Quick question, have you told your children that you love them today? That you think they are perfect in every way? I ask because this post was never aimed at adults who are making informed decisions for themselves. I fully support adults who are genuinely struggling.
I was speaking directly to the parents of children who are experiencing normal teenage pain. They need you to tell them that you love them. They need to hear it from you.
Every single day.
The transgender identity issue is going to sink the progressive party.
I don’t like saying I told you so, but when Democrats lose the next election — and they will — you will remember that I said it here first.
Conservatives are watching us destroy our own party over this one issue — we are destroying our political system over pronouns, over what we have come to believe is the singular issue of our time — and Republicans are cackling. They know that we are handing them the election in 2024.
I had to kick in some doors with this post (originally written on August 10th) because no one can have a civil conversation about it. Everyone brings their own medicine to the table. There is no right way to write about it or talk about it. Everyone who has an inkling that something might be off about the fact that white teenage girls are obsessed with testosterone, these rational people are afraid to say it out loud to anyone. Just look at the comments on my Instagram post.
Detransitioning girls who wanted me to share their stories saw the first wave of comments on that Instagram post — a post in which I didn’t say a single word about transgender anything — they freaked the fuck out and emailed me within minutes of seeing those comments and begged me not to post anything about their lives.
Think about that.
I didn’t know their real names. I was going to use the pseudonyms that they had given me permission to use and further insure their safety by making them even more anonymous. They saw that you guys were flipping the fuck out and then became worried about their own safety because of the shit you were threatening to do to me.
Everyone needs to calm down. I am perfectly safe. My kids are safe. I have kicked my addictions.
You think that I have lost my mind, but it seems none of you have looked in the mirror.
I had to fuck with everybody to get everyone thinking. Yes, I was fucking with everybody and giving everyone permission to ask themselves some simple questions about this issue. Because it will end us.
I thought that the people closet to me and who really know me would cut me some slack and give me the benefit of the doubt because they know I blow shit up. They know that this is how I get things done. Those who know my heart are sitting back and laughing as they read those Instagram comments. And they are gathered around their phones throwing back popcorn because they eat this shit up.
My sister didn’t know I was going to write about any of this. And because she works in the public school system, she printed it out and ran around to all her colleagues screaming, “Someone in the progressive party is talking sense! And she is related to me! And she wants all these progressive moms to let us do our jobs!”
I love my sister so much. I did this for her, too. I wanted her to know that her job is already the hardest on Earth.
And frankly, I’m super disappointed by the reaction of some of the people who are closest to me who should have known me better. Who should have read those comments on Instagram and known, yeah. She’s just shaking things up.
They need to sit with themselves.
I know many of you may think that I took the ball and went home in the game of depression. And I did, too. I thought I had taken the ball and gone away forever. Because this is all just a game, right?
But I can still kick. I may be old, and hell. I’m almost 50. But I’ve always been in The Game. I invented The Game long before I named my daughter after a drug dealer in the streets and nicknamed her after a heroin addict.
EDITED TO ADD: You do know that I named my daughter after Marlo Thomas, right? My child is named after a woman whose father started a children’s hospital in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Just remember that going forward.
Marlo Stanfield and Bubbles. My daughter, Marlo Iris “Idris Elba” Arsmtrong. They are one of the they/thems.
Kids — the they/thems — I’m taking to you today, mostly. I know who you are because there are more than just one of you in my house. I have a lesson for you today and it is brought to you in part by The Wire and Radio Free Europe.
Four months ago I wrote a post in which I celebrated 265 days of sobriety and then… wait. How many days are there in a year… is that a typo? What day is it. Period. No question mark.
Ughhhh. I’m tired.
Better get out your calculators. There’s a shit ton of arithmetic in today’s lesson.
I don’t know what end is up because I kind of understood that when I quit alcohol after 22 years of trying to drink myself to death that I was in recovery for my addiction. Four months ago I wrote a post celebrating a year of sobriety. From alcohol. But here’s the thing about addiction, and it’s why I am sitting here today talking to you only a few days after celebrating 16 months of a life free from alcohol:
I am an addict. And I always will be. Recovery is a lifelong process.
