Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
16 - Gender Dysphoria: What It's Like For Parents

16 - Gender Dysphoria: What It's Like For Parents

Loneliness, isolation and confusion often characterises the experience of parents of the gender dysphoric child. A parallel process emerges where the children are obsessed with transition and the parents become obsessed with ROGD. Trying to set loving boundaries is often misinterpreted by others as the parent being the last standing bigot. In this episode we try to empathise with parents who feel they’ve lost control over their child’s wellbeing 


Gender Dysphoria Support Network: 

Sasha’s Parent Resource Page: 

Sasha’s YouTube Channel: 

Bayswater Support: 

Gender Critical Support Board: 

Our Duty: 

Extended Notes

  • Many parents feel lonely and isolated to be a parent of a child going through gender dysphoria.

  • Sasha has been contacted by 1,500 families and has consulted with around 500 families on the topics of gender dysphoria.

  • How did Stella and her parents deal with her inner struggles with her gender when she was growing up?

  • There is a tendency to take a gender non-conforming child to a professional. Parents want to be good parents. Parents don’t want to screw their children up.

  • For parents who are referred to a gender clinic, the things that the clinic recommends are utterly shocking. Why can’t kids just be kids?

  • Gender clinics use fear tactics on the parents, and they listen.

  • Early gender intervention is very damaging to the child.

  • Suddenly, it no longer becomes about the child and their unique tastes. Their gender becomes political.

  • Parents feel very guilty when they find out that they were being led down a path of puberty blockers that could permanently alter their children’s lives forever. They thought they were just being liberal and supporting their child’s gender identity.

  • A good parent does “this.” And most parents blindly follow that rule.

  • Puberty is coming fast and now parents don’t know what to do.

  • Puberty blockers are made to seem normal in these circles, but this is a serious decision that you should not be taking lightly.

  • What do you do when you have a very traditional gender-conforming child, and then one day they decide they’re no longer a She and want to be called a He?

  • Parents get such a shock that they end up researching and researching to find out more.

  • Some parents are drowning in trying to keep this a secret.

  • By questioning whether this is right/wrong, parents get seen as transphobic, even though they’re “so liberal”!

  • Parents want so desperately to help their children out of this dark place. It ends up being a very lonely journey for the parent because the world/society wants them to blindly accept their child as they are.

  • All of a sudden, their child is getting called a new name that the parent didn’t even pick. They’re losing their parental authority and they’re being painted as the bad guys for trying to be objective.

  • Bad therapy is worse than no therapy.

  • How can parents connect with other families experiencing this same issue?

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:

Learn more about our show:

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in its fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.