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One of the ROGD Mums testimony

What I’m here to talk about has utterly consumed the past seven years of my life, but I only have a few minutes to share it with you today.

When my daughter was 15, I was thrown quite suddenly into the world of the transgender movement after she had been raped by a schoolmate. I only found out by stumbling upon a school exercise book that she’d left on my desk, quite out in the open. The first line of the journal read, “it’s been 7 days since THEY raped me”. I was horrified, made worse by the thought that it had been more than one person. When I asked her about the awful incident, she explained that it was only one person whose preferred pronoun was ‘they’, my first encounter with “prefered pronouns”.

I contacted the police the next day but they were not interested in investigating.

We took our daughter to a psychologist and pulled her out of school to start her at TAFE to get her away from her rapist.

My daughter made a series of declarations over the following several weeks- first that she was confused because a boy she liked had adopted what I have come to know as an opposite-sex “gender identity”, then that she was a lesbian and finally that she believed herself to be a male trapped in a female body- which she vehemently defended as fact, despite all biological realities. I was shocked and confused.

I took her to our GP who referred her to the gender clinic at the children’s hospital. The waiting list was quite long so we were told not to expect an appointment until the following year.

During the wait, there was an incident in which I confiscated my daughter’s phone for inappropriate social media use at 3 am - I parented her. A few days later, a young man who seemed to know my daughter came into our home stating that he was there to take my son. He said he was from an organisation called Transfolk and in the confusion, it hit me that he had come to take my daughter. The young man pushed through our home, and me, to gather her things. He called 000 after I forced him out the front door, terrified by what was going on.

While the police were assessing the situation, my daughter told them that she was suicidal- using foreign and seemingly scripted words, phrases and dialect the entire time. Though the officers told me that they didn’t believe she was suicidal, they took her for a psychiatric evaluation anyway.

At the hospital, my daughter told the police about the rape. Thinking that someone was finally taking it seriously, I retrieved the notebook for their investigation.

My daughter spoke with a hospital psychiatrist who then told us to respect her wishes because “it’s better to have a live son than a dead daughter”- the first but not the last time I’ve heard this particular phrase.

When my daughter was sent home they gave us a list of rules to follow, not to do with suicidality or rape trauma, but only her “gender identity”. We were not to take away her devices under any circumstances, not to punish her for anything and we were to remove her childhood photos from our walls, as that person was said to be dead now.

A woman was then sent to our home, from where we don’t know, and she interrogated my husband and I for seven hours, confirming for our daughter that we were terrible, abusive parents- her only evidence of this being that we hadn’t taken the pictures down or recently repainted her bedroom walls.

Three months later we had our initial appointment at the gender clinic with the clinic nurse. Within 25 minutes she slipped my daughter a form, which I later learned was a consent form for a variety of hormones, explained the gender clinic process, quickly skimmed over the medical risks and suggested that we start her on Puberty Blockers. I was stunned. I truly expected the gender clinic to evaluate her in some way before offering her powerful drugs.

When I didn’t accept the puberty blockers on my daughter’s behalf the nurse said, “well maybe just some testosterone then!” When I declined, she advised my daughter to go to the adult clinic when she turns 18. Later, the clinic’s head psychiatrist and psychologist both insisted that the rape trauma had nothing to do with her supposed gender dysphoria.

My daughter was receiving no help for her trauma.

A few months later, still angry that I hadn’t said yes to the hormones, my daughter ran away while the rest of us were out one evening. She left with very little, even leaving behind her anti-depressants, which greatly concerned us. We called the police who did manage to locate her but refused to tell us where she was. They made a point to tell us that she had moved in with someone from “the trans community”. We learned that she later moved into a halfway house for homeless youth.

After the shock of our daughter leaving wore off a bit, we followed up with the police regarding her rape. They had destroyed the notebook, the only evidence they had, and the officers, the police corruption department, the police ombudsman and the Freedoms of Information all refused to answer any of our questions.

There was nothing else we could do.

Time passed and we met with our daughter just after her 18th birthday. She started testosterone injections just a few weeks after that. The first time she called me after starting these drugs, I almost didn’t believe it was her- her voice had changed so much.

Over the next couple of years, she only contacted us when she needed something but I always came running when she called. I used her new name but that wasn’t enough. She demanded that I state that I’d only given birth to two sons, no daughter at all. Of course, I hadn’t and I wasn’t willing to change my history to help her rewrite her own.

When I found a Go Fund Me page for my daughter set up to raise money to remove her breasts, I contacted the surgeon she had listed on the page. I explained that she was struggling with untreated rape trauma and was in a great deal of emotional distress. This surgeon feigned compassion and then printed my emails and gave them all to my daughter. She had the surgery in January 2021, right in the middle of the Covid outbreak when all non-essential surgeries had been cancelled. Though she got what she wanted, she was furious with me for interfering and she cut ties completely.

I started spending the bulk of my time reading and researching. I found a group called Parents of ROGD Kids, which later asked me to start a parent support group in Australia, which I did. Our numbers grew incredibly quickly. I personally speak to every single new member so they might not feel as desperate, isolated and crazy as I did seven years ago.

I have personally heard thousands of parents’ stories and the similarities are astonishing. The children seem to be using the same words and phrases like a script, all following the same steps toward and through medicalization. These are parents of all races, with different beliefs and backgrounds all over Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, Israel, Italy, Hong Kong, Sweden, Singapore and New Zealand. How are children from all these different countries all saying and doing the same thing? Why are parents all around the world being told the same thing: ``better a live son than a dead daughter” or vice versa? This statement is not only emotional blackmail, but it’s also not true. We didn’t get another live son. We got a mutilated, confused, unhappy, pseudo-pretend ‘son’ who’s still our much-loved daughter.

I’ve also spoken to many detansitioners whose stories of transition and regret also follow a marked pattern, many left with anger toward the parents and individuals who affirmed their delusions. These young people are not being given the care they desperately need, now that they are no longer “transgender”.

The government has become too involved in the day-to-day running of families. There is huge state over-reach. These parents are NOT abusive, they’re concerned for their children and rightly so as the side effects of puberty blockers are significant and permanent, the same goes for this use of testosterone and oestrogen.

These outrageous social and political changes have caused me to lose my daughter, her to lose her health and her breasts, and all of us to lose our God-given right to parent our own children, our trust in our institutions, and our faith in our government.


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Catherine Karena
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