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  • Gender Dissent

Gender ideology and the Alberta New Democrats — Scapegoating families of gender-captured kids

Updated: May 5

By Gender Dissent





“We said, ‘we don’t see you as our son, and we’re sorry that causes you pain, but our definition of son is biologically based, and your definition of son has an ideological basis.’”



The recent release by Environmental Progress of the WPATH Files report by Mia Hughes has given hope to Canadians fighting the infiltration and impacts of gender ideology in our schools and institutions. 


Revealing “widespread medical malpractice on children and vulnerable adults” by members of the global association for transgender medicine, the publication of this report has been promoted as the event that will bring the now-discredited organization to its knees.


But while some pundits are optimistically suggesting that we are nearing the end of the miserable cultural experiment of gender, many families are now dealing with the devastating outcomes of a decade of corporate capture and government-sponsored  brainwashing of their children at their schools, summer camps and GSA clubs


Outcomes for youth include impaired social, psychological and physical development, continued or increased anxiety and depressive disorders, loss of sexual potential and reproductive ability, and broken and estranged families.


One family’s story


Such is the case of Jenny Morris and her family in Alberta who have been managing cycles of disagreement and reconciliation with her daughter for six years, when, at 17 years old, she asked to be referred to as their son. Two years prior to that, she had come out as lesbian. 


Jenny recounts the last time explained to her “beautiful, intelligent, but vulnerable” daughter why she could not agree to address her as “he.”


“We said, ‘We don’t see you as our son.  And we’re sorry that causes you pain. But our definition of son is biologically based, and your definition of son has an ideological basis. We’ll never see you as our son because it’s impossible for us—we do not believe you can change sex. We don’t believe people are born in the wrong body. We believe if you’re a woman, and you feel more masculine and you want to present yourself in a stereotypical masculine manner, we support you to do that. 


“I asked her, ‘Can it be enough for you that I'll walk down the street with my arm around your shoulder—and if anybody bothered you for how you're dressed or look—that I would step in front of you and be like, “You want to bully someone, bully me.” Can that be enough?’”


“And at that time, she said, ‘Yes.’” 


Now 23, “Rowan,” identifies as transgender and uses he/they pronouns. 


In addition to choosing a new name, last year, Rowan chose to receive a double mastectomy in Red Deer.  


The protest


Earlier this year, Rowan, now an experienced LGBTQ+ advocate and speaker, launched Trans Rights Yeg, an on online presence “dedicated to sharing information related to supporting the trans community and their rights in and around Edmonton.” 


Under the banner of this new organization, within just a couple of days, Rowan had organized a protest in Edmonton opposing new policies announced two days earlier by Premiere Danielle Smith



Smith’s policies intend to “preserve the choices children and youth have before making life-altering and often irreversible adult decisions.” They were enthusiastically received by LGB, women's, and parental rights advocates and free-speech adherents as a positive harbinger of change. But Smith’s political opponents immediately condemned them as transphobic and dangerous.


The star speakers at the Edmonton protest were provincial NDP leader and former premier Rachel Notley, and activist MLA Janis Irwin. Both took the mic to rail against the Premier's announcement.


“Her policy will put thousands of children at risk!” yelled former premier Notley. “She will risk their health, their mental health and their very lives for her own political ‘gamesmanship.’”


Then came MLA Irwin, her words trembling through crocodile tears: “To all the trans and queer youth out there, just know that you are so loved, and we’re going to be with you, for every step of this fight. We love you so much.”


And then the camera turned to Rowan: 


“Many people know that one of the highest risks of outing [LGBTQ+] youth is going to be that their parents may reject them and kick them out,” she said. 


“When I came out as trans, I actually was disowned by my family.”


Gender Ideology and the Alberta New Democrats: Rowan Morris speaks to Global News

The shock


“We were shocked,” says Jenny in a talk with Women's Declaration International (WDI), “to turn on the 6:00 news and see our daughter—who had just been here for a visit over Christmas with her girlfriend—to see her at this NDP-endorsed event saying that when she came out as trans that her parents had disowned her… “


Jenny insists they never disowned Rowan. 


She explains, in fact, that compromises have been made for the sake of family unity—like agreeing to use Rowan’s chosen name and to use they/them pronouns. She talks about how Rowan had been home from university for extended periods during the pandemic. They’d even had some good family times, in spite of covid. They made funny home videos. They got along.  


