Mom sues to stop son from becoming daughter

It's interesting to note the typical things a parent can prevent his or her child from doing:

1) Getting ears pierced.

2) Eating dessert before main course.

3) Watching TV before homework.

4) Wearing miniskirts.

5) Wearing excessive makeup like a sex worker.

And then it's also interesting to list the things parents have trouble preventing their kids from doing:

1) Getting an abortion.

2) Cutting off their genitals and taking hormones to grow lady breasts, perhaps in the eventual hope of landing a job in Hollywood, on Broadway, or at the State Department.

It's this topic #2 that is the subject of this story.  A mother who is estranged from her son is trying to prevent him from mutilating his body in his Icarus-like quest to become a girl.  Factual corrections to the article are in brackets.

An emotional Minnesota mother announced Wednesday that she was suing her transgender 17-year-old daughter [son], St. Louis County, its school district and the girl's health-care providers over a state law that allowed the teen to undergo gender reassignment procedures without parental consent.

What complicates the case is [the mother's] relationship with her daughter [son], which was described as estranged in a letter attached to the complaint. The letter, from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, declared the teenager legally emancipated under state law in June 2015 due to "conduct by the parent in giving up control and custody of the minor."

By January of this year, the teenager had undergone enough "appropriate, permanent clinical treatment for gender transition" that her [his] physician at Park Nicollet Health Services, one defendant in the lawsuit, wrote a letter declaring that the teen could legally change her [his] name.

Advocates for LGBTQ rights and transgender youth criticized the lawsuit, the attorneys and the mother for "mis-gendering" the teenage girl [boy] by referring to her [him] as "son" and using male pronouns.

"Purposefully mis-gendering a transgender person is an act of violence [common sense]," David Edwards, of Transforming Families, told NBC OUT. "To continually do that to your child is not only insensitive [rational] but also really harmful [sane]."

Questions for discussion:

1) Do you think the mother is committing an act of violence by calling her son her son?

2) What is happening to parental rights when the government teaches kids that they can switch genders, and then prevents the parents from intervening when they mutilate themselves?

3) Given the way things are going, does it make sense for birth certificates to write in gender in pencil?

4) When a daughter gets married, parents often say, "Well, I'm losing a daughter, but I'm gaining a son."  Do you think parents will stop saying that now that it means something else?

5) Isn't there something sinister and disturbingly Orwellian about the media playing along and calling a boy a girl, simply because the media wants us to think there is?  Isn't this a classic "2 + 2 = 5" Winston Smith or "There are four lights!" Captain Picard moment?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at