In December, a therapist told a tormented Lynn Meagher that she should practice self-care, have a support network, and go to the emergency room if she wanted to kill herself.
The counselor then proceeded to make her feel guilty for supposedly being a judgmental person and essentially blamed her for her woes.
This harsh therapy session cost Meagher $160.
The Christian Post connected with the Seattle-area mom in January when she was in Washington, D.C., and followed up with a subsequent Skype interview. She is sharing her personal journey and experiences with CP because the public does not know what parents endure. The prevailing narrative coming out of purportedly mainstream media outlets uncritically promotes gender transition and everything that comes with it, including parents who are celebrating their child's new identity as the opposite sex.
This is her story.
Crushed beyond belief, Meagher went home and spent several days bedridden, nearly paralyzed with heartache.
At the recommendation of a friend, she had gone in to see this particular counselor for help in processing her confusion and sadness after her 23-year-old daughter, Emily (not her real name) informed her that she no longer wanted to be in a relationship and asked that she not try to contact her. Emily believed she was transgender and had changed her name to Evan, began taking testosterone, and was going through life as though she was a man.
Emily is the second of Meagher's children to identify as transgender.
In 2003, Meagher's son, Daniel (not his real name), who is now 36 and has legally changed his name to Daniella, came home on leave from the Navy at Christmas and announced he had always wanted to be a woman. Approximately two years later he traveled to Thailand and had his genitals amputated, got breast implants, and had his Adam's apple shaved down, which is called a chondrolaryngoplasty. Daniel was ultimately kicked out of the military because it was said that he had a personality disorder. Meagher also has a third child, a daughter, Anna (not her real name), who is 22.
Meagher is using her real name in this article and not a pseudonym — as others with similar stories have done — because she feels she must be courageous given the current state of affairs. Because her children are not minors, she faces no potential legal repercussions as has been the case in several jurisdictions around the country when parents refuse to go along with their children's self-determined "gender identity" and the accompanying therapies, medical practices and surgical interventions.
"The reason I am choosing to speak publicly is because I want people to be aware of the grief and loss that many parents experience. I have talked with many parents who describe their lives as a horror film. Watching your child struggle is one thing. Watching them reject their body, insist they are now a different person, a different sex, demand hormone treatments and a new identity, it's unbelievably difficult," Meagher said in a February interview.
"Add to that the fact that it's nearly impossible to get help either for yourself or your child that's not transgender-affirming, and help your child to actually sort out their issues, and parents are isolated in this grief."
Daniel becomes Daniella
Meagher lost contact with her son for nearly a decade after he came out as transgender. She reconnected with him in 2013, which was a struggle because she didn't feel she could call him "she" or a woman, and use his preferred female name while remaining true to her beliefs — particularly that sex cannot be changed and no amount of cosmetic surgery can alter biology.
"I did the best I could to have a relationship with him where I just loved him for himself, and was hoping that we could just disagree on what we disagreed with and love each other anyway," Meagher said.
They managed a workable relationship until the spring of 2016 when he asked her a "litmus test" type of question about a pending bill in the state related to whether bathrooms and other single-sex intimate spaces should be opened on the basis of "gender identity." When she didn't answer the way he wanted, he wrote her out of his life, she explained.
Meagher only saw her son one time after the 2016 presidential election. It was at a coffee shop where he called her a "fascist" several times. He had met her to ask if he could obtain a copy of her birth certificate. Meagher was born in Canada and he was exploring the possibility of moving there in light of Donald Trump winning.
"I didn't even want to discuss these issues with him. I felt like he was allowed to believe what he wanted to believe and be who he was but I wasn't allowed the same thing, to be who I had always been. I wasn't allowed to be me. I had to change what I believed in order to be acceptable to him," Meagher said.
The mother of three describes herself as a Bible-believing Christian with conservative-leaning political views.
