he knew he was transgender was that it just “feels right.” He said he would “definitely like to start hormones someday”.

For an extremely specific reason, that’s the comment that led me to do some deeper research.

At age 49, I have stage four autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. It’s a hereditary disease that killed my paternal grandmother (before the invention of dialysis). My mother was on dialysis for eight years before receiving a transplant that lasted another eight before comorbidities of the disease led to her death at 57. Science has come a long way, and my older brothers live with transplanted kidneys and are doing well. I am on a new medication that may extend my kidneys’ life, but eventually, likely in the next decade, I will reach stage five and need dialysis and/or a transplant. My three children have a 50% chance of inheriting this disease. We watch their blood pressure as an indicator, not wanting an official diagnosis with imaging until we see signs. Once diagnosed, it can be challenging to get insurance, and we never know what the next administration will change about the American healthcare system.

All this to say that we don’t need any extra medical interventions in our lives. So, I went looking into what it really means to be transgender. There are very few studies, but I found that if you take your child to a gender clinic, it appears to mean your kid steps on a conveyer belt from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones (98% did so according to one study), to potentially multiple surgeries (current evidence for this is anecdotal, but the ranks of detransitioners telling their conveyer-belt stories are growing). All of this has been shown to be potentially damaging to human bodies, with long-term effects (such as decreased bone density and sterilization) especially for those with pre-existing conditions (like hypertension, which is comorbid with polycystic kidney disease).

My kid may not have gotten the green light for these hormonal and surgical interventions because of our family’s medical history; however, I’m nowhere near certain of this. The one therapist we contacted to help us gain some extra understanding showed my son the genderbread person at the first meeting and told me a gender clinic would be our best bet. I almost went with it, but I was becoming more and more confused and uncertain.

I also began to question what seems to be a societal shift back towards antiquated gender stereotypes and clichés. My son seemed to be questioning his manhood, possibly because he is an autistic, non-athletic, socially awkward boy. It appears that those qualities, rather than being part of the spectrum of being a human male, are now being seen as a reason to eschew maleness and instead conclude that your body must change. This did not jibe with my liberal ideal of individualism and self-determination.

Around this time, I learned of my son’s two schoolmates who had also announced that they were transgender girls. These are quirky, intelligent, boyish boys. I connected with their moms, both of whom are liberal Democrats. They seem not to have questioned the party-line concept of being born in the wrong body and have already taken their children to the gender clinic in a nearby city. Both boys are now on puberty blockers and female hormones, as well as taking voice lessons. Little therapy was involved in their support; instead, they were provided primarily with gender affirmation. And these kids want it so much. They think it will make everything they dislike about themselves go away. Both these moms say the gender clinic is the most wonderful, accepting place, and they just love going there. Their insurance covers everything, even the expected surgeries! I began to feel like I was in a sci-fi novel. How are these kids all in need of medical intervention to try to change their sex? How come therapists weren’t going deeper with questioning their motivation? What kind of temporary-happiness-pushers are these gender clinics?

I still don’t have answers to those questions. However, I have awakened from thinking that affirmation of everything my pubescent, autistic teen feels is the way to be a supportive parent. My husband and I have agreed that until we can find a therapist who can go deeper than the genderbread person and unquestioning affirmation, our son is better off without therapy (though the search continues). We now use only our son’s given name and male pronouns. We spend time together as a family and try our best to limit screen time. We are approaching this as a stage of self-exploration and questioning that would be typical for teenagers if not for the intense online and suburban liberal pressure to push instant happiness and “problem-solve” in the form of taking hormones and planning for surgeries.

So here I am, in my lovely suburban neighborhood, wondering what it means to be a liberal who is committed to protecting confused children, whether autistic or neurotypical, who have been led to believe they were born in the wrong body. I wonder when more of my generally like-minded, politically aware friends and neighbors will begin to question where things went wrong. I never thought I’d feel politically homeless. I’ve joined groups of other parents who are in the same place, with nowhere to go but to the other party. I began to connect with others whose families were being hurt, torn apart even, by transgender ideology. I feel I’m still holding onto my liberal democratic values, including following the science and protecting the vulnerable. But I may have to hold my nose and pull the ballot lever for the other side because the Democratic party is systematically ignoring the absence of solid science on this issue. They are dismissing the concerns of families of autistic children like mine. I cannot allow more children to be damaged.

Ellen McEvoy is a former environmental scientist and full-time mother who writes about the challenges of parenting in the 21st century.

