How the transgender movement destroyed a family. A mother tells her story.
August 13, 2020
Most people are told about the “transgender” movement through the rose-colored lens of the mainstream media and the “social justice” push in schools, colleges, corporations, government, and even the medical establishment. Almost every day, new laws are passed or court rulings are announced that further accommodate it and punish those who disagree. And the political correctness supporting it gets ever more severe.
But almost no one hears about the terrible damage this sexual perversion and mental health disorder causes for virtually all the people it touches. This testimony will help fill that void.
Since 2018, Tracy Shannon, our Texas MassResistance Chapter leader, has been fighting to expose and put an end to the destructive LGBT agenda in her state. Her efforts to unmask and undo “Drag Queen Story Hour” in Houston, and later throughout the rest of the country, have gained considerable attention, not just in the U.S. but around the world.
What many may not know about Tracy, however, is that she and her children have been severely harmed by the LGBT movement. Her tragic story explains how one of our best activists has been motivated to accomplish her wonderful work to help protect others from this monstrous movement.
MassResistance interviews Tracy Shannon
How has the LGBT movement affected your family?
Several years ago, when my children were all very young, my first husband decided to “transition” to the opposite sex. This was after 15 years of marriage and having three children together.
Were there any early signs of this?
Yes, but at the time I would not have considered them signs of wanting to “transition” to the opposite sex. He merely cross-dressed a handful of times – which I would discover after the fact. From what I witnessed, it seemed to involve something related to arousal, not a desire to be a woman. At the time that I first discovered aspects of his cross-dressing I didn't even know the term "cross-dressing." I didn't know anything about men living as women except for maybe an episode I’d seen on Dr. Phil or Jerry Springer. I probably would not have thought the term "cross-dressing" was a good fit because I had never caught him in the act. I would discover what he had done after the fact.
I had also walked in on him shaving his legs once in the bathtub. That was a rather strange experience. He had been mentioning he wanted to shave. I thought nothing of it at first and casually mentioned I would not like smooth legs or stubbly legs in bed with me. But he continued to bring it up, to the point of badgering me about it. So I let him know I would be very uncomfortable with that, and if he did it I would sleep in another room. I went out to lunch one day and came back early to find him in a state of arousal while shaving his legs in the tub. This indicated to me, among other clues, that this was a sexual fetish behavior. I always sensed it was fetish behavior, but he would say it was to “de-stress.” He had an answer for everything.
When you look back now, do you see the signs more clearly?
Looking back, I see the signs of deception more clearly. But at the time, I don't see how I could have interpreted them any differently.
For example, after we had parted ways, I recalled that early in our marriage he would look at images online of what I thought were women modeling lingerie (but were actually men). I found the images on our computer accidentally and asked him what he was doing looking at such ugly women in tacky lingerie. I really didn't feel like the women were competition for me but found it really strange he had these images on our computer. He said someone at work had sent them. Of course, I believed him. After we had separated, he finally told me that those images were not of women, but of men.
He actually came clean about a lot of his deception when we parted ways. Maybe it was for shock value and maybe it was because I had already uncovered a lot of what he had hidden from me in email exchanges between himself and a woman (who was possibly a male who had “transitioned”) with whom he had been having an affair. She was supportive of his cross-dressing and wanted to make him her first MTF (male-to-female) transition project. She had a thing for helping men cross-dress and she had shared in her messages how she and her fiancé played dress-up and role-played as two women together. A lot of really disgusting emails were exchanged between them and those messages were probably some of the most traumatic things I have read in my life.
But I always believed what my husband told me. No matter what I saw with my eyes, I went to him to unravel the mystery and he always gave me the answers I wanted to hear.
What were the biggest ways you felt violated by the cross-dressing that went on prior to his announcement to you that he was leaving your marriage to transition?
Before the ultimate betrayal, I really felt violated when I would discover that an article of my own clothing had been borrowed for his enjoyment as he cross-dressed. It isn't the same to wear something that I had chosen for myself and that made me feel pretty – knowing my husband had worn it. I became especially conscious about my bras and underwear drawer and began to meticulously organize it, arranging things in such a way that I could tell if someone had removed anything.
I remember putting on boots that had been stretched by his larger feet and having stretched out waistbands in some of my clothing. Taking my bra with him on a business trip is another thing that stood out. But towards the end, the thing that bothered me the most was that I found he had worn some hair clips that belonged to our daughter. When I thought about him sneaking into her closet or drawers as she matured (at the time she was only five), I realized I could not let her go through what I had been going through. I wanted to protect her from that.
During your marriage, did he ever behave in an overtly feminine manner?
Yes, there were a couple of times that stand out that were really disturbing to me at the time. Early in our marriage, he had wanted to role-play that we were lesbians in the bedroom, and this would involve him dressing as a woman, he said. I won't go into the sexual acts he wanted to do, but I told him I was not interested because I am not a lesbian and the idea of him as a woman would be a turnoff. He didn't bring it up again and explained it was an idea from a story a coworker had sent him. I was beginning to really dislike this “guy at work” he blamed stuff on all the time.
