Episode 85

Published on:

2nd Sep 2022

85 — Mother-Daughter Story: "I Didn’t Want to be Yours Anymore" w/ Dr. Maggie Goldsmith

Dr. Maggy Goldsmith was working as an

independent contractor at the psychological and counseling service of

a small, progressive, liberal arts college when her 16-year-old

daughter announced that she identified as trans-masculine and

required he/him pronouns.

Unable to find appropriate help for her

daughter who was intensifying her demands for cross-sex hormone

treatment as she approached her 18th birthday, Maggy embarked with

her on a trip to their ancestral homeland. While there, Maggy wrote

about her experiences as a clinician and parent of a

gender-questioning adolescent. In her first PITT Substack essay

titled, “To my daughter’s therapist: you were wrong,” Maggy

wrote about her daughter’s process of shedding transgender

identification as she worked to build a more flexible and resilient

sense of self. That essay got over 20,000 reads within the first

three months of its publication. Her second PITT essay titled, “Trans

and the myth of sloppy parenting,” explored the conditions that

made her family fertile ground for gender ideology and how,

ultimately, the parent-child bond was the solvent for her daughter’s

gender dysphoria.

Maggy’s clinical work with teens and

families impacted by gender dysphoria is guided by child and

adolescent developmental theory and a belief that a good working

alliance between therapist and patient can act as the scaffolding to

support a young person’s mental health and emotional growth.

We enjoyed this discussion so much that

we decided it will be followed up by a Part II in the coming weeks.

Links & Resources:

Extended Notes

  • Maggie was surprised to see
  • they/them pronouns on student applications.

  • She didn’t think much of her
  • daughter approaching her with the idea of taking hormone therapy
  • when she turned 25.

  • Her daughter had the makings of an
  • identity crisis.

  • During Covid, tragedy struck the
  • family and her children were attending school online.

  • Her daughter went to Planned
  • Parenthood to get testosterone shots on her 18th birthday without
  • talking to Maggie.

  • Even respected gender identity
  • specialists were offering Maggie misplaced recommendations.

  • Maggie felt that she had no
  • resources and that she, as a clinician, would have to figure things
  • out on her own.

  • Attaching to binaries and a denial
  • of history is common in teens and this compels a parent to be
  • present-day focused.

  • The same day Maggie made an
  • appointment for her daughter at a gender clinic, her daughter bought
  • a dress and heels online.

  • Maggie thought about traveling as
  • a way to give her daughter time to get clearer about her identity.

  • Her son supported her daughter’s
  • transition which Maggie found created a toxic environment.

  • A fellow psychologist told Maggie
  • that she was abandoning her son.

  • In the family’s native language
  • there are no gendered pronouns.

  • When Maggie told her daughter she
  • was done with gender issues, her daughter admitted to being done
  • with it as well.

Wider Lens

Renewal Retreat — Arizona 2022:


This podcast is sponsored by ReIME and

Genspect. Visit https://rethinkime.org/

and https://genspect.org/

to learn more.

For more about our show:


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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.

* We are sponsored by ReIME and Genspect.
Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving long term care for gender variant individuals. To learn more, visit https://rethinkime.org/

Genspect is an international alliance of parent and professional groups whose aim is to advocate for parents of gender-questioning children and young people. Parents are concerned that their kids are not receiving appropriate treatment and support; many do not feel free to speak out about their concerns.
To learn more, visit https://genspect.org/
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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.