Episode 109

109 — What If We Are All Wrong: A Mother’s Regret with Rose

Published on: 7th April, 2023

This episode is a powerful and important conversation exposing the increasingly devastating impact of the conflation between gender identity theory and the experience of living with gender dysphoria.

In this episode, Sasha & Stella speak with Rose who wishes to remain anonymous. Rose is the mother of two young sons and lives in the United States. In August of 2022, she published the piece “True Believer” on the Parents with Inconvenient Truths around Trans (PITT) Substack. She wrote “True Believer” to share her story and help other parents and concerned adults who are struggling to understand the dynamics underneath the current phenomenon of transgender children. Rose’s first-hand perspective is unique in that she and her partner were "affirming parents" — they thought their four-year-old son could be transgender and chose to socially transition him, only to realize they were wrong.

Rose’s story is incredibly important because, at its core, it’s a simple case of the best of intentions garnering devastating impact. This is a humanized account of the pain, distress, confusion, fear, and regret that so many families are facing in the wake of doing what (“experts” told them) was best for their child.


Rose’s original piece published on Parents with Inconvenient Truths around Trans (PITT) Substack:

“True Believer” — https://pitt.substack.com/p/true-believer

Rose’s appearance episode of Triggernometry podcast — 


Rose’s follow-up piece on PITT provides further reflections on the Triggernometry interview:

“A Return to Reality” — https://pitt.substack.com/p/a-return-to-reality

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers

by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, MD https://www.amazon.com/Hold-Your-Kids-Parents-Matter/dp/0375760288/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1680628544&sr=8-1

Eliza Mondagreen: 


Neufeld Institute — https://neufeldinstitute.org/resources/free/

A Map of Detransition Island — https://genspect.org/infographics/#island

“Dear Theodosia”, from Hamilton (the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda)


“The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart” — Quote/Book by Alice Walker

If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting:

  • “1 — Trans: Identity vs Dysphoria”


  • “31 — Silencing Thought: A Conversation with Heather Brunskell-Evans”


  • “53 — You Affirmed Your Child's Gender... How to Roll Back”


  • “78 — Affirming Reality for Kids with Stephanie Davies-Arai”


Please visit http://www.widerlenspod.com to explore more content, access additional resources, or join our listener community.

To learn more about our sponsors, visit:



Extended Notes:

  • There is no guidebook for parenting. Parents looking for help in the gender realm, go to experts that may lead them astray.
  • Rose appreciates the podcast and the assistance it provides to people searching for more information.
  • Rose shares the struggle of identity versus instinct that took place in her household.
  • Rose fully supported her children when they made a decision about their identity.
  • Rose’s partner is a gender non-conformist who is grateful she did not medically transition.
  • Rose and her partner put their children into a progressive, educational gender identity program.
  • When Rose and her partner questioned a support group protocol, a therapist thought the couple had transphobia.
  • After a visceral reaction, the couple decided not to socially transition their youngest child.
  • Rose wanted to turn back the clock and react differently to her son’s gender declaration.
  • Rose yearned to reconnect with her son, as a boy.
  • After much contemplation, Rose told her son she was wrong about allowing him to choose his identity.
  • Sasha clarifies what it means to transition socially.
  • A friend reached out to Rose with an experience that mirrored her own when her son said “Call me girl.”
  • Sasha offers insights into child suggestibility and what happens when a psychological theory allows children to make mature decisions for themselves.
  • Rose still feels that she was responsible for her youngest son’s decisions.
  • Rose expresses the overwhelming despair she felt during her family’s experiences.
  • Rose explores the developmental perspective of child-rearing.
  • Rose shares why she decided to share her story.


“Everyone here is doing the best with the information they have. We need to make room for all of these stories.” — Sasha [2:56]

“We wanted to create a world where people can be who they are so they can express their gender identity but we still had that grounding in male and female.” — Rose [21:43]

“So much of this debate and the culture war and this information war and these dynamics that is this zeitgeist that we're living in, I think if I could boil it down to one thing, it is this unwillingness of people to accept what they cannot change this inability to really feel that futility.” — Rose [49:18]

“I think there's a vulnerability for these four-year-old boys in our current culture with the parents and institutions. I think there's something developmental there that we don’t totally understand.” — Rose [58:30]

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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Genspect - an international organization which offers an alternative to WPATH. Providing a range of education, resources and supports to anyone impacted by gender distress, Genspect unites many different organizations globally, and gives voice to 1,000s of previously untold stories. For more info, visit genspect.org.

GETA - an association of therapists who believe that individuals experiencing gender related concerns ought to be treated using a whole person approach. GETA connects like minded clinicians, provides educational resources and trainings, and helps people with gender dysphoria find support. For more info, visit genderexploratory.com.
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

Profile picture for Stella O'Malley
Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.