The writer Wesley Yang runs the fantastic Substack "Year Zero," which explores what he calls "the ideological fever that overtook the governing and chattering classes in America during the Trump years which is now consolidating its grip on American institutions."
Chief among the subjects of that "ideological fever" is transgenderism, which Yang explores in-depth, particularly as it applies to vulnerable children in educational environments.
On Thursday, Yang posted an interview with a mother, identified as Jennifer, whose daughter was captured and very nearly transformed by the transgender zeitgeist. The tale itself is harrowing:
Well, my daughter was in fifth grade. And she was being socially transitioned by her school, behind my back... [T]he school was using a name that she made up — so not her name that was given to her, and different pronouns for her. And she was actually using — she didn't use the girls bathroom, for instance, she used the bathroom in the office. If she would have been — so she was 10-11 years old when this was happening. If she would have been older — in my state at 13 — she could have gone in to opposite sex spaces without me ever even knowing
This occurred in the suburbs of Seattle prior to the pandemic. Eventually the school put Jennifer's daughter in contact with a therapist, who proceeded to escalate the situation:
[The therapist] was using male pronouns and the made up name for my daughter for the first half hour she sat down with her. She saw her for — and I didn't know this — she saw her for a half hour, once a week for two and a half months, so a total of five hours. And she called me right before the pandemic hit. And she was using the male pronouns and the made up name. And she was telling me that she wanted to have a meeting with with my me and my husband and my daughter, to help her come out to us as a boy. She gave us three days, because she thought we needed some time to process this. So she gave us three days.
This counselor giving these parents "three days" like she's the good guy when in reality it's like:
So how did she end up counteracting this poisonous, destructive influence? It's more simple than you think:
We pulled her out of school, I homeschool her now. We took all of her devices. She was not in her friend group, which was all LGBTQ 10--11 year olds. And so we pulled her out of all the influences, and slowly over time, she desisted — which goes against, you know, what all the professionals are saying. They say, once a kid says that, you know, they know themselves, right? Well, I mean, my story goes against that narrative. My daughter's story goes against that narrative. All the professionals are saying, we have to affirm, the President says, that's the thing to do. And if we had affirmed, and if we had left her in that situation, where would she be now? She might be, you know, taking drugs and having surgeries.
Jennifer actually approached the issue very carefully, helping her daughter see the errors of this ideology through deliberate Socratic reasoning (this is worth reading in full):
[I]t took her about, so a little over a year, I'd say, and it took her about that much time to come out of it.
So what happened was, at first I started with: Why do you feel like you're a boy? And honestly, she was defensive when I said that. "Well, I've just always felt that way." She didn't really have much explanation. "I don't like girly stuff." And I backed off on going direct at the transgender identity, and I started just talking about, "you can't always trust doctors." And we talked about the opioid crisis and how doctors can be incentivized to do things that aren't really good for you. We talked about other things in history. We talked about cults, we talked about Scientology, we watched some documentaries.
So I just started talking about things that I thought were parallel to what was happening. Parallels in history. And then eventually, we got to the point where I talked about detransitioners, and how they were really encouraged and everybody loved them when they decided that they were transgender; they got all kinds of attention, a new friend, group, all this stuff — and then later when they got older and realized that it was a mistake, and they had done these medical things to themselves — when they changed their mind — all those people who loved them so much, dropped them, and in fact, were nasty to them.
And she was like, "Well, that's just like a cult."
She just was taking in the things that I was telling her. And I think also, she wasn't in that environment, where she was getting something from it. She was getting social cred at school. She was getting more attention, special attention. She had more friends. I know people don't understand that might be happening. But it is. These kids are being very much celebrated and encouraged. And so she was out of that. And plus, she had been having a little bit of social trouble with friends. So I think, this was a thing that helped her, which is true of a lot of the kids who I think are doing it. And it just wasn't, it just wasn't an issue anymore. She wasn't being affirmed. She wasn't in that situation.