A New York Father Is Fighting for His Daughter's Body and Soul

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Divorces can be painful, particularly when custody issues are involved. But one father in New York is in the midst of a nightmare for any parent of conscience. Until the age of 8, the man’s daughter was a normal child. The girl told her father that she was no longer interested in pageants or feminine things, just as many girls do growing up. The father shrugged it off since he understood that many girls go through a “tomboy” phase. And had the child been left to develop on her own, that may well have been the case. But in 21st Century America, children are no longer allowed to do that.


The mother had been talking to the child about normal things such as puberty and menstruation. So far, nothing out of the ordinary, but there is more to that story; the mother had also been talking with the daughter about transitioning for more than a year. According to the father, the mother had made the prospect of growing into a woman sound so horrible that the child no longer wanted to be a girl.

According to the Post Millennial, it was at that point that the mother began socially transitioning the girl, who was in the fourth grade at the time. The child was referred to a gender clinic at Golisano Children’s Hospital, and the family met with a pro-transition counselor, Daran Shipman. A nurse practitioner at the facility, Amy Realbuto, recommended starting puberty blockers and told the father that not only were the drugs safe but that the effects were completely reversible.

When he was asked to sign a form from the school to treat the girl as a boy, the father complied. The marriage was on the rocks and he wanted to keep the peace and try to salvage the marriage. The father had a talk with his daughter, who affirmed that the mother would be upset if she went back to her pre-transition name. But then, the child backtracked and said no, the mother would not be angry.

By 2021, the father could no longer “go along to get along,” and his wife filed for divorce and full custody of the daughter. The judge ruled that neither parent could talk with the girl about gender issues, and appointed a guardian for the child. After meeting with the child a few times, the guardian told the court that quick action was needed to give the child puberty blockers.


So the father is now facing the mother, the courts, and the state in trying to gain full custody and ensure that his daughter, now 11, grows up normally, without introducing chemicals into her body. He wants the girl to be able to express herself but to do so without drugs or surgery that will change her forever.

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It’s easy to armchair quarterback the father’s actions. There will be some who will make the argument that he should have “manned up” and fought harder for his daughter at the outset. He can be given some grace for hoping that his daughter would grow out of this phase, as children do, and that he could placate his wife long enough for this issue to blow over. And he was unaware that his wife was grooming their daughter to transition. Ideally, in a marriage, there should be no secrets when it comes to raising children. Of course, all bets are off when someone decides to follow the trans-trend and turn a child from a person into a toy — Transition Barbie, if you will — or worse yet, turn a child into a social accessory. A child is not a handbag or a pair of leggings.

And therein lies a greater problem. The courts, the schools, the media, and even the healthcare industry have embraced this fad. The father was facing an uphill and probably losing battle before he even started. The mother has told the father she would “die on this hill.” With so much against him from the word “go”, the best he may be able to do is to make his case as strongly as he can for and with his daughter and fight like hell, even if popular culture, the legal system, and a narcissistic mother are dooming his fight to failure. And then be there for her later in life when she is struggling with the effects of puberty blockers and possibly surgery. When that time comes, she will need her father more than even she will know.


In the meantime, you can read the father’s story in his own words and contribute to his legal costs here.


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