Their collective grief is insurmountable

This was on the letters page at The Australian today: The Grief of Parents. It is a lament from someone who can find almost no sympathy from anyone who could actually do something. We live in the saddest of times when this is the only avenue for someone to get this message out more widely.

The Grief of Parents

I am a member of numerous support groups for parents of children and young adults who have declared a transgender identity. In all these cases the declaration of a transgender identity has come completely out of the blue, giving parents good reason to be sceptical of their child’s sudden ideation. As parents who have raised and nurtured these young people, we are being increasingly marginalised and undermined by teachers, medical professionals and now the courts.

Our scepticism and calls for caution, due to the irreversible nature of hormonal and surgical interventions, are derided by health professionals who seem to have no qualms about turning these young people against their “unsupportive” parents. Families are being torn apart with the immediate “affirmation” of a nebulous identity by clinicians.

Many parents know their children have been groomed online. Many children come from backgrounds of trauma, such as family separation, bullying or sexual assault. Many are on the autism spectrum. All that parents want is caution, exploratory therapy and a return to the medical ethos of “Do no harm”.

The mental health of these parents is overlooked. They are struggling. Their collective grief is insurmountable. Having our children taken away from us (“Court dismisses appeal in transgender teen removal case”, 29/9) is not the solution. Too many families have already been destroyed by this phenomenon.

What will it take for our health officials to heed the calls of these distressed parents?

Judith Hunter, The Junction, NSW

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