Daniel started telling other family members and siblings what a horrible person Meagher was. Whenever he was around he would manage to control the family dynamics in order to forbid her from being present. She missed out on family events like her daughter's graduation, holidays and birthdays. To Meagher's bewilderment, somehow he was able to manipulate everyone, ensuring that she was always excluded. The only times Meagher could see her daughters was when he wasn't around.
Meagher and her husband got divorced in 2015. Emily presently lives with her dad, Meagher's ex-husband.
Becoming trans has not helped her son, she maintained.
Although he is "extremely brilliant" he remains unemployed and has never been able to hold a steady job, she told CP. "And he's pretty unhappy, he has a lot of anxiety. He's basically one break-up with his partner — who is also a trans-identified male — away from being homeless. If that relationship were to break up I really don't know what he would do because he doesn't have gainful employment.
"He doesn't have a vagina. He has a wound," a physical and a psychological one, she said.
How Emily became Evan
Emily, who is now 24, is also a brilliant, "really, really bright" person, Meagher said of her daughter.
"She's extremely gifted, artistic. She can write, she can draw. Musically, she can pick up any instrument and play it. She's got all these gifts."
But middle and high school was a struggle for her and she struggled to fit in with her peers, "like a lot of bright kids do."
When she was 15 and 16, it was particularly bad as she dealt with depression and was self-harming by cutting herself.
Meagher never saw any sign of gender confusion in her daughter. For a season she came out of her room dressed in men's clothes. But when she inquired why she was dressing like a man, Emily told her the clothes were simply more comfortable. During that same season, she would often emerge from her room looking different, wearing makeup and a variety of hairstyles. Meagher attributed this to her daughter's extensive creativity. Emily at one point wanted to be a special effects make-up artist.
"I used to joke that every day was Halloween because she'd come out looking different every day," she said, chuckling. "I didn't say anything about it except 'Hey, how are ya?'"
Soon enough she was wearing girls' clothes again.
June 10, 2018, was the last time Meagher saw Emily, and when they were together her daughter had on a skirt and "looked pretty."
"We went out for a really nice dinner, had a good time, she told me she loved me, and then I dropped her off at her dad's house," Meagher recounted.
Meagher then left the country and spent several weeks in Liberia. When she returned she texted Emily and received either brush-off replies or got no response at all. Meagher started becoming concerned, wondering why Emily was avoiding her and started intuiting that something was wrong but didn't know what it was. As time went by and the pattern of Emily saying, "I'm sorry, I'm busy" continued, her worries mounted.
In October, Meagher found out Emily had legally changed her name to Evan. She then managed to get her on the phone and heard her voice for the first time in over three months.
"It was deep. It was not her voice," Meagher lamented.
Emily did not know her mother had found out about the name change and when Meagher heard her voice she knew she was on testosterone. When she asked her what was going on with her voice, Emily told her she had a cold. A few days later, Meagher called her workplace and asked to speak with Evan, and was informed that "he" was not there at the moment and was asked if she wanted to leave "him" a message.
"And then I knew for absolute sure that she was living as a male person ... and that was pretty devastating," Meagher said.
"I felt I was living in a dream, a nightmare," she added, thinking to herself, "Is this really happening? What is going on?"
She could talk to no one about this, as her siblings and father were going along with it to varying degrees and were supportive of Emily's transition.
"I can't even describe what it's like to see your own child's face with the opposite gender superimposed on it. It's just ... I can't even describe it. It's really hard. They still look like your child but kind of not. It's like they are still there but are behind this gender thing," Meagher said.
She tried not to think about it, but couldn't help but wonder as she lied awake at night thinking about what Emily would look like with a bearded face and a masculine haircut. On one such night soon after that phone call, Meagher realized she would likely never hear her daughter's voice again.
"Testosterone has permanent effects," she explained, "and one of the effects is that it deepens the voice and often that is permanent even if you go off of it. Your voice is never going to be the same again."
Growth of body and facial hair is another such permanent effect.
"It hit me then and it still hits me a lot that I'm never going to hear her voice again. And a lot of times I'll close my eyes and try to remember what her pre-testosterone voice sounds like. Because I'm really afraid that I'm going to forget what her voice sounds like and I'm pretty sure I'm never going to hear it again," she said.
