Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
84 — Denise Caignon From 4thWaveNow: The View From Behind the Scenes

84 — Denise Caignon From 4thWaveNow: The View From Behind the Scenes


No transcript...

Denise Caignon is the founder of 4th wave now, the very first parent blog in the U.S. exposing the dangers and madness of the gender affirmative model of care for minors. In 2014, Denise seemed to be an ordinary U.S. mother who happened to work in healthcare, when her then 17-year-old daughter, out of the blue, texted her a link to a gender doctor’s website who claims he approves hormones and surgery for trans people.

Denise refers to herself as a “good liberal” who didn’t know anything about this but was willing to investigate, so she made phone calls. She soon became puzzled by the response of the gender affirmative clinicians and decided she needed to do her own research. As it turns out Denise is quite extraordinary. Always a maverick and a deep thinker, found herself accidentally starting the groundbreaking website, 4thWaveNow, which grew to play a huge role in careful analysis and documentation of the psychological and medical harms being done to young people in the name of gender.

Today, we talk with Denise as she reflects on how the U.S. has changed in its approach to this issue and some challenges we face when promoting gender exploratory therapy. This is a special conversation since Denise is so insanely knowledgeable about all things contemporary gender debates: from the big picture to the behind-the-scenes internet drama. Oh, and by the way, her daughter no longer identifies as trans, and she tells us about that story too. So, buckle in, and enjoy our discussion with 4thwavenow founder, Denise.


Extended Notes

  • In 2014, Denise’s daughter sent her a link to a gender clinic.

  • Denise researched as much as she could about trans people quickly.

  • She never intended to start a website but she needed to find other people who understood what she was going through.

  • She received death threats after posting her first article.

  • Denise describes the pop tarts story.

  • After a visit to a somewhat offline horse farm, Denise’s daughter desisted.

  • A certain percentage of gender dysphoric young people end up being gay or lesbian.

  • Denise doesn’t believe desistance is a bad thing.

  • Certain hormones can sterilize young people.

  • People who weren’t talking about gender issues in the past are now talking about gender issues.

  • Sasha, Stella, and Denise discuss the differences in the U.S. and the UK with regard to gender discussions.

  • Finding common ground can be difficult when all sides want to capitalize on gender discussions.

  • Denise describes the faith component involved in some detransition stories.

  • Denise was emotionally driven by her daughter’s position to research gender issues. This led to her writing 4thWaveNow.

  • Denise affirms that sometimes the truth is inconvenient.

  • Denise recounts the Susie Green/Mermaids story.

  • How the U.S. differs now is that there are more people discussing gender issues.

  • Is it conspiratorial to say institutional capture?

  • The funding of controlled studies about desistors is difficult to find.

  • The trio discusses the international differences in allowances for medical procedures.

  • Sasha points out that humans do self-destructive things.

  • What prevents professional people from speaking up with their thoughts about gender dysphoria?

  • The suicide statistic ultimately hurts parents who are trying to understand their children.

Wider Lens Renewal Retreat — Arizona 2022:

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.