I quit eating processed sugar six weeks ago today, so that’s one, two, three… 42 DAYS OF SOBRIETY. FROM SUGAR. From sugar you ask? Yes, from sugar.
Sugar is a substance. Duh. If you don’t think you are addicted to sugar, just google it. Try to cut it from your diet completely for just two whole days. See what happens. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Buy this book for your own reference.
EDITED TO ADD: I did not quit sugar because I want to stay skinny. I quit sugar because it is the single source of all my health problems, my arthritis the chief among them.
Recovery experts know that almost every person on Earth is an addict, but they can’t run around telling you that every time you pop a boatload of rainbow gummy bears into your mouth you’re probably trying to swallow a tiny bit of pain.
These experts know that addiction — all addiction, even to sugar — addiction is a response to trauma.
Trauma these days, kids, is a word that has been held hostage by folks who want to dismiss someone’s depression or addiction as a character flaw. You can’t have trauma because trauma belongs to them. They say to addicts all the time, “Just stop what you’re doing. Quit that drug you’re taking. You’re choosing that drug over every important thing in your life, you pathetic cortically subilluminated dimwit.”
Do you want to know why people think addicts aren’t traumatized? Because they think that you have to live through something as harrowing as World War II in order to experience trauma. Have you ever heard of the Battle of Normandy? If you don’t, that’s okay. All you need to know is that it epitomizes the worst and most traumatizing battle scene in history. They have made dozens of movies about it. And those war veterans and the war veterans in every war ever fought on Earth, they are held up as the kind of people who are traumatized. And they are. They spend the rest of their civilian lives after war attempting to cope with haunting PTSD that most people will luckily never experience.
People act as if trauma is separate from addiction. People who are not addicted to hard drugs — and for those of you who don’t know what “hard drugs” are, they include heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, LSD, and ecstasy, and I have tried and abused every single one of them — those people think addiction is weakness. They think addicts are pathetic human beings. But believe me when I tell you this:
Addiction is a biological response to pain.
Let me let you in on a little secret that everybody is too afraid to admit about themselves:
Everyone is an addict.
People don’t realize that their addictions are more socially acceptable than hard drugs or alcohol. They are addicted to work, to exercise, to political discussions on twitter, to scrolling through household cleaning hacks on Pinterest. They are addicted to shopping at Home Goods.
Addiction is a biological response to pain.
And I am going to let you in on another secret. All those normal things people are doing all day with their time? They are using THINGS and STUFF — gadgets, toys, games, magazines, even exercising — to distract themselves.
“Distract themselves from what?” you might ask. From themselves. From their thoughts. From boredom.
Because boredom is terrifying. How long can you sit alone in a room staring out the window doing nothing with your hands? I’m gonna guess that 10 minutes would feel like an eternity to most of you. Try it. Today. See what it feels like. We will come back to that.
If you are left alone to think about anything without something to fidget with, then what tells you that you bring any value to this world? Are you working a job? A job isn’t an addiction. A job is a job.
But distraction? Distraction is an escape from boredom. And people are terrified of boredom because they are terrified of being alone. Escape is an addiction.
Let me say it again:
Addiction is a biological response to pain.
You want to know why 42 days of sobriety from sugar actually feels like 42 years? Because 42 days ago I also quit taking a prescription medication for ADD. And I am still in recovery.
For the adults in the audience, ADD stands for YOU CANNOT FOCUS BECAUSE YOU’RE JUST FUCKING TIRED ALL THE TIME. It is a bullshit diagnosis.
Yes, I am calling your bluff, Jackie Brown*.
You know, I was going to litter this post with footnotes, but I have no fucks to give so I am just going to say it all out loud. Up front. So that we aren’t dicking around on this page and jumping back and forth.
That asterisk up there — it looks like this (*) — it would have been a link to a footnote. And if you don’t know what a footnote is, you need to start reading books and some of the best books ever written are full of footnotes. Remember when I told you that this was a lesson?
