Episode 21

21 - Gender Dysphoria in Boys: Part 2 — A Conversation with Angus Fox

Published on: 30th April, 2021

Continuing the discussion about the new type of boy who is seeking to transition, we speak to Angus Fox, author of a series in Quillette. Angus explains why he thought it so important to earn the trust of parents who participate in clandestine meetings about their gender dysphoric sons. We discuss the role of systematic thinking in ROGD boys and the encouragement of their female friends to transition. Angus also provides his insights as a gay man remembering his own challenging boyhood.


Angus Fox (2021) — “When Sons Become Daughters: Parents of Transitioning Boys Speak Out on Their Own Suffering” Quillette.com/author/angus-fox/

Angus Fox — Part II Quillette.com/2021/04/06/when-sons-become-daughters-part-ii-parents-of-transitioning-boys-speak-out-on-their-own-suffering/


Angus Fox — Part III Quillette.com/author/angus-fox/


Extended Notes

  • How did Angus get into this field and get interested in gender dysphoria?
  • What are some of Angus’s biases?
  • So many parents are blindsided when their child comes out as trans.
  • The counselors and therapists are partly to blame.
  • Angus conducted a survey to see what parents thought was influencing their children to become trans.
  • What did Angus uncover after conducting this extensive research?
  • These boys are often bright, socially behind, and very online.
  • Angus noticed that a lot of these boys were playing particular RPG games and it gave them a false illusion of what the female aesthetic really was.
  • These very intelligent boys, who often have intelligent answers to things, are giving parents very strange and almost immature answers as to why they want to become a woman.
  • Predatory men online could be further exacerbating the problem.
  • How do these boys end up relating to their own sexuality?
  • We’re seeing a rocketing number of people who are saying they’re bisexual.
  • What benefits do these gender dysphoric boys get by joining a girl clique?
  • Why are young women so obsessed with dressing up their new toy?
  • So many families are just lost and don’t know what to do.
  • Want diversity and inclusion? You should see these groups. They’re diverse and they’re all worried about their child.
  • When you talk to de-transitioners, they all have a level of wisdom about who they are and what they want.
  • Did Angus see a connection with autism in his surveyed group?
  • What kinds of reactions are mom and dad having when it comes to having a trans teen?
  • Children are taking fewer and fewer risks in our environment. As a way to rebel, they’re taking risks on their bodies and their personal identity instead.
  • Angus is curious about the child birth order and where trans children fall under. If they have a big family, small family, and where are they in the birth order, does it impact their identity?

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:


Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod

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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.