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  1. In solidarity, Ellen. I’m a lifelong liberal with a child who admits no gender incongruence until the start of puberty. I thought I was on board with trans ideology until this happened to us. Is there a support group for liberal parents looking for better alternatives? Surely there are more of us.

  2. Thank you for your story. Too many people are assuming this is a continuation of the lgb rights. it is not. What is not being addressed is that it is not the kids that need to change but the system, which tries to fit everything into 2 boxes. A patriarchal system that cannot accept feminine boys or masculine girls. These boys who do not fit into the accepted macho male role are perhaps the harbingers who are bringing back emotions, gentleness, etc to the male species, which is so needed. Puberty is not easy, this is what needs to be addressed – how can we move past the bullying, the war mentality of men to full humanity for all males to express their totality, which includes so much more than they have been allowed to express. There are 2 men who have lived outside the box. Sissy Goodwin, who passed last year at 68, was a man who liked to dress in women’s clothes, his wife of 40 years and his small town outside Casper, Wyoming were accepting of him….he was an educator, so you know they had to be ok. He wanted other men to know it was ok to express themselves. Mark Bryan is an American robotic engineer now living in Germany. He dresses in women’s clothes from the waist down and males clothes above. His wife helps him buy his clothes, they have 3 kids. You can google both. These men are saying, we are opening the options to males….do ones assume they are women because they relate more to feminine characteristics – this needs to be embraced as males. Exploring all these options before is vital because also no one knows what all these chemicals, etc will do to the body. Question who benefits, big pharma for one as they are on hormones for life. Up unto now, most who transitioned were middle aged, and we can see how quickly they aged, lost strength etc. what society is forcing is actually child abuse. Please don’t change your politics, use your politics to change the systems. Until now it’s been the republicans, but and I question their motives. A large group of liberal democrats and parents of these kids can do more to change the dynamics. I stand behind you

    • The 2 men you refer to are autogynephiles. They get sexually aroused by dressing as women. I am not responsible for a man’s sexual kink. As a Democrat, I am offended by you saying you question the motives of Republicans attempting to protect our children. What exactly do you think their secret motives might be other than keeping our children from being harmed? To me, it makes more sense to question the motives of Democrats pushing the transing of kids and adults and pushing allowing men into women’s and girl’s protected spaces. I would also question the aggressiveness of Democrats portraying 50% of the people in this country as evil. If you know history, you would know what dangerous and divisive rhetoric this is.

      • Yes, the Democrats are the ones pushing this and those mean nasty Republicans are opposing it.

        And commenting on original comment, I think our society has a huge amount of tolerance for feminine boys and masculine girls. Do think though that some of the male children who decide they are ‘trans’ are driven by the fear that because they have more feminine traits they can’t cut it as men, an incorrect assumption but one that seems real to a younger person.

  3. A sad story. I just send the link to my wife and daughter. The description of your son’s pre-puberty behavior sounds just like our son’s – complete with high IQ- diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 1993 when he was 13. But that psychiatric label we were told is an “umbrella” term and catches all kinds of such behaviors. Was your son a “blue baby” by any chance i.e. frontal lobe damage due to oxygen deprivation during a difficult birth?. I noticed it was your first born, that is generally the most difficult north. How is he doing now?

  4. How on earth can I have experienced an almost exact replication of what the writer shared about her son? How are our autistic children being stolen from us and indoctrinated into the trans cult?

    How is the medical community not sounding the alarm of the inhumane experiments being done on children!!

    How is my concern for my child’s health deemed hateful and ready-labeled with trans jargon?

    I’m at a loss on how to help my child who’s adamant to having life all figured out that happiness will come with changing his gender. This is a monumental battle that parents are facing against a powerful and politicized movement. I already feel like I’ve lost. This is truly heartbreaking and I’m devistated.

  5. I’m in the same boat, and a lifelong Democrat, who is starting to see the huge cracks in a party that is being manipulated by an unscientific ideology that is hurting my child. I actually was rooting for Rand Paul when he went on a trans rant, and I ABHOR him!

    • I am in exactly the same place. I abhor Rand Paul but his questions to Rachel Lavine were spot on, and Lavine never answered. I will never vote Republican, as I disagree with them in their view of politics, economy, immigration, public health, environment, labor, role of the Government, international relations and so many other issues. But I believe Democrats are now taken by an irrational, anti-scientific ideology – not only that, but they are not allowing discussion of it!!! It’s a dogma and whomever dares question any tiny aspect of it, is treated as a bigot, a transphobe who has to be silenced, cancelled, his or her voice completely eliminated. These are not my values. I value freedom of expression (I dedicated part of my professional career to defend the right to freedom of expression) and I believe a party is better off when all voices are listened to and considered. As someone else said here, I am now politically homeless.