Rowan had come home again last November… and again, over Christmas…


Jenny’s friends and community also know Rowan was not disowned. But the message has been broadcast nonetheless. One that not only deeply hurts Jenny and her family, but one that can be used against them socially, professionally, and soon, possibly, with the government’s proposed online harms bill, legally.


Jenny acknowledges that Rowan, now an adult, ultimately bears some responsibility for what she said. 


“But to see someone you love get on the TV and lie about you… when we’ve tried so hard. We’re in an impossible place.”


A political maneuver 


Jenny suspects that the Edmonton protest was an NDP party tactic—one that has used her daughter and scapegoated her family. Not an unreasonable suspicion, given that Rowan had already been involved in a previous initiative involving Janice Irwin—setting up rainbow pride crosswalks on the University of Alberta campus.


“My understanding is that she was contacted,” says Jenny. “After the new policy was announced. They needed a rally organized. She organized it. She took all the risk. Everything was under her name.”  


Noting that the NDP did not “actually physically organize the rally themselves,” but “there they were,” says Jenny, “on the stage in their official capacity as the opposition, as elected officials.


“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they endorsed the things that were being said on that stage by standing there and clapping while people were saying them. And making posts about it and giving praise for what was done. 


It’s not about the children


“They say they care about the children—the risks to the children,” Jenny says. 


“But in this case, our child had been reunited with us. It was still a little bit rocky but it was going in a positive direction.


“And now we’re estranged again.”


She reflects for a minute.


“Rowan got put in the middle of this.” 


Jenny describes Rowan as “a very intelligent, tenacious, wonderful person. But she’s also very vulnerable. She wants so badly to be accepted and to be an activist and make change for people that she feels are being hurt…


“If it’s okay, I’ll just read you something… I did reach out to her after she did this, we had quite the back and forth. I asked her to clear it up…


"You’re building your reputation on lies, when you are smart and talented and don’t need to do that to be successful. You should correct the record. Say the truth. This has been heartbreaking and families and young people are struggling alone. Don’t lie, you are better than that."

“This is what’s killing me,” says Jenny. “She's so awesome, she doesn't need to build her reputation on a lie.


“But it’s almost like a competition to see who has been ‘most harmed’ by being trans. 


“She actually wasn’t harmed by her family for being trans. But it’s a good story to present the narrative that parents are a danger to kids who are trans. Point blank” 


Jenny, who has a professional foundation in domestic violence, explains that this is not how child protection is approached. 


“There has to have been some evidence or reason to believe that someone is at risk. And then you investigate the safeguarding risk.


But, she says, “the policies that are in place in most provinces now, is that you start from a point that automatically, parents are a danger to trans-identified youth


“So therefore,” she says sarcastically, “it is only acceptable that schools and doctors and professionals keep information a secret from parents.” 


Smith’s proposed policies, the ones that Notley and Irwin are so up in arms about and that are already in place in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, will require parental consent for children aged 15 and under to alter their name or pronouns used by school teachers, administration and other educational staff. Alberta’s NDP thinks it’s better and safer to keep parents in the dark however, when their children may be experimenting with their gender. 


Jenny and her husband learned after-the-fact that Rowan did indeed change her pronouns in high school but they had never been informed.


“They are using us as an example,” says Jenny about the NDP.  “So they can say ‘Of course we should do this  [keep secrets from parents]. Look what happened to Rowan Morris. She came out as trans and her parents disowned her.


“When in actual fact we never disowned her. Even though we have opposing political beliefs about gender ideology. In spite of that. That's only [a tiny bit] of who we are.”


Jenny speaks as if she is addressing Rowan:

“I’m like, I love everything about you, we disagree on this one area… But I agree that you’re now an adult and have the right to live the way you want to. You don’t need my permission. 
I’m still going to help you get through school. I’m still going to provide you with financial support. I’m still going to have you here for the holidays. I'm still going to invite your girlfriend.


The targeted ones


“It seems to me there is a pattern of the types of young people they target and pull into this world—they are already vulnerable in one way or another,” says Jenny. 


