My Son is Transgender!
Standing in the Mexican food aisle holding a jar of Quemada Salsa, I start crying uncontrollably. My eyes blur, tears pour down my face, and I fight hard to hold back the sobs. I’m crying over a jar of salsa in the grocery store—and I can’t help it!
The name on the jar reminds me of the times my family went deer hunting near the town of Quemada—the times I experienced walks in the forest with my grandma. I think: If only my son had known my grandma as he was growing up; if only he had learned the wisdom I learned from her, he would never have made the choices he has made. Knowing his great-grandma would have helped him be strong, and he would not have listened to the voices that convinced him to reject everything he has ever known and choose the destructive path he is now following.
So, I stand holding the salsa jar and cry, because the pain of regret and heart-shattering sorrow are more than I can bear.
Who Can Understand?
Other people in the store—in fact, people anywhere who have not been down the road my family has traveled—cannot possibly understand. How could they? They have not had their heart ripped out of their chest, shredded and burned, and then been told they are overreacting and should embrace the situation and be happy about it. They have not had their wonderful, amazingly gifted, handsome, brilliant son tell them that he has been taking hormones for five months so he can grow breasts, because he believes he should become a woman. They have not experienced the dramatic personality transformation that turned their confident, eloquent, and articulate son into a paranoid recluse who can barely put two sentences together coherently. They have never seen their son’s bright, shining eyes and charming face cloud over with a darkness that changes his entire countenance into something eerie and foreboding. It’s understandable—people who have not been down this road cannot possibly understand!
Yet, people have their own ideas about how things like this happen, almost none of which are based on reality. Some believe that if parents do everything right, this will never happen to a child. They cast judgment, sure that the parents must have failed in some way to have “let” their child make these decisions.
The barrage of criticism starts in the form of well-meaning questions or comparisons:
“Didn’t you read the Bible with him daily?” Yes, I did! He was the child who even studied Christian apologetics on his own beyond what we studied together in our home.
“Didn’t you pray with him?” Yes, I did—every night for years and years until he refused to pray with me anymore.
“The problem is with public schools these days; there’s so much darkness and evil being taught there.” Actually, my son was homeschooled. I incorporated comparative religion studies to help our children be prepared for opposition to their spiritual ideology.
“Well, you know, homeschooled kids are so sheltered; he probably just hit college and started partying and doing things he wasn’t allowed to do before.” Actually, we had lots of activities outside our home. He lived at home during college, studied hard, and made good grades. He wasn’t a partying kid.
“Your son probably just wasn’t well enough prepared for the dangers of college and the ideological differences he would find there.” Interesting suggestion, but given how much we talked about the challenges he would have to his faith in college, with professors requiring their opinions to be echoed in the classroom for passing grades, and how strongly my son felt that his Christian apologetics studies had prepared him—even giving him a stunning ability to debate his faith with those who opposed it—I reject this comparison. We talked to our son plenty!
In most cases, trying to explain is futile. So I ask people to pray—to reach out to my son and guide him back to the truth of who he really is, but I have stopped trying to explain!
Yes, it’s true! I never prepared my son for facing a challenge against his gender. It never once occurred to me that I would need to, that he would ever question the gender of his birth. He was a masculine male, aggressive, competitive, tall, and so very handsome! All the girls loved him, and he had two special girlfriends in high school. So never once did we think he would be in danger of losing his identity. Why would we think that? He seemed secure and confident in who he was—so bold and adventurous! It never entered our minds that we would need to talk to him about the lies of transgenderism and the destruction it causes. No parent thinks their child is going to make that choice. And when it happens, it isn’t something any parent is ready for! No parent wants to think of their son cutting off his privates, becoming a eunuch, losing his ability to have children, and pretending to be a female instead. It is unthinkable!!
Day by Day
So, I stood in the grocery store crying over a jar of salsa, and chastening myself for crying. I should be stronger than this! I should be better now. It has been months since my son moved out. Why can’t I handle this? I looked at the jar and wished so much that my grandma was still alive. There’s so much pain, so much sorrow, so much I wish I could change, but I am powerless to change anything. There are no answers, no solutions, only waves of sorrow. I regained my composure, put the salsa in my cart, and made my way to the checkout. I couldn’t think any more, couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t remember what I had come to the store to get. I needed to go home—not that home helped much, because the pain follows me everywhere. At least at home I could bury my face in my pillow and cry, and not worry about people thinking I was insane.
And so it goes, another day of sadness, heartbreak, and loss. Some people tell me stories of how their prodigal child came back after many years. But how will I make it eleven years, fifteen years, or as long as it takes for my son to return to his senses, if I can’t get through one hour at the grocery store? Some days I’m not sure I even want to survive that long—the pain is too great and it never goes away. I have learned to hide it, suppress it, cover it up with a smile that makes everyone think I’m doing okay. I smile through the pain, laugh through the tears, dance through the sorrow—but it does not go away! My son is gone!
A Mad World
The whole world seems to have gone mad! The media would have us believe that transgenderism is to be embraced and celebrated rather than treated and cured. When our son’s entire personality changed and he walked away from everyone and everything he knew before, we were told to be happy about it. When our son suddenly started acting like he was demon possessed and making drastic choices that would destroy his life, we were supposed to be happy about that? It makes no sense, but everyone who disagrees with it is targeted as a bigot and a hatemonger. So we are not allowed to talk about it, discuss it, or even mourn the loss of our son. We should consider the empty chair at the table normal—that everything is fine and the silence golden!
The Power of Lies
That jar of salsa sat on the shelf in the pantry for several months before we finally opened it. When I looked at it, I kept wishing my grandma was here and wondering what went wrong. From what we can tell, our son made friends with some “Progressive Christians” who reject the truth of the Bible in favor of the teachings of the world, who told him that to find his true self he needed to become someone different than what God had made him. Somehow, he got the message from those friends that, to become closer to God, he had to reject the person God had made and become someone else. It is so far from everything he was taught growing up that it is hard to see how he arrived at that conclusion or even believed a word of it. But the devil is a crafty snake and slithered into his mind, getting him to believe a whole pack of lies about who he was, and what would make him happy. At that point, nothing else we said or did mattered, because he stopped listening to his parents and would only listen to the lies, embracing each larger and more destructive lie with more and more enthusiasm until he could no longer speak properly or communicate coherently. His speech patterns changed so dramatically that he couldn’t even communicate on basic topics. And his deep, resonant voice changed to a nasal squeaky voice because of the hormones, so that the words he did speak came from the voice of someone we did not recognize. It was painful to see the destruction he was bringing on himself!
Our son has been gone for two years now. He doesn’t write, he doesn’t call, and he left no forwarding address. We have no idea where he is, what he is doing, or how much more damage he has done to himself. Do we dare hope that he is recovering or healing? All we can do is pray. I pray every day that God will send Christians into his life who will speak truth to him, who will influence him for the better, who will lead him into the light and help him to banish the demons that are tormenting him and embrace the power of God who loves him and wants to heal him. I pray that God will put roadblocks in his path to prevent him from mutilating or destroying his body—or his life—any further. I pray that God will turn him around and use him to lead the thousands like him out of darkness and into the light, and that this global demonic attack will come to an end as the Lord sets all the captives free!
So the next time you see someone in the store crying over a jar of salsa or a pair of baby booties, pray for them! You probably have not walked the path they are on or have any idea of the pain they are experiencing. Just pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to heal their broken heart. We all are dealing with something that only God can fix. So while we cry, we keep praying that God will fix it soon—before it’s too late!