You need to start reading about Black women.
You are gonna want to remember the name Jackie Brown, kids. Pam Grier, the woman who plays the main character, she is one of the most badass motherfuckers who ever lived and white women need to stop co-opting her pain.
And that footnote I was gonna write? This needs to be said right here, instead. Up here, in everyone’s faces:
Progressive white moms need to sit the fuck down. Now.
And let me lean in a little bit closer so that everyone can hear:
Progressive white moms, you need to let Black Lives Matter.
I am not calling Pam Grier’s bluff, kids. I am calling the bluff of every adult who thinks that they have ADD, white women in particular.
I am calling everyone out today, hon, on behalf of Pam Grier and every other member of an oppressed minority who has taken a backseat in the conversation about identity politics.
Why did I choose Pam Grier? Didn’t I mention she was one badass motherfucker?
For the kids who are still with me — and you’re still with me, right? You can trust me, and I need you to believe that. It will become very clear why. I may be a little scary because no one in your life is allowed to talk to you about gender dysphoria.
Those words are super loud and clarion clear to all of you, aren’t they.
Gender dysphoria. There. I said it again.
Every adult in your life has been told by the government to AFFIRM AFFIRM AFFIRM your gender dysphoria because you are out there co-opting suicidal ideation. You are throwing that phrase around as if you own it, as if you have any fucking idea what it means.
Yes. I am calling you out, too. All of you. And I will calm down a little bit, maybe, because you need to be able to trust someone who loves you. And I love you more than you will ever comprehend because I am you.
This is the biggest fucking deal of all the deals I am making in today’s lesson about The Game. And so I am going to calm down and soften up a bit. Because I am talking to the 16-year-old girl that I was.
Because I have had body dysmorphia my entire life.
Body dysmorphia. Dysmorphia. You guys are throwing this word around, too, as if you know what it means. You really don’t have any idea what it means. It is not a diagnosis. It’s just a sad, awful state of being human.
Today I am here to call my own bluff, too.
Remember The Wire, that show I told you to google? I’ll save you the time. Because all you need to know is that the whole show is about The Game. And The Game? The Game is just… life. That’s it. That’s the whole game. And for most people, life is all about suffering and pain. We’re human, and everyone is trying to make sense of it all.
Pretend that I am talking to you in a gentle whisper about suicidal ideation because when I talk about death I do not do it with loud emojis or Halloween masks. And you really do not want to know what I know firsthand about threatening suicide.
What do you think happens when you die? What do your parents think? What does religion tell you? Are you religious? Are you an atheist? Do you believe in science? Is science real? Just keep that question in mind as I call your bluff on suicidal ideation. This is also a lesson in the form of show and tell.
Last year on August 31st, 2021, I attempted suicide.
Consider that for a long while.
I was 46 years old. And I am your future calling. You do not want to be this suicidally depressed your entire adult life.
I spent two weeks locked inside a mental hospital — and do not call it a “mental health facility” because that would do a disservice to the whole idea of mental health. Being locked up involuntarily — and that is what happened to me, they committed me against my will — is exactly what it sounds like: a form of imprisonment.
Luckily for everyone in my life I woke up from this suicide attempt. I had made a plan and executed that plan, and I did not ever want to take another breath. But after they stabilized me I had to spend two weeks thinking, “This feels exactly like a hovel where someone would be sent to die alone.”
Do you want to know what I think happens when we die? WE DON’T KNOW BECAUSE NO ONE HAS EVER COME BACK TO TELL US.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Right now, I want you to do me a favor and pretend that nothing happens when we die and that well, we all just die. That’s it. Let’s just pretend that for the sake of argument. You just collapse into a pile of dust and return to Earth. Wouldn’t you have wanted to see your friends again? Just one more time? Wouldn’t you want to cuddle your dog one last time? Wouldn’t you want to grab them all and run around in the rain to your favorite music and feel a little bit of hope? Imagine yourself laughing and wearing galoshes on the wrong feet with mismatched rainbow socks. Imagine that now and think, “I have my whole life ahead of me.”
