“I started to associate womanhood with being sexualized,” says Grace, now age 16. Peers, teachers, counselors, and—above all—social media circles guided Grace toward a strong case of rapid onset gender dysphoria. She stopped wearing feminine clothing and asked her parents to refer to her as “they/them.”
This is the moment that many parents fear. These parents prayed hard, stayed true, and remembered the long game. “They built their relationships with her,” writes Zylstra. “They drew boundaries around how she could express herself. They took her to counseling and to church.” Eventually, Grace began to feel comfortable as a girl again.
In a culture where nearly 1 in 5 of Gen Z calls themselves “LGBT,” the story of Grace and her family is worth reading. At a time when so many are tempted to despair, it does not offer a quick fix. But it does offer truth, love, and hope.
This Point was originally published on August 2, 2022.
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