"And that makes me unbelievably sad."
Another loss she has felt acutely is her daughter's rejection of her own name. If she was to call her by her given name, "Emily," that is now considered "dead-naming," which transgender activists say is a form of psychological abuse.
"So now, her name that we gave her is now something she considers hateful," she said.
Emily soon also changed her phone number, so Meagher sent her an email telling her that she wanted to be in her life and that she loved her.
A devastating letter in the mail
A week later when Meagher went to retrieve the mail, she found a letter from Emily waiting for her in the mailbox, printed on computer paper. The note was five brief sentences.
This is difficult to write but I feel the time is right to do it. I don't believe it is good or healthy for me to maintain our relationship. I will not be initiating further contact with you and ask that you respect my wish for no further contact. Please avoid attempting to get in touch with me through phone, social media, in-person contact, or through third parties like Anna, Dad, or family friends. I wish you well and hope you find peace and happiness in your future.
Upon reading it Meagher froze, and it was as though someone had stomped on her heart.
"It was like the bottom fell out of the world," she elaborated.
A friend came over and Meagher fell apart.
"So she has a new name and a new voice. But the other thing we have is this new relationship now which is that we don't have a relationship anymore," Meagher said.
Emily knows her mom disagrees with transgender ideology, disagreement Meagher senses Emily considers as disapproval of her. But that's such a misunderstanding of how she feels, Meagher stressed.
"It's not that I don't approve, it's that I just don't think transing herself is going to solve her problems. And I know this is not going to bring happiness into her life. This is going to bring hardship, a lifetime of medical treatments. I know transitioning is an empty promise."
Meagher knows where her daughter works and lives but that could soon change and then she won't have any knowledge of her whereabouts or how she's doing. She is fairly sure her daughter is saving money to have her breasts removed.
"I especially don't want to see her get a mastectomy and stay on testosterone. This is going to be a heavy, heavy chain to put around her neck for the rest of her life. For her to have to wear that ... it just grieves me more than I have words for. It's a grief that I just can't tell you how hard it is," she said.
"It's almost worse than a death because she's alive but not with me at all."
Five days of torture, 'a unique kind of hell'
Days after receiving the letter she was "overwhelmingly, excruciatingly upset," she said, "in a kind of indescribable grief-shock."
It was then when she visited the counselor who shamed her for being such a supposedly awful, uncaring person. After that appointment, she went home, climbed into bed, and didn't get up for five days.
"You know how when you have the flu, and you don't take a bath, you don't eat, and night turns into day and it doesn't matter, you just lay in bed and feel sick all day? I literally was in bed sobbing nonstop for five days. And the only thing I could think about was that I wish I didn't have to stay alive anymore because I could not imagine how I could ever be happy again or how the world could go on with this being the reality, with my daughter not wanting to be my daughter anymore," Meagher said.
During those five days, memories of Emily's childhood returned. She thought about all the fun they had on road trips, riding horses, and swimming at the pool during the summers.
"All those cherished moments of her life, they kept going through my head. And I just couldn't believe that all of that was over. That she really didn't want to be my daughter," she said.
She knew of no childhood trauma that could have led Emily to think she needed to escape her pain and attempt to become the opposite sex. And she considers her daughter's upbringing to be relatively normal with the usual ups and downs.
Afraid she would find a way to commit suicide, Meagher made another appointment with another counselor.
When she walked into the second counselor's office she noticed the therapist appeared to be very worried. Indeed she was as she told Meagher to phone a friend and arrange to have someone stay with her or she was going to have to go to the psychiatric hospital immediately. Those were her only choices and she insisted Meagher must not be alone.
Meagher subsequently made an appointment with a medical doctor and soon began taking antidepressants. Her friends were worried about her too. Many would come over to her house and sit on the bed with her as she cried.
