The letter began, “Mom, I have got something really important to tell you but, it’s probably not what you are thinking.” My 14-year-old son went on to tell me that he identified as transgender and that I actually had a daughter who was lesbian.

Dysphoria was defined and a link was included “just in case” I wanted to look up more information. He spoke of the pain he was going through and likened it to wearing a mask with razors inside. He expressed his fear that we would not accept him and asked for help.

Stunned, I said, “I love you” and then I hugged him. What else could I have done? What would you do? Think about it, because the transgender movement is moving forward full steam and is possibly headed towards you.

I am an almost atheist, college-educated, drink a little too much, vaccine-sceptical, apolitical, live-and-let-live person. I could care less about how people dress, whom people love or how people behave as long as it does not negatively impact others.

My concerns were just things like whether my kid, who is now in eighth grade, would win his soccer game. Why his grades were slipping. And whether he would find some “real” friends this year.

That one-page letter changed my life and the life of my family forever. I discovered a dark side of social media that many people don’t talk about and I was unaware of. I learned that my son had been preyed on by an online groomer who had become his “friend”.

My kid’s life has never been easy. As an infant, he had numerous health conditions but luckily over time, he became medically stable. When other kids started basketball and baseball, he was in various therapies to help him achieve delayed motor skills. We saw that he was gifted and unique but always a little out of step with his peers.

As he got older, he caught up physically and continued to excel mentally, but the social awkwardness and struggles relating to peers mounted. He was shunned, called a “faggot”, teased for wanting to learn, and called “girlie”. He used his intellect to fight back but it just made things worse. His father and I would reassure each other with statements like “it will be better when he gets to college” and “he just needs to find his tribe.”

Well, the tribe – or rather the “trans” – found him. 

A few weeks after the big announcement, I grabbed the school-issued laptop to make sure it was charged and ready for a day of virtual learning. I flipped it open and saw a name I didn’t recognize. I carried the laptop into the living room and when I saw my son’s face, I knew that what I found would not be good. 

I found Deviant Art, Tik Tok, YouTube and Reddit. Late at night while we were sleeping, my son had created a profile on Reddit and joined many adult subgroups. As I looked through his posts, he initially asked simple questions like why was he different from other guys; was he gay; and what could he do about hating his body.

Then I saw the responses he got. “UR totally trans.” “Have you ever heard of being trans?”

“Maybe you are a girl.” “If u are sad, cutting can sometimes help.” “Start skipping meals, you can be thin and look like a girl.” 

As if this were not enough, I then saw that he was “invited” by a “friend” to video-chat because typing was just “too much”.

I sifted through the computer files and was shocked to learn that this “friend” was an adult transwoman who was “teaching” him how to be trans. This “friend” helped him write the letter to me and told him to see a doctor so he could get meds to “help” him become a girl. This oh-so-helpful “friend” sent him dysphoria hypnosis recordings to “help him relax and sleep”.

I was terrified when I discovered that this “friend” had told my son that his parents were transphobic, toxic bigots if we did not accept him. He offered to pick him up if he needed to get away from us. Think about it. An adult self-identified transwoman gave my 14-year-old son medical advice, provided suggestive hypnotic material and encouraged him to leave the home of his parents! Does this scare you?

Is this an isolated case? I assure you that it is not. If you are not checking your child’s cell phone or internet history, you should be.

As parents, we thought we were diligent. My child had a school-issued laptop, “just in case” he was quarantined. I thought it stayed in the backpack. I thought it had internet protections installed by the school. Because of my ignorance, my quirky and struggling kid was exposed to the dark regions of the trans community that most people are unaware of and some groups don’t even want to mention.

I have learned that identifying as transgender is not all rainbows, glitter, equality, and being “brave”. No one talks about online groomers. No one talks about mentally unstable people. No one mentions trans adults looking for young teens to “teach”. Well, I am talking and I am mentioning!

Now my concerns are whether my son will try to reconnect with his “friend”. Whether he will push for medication that may stunt his growth and delay his cognitive development. Whether he will tell me “transwomen are women”. Whether he will argue that there is no “real” difference between us. Whether he will happily throw away the name that we lovingly picked out for him and begin referring to it as a “dead name”.

And last but not least, whether he will have a surgeon invert the skin of his penis in an attempt to create some false version of a vagina.

To end my essay here is shocking but this is where we are. What will I do if my son does these things? What would you do? Keep a look-out because the transgender juggernaut may be coming your way.

The author writes from the southern US. Her name has been withheld to protect her family’s privacy.

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