  6. Thank you so much for telling your story. Your experience matters. As a liberal who supports LGBT+ community having my 14 year old daughter announce that she was trans and now going by a different name, this totally rocked my world. Zero signs, except for watching a lot of trans influencers online. She is an outlier, who just moved cross country, has no friends, not athletic, not academic, but found her “tribe” at school the second she declared being trans. She told me she’s not interested in hormones. But wants top surgery when she’s older. It’s all so confusing and almost seems like a slap in the face foe the lgbt community, to be putting herself in with them for acceptance. I truly think this is just a time of exploration and I think she will grow out of it. I agree with the above comment about the patriarchy and the system that says we must be one or the other. Instead of sending the message that it’s ok to have a vagina and not like pink. And it’s ok to have a penis and not like sports. Hang in there mom! You’re far from alone. Feel free to contact me if you ever need support.

    • I’d just like to point out that there is no such thing as the “LGBT+ community”. The LGBT(Q)(+) initialism is used to con people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual into believing that they are part of, and owe allegiance to, that fictional community, and are therefore obliged to accept the pernicious, unscientific dogmas propounded by “gender identity” activists and to support their unreasonable demands. They have no such obligation.

      • I agree with you. LGB is about sexual orientation. Trans people have a completely different issue. I would say there are very deep conflicts among each other. For example, trans activists are saying now that lesbians have to sleep with men who identify as women even when they have penises. Lesbians (real lesbians) are desperate, being called bigots and transphobes because of their sexual orientation. They are bullied online, and dating apps for lesbians are full of men who outrageously identify as “lesbians” even pre-op. (Even post-op, they are still males, of course, as any chromosomic test would tell us). All of this is very cruel. Then there is the issue of conversion therapy. How many of the girls who at puberty identify as trans, are really lesbians who with time would understand what was really going on? Therapy would help them, but such therapy is being frowned upon because the only allowed response is affirmation. In countries like the UK and Australia, trans activists are proposing sanctions (such as losing their licenses) for therapists who try to understand the deeper issues at stake.

    • The assault on lesbians is horrible. I hope that the L in the LGB will organize and speak up about the trans abuse. I think the general population will be less likely to give weight to accusations of transphobia when it is directed at lesbians.

  7. Thank you for this article, I think you are expressing the feelings and frustration of many of us who have been assaulted for the trans ideology. You are not alone !

  8. I hear you. I feel like you just wrote my thoughts, research and feelings exactly on this issue. Where are the scientists and doctors who will do the actual, methodical work?

    Remember 20 years ago when the medical professionals were promoting synthetic opioids as totally safe, effective and non addictive? It’s similar to the language doctors/therapists use to promote puberty blockers and cross sex hormones today. Yet there is so little actual data to back these claims. Even the clinics in Europe who did the studies on which the US doctors rely are backing away from their research and stating it is not applicable to kids who identify as trans during or after puberty. Puberty is hard and uncomfortable. If you feel uncomfortable in your teen age body, it means you are human.

    When I denied my kid fentanyl in the hospital 5 years ago I was totally shamed by the ER medical professionals. I stood firm. Now the psychiatrists and therapists are similarly trying to shame me for not procuring blockers/cross sex hormones for my child. But doctors frequently make mistakes – big mistakes – and they are not the ones dealing in the personal aftermath of their mistakes. They are fallible humans with ample malpractice policies.

    I agree- until there are therapists willing to dig deeper and acknowledge social influences – especially on the internet, and the significance of the overlap of high functioning autism spectrum and current trans identity, the majority of therapists are simply feel good cheerleaders adept at mirroring and affirming- and totally unqualified to help our kids navigate the complicated nuisances of growing into a human adult.

    My final thoughts are like the posts above- why in the age of liberalism is society/the internet putting traits in boxes as male/female and encouraging kids with minds that don’t fit neatly into the “boxes” to undergo unsupported medical experiments to make their bodies more like their minds? I.e.,IF you like the color blue, play sports, prefer wearing pants, are more analytical and less emotional, and enjoy logical reasoning and science, THEN you must be a male. I do and I am not.

  9. The American College of Pediatricians have an excellent site that will reveal the societal insanity and greed at play here.

  10. Bravo for such a well written article. You give us all hope that there may be better days ahead. Gender ideology is the most regressive trend to hit our country in the last century. Sadly, it is clearly driven by corporate greed in the medical field and Big Pharma but marketed to naive and unsuspecting youth. Time to call them out! Thank you!