"They would text me, they would call me. I had one friend who came over every single day, took me out for walks, took me out to eat, took me out for motorcycle rides. Anything to get me out of the house," she said.
She would often try to cheer herself up when friends would come over but when they left she would collapse and cry some more.
"I can't imagine feeling worse than that. Any worse than that it would be dead. It was torture," she said.
"I couldn't go to church, I couldn't worship, couldn't pray or read the Bible. I couldn't believe that God was letting this happen to me. And I've never felt that way about Him. I'd never felt so angry at Him. I was like, 'How and why? I don't understand this,' and 'What have I ever done to deserve this kind of pain?'"
The experience of losing her children has been a "unique kind of hell," she told CP, adding that she still can't understand any of it.
After weeks of not being able to leave the house, she finally mustered up the courage to go to church again. But she ended up sitting in the back row weeping throughout the service.
"I couldn't sing. I couldn't make my voice say those words. I couldn't do it," she said.
As she cried, fellow parishioners would come and sit next to her and hold her. Then she would go home and cry some more. How long does processing grief take when there appears to be no end to it, she has often wondered.
Meagher has some hope her daughter will desist to her biological sex and realize there is nothing wrong with her body. But she admitted she has no idea if or when that will happen. And she has no idea what she might yet have to watch or hear about in relation to her daughter's suffering in the meantime. The guilt she feels that her parenting was so inadequate such that two of her children came to believe they were the opposite sex has been "crippling" at times, she noted.
"I have over and over replayed angry words, failings, things I could have done better or differently. I could have been a better listener, I could have been different or better. But I did the best I could. I'm certainly not any kind of a superhero person. I'm just a mom," Meagher said.
"I did torture myself for quite a while thinking that I had done something that had made my child go drastically wrong. That God had given me this beautiful baby and there was nothing wrong with her and by the time she was with me through her childhood she was all messed up and that it was probably my fault."
Meagher no longer believes that is true but does think Emily blames her for many things.
"I'm grieving because I've lost her. And every hope I've had for having a relationship that I wanted to have with her and watching her grow into a young lady. ... I'm just devastated because she's hurting herself and I can't help her. There's nothing I can do," she mourned.
"She's under the influence of people that she has met online. She's under the influence of a cult that is teaching her that her body is not OK, that the only way she can solve her pain is to take hormones and get surgery, and that her family is the problem. That I'm her problem."
While some are reluctant to refer to transgenderism as a "cult," per se, Meagher has no qualms labeling it as such.
"There's not a lot you can do when someone is under the influence of cult thinking or to reason with them or change their thoughts, because I know she really believes this now," she said.
Her son does too.
"I think one of the things that has harmed my son the most is that he no longer has to take responsibility for anything in his life," she said.
She told him on one occasion that he was really smart, had a lot of marketable skills, and urged him to find a job. Before he broke off all contact she called him one day and he told her he was bored so he had written a web browser which was fully functional.
"This is a smart kid. But he's never held a job," Meagher said.
He told her: "Nobody will hire trans people."
"Well, especially trans people who don't apply for jobs," Meagher observed.
"He doesn't have to try to get a job, he doesn't have to live as an adult, to get along with people because anybody who doesn't get along with him, it is because they're mean to him because he's trans. It's not because of anything he did. So he has morphed himself into a white middle-class male to a victimized minority. And so now nothing is his fault."
Her other daughter, Anna, has never shown signs of identifying as transgender, but fully supports her sister's transition, believes in the ideology, and has referred to Emily as "my brother" in her mother's presence.
"I think if she had to choose between her siblings and me I would not win. I'm on probation. So far, I still have a relationship with her but I don't know how long it's going to last. I could lose that too," Meagher said.
"My relationship with my kids is about as bad as it can get."
A glimmer of hope, newfound allies, and friends
Even as her familial relationships have been wrecked, Meagher is encouraged that the tide seems to be starting to turn as more people awaken to the documented horrors inherent in transgender medicine, such as healthy 13-year-old girls undergoing mastectomies and cross-sex hormones being given to young children through an NIH-funded research grant.