Jenny shares that Rowan did experience trauma as a child—the result of which was that her father was given full custody of her when she was five years old. When Jenny joined their family and became Rowan’s step-mother, Rowan was four.


In her presentation to WDI, Jenny reads a note from Rowan that would bring happy tears to any mother’s eyes:


”It’s something she wrote to me on my birthday a few years ago and it's a picture

of us in Mexico and it says:


"Everywhere beautiful you have taken me has been memorable because you were there with me. As a mom, you've been more than amazing. You have been kind, thoughtful, loving, funny and strict when you needed to be. It has made me the person I am today and has shaped me for the person I'm becoming. Today on your birthday I can wish for nothing more than for it to be perfect. I love you."

Jenny formally adopted Rowan, at Rowan’s request and with much fanfare, when she was 18 years old.


“I’m in a couple of parent support groups," says Jenny. “Sometimes parents will read [goodbye] letters from their kids. And everyone’s gasping, because it’s like a script…


“They’re already so indoctrinated (that’s an overused term) ... inundated with these ‘scripted beliefs.’ And all the kids seem to have manufactured memories—reinterpreted events of their childhood to have other meanings.


“The example I gave in the WDI speech is that she said, ‘You never even accepted me being a lesbian because you were crying tears of joy that I was going to the prom with a boy.’ 


“The reality was, I didn’t think she was going to get to go to prom because she didn’t have a date. I was just happy she had a date. 


“When you ask about her childhood, she’ll say I was emotionally manipulative and abusive her whole childhood. But then, I say, why did you ask me to adopt you? Why did we have an adoption celebration? It doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s like being gaslit about your whole reality as a mother.


“This idea that all parents from the get-go are a danger to trans-identified kids or young people is absolutely false. Most parents are doing cartwheels, walking on eggshells, doing anything they can to keep their kids in their lives. Whether the trans issue comes out as a teenager or as an adult.


“And that’s the part that made me mad—seeing her on the stage, putting forward this false story about our family. 


“It’s going to be used as a reason to not let Danielle Smith and the Alberta government make common sense changes that would keep parents in the loop in their own kids’ lives.”


Setting it straight


By the time Easter arrived, Rowan still had not corrected her story. Now at her wit’s end, Jenny shared her thoughts on the betrayal herself. For the the record: 



Today is #GoodFriday and I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Easter weekend. My thoughts are with all the families who will miss a child or family member because of the harms of gender ideology. It is also time for me to set the record straight regarding an Alberta NDP-endorsed trans rights protest. This protest falsely used our family as a scapegoat to promote the idea that parents pose a danger to their Trans-identified children. The protest was in opposition to the proposed #AlbertaUCP policy changes concerning Trans-identified youth.


On Feb. 3, 2024 in Edmonton, during the protest, our daughter, who played a prominent role as the figurehead of Trans Rights YEG, claimed that her parents, me & my husband, had disowned her when she "came out" as trans. She even insinuated that it happened in high school. However, this accusation is untrue. My daughter—legally my stepdaughter since she was four years old—asked me to adopt her on Mother’s Day 2019, during her grade 12 year. Despite our disagreements on gender issues, my love for her has remained unwavering & I legally adopted her.


We have supported our daughter and stood by her through various stages and identities. From being a lesbian at 15 to identifying as queer, non-binary, and most recently, trans. Our daughter’s journey has not been easy. There were periods when she wouldn’t speak to us, and disagreements arose over differing beliefs. However, none of these challenges diminished our love for her. For reference, you can find the video of the protest here. https://globalnews.ca/video/10271280/protests-against-alberta-premier-danielle-smiths-sweeping-new-transgender-policy-in-calgary-edmonton/ 


The hurt caused by her accusations was profound. We reached out to friends for support. At the time, our family wasn’t ready to come forward publicly. To my friends like @coachblade and Raine (@ABRadFems) who shared our story in good faith, thank you. Your integrity was questioned when you shared our experience. Your support meant so much. I apologize that I was too scared to speak up at the time.


In my view, our daughter was used as a political pawn to advance the notion that all parents should be presumed a safeguarding risk to trans-identified youth. The policies allowing schools to change children’s names and gender identities without parental knowledge are at the center of this agenda. It seems that some politicians, and media outlets refusing to share our side, exploited our family to portray parents who disagree with their children (on gender issues) as a safeguarding risk.