  11. You may find you have more in common than you think with the “other” side. I consider myself conservative, but believe in all of the things you stated. I believe in free speech, open debate and evidence based medicine. I believe in rigourously researched and debated science. We are definitley NOT following science with regards to the Transgender movement or the Coronavirus. I have done extensive research on the Coronavirus and have found the systematic silencing of highly credentialed Scientists and doctors who present evidence that does not support Dr. Fauci, CDC and NIH narrative disturbing beyond belief. As a member of the GOP, you may or may not be happy to know that we are actively going to primary the good ole, country club Republicans. At the risk of losing your attention or respect for good, I have to tell you that the Maga movement is the most inclusive, grass roots, hard working, freedom loving, diverse! yes extremely diverse! group of hopeful, energentic people who want everyone to have the American dream, safety, good healthcare, free speech, love and security. I know it is not how it is portrayed in the MSM, but perhaps you are more open to the truth now that you can see you have been deceived by a Radical agenda. The democratic party is nothing like it was, even 15 years ago. But than again neither is the Republican party. I wish you the best with your son’s journey. I am a nurse and the mother of 4 teenagers and I think you are doing what is the very best for your son. I don’t believe such drastic, life altering medical treatments should even be on the table right now. I am sure you have but in case you haven’t perhaps you should read Abigail Shrier’s book where she has done extensive research on this diagnosis. Its called Irreversible Damage. I wish you well.

  12. I have been in this Twilight Zone for about 5 years. I agree that there is nothing wrong with our children. The problem lies with the medical community, teachers and politicians who are encouraging this. Check out Jennifer Bilek regarding the money behind this. I am also grateful to the LGB Fight back group who are fighting for our kids.

    Don’t give up. Your Son will thank you some day.

  13. I too am going through this with our oldest daughter. She too is precocious, socially awkward and is trans identifying. Mostly blossomed out of the time in virtual school during the pandemic. Isolated and on the internet.
    This has been such a twisted time for me mentally. Im a healthcare worker. I used to work in a facility with a world renowned FTM transition surgeon. And after was a firm advocate for trans patients in my care. I always did my best to stand up for them to ensure they received equitable care without discrimination.
    Now my daughter says shes a boy and i dont buy it. I try to encourage her to accept herself as female but express her identity as she wishes. She wears dresses and eye makeup some days. And sweats and hoodies others. But still wants to be a boy. Addressed as a boy and gets upset when strangers call her a girl even in a dress and eyeliner.
    We dont use her preferred male name at home. I compromise with neutral pronouns. My husband doesnt.
    I try to arm myslef with all the science i can. Keep my feelings out of it. Let her explore. But be very clear i dont support childhood transition and all the reasons why.
    Its the only way i can make sense of all of it. Keep my head clear. And maintain my relationship with my child. She views my husband and me as transphobic. Using science helps.

    But we fear being open about all of this in our extremely liberal little community. Where our schools have a statistically disproportionate number of trans kids. These kids are celebrated and praised for their “bravery” in “living their truth”. The school tries to strong arm me into changing my childs name and gender on school records. I just wont do it.
    And not one of them will listen to my reasons why. Its painful.

    Why are we democratic liberals always backing the science. But not when it comes to this issue?

  14. As a public school teacher in California, I would like to inform parents nationwide, that the definition of TRANSGENDER has changed according to the National 2020 Sex Ed Standards.. it now is an UMBRELLA TERMS that represents a LARGE NUMBER of IDENTITIES. Please see p. 70 of this document.

    This is a cult of extremism now being taught to our children in public schools, starting in preschool. This National Preschool Guideline Document states that gender is expansive and fluid based on “science”.

    As a former school board member that is well aware of Calif Ed Codes, policies, curriculum and practices, this video will explain what’s going on. Parents are being duped while their rights are being stripped away.

  15. Thank you for this. In so many ways you describe my adult 20 something son as a child to a T – although not Asperger’s. Our child came out to us as non-binary – feels like a woman – just a week ago and we are reeling. They are our only child and we simply never expected this. I am so personally terrified right now because, up until now, our child was such a rational decision maker. I feel as though our child is reading executing a playbook and seems to have shut off their finely tuned logic meter. We desperately don’t want to lose our child from our lives.

