If you’ve been tuned into recent activities in our nation’s capital, or if you’ve been responding to NC Family’s multiple Action Alerts, you’re undoubtedly aware of the so-called “Equality Act,” which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on February 25. This dangerous legislation would elevate “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to legally protected status alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. As of right now, this dangerous legislation has yet to pass the U.S. Senate. Furthermore, several cities and counties across North Carolina have passed “SOGI ordinances” to similarly add these classifications to local employment, housing, and public accommodation regulations.
With LGBTQ activists pushing our government in a more and more radical direction, it is important to remember that real people will be adversely affected by these laws. If these laws and ordinances are passed, stories like that of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and Washington State florist Barronelle Stutzman will become more and more common. Another personal story we are pleased to share with you is that of Kristie, a North Carolina mother of a transgender-identifying daughter. Kristie has bravely chosen to share her story with us on this week’s Family Policy Matters radio show and podcast, in Part 1 of a 2-part interview.
Kristie’s daughter “came out” as transgender in her senior year of high school, and for Kristie’s family, this felt very out of the blue. “She had had a normal girl childhood, all of the typical things that girls do,” shares Kristie. “She had become friends with another girl that was already identifying as transgender, and she just quickly wanted to start transitioning.”
From school administrators to former family friends to even doctors, no one supported Kristie and her husband’s desire to help their daughter appropriately address the gender dysphoria she was experiencing. “There’s nothing really that we can do to stop her, especially when there are so many cheerleaders out there trying to encourage her to keep going down this path of self-destruction.”
Kristie’s family has been estranged from her daughter for three years now. Kristie explains that her daughter suffered from “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” a term used to describe those who never showed any type of gender identity disorder prior to puberty. “The statistics show that there has been a 4000% increase in the number of girls that are coming out as transgender all of a sudden, and our daughter definitely came out suddenly.”
Tune in to Family Policy Matters this week to hear Kristie share her family’s personal story as victims of the transgender movement, in Part 1 of a 2-part show.
JOHN RUSTIN: Thanks for joining us this week for Family Policy Matters. If you’ve been tuned into activities in our nation’s Capitol over the past few weeks, you’ve certainly heard a lot about the so-called “Equality Act,” a bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on February 25th, and that would elevate the classifications of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to legally protected status, similar to race, color, religion, sex, and national origin in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
We’re also seeing a push in cities and counties across North Carolina to pressure elected officials to add these classifications to local ordinances relating to employment, housing, and public accommodations. These are exactly the same types of laws and ordinances that have been used to attack and punish Christian business people across the country like Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips, Washington State florist Barronelle Stutzman, and many others who are simply trying to live their lives and operate their businesses in accordance with their personal and deeply held religious beliefs.
But these radical activist efforts by the LGBTQ + community go far beyond just trying to cancel Christian business people. Their ultimate aim is to use the power of the government, our government, to force and coerce every citizen in our nation to accept, comply with, and celebrate their behavioral choices, their lifestyles, and their ideology.
Today we want to share the personal side of this very critical and important issue. You’ve likely heard a lot about the transgender movement from both sides of the debate, but today we are joined by the mother of a transgender-identifying young adult who has bravely chosen to share her family’s difficult story. Kristie lives in the Triangle region of North Carolina, and she and her husband Kevin are parents to four children. Kristie’s oldest child, Danielle, began identifying as a male back in 2016 when she was a senior in high school. Since then Kristie and Kevin have sought to love their daughter well, while still holding firm to their faith in God and His Truth about creation, human identity, and sexuality.
Kristie joins us today to share her very personal story and to shed light on the incredible dangers of the transgender ideology that has gained such a foothold in our culture.
Kristie, thanks so much for joining us today.
KRISTIE: Thank you so much for having me.
JOHN RUSTIN: Well, Kristie, as we begin, tell us a bit about your background and your family.
KRISTIE: Well, I grew up in Eastern North Carolina in a small town called Fairfield, and I went to UNC where I met my husband, who is from New York. After we got married, we moved to New York. My husband was attending law school up there and I was working in accounting for a private equity firm. And I did that until my daughter was born, and then I became a stay at home mom. My husband practiced law for a little while and then went on to follow his lifelong dream of working as an investment banker in New York. He did that until he was ready to retire, and at that time we decided that we should return to North Carolina to raise our children here and hopefully take advantage of the wonderful universities that we have here in North Carolina. We moved just as my daughter was starting high school.
JOHN RUSTIN: Kristie, how did the issue of your daughter’s gender dysphoria first come about?
