By Alysha V. Scarlett
This is a chapter from TransLash Zine Vol. 6: Anti-Trans Hate Machine (April 2023).
My parents turned my children into incentives for me to detransition as I lost in-person access to them – and access to them in any way almost entirely.
Illustration: ‘Innocence’ by Theodoor Grimes
First, my parents refused to let me see my own children in their presence unless I detransitioned (I had to rely on them in order to see my children). Then, I didn’t get an agreement on any of 14 other individuals willing to take my parents’ role to enable me to see my children.
When I came out to my 9- and 7-year-old, they were fine with me being a woman.
And there weren’t any issues after that.
An issue arose only after my parents, like me, attended a basketball game in which my 7-year-old was playing and my 9-year-old was there. Entering the school where the game was going to take place, I brought sports drinks (as I always did when I could see my children) and cute chocolate and pretzel critters for them.
I saw my parents there. (They didn’t attend any game in the immediate preceding season – and they rarely, if at all, had attended any of my children’s games, to my understanding).
Just after I arrived, my mom pulled my children onto a stage in the gym where the game was going to take place. Only after my mom finished talking with them, did my children take opposition to me.
Only after that did my 9-year-old limit her communication with me to a total of some sporadic Facebook messages over two occasions per week.
And only after that did my 7-year-old refuse to associate with me except for one 25-minute period where he sent me some Facebook messages.
I didn’t get an agreement for me to attend any games, either, after my parents and I fought. That happened after my mom probably fostered antagonism in my children on that stage. Estranging them from me and thus making them incentives for me to detransition.
It’s quite possible my children were even flat-out told to not associate with me unless I detransitioned.
“Be a Man.”
In a call with my parents – the first big one with them after I came out to them – my dad said I needed to “be a man” in order to see my children.
As I told them, I am transitioning. Beyond socially transitioning, I am legally a woman in both gender and name and I am currently in the process of medically transitioning. I already wear breast forms and hip pads every day.
In an effort to regain my time with my children, I did outreach, seeking friends who would help me see my 9- and 7-year-old. In response, 14 friends stepped forward, which I appreciate at the deepest level. However, I didn’t get an agreement on any of them. I was told that folks who are parents should be with me. As I told the person who didn’t agree with me, 12 of the 14 are.
Several also have training that certainly put them in the very top echelon of the types of people who are best to be with children. Several, including an ecclesiastical leader recently, also share the religious beliefs of the person who didn’t agree with me.
They are the same person who required that my parents be with me when I was with my children. They are a person who said that my transitioning is “a massive change” when I’m simply aligning myself as much as possible with who I have realized I am at my core.
That person also said that my children would need to go to therapy for me transitioning – and that I would need to pay for half the cost. That person also told me that I need to repair my relationship with my children.
I have no idea what they were talking about.
That person also only agreed to video calls for me with my children for a rather limited time after I transitioned before agreeing to only the precious little Facebook messages. And after the basketball game, I was limited to messages except for two rather brief calls with only my 9-year-old.
However, one was because I was making a huge life change in moving to the Los Angeles, California, area. With the other, this Star Wars fan was hung up on while in the middle of sharing the moment of being in Galaxy’s Edge, AKA Star Wars Land, for the first time. It was also my birthday.
I don’t doubt for a second that the person, their supporters and my immediate family know that the one reason I would theoretically have detransitioned is so I can have my children in my life. Thus, those adults are trying to incentivize that. And that started with fostering antagonism in my children towards me, at the least.
However, I know who I am.
I am a woman.
I realized that in easily the most profound journey of my life. And I will never allow my core self to be taken from me. Without hardly any access whatsoever to my children (and a host of other negative fallout in Utah from transitioning) and in being a freelancer, I asked myself, “Why am I here?”
My answer being “I don’t know” is why I moved to the Los Angeles area, where I feel completely safe 100% of the time.
There’s a lot to be said for that. And it stands quite in contrast to my struggle to survive the pressures of detransitioning.
Described by a rival community newspaper as a “big-city cousin,” Alysha V. Scarlett (she/her) has had 101 bylines in USA TODAY, Screen Rant, Bleacher Report, Patch, or The Good Men Project. She was a screenwriter for “Before Your Time,” a theatrical feature film and wrote “‘Star Wars’ Is Still Intact: Re-finding Yourself in the Age of Trump,” which was published by Thought Catalog Books.
She has won 13 writing awards over five years of applying for them. Also, she can write at any time for That Hashtag Show and frequently writes for Medium. Her coverage of Green River, Wyo., drew ire exclusively of the governments in the town.
She also has reported stories like whether a Green River ordinance lined up with state law; what a lack of town halls in the wake of the 2016 presidential election said about members of the U.S. Congress; former Rep. Mia Love using campaign funds for out-of-state fundraising at Disney World; former President Donald Trump rejecting non-traditional media in Utah after fighting against traditional media otherwise; and a Kaysville, Utah videographer getting a film onto the big screen. And that Love still owed $372K, as required by the Federal Election Commission. None of the media in Utah, where Love’s district was, reported that.
Alysha also spent time with Queer Friends to get to know the Utah group, as part of a roundup of three progressive affairs in right-leaning Utah.
Alysha is an outspoken ex-Mormon. She is also the first person in a rural Utah county to have their name and gender be legally affirmed, as reported by The Heroines of My Life, KSL NewsRadio and Xtra Magazine.
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ABOUT TRANSLASH ZINE
TransLash Zine Vol. 6, released on April 24, 2023, is a companion to our #AntiTransHateMachine campaign & the launch of Season 2 of our podcast series, The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: A Plot Against Equality.
Day by day, the attacks on trans kids grow louder, and more anti-trans bills keep moving through state legislatures.
In this season of the #AntiTransHateMachine, we illuminate how the right wing has fueled these bills by generating a breathtaking and wide-ranging disinformation campaign. Listen to #AntiTransHateMachine S2 on Spotify Podcasts and purchase the print edition of Vol. 6 right here.
Since 2019, TransLash Zine has been an independent publication by TransLash Media that supports our mission of telling trans stories to save trans lives.
We feature uncensored art, writing, and photography by TGNC people—and we pay contributors.
Our first six issues were produced in collaboration with POC Zine Project. POCZP founder Daniela “Dani” Capistrano continues to support our content and partnerships strategy as editor-in-chief and creative director of TransLash Zine.
Learn more: www.translash.org/zine
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