Another instance that was really disturbing was when I was pregnant with one of our children. He fashioned a pregnancy belly, complete with breasts, to wear around the house as he did what he said was "all of my chores." This was to help him feel what I feel, he said. As he blissfully went about vacuuming, dusting, and doing laundry, I started to realize this was not at all about empathizing with me. I expressed some concern to him that this felt to me like he was cross-dressing, an issue that at the time I thought was in our past.
Another thing that stands out is the time he tried to convince me that he could breastfeed one of our babies to give me a break from the feedings. He mentioned it several times so I finally realized he was being serious. He even sent me an article about men in a third-world country breastfeeding. I told him to drop it or I would divorce him, and he never mentioned it again. I was really too busy with small children to even entertain this nonsense or get hung up on how crazy he was acting. And so we went on – until the next cross-dressing stunt.
Did you seek counseling with your husband to get help for your marriage – or for him?
Both. I was not in his private sessions with his numerous counselors, but there were many diagnoses over the years and various treatments. One doctor prescribed OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) meds for him to help with the compulsion to cross-dress, he told me. I didn't know much about OCD but figured that if it helped him, it would help us as a couple and our family.
What I did not know is that he stopped taking those meds, but had been taking female hormones. Apparently, a counselor we went to (who I had believed was going to counsel us on saving our marriage) had written him a letter so he could get the hormones. He had been seeing this therapist on his own for 11 years behind my back.
This particular therapist is the one we saw together when he first admitted to having a problem with cross-dressing. He had told me that Halloween was a time that he felt like he wanted to cross-dress and that when he was a teen he sneaked items of clothing from his mother's room to try on. He said it was a stress reliever. It sounded creepy to me. So I insisted on marriage counseling and I hoped he would realize he had to leave that in the past.
I went to this therapist with him and she advanced the idea that he could go have nights and weekends with other cross-dressing men without me even knowing about it, and that he could keep a P.O. box where he could get invitations to such events as well as catalogs and women's magazines.
I told her that was crazy and it felt like infidelity to me. She told me that I was "closed-minded." She went on to tell me I was a lesbian but had not figured it out yet. This was the state of counseling in the LGBTQ community 20 years ago, so it must be much worse now.
She told us about a book for me to read and to discuss with my husband. So, he took me to this perverted adult bookstore in the homosexual part of town. I was very uncomfortable in the store seeing the titles and the men roaming around looking at all the queer stuff. We found the book and left. I read a few chapters before I figured out there was just no way I was going to be like this woman in the book who plays along with her husband’s cross-dressing. The author admitted early on in the book she was in a lesbian relationship prior to meeting her husband.
We went back to the therapist and she mentioned at the appointment that my husband would not know if he was a man or a woman for three months. This was the most absurd thing I had ever heard. I told her if that is the case, then I am filing for a divorce because I married a man. My husband said the therapist was putting words in his mouth. I said, “I am done!” and left the session. We left together. I thought we were both done with her. But she went on to write a letter for him supporting his medical transition even while I was married to him, without my knowledge or consent. When I realized this betrayal by him and the therapist, it was very disillusioning.
What was it like for the children? Did they see their father cross-dressing?
The kids saw elements of his cross-dressing. One of our children was delayed in his speech, and when he was just a toddler was clearly trying to tell me that his dad wore my clothes. I dismissed it at the time and thought the child was confused because I really thought the cross-dressing was in the past. But my husband had spent some time alone with the younger kids, and they weren't very verbal then, so it is possible it happened. Closer to the time of our divorce, the kids did see various components of his cross-dressing and feminization. They noticed when he was wearing eyeliner or a bra. This was confusing and frustrating for them, especially for my oldest who was 11 at the time.
What was your divorce like?
Divorce for most people involves a lot of changes and those are hard under any circumstances. The children and I lost our home. I had not worked for many years outside the home and had been homeschooling our children. The kids were suddenly thrust into public schools and daycare so that I could work to support them. I could not afford a home. We were homeless and would not have had a place to go if not for my parents taking me and the children in. I was financially strapped and trying to pay mounting legal bills and the bills that were assigned to me. He attained legal counsel from some LGBT activist lawyers that represent transgender clients. By this point, he had determined he was transitioning, which he started both on paper and physically, while we were still married. He changed his name and sex marker on his driver's license. The attorneys instructed him to do this in a liberal county where no opposition would be raised. I had no idea this was happening. This made me a “paper lesbian” and meant I was divorcing a “paper woman.”
These legal changes also made way for the daily intimidation and bullying tactics of the LGBT attorneys to insist that I call my ex by his chosen female pronouns and female name in court. The argument was made daily for me to do that. I resisted. That was over a decade ago, and the judge did not make me do it but asked me how I felt about it. I said I cannot refer to the man I was married to for 15 years and had three children with as a woman, and it was insensitive to me for them to even ask that.
