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149: Walking My ROGD Daughter Through Desistance with January Littlejohn

"It was very clear that there was not going to be a straight line out of this."

In this episode, January Littlejohn, a wife and stay at home mom in Florida with a background in mental health counseling, joins Sasha & Stella, recounting the impact of her daughter's school socially transitioning her without consent. The lack of transparency and communication from the school exacerbated her daughter's struggles, leading to rapid emotional deterioration. January’s narrative unfolds against a backdrop of school districts adopting misleading guides, misinterpreting laws, and cutting parents out of crucial decisions under the guise of non-discrimination. 

“It’s very tragic to watch your child suffer but then be celebrated in that suffering at school...”

January delves into the struggle of unraveling a transgender announcement from her imaginative daughter and the alarming realization that radical steps, including withdrawing from school, were crucial after the shocking discovery of an LGBTQ+ guide adopted by her school district, painting parents as enemies, exposing a pervasive agenda that was blindsiding.

“How do you fight a monster that you can't actually see but is literally everywhere?”

This eye-opening account spans the emotional and isolating wilderness of realization, the challenges of navigating the system, and the lonely fight against a prevailing ideology. January highlights the harm of trans influencers and underscores the need to offer exposure to alternative role models, tapping into less superficial interests and curiosities around self-discovery. 

“We affirmed the pain, but never the identity.”

She focuses on centering intentions around repairing the parent-child relationship, openly reflecting on your own parenting dynamic, setting loving but firm boundaries, avoiding the stereo-type trap, planting ‘seeds’ for critical thinking around alternative explanations for painful feelings and struggles, providing ‘off-ramps’, and most importantly being open to a radical reset for the entire family. 

Supporting a child through desistance is an emotionally turbulent, complex, and individualized process. What works for one family may not be suitable for another. Each case requires a thoughtful and personalized approach based on the child's unique circumstances and needs, while still mindfully navigating the broader psychological impact on the entire family, including and especially the siblings. 

January’s is an important story, highlighting the need for awareness and critical thinking in the face of a powerful, yet misguided, ideological wave impacting so many families. Her personal experience has inspired her to lend her time, skills, and energy acting as a parental rights advocate and a Senior Fellow Parent Advocate with Do No Harm, helping other families navigate this crisis with their children.

Resources & Links

Do No Harm: Protecting healthcare from the disastrous consequences of identity politics

Parent Resource: Protect Children from Gender Ideology

Sasha’s Parent Coaching - Inspired Teen Therapy

Stella’s Parent Coaching

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Therapy First

If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting include:

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.