Because you do. Today. Right now. You have your whole life ahead of you.
Here, almost a year later after I tried to end my beautiful existence, I got to see my favorite band sing five of the best songs ever written and marvel at how lucky I am to be alive.
Wouldn’t you want to see if you could get through that brief painful moment of hopelessness so that you could remember that life is worth living? That even the painful moments give the beautiful ones their meaning?
This is life. The good and the bad. All of it. It’s just, life.
Because, imagine experiencing suicidal ideation all day every day for the rest of your life.
Ask me again what I know about suicidal ideation. I am an addict, remember. I am the adult you will grow into if you think for one second that altering your body with any chemical will make you feel better about normal teenage sadness.
You know I’m talking about testosterone, right?
Please tell me you know I am on to you and that you do not want to fuck with your body the way I have fucked with my body my entire life.
The Game is about making sense of why we are on this planet, and I’m going to tell you about The Game. My entire family has body image issues. The women in my family have been bombarded with messaging and images of supermodels our entire lives and have been left to think, “Well, I don’t look like that. So something is wrong with me.”
I have forgiven the men and women in my life who have played into my body dysmorphia — meaning they have played into my normal human sadness — because I am an adult and I have perspective on their own pain. For centuries adults have passed this pain onto their children, and now you are where I once stood.
And the buck stops here. We have to stop doing this to each other.
My mother’s pain and suffering became my own. I internalized all of it. And I have hated my body ever since.
It’s time we circle back to the ADD portion of the program, kids. Are you still with me, because *all* of this is super important when you keep playing fast and furious with your life.
I do not nor have I ever joked about death. Because death of a loved one is the most traumatic experience that anyone on Earth could ever live through. Death is real and it is serious business for anyone who has had to watch someone in their life disappear in an instant. Only they get to joke about death and it is always in memory of that person, be it their husband or wife, their newborn son, their mother. Be it their dog or their cat. Losing any living thing to death is the worst thing anyone will ever live through.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, I don’t have it.
But you probably already knew that, right? You can walk into any doctor’s office and fake the symptoms which are SELF-DIAGNOSABLE and walk outta there with enough Adderall to build a meth lab in your basement.
For those here who do not know, Adderall, is the prescription medication for adult ADD. And it is meth in pill form. It is speed. People may tell you that alcohol is the hardest drug to kick because it is for the majority of drug addicts. But Adderall? That drug was the hardest drug I ever quit. And withdrawal has been excruciating.
Here, today, 42 days after quitting that drug, I feel like I might be experiencing a heart attack every other hour of the day. This terrifying side effect of Adderall abuse is one of the side effects you will experience if you ever decide to put testosterone into your body.
Adderall puts a strain on your heart. And because most of you and your parents refuse to consider what testosterone abuse will do to your body, I’m gonna list this out for you. And all y’all need to consider the irreversible damage this will do to your lives:
. chest pain or pressure
. pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder
. swelling in your ankles or feet
. chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood
. pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs
. nausea or vomiting
. changes in skin color
That doesn’t seem like a lot, but those are only a tiny fraction of the milder symptoms. But need I say more. You do not want to play fast and furious with your life.
You have got to trust that I know what I am talking about. Because I have been taking enough Adderall for the last four years straight to kill a herd of elephants. I cannot believe my body survived this stupidity.
See? I am calling myself out, too.
I have known that I have had body image issues my entire life, and I used to post photos of myself here and on every other platform. But I never posted photos of myself during my recovery because I couldn’t bear to see how quickly my eating disorder was destroying me. My diagnosis after my suicide attempt? Anorexia nervosa.
But I am not a diagnosis. I am a normal human being who is suffering.
When I was your age I was angry at everything and everyone, and if I had thought that testosterone would make me feel better about how skinny I was or wasn’t, how curvy I was or wasn’t, how a pair of jeans never fit my body the way they fit the bodies of supermodels I had hanging all over my walls, I would have injected testosterone into my arms like heroin.