I have asked our daughter to set the record straight. I’ve emphasized that she is too intelligent and talented to build her reputation upon falsehoods. She has refused. She is unhappy with me because I use biologically based definitions for the words man and woman and because I support Women’s sex-based rights. We did respect her new name and compromised on other issues, continued to welcome her into our home, and focused on all the areas we did agree on. This was not enough. She was engaged by Trans Rights Activists and used our disagreements as an excuse to spread false information about families like ours to further a political agenda. This is inexcusable. Child safeguarding is important and should only be based on actual evidence of harm.


Please don’t be unkind to our daughter or any trans-identifying youth. She (and other young people) are under pressure to go along with the Trans narrative. This movement is as powerful as a cult. Any parent going through this will tell you the damage it does. The adults in the room should be held accountable, not the youth who have been misled.


I am grateful for the leadership of @ABDanielleSmith and her proposed policy changes. Especially the creation of unbiased resources for families like ours—resources we sorely lacked.


For those who claimed Linda and Raine don't know me, below is a picture of me and Linda Blade taken last year at a women’s get-together in Edmonton, Alberta. Raine

@ABRadFems and @eva_kurilova were there too. Yes, we are all real people, with real lives and friendships. We are also engaged, conscientious Canadians who will vote for those with the integrity to protect children, parents and women's sex based rights.


 

As of publication of this story, Jenny and her family have still not heard from Rowan.


 

Is it a cult?


In her Easter post, Jenny writes that the transgender movement “is as strong as a cult”— a comparison that has been advanced by many writers, researchers and critics of the radical transgender movement.


In her 2022 essay for Quillette, Gender Ideology’s True Believers, cult survivor Kathleen Hayes describes her initial experience as “the most transcendent sense of purpose, belonging, and love I have ever known.” She writes:


"A cult can make you feel wonderful. It feels like the family you choose for yourself, the refuge that allows you to survive a soul-crushingly lonely world. It sweeps you up in an embrace so all-encompassing that nothing and no one else matters, and the outside effectively ceases to exist. The heady rush of those early days is inevitably followed by abuse, but in the bell jar that is your world, the pain only convinces you to persevere. You become consumed by the need to chase a mirage—the love the cult promised you—and cannot conceive of life anywhere else. Like an abusive relationship, a cult breaks you down so incrementally you don’t see it happening: you only come to know that you cannot live without it."

In her article, Hayes writes about psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton's tactics for thought reform as laid out in his 1961 book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China. She describes and compares how these tactics are employed by adherents to the transgender belief system:


Milieu control: the severing of communication with those who challenge the group’s beliefs.


Demand for purity: The group drums into the follower the idea that she or he is guilty or unworthy in some way, and can only hope to alleviate this feeling of culpability by embarking on a futile pursuit of perfection.


Sacred science: The group’s dogmas are cast as the latest frontier in scientific knowledge and cannot be questioned.


Loading the language: New words convey the group’s insights while existing words are given new meaning. 


Doctrine over person: The doctrine prevails over any individual human’s life, which becomes essentially expendable. If an individual’s experience contradicts the group’s doctrine, that person’s reality must be manipulated so the doctrine is vindicated.


Dispensing of existence: The totalist environment draws a sharp line between those whose right to existence can be recognised, and those who possess no such right.




Help for families and educators 


More recently, in a podcast of Some Kind of Therapist, Propaganda Myths of the Gender Cult; Resources for Parents & Educators, with Justine Deterling, Stephanie Wynn interviews the founder of the LGB watchdog organization Gender Health Query. Its mission: to “prevent the over-medicalization of gender nonconforming youth, harm from medical treatments to trans-identified minors, and confusion and rights conflicts arising from new ideologies about gender within and outside of the LGBT community.” 


In the episode, they “discuss the cult-like dynamics of gender activism influencing young people's beliefs and behaviors.”


Gender Health Query has created an informational resource to “address risks and conflicts arising from gender identity activism in schools under the banner of ‘transgender,’ ‘SOGI’ (sexual orientation and gender education), and ‘LGBTQ+.’ Its purpose is to help concerned parents and educators articulate issues with this activism through well-researched arguments.”  


Access it here:






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