And she now has a cadre of new allies accompanying her on the journey, friends she did not expect to make given profound differences in their political views.
Earlier this year she traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in several days of action with a few British women's rights campaigners who flew across the Atlantic to speak to legislators and collaborate with American women from the Women's Liberation Front, a radical feminist organization that is actively fighting gender identity ideology and resisting trans activism.
Among those present were Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull — who goes by the name Posie Parker — of Standing for Women, Venice Allan of We Need to Talk, and Julia Long, a lesbian feminist academic who is now writing a book on transgenderism.
Parker, Allan, and Long have been at the forefront of resisting transactivism in England amid intensifying debate in their country as the government considers revising the Gender Recognition Act to allow persons to merely self-identify their gender without any medical documentation showing that they've undergone a surgical procedure of some kind.
"I got lots of Posie hugs and lots of Venice hugs. I got lots of hugs," Meagher said, chuckling and smiling big. While in the nation's capital she was able to share her story with the British activists and other moms who are in similar predicaments. Meagher credits Parker, Allan, Long, the women of WoLF, and many others she met for making her even braver.
The feminists have understood her and cared for her in a way that has surprised her.
"When I would meet with these women and share my story with them they would just hold me and say, 'I'm so sorry,'" Meagher recounted.
As part of their activities on Capitol Hill, she attended a Jan. 28 panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation hosted by scholar Ryan Anderson, who has written extensively on transgenderism and the harms transgender ideology causes.
Although Heritage is a politically conservative think tank, the panelists were entirely left-wing and feminist voices, including Julia Beck, a lesbian feminist who was kicked off the Baltimore city mayor's LGBTQ commission for "misgendering" and using male pronouns in reference to a male rapist. Beck's remarks that day on the panel outlining how lesbians have been abused by trans-identified males and also explained how many young women are now being sterilized and surgically maimed for not complying with sex stereotypes moved many in the audience to tears, including Meagher.
The two had met and gotten acquainted before the event and after it concluded they found each other and hugged.
"We were just holding each other crying and saying, 'I love you, I love you so much,'" Meagher said, remembering the moment.
"Julia looked at me and she said: 'I did that for you. The whole time I was sitting there I was thinking of you,'" she recalled, grateful.
The feminists possess a deep understanding of how grievous this is, Meagher continued.
"My friends from home, they care about me. They think this is all really bad, really sad. But they don't get how bad it is. They're not grieved about it enough to do anything about it. They don't get that this is a national emergency. They're not stirred to that even though they're watching this happen to me. I think they just don't know what to do. If they knew what to do they'd do it. But it's not causing them pain."
By contrast, most of the lesbians and feminists she met have known that pain in concrete ways, she said, and because of that, they can easily relate.
"They understand my grief, abandonment, and betrayal in a way that my Christian friends, who, though they support me and are wonderful in so many ways and I'm definitely not slamming them as uncaring because they do care, don't. So I was finding myself in solidarity with these rad fems and lesbians and it was actually pretty powerful."
A mother she met and conversed with in Washington, D.C., gave her a jar of homemade orange marmalade, something she said she started making years ago to turn her own bitterness into something sweet. She encouraged Meagher to find a way to do something like that.
Buoyed by that advice, Meagher now has dreams of creating a retreat center of some kind where parents who have suffered from this can come together to talk and recover from the trauma of losing their children to transgender medicalization and identities, something she believes is an assignment from God.
"The bottom line is that I've lost two kids to the trans 'cult.' I want them back. This ideology ruins and corrupts everything it touches. We can't compromise or give an inch to it. And I'm willing to do whatever I can, and talk to and work with whoever will listen to me and help me," Meagher said. "And I don't hate my children, as complete strangers and transgender activists will say. Because I don't affirm them in this and that, I'm supposedly contributing to their potential suicides. No, I love them with all my heart. I just can't affirm this lie."
"This absolutely is a national emergency. Somehow, we've got to stop this," she reiterated.