KRISTIE: Well, she came in one night when I was cooking dinner and just said to me, “Mom, I’m transgender. I’m a boy. I’ve always been a boy and I need to start transitioning.” And this was during her senior year of high school. It came out of the blue. She had had a normal girl childhood, all of the typical things that girls do from playing with baby dolls to watching Hannah Montana. She loved the Boy Band, One Direction. Just, you know, was a typical teenage girl, up until that senior year. And she had become friends with another girl that was already identifying as transgender. And she just quickly wanted to start transitioning. She started wearing boys’ clothing. She had cut her hair short. She was claiming to be a lesbian. And that year when she was at home was very, very difficult. I had many conversations with her. We tried to get help for her from therapists and it turned out to really cause more harm than good.
But it was when she went away to college, and she did go out of state, when things really fell apart. She was insisting on starting medically transitioning. At that point she was 18 years old, so my husband and I really had no say so in what she was doing, but we did try to convince her to wait at least until she graduated from college before she took any type of medical steps. She didn’t want to wait, so through the help of a former friend of mine who’s a social worker in New York, she set up a GoFundMe that would help her pay her college tuition and start medically transitioning. When she did that, she became a celebrity overnight, and she left our family. We had only asked her to wait until she finished college and she refused to do that. She started taking testosterone and within six months, she had started growing facial hair. Her voice had dropped.
That was in 2018. So we’ve been estranged from her for three years. And she has recently had her breasts amputated. My family is very upset about what she’s done. There’s nothing really that we can do to stop her, especially when there are so many cheerleaders out there trying to encourage her to keep going down this path of self-destruction.
JOHN RUSTIN: Well, that’s incredible, and thank you for sharing that. I know it’s difficult to talk about, but you’ve been gracious enough to share your story with us previously. I know that you work with some ministries that seek to provide assistance and support to families in similar situations.
I’d love to go back a little bit and just sort of unpack some aspects of what you shared in your family’s story. You said the change in Danielle seemed to come about pretty abruptly, pretty suddenly, when she was in high school and that she was hanging out with at least one friend who identified as transgender. What other influences do you believe had an impact in that?
KRISTIE: I would say the Internet was 100 percent a major influence to her coming out as transgender. She spent a lot of time on those social media sites like Tumbir, Reddit, Instagram. There are so many people out there that are doing this, and it’s unfortunate because these children are just vulnerable kids who are trying to find their way in the world. And, you know, with our culture that we live in, there’s such a push to identify as something. For a teenage girl who maybe isn’t fitting in with the popular crowd at school, she’s trying to find her way. And I think that was definitely a big part of it. And, she was also suffering from depression and had a lot of anxiety just knowing that she was about to graduate and go off to college. But also at her school, there was a Gay-Straight Alliance that she had become a member of as an ally, and I think that there was a lot of influence there as well.
JOHN RUSTIN: Kristie, on that note, what actions did you and your husband take to try to help Danielle address this issue of gender dysphoria that she was struggling with?
KRISTIE: We had many conversations with her trying to figure out why she was feeling this way and to help her through it. We also immediately sought the help of a therapist that could question why she felt this way and help her figure it out. That turned out to be affirming, which really just validated her thoughts and made it harder. We also took her to a doctor to get some medication for depression and anxiety, and that really didn’t help. Within 20 minutes of talking to that doctor, the doctor was calling her by her preferred name and the male pronouns. It really just blew my mind that a medical professional could sit there and see that she’s a girl, but yet the doctor was calling her by the male pronouns.
We also talked to school administrators. I spoke to two different deans at the university that she attended. And I spoke to my priest. I talked to any politician that would listen to me. I sent emails. I really felt like there was no one out there that wanted to help me. I eventually did find a wonderful support group and a prayer group. And these prayer warriors are praying for my daughter and all of these children that have fallen prey to this transgender epidemic. And on top of that, I joined a support group for parents of ROGD kids.
JOHN RUSTIN: And ROGD is “rapid onset gender dysphoria.”
KRISTIE: That’s correct. So rapid onset gender dysphoria is a term that was coined by Dr. Lisa Littman, who is a professor at Brown University. She basically coined this phrase “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” because these are people who never showed any type of gender identity disorder prior to puberty. There has been some pushback on this whole idea that there is a new crop of kids that are ROGD, but the evidence is there. The statistics show that there has been a 4000 percent increase in the number of girls that are coming out as transgender all of a sudden, and our daughter definitely came out suddenly. We didn’t know how to stop her because it was just so powerful. The more that we talked to her about it, it was almost like she dug her feet in and went deeper into this. It’s very frustrating, and it’s also very isolating because I had kept it a secret. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my mother whom I share everything with.
It does affect the whole family. My three sons have certainly been negatively affected by it. Probably my oldest son has been affected the most, and he’s only two years younger than my daughter; they grew up together. It’s just very hard because he can’t get away from it. He has those special memories of times when he and his sister would just go out for a drive or when they were working together. She’s left our family and they feel like they’ve been abandoned. They were also taken by surprise when she came out, and so they’re hurting, they’re really hurting. As teenage boys, you know, they don’t really share their emotions very easily. I do think that they’re holding a lot in, there’s a lot of anger and grief that they just don’t know how to say.
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