    They told us they started hormones about 3 weeks ago and says they feel better already. There were no signs that they previously felt bad. I fear that they have recent online friends who are walking them down the path, away from us and, worst of all, away from themself. I really want to have a conversation with them about their childhood/teen years but I am not sure they will let me (or if their handlers will allow them to). As I think back, they were often alone and seemed happy that way. They were almost certainly bullied, but seemed so well adjusted that we didn’t think to help them cope. Is there any way to get them to open up and allow themselves to listen? My wife and I will support them if this is truly their path and we want our child to always be in our lives.

    BTW – I am a Republican by party but a human being and not the monster I have been made out to be. I am absolutely positive that a Ven diagram would have much more overlapping space, than not, with most any Democrat on this post. The social media and news outlets have polarized us so in many evil ways. They don’t want us to talk civilly. The technical term is divide and conquer. We need to take back our ability to speak to others, find common ground, and discuss where we can all be better OR on occasion agree to disagree.

    • If my 12 year old said she was ‘coming out as non-binary’, I would say – ‘fine, dear’. No need to get upset about it. She’ll probably choose a different chocolate from the box next year.

      If she was taking hormones I would of course go crazy. That’s the dilemma.

      But if you’re non-binary why do you need hormones? What are you trying to become?

      BTW stop apologising for being a Republican! We’re all big enough here to test the power of an argument, not the validity of the speaker.

      Good luck going forward!

  16. My hope, and concern, is that for those who are older transgender people, that we would not be lumped in with younger generations. (By older, I mean those of us who are 40+.) I am glad that a previous poster/commenter mentioned about the expansion of the term “transgender”. Within the trans community, this expansion has caused conflict – please visit the Reddit Transmedical board:

    This strange phenomenon has happened without even my knowing. I live in a rural area and have no contact/connection with “the community”. My understanding of what transgender is (used to be) would have even me labeled as transphobic (see: transmedicalist and truscum). I agree with others that the T should be separate (and placed with a separate group for those who are Intersex – personally, due to the expansion of what the trans word means now – I think it is watered down to the point of meaninglessness and I do not like to use it).

    All I ask is that you do not lump us all together (all of us who fall under the “T” umbrella as it *used to be*), prior to this expansion of the term. If those who push this expansion would stop and think for a bit, they would realize that it hurts those of us who are truly “T”, along with all the progress we made. You will see these arguments presented in the Transmedical Reddit board. There *are* those of us who are fed up because it hurts us as well.

    Politically, I consider myself center-left and moderately progressive, *and* very pro-science and pro-medicine (I cannot believe I have to state that latter part in this day and age).

    All I can say in the end is not to hate those of us who fall into the *strict definition* of “T”, and be angry at us. Look to those who decided to expand the definition and throw the “order” out of whack.

  17. Ellen, I have a friend whose son announced one day he’d like to wear a girl’s dress to school. Instead of taking it as a sign that she needed to get down to the gender reassignment clinic she went out with him and bought five dresses. At school the teacher raised an eyebrow but smiled on his explanation of wanting to ‘celebrate the summer’. He had enough faith in solidarity from his schoolfriends to see off any potential bullying. Last week I saw the whole family on a picnic and he was there again, in a dress.

    He’s exploring without damaging himself. He might well see it off as a passing phase. No-one is blocking his self-expression, and he is not damaging his body, losing sexual function, or destroying his future reproductive abilities.

    Your key phrase is this one: “I also began to question what seems to be a societal shift back towards antiquated gender stereotypes and clichés.” One of the most valuable contributions made by the feminist critique has been to question and reduce these stereotypes. Rather than fretting about whether our sons ‘really are girls’ we would all be better off if ‘being a boy’ included being able to wear dresses, engage in activities associated with girls etc. Girls too, of course. You want to wear a hoodie and jeans and no makeup? Go for it. If boys and girls could wear what they like, do what they like, then there would be less attraction in identifying in with the converse sex.

  18. “But I may have to hold my nose and pull the ballot lever for the other side because the Democratic party is systematically ignoring the absence of solid science on this issue.”

    Ah yes, because voting against climate change action and for the Qanon cult is surely a wise choice and will solve your problem. Oh, wait.

  19. Thank you, Ellen! I think there are many in the Democratic party who are horrified by this phenomenon, but our voices are not the ones being heard. Like you, I would have cried “rah, rah trans!” until my son got swept up in this and I started doing research. I work at a private high school, and we have frequent “community building” days in which the faculty practically beg students to have more interesting identities than cis heterosexual. Many of the students are probably driven straight to the Republican party by this nonsense, but for kids like ours who are sensitive, awkward, and grew up in Liberal families, becoming trans must seem like a road to glory. Although I wouldn’t join the Republican party, I’d vote for a humane, reasonable person like Mit Romney in a heartbeat.

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