Fact Check: Reddit Post And Re-posts Elsewhere Are NOT A Parent Forcing A Gender Transition On Their Child -- It's A Fabricated Story

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Reddit Post And Re-posts Elsewhere Are NOT A Parent Forcing A Gender Transition On Their Child -- It's A Fabricated Story Troll Farm

Did this Reddit post, which migrated to other platforms, chronicle a transgender parent forcibly giving their child the female hormone estradiol so that their son could transition into their daughter? No, that's not true: The content was made by internet trolls who wanted to make strangers angry with a fabricated story. The site rdrama.net -- one of the first sites with the "parent trying to force their child to transition" mention -- creates fake stories, headlines and scenarios to make people on either side of the political spectrum believe it's real, and argue over it in earnest.

The claim appeared in an Instagram post (archived here) where it was published on September 24, 2021. The post opened to a Reddit post which read:

Anyone else have trouble convincing your teen kids to continue transitioning? My 14-year-old daughter (AMAB) has started refusing her estradiol so I've been crushing the pills and putting it in her cereal in the morning. I'm just not sure why she doesn't want to take her pills anymore

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time this fact check was written:

Trans Reddit.JPG

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken Tue Sept 28 at 20:35:00 2021 UTC)

AMAB stands for "Assigned Male At Birth" according to a document made by the New York Presbyterian Hospital titled, "LGBTQ+ Terminology/Vocabulary Primer".

The post is in a video format. The video then pans to a comment underneath the query that reads, "Wow, it sounds like your daughter has some deep-seated transmisic self-hatred. Have you considered making sure she's only friends with trans-positive allies? Sometimes teenagers get awful ideas from their "friends" at school. It's best to ensure she doesn't have negative outside influence when it comes to something as important as affirming her identity. Edit: Removed inadvertent ableism in my comment."

Transmisic is another word for transphobia per a Simmons University library web page on anti-oppression.

A video of a drag queen with a separate voice saying, "The industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race," comes up after the appearance of the Reddit post and comment.

The whole time, a picture of the mugshot of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, becomes clearer behind this content with a siren sounding off in the background. The quote about the industrial revolution is from the Unabomber's manifesto.

On September 10, 2021, a Medium article was written about a group of internet trolls that create content just to make people upset. Trace Underwood, the author of the article, wrote about a fake subreddit that tricked professional journalists and many others into a culture war. The trolls try to prank both sides of the political spectrum often.

The trolls began their tricks in the subreddit r/Drama before they got banned. The users that were in r/Drama then created their own website and moved the drama to rdrama.net. Here is the one of the first posts, showing the trolls coordinating to make "parent trying to force their child to transition" into a viral conversation. It was posted on August 6, 2021.

Screen Shot 2021-09-28 at 11.28.04 AM.png

(Source: Rdrama.net screenshot taken on Tue Sep 28 15:33:32 2021 UTC)

A lolcow is an oblivious user arguing with fabricated drama earnestly, as defined by Trace Underwood in his Medium article.

People on Reddit who want to see the troll's plans foiled have, among other things, joined the subreddit r/AgainstHateSubreddits. On August 25, 2021, a Reddit user created a post in the r/AgainstHateSubreddits titled, "Trans-hatred Ironic LARP hate sub /r/TransParentTransKids banned." The post opened:

A group of bigots & trolls created a subreddit - r/TransParentTransKids - where they could roleplay as transgender parents of transgender children, in order to platform hateful stereotypes of transgender people.

The post continues to give Reddit users updates on the r/TransParentsTransKids subreddit and instructions on how to "deny them Oxygen of Amplification".

The r/TransParentsTransKids subreddit is now banned from Reddit.

Screen Shot 2021-09-28 at 1.47.44 PM.png

(Source: Reddit screenshot taken on Tue Sep 28 5:49:11 2021 UTC)

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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