During the court proceedings, which lasted over a week, his lawyers tried to argue that I was too conservative to co-parent with a transgender parent. They also questioned me about my Christian faith and asked how I could co-parent with a transgender given my Christian faith.
Those last two examples of how I was treated gave me a glimpse into the future of how the trans movement (with their LGB allies) will relentlessly go after Christians and trample our First Amendment rights.
We later had to modify the court order due to his FTM (female-to-male) lover being abusive to him and the kids, plus some non-responsiveness and poor decision making on his part. We settled, but not before 100K in attorney fees were spent on my side due to the numerous motions by his activist attorney. That is their M.O. – to bury people in motions and drain them financially.
What has been the impact on the children?
Their dad was awarded shared joint custody with me initially. This was considered a landmark victory for transgender parents in Texas, and I think in the USA. It was mentioned in a gay magazine when it happened years ago.
The impact really depends on which child we are talking about and which point in time. They were all traumatized early on by the enormous changes that divorce normally brings, compounded by their father “transitioning” to a woman. They were sent to a court-ordered therapist who coached them to accept their dad's transition. They felt manipulated and lost trust in the therapy process, especially since they were coached to not call him "Dad" anymore and to use his chosen pronouns. They were threatened with spankings and punishment by their dad and his lover if they called him "Dad." This was deeply hurtful to my oldest son at that time.
The kids argued over complying with this and came to the decision on their own not to comply. They continue to call him "Dad" but they settled on not publicly outing him as a compromise. The kids are at different stages of grief and acceptance. Acceptance for them simply means that they don't have control of what their dad does; it doesn't mean they are supportive of the decision. They all think it was a bad decision that didn't consider their best interests.
The children have struggled at times when other kids have activities with their dads, such as father-daughter dances or father-son events. They do wish that they had a father who filled that role. They used to put their heads down and cry at school to hide their sorrow when these events were announced. They still feel sad on Father's Day when everyone else is sharing their memories of their fathers because they feel they were deprived of the experiences they should have had with their dad in the normal role of a father.
They are at various stages of processing it all. There is a grieving process that nobody seems to be fully aware of. The kids have struggled with suicidal ideation, OCD, and anxiety over the years. They continue to get help from a new therapist (who was not appointed by the court).
The earlier court-appointed therapist failed to report abuse as a mandatory reporter when she knew the kids were threatened, abused, and neglected in his care. During our deposition of this therapist, she said that she felt Child Protective Services would not take any action. Sadly, nobody was doing anything for the kids while they went through some hellish years – while their dad was in early transition, living with an activist who was also in early female-to-male transition. The kids were exposed to all kinds of sexual things at his house: butt plugs, restraints in the master bedroom, and all kinds of literature on transgenderism. Something else that was also very unsettling to me was that the children often slept in the bed with their father and his FTM lover.
Fortunately, he is not with that individual anymore and has been more careful in recent years. But when he first transitioned, the kids were exposed to all kinds of LGBT stuff. They were taken to an LGBT-affirming church that had a rainbow banner in the sanctuary. Two of my sons would run from the church to escape – because they didn't know who was a boy or who was a girl, and they were traumatized by the "women" with deep voices.
My older son was coaxed to wear a pride bracelet and pressured to join the LGBTQ allies club at his school by his dad's partner, but my son would take the bracelet off at school and he refused to join the homosexual club at the school. His father and his then FTM lover would sit him down and tell him it was okay to be gay and that he could come out to them at any time. This would make my son very angry. The children were told that their dad went through a metamorphosis, like a butterfly, and that he has a girl's brain. Since transitioning, he tells the kids that although he has some regrets, it has been good for his career to be a woman. (Funny: That is opposite of how genuine women feel.)
The kids will be dealing with the issue their whole lives, I suspect, as they come to terms with the many ways their father's presence is either uncomfortable, unwanted, or absent in many situations they have yet to encounter. At different times, they have said that their dad’s transition feels like a death, or like he disappeared and an imposter came back. While they do love their father, show him respect, and see him to varying degrees, they still have to deal with the choices he has made. Despite all they have been through, you would never know it just by looking at them. They are doing their best to overcome it all and walking in truth and grace better than I would have at their age.
How has all this impacted you?
Aside from some PTSD and trust issues, it has motivated me to warn people of the destructive nature of the LGBTQ movement and how it seeks to destroy the rights of free speech, religious freedom, and parental rights.
Any final thoughts?
Had my husband gotten legitimate psychological and medical help to deal with his mental health issues instead of the quackery and poisonous maltreatment by the LGBTQ movement’s “therapists,” he might be a normal person now and my family would have been saved enormous trauma. But the LGBTQ movement and their allies don’t care about any of that.
I would encourage people to learn more about the transgender movement by visiting the massresistance.org website. Sign up to receive our newsletters where they can continue to follow my work exposing the neo-morality movement and fighting for children.
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