Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
70 - We're Back! — Parents Lost in a Medical Scandal

70 - We're Back! — Parents Lost in a Medical Scandal


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We’re back! Sasha and Stella update listeners with how they’ve spent their six-week break and jump right into discussing the plight of parents whose kids are experiencing gender distress. The first-ever in-person Wider Lens retreat for parents was held in Maryland in March 2022. This was a profound experience for the attendees and also for Sasha and Stella, who reflect today upon the common themes picked up at the retreat. These include medical negligence, parental guilt, and the transformative and comforting power of connection that emerged between parents who truly understand each other. Forthcoming plans for Season Two are also highlighted in this episode.

Extended Notes

  • Proof the mental health lesson of “take a break” can have a positive effect.

  • Stella describes how she spent her time away from the podcast.

  • Struggling with writing, Sasha found inspiration in Patricia Goodson’s book, Becoming an Academic Writer.

  • Sasha is creating an environment that is conducive to calm, mindful writing.

  • The interest and impact of the Wider Lens in-person retreat.

  • Sasha calls out the medical professionals who neglect their jobs.

  • It was a warm reception at the retreat as parents mentioned the podcast. Stella felt like she was meeting old friends.

  • At the retreat, parents from all different backgrounds were united by sharing their stories, some for the first time.

  • A common thread between the families was that therapists had recommended social or medical transitions without performing proper assessments.

  • Meeting in person brought a sense of community to parents as similar patterns emerged.

  • Parents often blame themselves but they need to cut themselves some slack. There is no formula.

  • Empathy and understanding are the foundational building blocks of healing.

  • The needs of parents who have boys are profoundly different from girls’ gender dysphoria.

  • Both Stella and Sasha noticed that a lot of sibling tension emerged during the retreat.

  • There is not a lot of family-oriented therapy around gender.

  • Parents who worry about their parenting are probably in the top 5% of caregivers.

  • There is a requirement for parents and that is to let go and trust the process.

  • It is easy for parents to lose themselves when their child feels lost.

  • Identity can trap us in very dangerous ways.

  • During her time off, Sasha has been re-exploring Tao.

  • Sasha recommends The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents,

  • by William Martin to Stella.

  • There will be another retreat in Arizona at the end of October 2022.

  • Sasha shares the new ideas for forthcoming podcasts.

  • Stella is further exploring the state of the nation in the United States.

  • 2022 could be a pivotal year for gender.

This podcast is sponsored by ReIME and Genspect. Visit and to learn more.

For more about our show:

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.