Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
109 — What If We Are All Wrong: A Mother’s Regret with Rose

109 — What If We Are All Wrong: A Mother’s Regret with Rose


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This episode is a powerful and important conversation exposing the increasingly devastating impact of the conflation between gender identity theory and the experience of living with gender dysphoria.

In this episode, Sasha & Stella speak with Rose who wishes to remain anonymous. Rose is the mother of two young sons and lives in the United States. In August of 2022, she published the piece “True Believer” on the Parents with Inconvenient Truths around Trans (PITT) Substack. She wrote “True Believer” to share her story and help other parents and concerned adults who are struggling to understand the dynamics underneath the current phenomenon of transgender children. Rose’s first-hand perspective is unique in that she and her partner were "affirming parents" — they thought their four-year-old son could be transgender and chose to socially transition him, only to realize they were wrong.

Rose’s story is incredibly important because, at its core, it’s a simple case of the best of intentions garnering devastating impact. This is a humanized account of the pain, distress, confusion, fear, and regret that so many families are facing in the wake of doing what (“experts” told them) was best for their child.


Rose’s original piece published on Parents with Inconvenient Truths around Trans (PITT) Substack:

“True Believer” —

Rose’s appearance episode of Triggernometry podcast —

Rose’s follow-up piece on PITT provides further reflections on the Triggernometry interview:

“A Return to Reality” —

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers

by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, MD

Eliza Mondagreen:

Neufeld Institute —

A Map of Detransition Island —

“Dear Theodosia”, from Hamilton (the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda)

“The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart” — Quote/Book by Alice Walker

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Extended Notes:

  • There is no guidebook for parenting. Parents looking for help in the gender realm, go to experts that may lead them astray.

  • Rose appreciates the podcast and the assistance it provides to people searching for more information.

  • Rose shares the struggle of identity versus instinct that took place in her household.

  • Rose fully supported her children when they made a decision about their identity.

  • Rose’s partner is a gender non-conformist who is grateful she did not medically transition.

  • Rose and her partner put their children into a progressive, educational gender identity program.

  • When Rose and her partner questioned a support group protocol, a therapist thought the couple had transphobia.

  • After a visceral reaction, the couple decided not to socially transition their youngest child.

  • Rose wanted to turn back the clock and react differently to her son’s gender declaration.

  • Rose yearned to reconnect with her son, as a boy.

  • After much contemplation, Rose told her son she was wrong about allowing him to choose his identity.

  • Sasha clarifies what it means to transition socially.

  • A friend reached out to Rose with an experience that mirrored her own when her son said “Call me girl.”

  • Sasha offers insights into child suggestibility and what happens when a psychological theory allows children to make mature decisions for themselves.

  • Rose still feels that she was responsible for her youngest son’s decisions.

  • Rose expresses the overwhelming despair she felt during her family’s experiences.

  • Rose explores the developmental perspective of child-rearing.

  • Rose shares why she decided to share her story.


“Everyone here is doing the best with the information they have. We need to make room for all of these stories.” — Sasha [2:56]

“We wanted to create a world where people can be who they are so they can express their gender identity but we still had that grounding in male and female.” — Rose [21:43]

“So much of this debate and the culture war and this information war and these dynamics that is this zeitgeist that we're living in, I think if I could boil it down to one thing, it is this unwillingness of people to accept what they cannot change this inability to really feel that futility.” — Rose [49:18]

“I think there's a vulnerability for these four-year-old boys in our current culture with the parents and institutions. I think there's something developmental there that we don’t totally understand.” — Rose [58:30]

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender's psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.