Mutilated and broken, is not a bizarre paranoid fantasy. It is currently the lived experience of tens of thousands of families across the West—and likely far more than that. These stories are unfolding every day. These ideologies are not simply absurd abstractions pushed out by recently-invented university departments—they are the guiding principles of the very institutions we once assumed had the best interests of our children at heart.
As Mary Eberstadt noted in her 2016 book It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies, most people in orthodox Christian circles have, at some point, had a conversation about what they might do if their governments grow even more overtly hostile to Christian beliefs and practices. If you’re an American in a blue state, that might mean joining the growing conservative exodus to red states; if you’re a Canadian, that might involve deciding to move to the United States. If you believe that the American experiment has failed, you might—like Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option—decide to decamp to Hungary. I’ve been part of plenty of these discussions myself.
In the last few years, mainstream culture has become, in many ways, more tangibly dangerous. The complete colonization of our collective institutions by the transgender movement is one example. Many parents have reached out to me to describe the helplessness they experience when their children are introduced to gender ideology at school or online, decide to take irreversible cross-sex hormones or undergo sex-change surgeries—with nothing they can do to stop it. The educators, the medical professionals, the mental health experts—all stand in between desperate parents and their confused children. The pain they endure is cruel and unique—that of helplessly watching their children disintegrate before their eyes.
The Substack newsletter “Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans” regularly posts such stories, and a recent column titled “Eastern European Mom” caught my eye. It is written by an Eastern European immigrant to the United States who discovered that her 13-year-old daughter had gone through a “mental meltdown.” She was hospitalized and while in hospital stated that she was a boy. Her mother decided to do the only thing she could when she realized that every single institution supported a sex change for her daughter:
I subsequently learned that my daughter’s public middle school had socially transitioned her behind my back. Alarmed at this plot to take my child away, I immediately made plans to return to Eastern Europe. I located a school back home near my family for both of my children. I contacted the school director, explained the situation and was assured that they would not affirm and that they would work with me no matter what struggles my daughter has. So, I sent both kids to Eastern Europe to stay with family and I followed a few weeks later after making arrangements to work remotely.
When I returned to Eastern Europe, I opened up to my very large family about what had happened with my daughter. As opposed to many of the stories I’ve heard about with US families, where family members are quick to affirm regardless of what the parents see as being in the children’s best interest, my family was shocked.