Instead, I did was de rigueur at the time. I tried to control what I put in my body. I tried to control the way I looked.
When we shackle ourselves to an idea of happiness, and that idea can look like anything — a thin body, a man’s body — we blind ourselves to a million instances of happiness that don’t look like that image. We are shackling ourselves to a life of constant suicidal ideation that is in no way temporary.
When I stopped drinking I returned to that eating disorder only this time I had Adderall. I had developed a whole new league of eating disorder. Let’s call it Anorexia on Speed.
That’s how fucking serious I am.
I want you to memorize this phrase and repeat it to yourself over and over again in case you ever think that you would be better off dead:
Suicide is a permanent fix to a temporary problem.
Moms, and more specifically WHITE PROGRESSIVE MOMS, you know exactly who you are because you want to be the fun mom, they need you to knock off your bullshit.
Stop playing into this nonsense because you are helping them destroy their lives.
Look at what happened to me.
White progressive moms, I am talking to you now. And I have no fucks to give should any of this hurt your feelings. I feel your pain, too, because when my they/them told me they wanted to change their pronouns I believed they were riding this massive cultural shift in acceptance and inclusion. I believed it was biological, too.
But I was wrong. America is fucking wrong.
I will still use their preferred pronouns “they/them” because it’s a compromise. Everyone has to make compromises. I will always use their pronouns for the sake of their mental health.
During my recovery process I began to realize that I was not asking the right questions about what we think is a radical new way of celebrating diversity.
White progressive moms, are you asking yourselves the right questions? Maybe you should so that I don’t have to do the work for you. But since none of you are doing the work, lean in close and let me give you the answers to the questions you won’t ask.
Gender dysphoria is social contagion.
Should your theys and thems be afraid to read this or disinterested in the manic rambling spiral of some looney white anorexic on the internet, this part is for you and your kids together. Read this part together calling upon the pain of your childhood that in hindsight might have made you realize that your girls are experiencing normal human sadness. They are teenagers. They were once your precious baby girls.
They are experiencing the same sadness you experienced when you were their age.
Your children are perfect. They were born perfect. And you love them just the way they are.
Let me say it again, and you need tor repeat this over and over again to your girls. Every single day for the rest of their lives because WHO KNOWS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE:
Your children are perfect. They were born perfect. And you love them just the way they are.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how much I have destroyed my body, and that has made me consider death in a way I never have. I cannot imagine losing anyone in my life knowing how many memories I have decimated with drugs.
And now, at last, we have come to the Radio Free Europe portion of the program, kids.
And adults if you are still reading and not already writing an angry missive to your progressive congressperson who doesn’t give two fucks about your kids anyway, this is important for you, too.
Desisters and Destransitioners are my heroes. They are being silenced. And they are being kicked off of every forum and social platform for trying to tell you to stop doing this to them and to each other. They are telling you what they wish they had known long before they headed down a path toward transition, and I am the only progressive white woman alive who is willing to say publicly and proudly and authentically and unapologetically: they are right.
I am a white progressive woman who co-opted oppression and saddled my own teenage girls with all that baggage. Detransitioning girls are now tasked with the burden of undoing the damage done to them by their own parents and trying to figure out a way to get everyone to safety before the whole boat sinks.
They are trying to megaphone the shit out of this goddamn tragedy of millennial proportions. They are screaming:
Get off that boat because that boat is heavier than the Titanic.
Celebrities won’t say it because they are buying into it. Celebrities are selling it. Celebrities are cloaking themselves in it as if they are aligning themselves with all that is good and right in the world and no one seems to be asking, have we lost our goddamn minds? These celebrities and white progressive moms think they are on the right side of history.
And let me tell you, they are dead wrong.
Detransitioning girls are being censored and threatened by their friends and every one in power who should know better.
They are the poster children for the question I have asked myself every goddamn day of my life. These girls and your children are asking you through their behavior, “Why are you agreeing with me when I am telling you that I hate myself?” Remember that and consider it every day for the rest of your lives.
Radio Free Europe was a broadcast news organization that hosted the free flow of information to parts of the world where free speech had been silenced by their government entities. Everyone in this country is silencing these girls.
Here I am. I am here to tell these girls and your children, “You are perfect, now. Right now. In your body right now you are perfect no matter what damage you may think you have done to it.”
And now for the totally bonkers portion of the program which did and will forever get me canceled in 17 languages. Are you ready for this?
Good. Buckle up, buttercup.
Okay, how do I say this without offending every single person in my neighborhood. Because I live the hottest bed of hot beds of gender dysphoria. This is also I AM ON THE SIDE OF TEACHERS portion of the program:
Just look at that mess. You have got to knock this shit off, parents. Because science is real. Biological gender is scientific. Biological sex is SCIENTIFIC. And we are tossing around these pronouns like goddamn candy.
Therapists, doctors, lawyers, school districts — they are ALL tripping over themselves trying to keep track of your a random pronoun that you plucked out of the ether.
You know I’m talking to you over there, you worm pronoun-er. I love you because I was one of you, once, a very long time ago. But you gotta knock it off. Teachers cannot possibly do their jobs.
And when you start adding up the number of pronouns available for kids to assemble out of letters and numbers and animals they know nothing about — when you combine all those pronouns with the number of kids who want everyone to honor that pronoun, the worm pronoun-er’s teacher cannot do their job when they are already being tasked with teaching kids every goddamn thing about life while simultaneously fearing that they will have to be a human shield for you. Do you see how hard you are making this for teachers?
Teachers already the hardest job on Earth. How many pronouns do they need to keep up with?
Black communities are still suffering and we are tossing around pronouns like candy.
If I were your age and questioning my gender like you are and I had my choice of 70 different pronouns, which one would I choose? Am I a “(H)ea” who laughed? Did someone try to convince “per” (meaning me I guess?) that asexuality does not exist?
TIMEOUT. We will get back to the insanity of pronouns in a minute. I am only going to say this once and it should be enough: sex is the best thing on the planet. Period.
I’m only going to say this one more time for the kids in the back: when you mess around with your biological sex and gender, you are destroying any possibility of experiencing an orgasm during sex. Be it with your boyfriend or your girlfriend or yourself. And an orgasm is the highest state of consciousness a human can experience.
Google “consciousness” and “meditation” and we will come back to that in another lesson for another day. Because I have so much more to tell you and orgasms are just the tip of the iceberg.
END OF THE TIMEOUT. Are you ready to get back to work? Because teachers are at work right now trying to make sense of this insanity. Ready? Where were we? Oh, right here:
“‘Xyr’ (is that referring to me, too? I’m getting confused already) favorite color is unknown.” Except that mine, Heather’s? Me? I know my favorite color. Her favorite color is pink.
That pronoun card is “vis” fucked up, y’all.
Do you see how ridiculous this is? These pronouns are everywhere. Hello, New Zealand.
Kids, do you ever sit around and think about having a family? Do you want to become a breeder?
You know I am calling all of your bluffs, potential breeders.
Because I know what you’re doing when you are referring to women like me and your mother as “breeders” but do you know? Do you know what asexuality is? That card up there, when it refers to asexuality? Do you know what that really means?
Do you know how children are conceived? They are conceived biologically through sex with someone from the opposite sex. Your mother is a breeder and I am a breeder and we brought you into this world because at some point before you were a glimmer in our eyes we had sex with your dads. And they are dudes. They are men. They are male. And we had orgasms while we were doing it. At least I know I did.
And do any of your moms know what you are referring to when you deadname yourself? They will now when they read this link. And then they are going to think about you and your friends dropping the name they gave to you at birth in exchange for a new name you choose out of some random grocery aisle that means as much to your real heritage as a Toblerone.
Can you imagine what they are going to think if they named you after a female family member who was important to them?
In the end, I am calling everyone out today on behalf of every member of an oppressed minority who has taken a backseat in the conversation about identity politics.
P.S. Thanks for the pageviews.