A Canadian father was jailed this month after he disobeyed a court order and refused to call his 14-year-old biological daughter – who identifies as male – his “son”.
The controversial case has drawn worldwide attention, mostly because it includes a father and mother who disagree over the child’s best interests. The couple is separated.
The father, Robert Hoogland, is under a court order not to discuss the case in public. The court also has ordered him to call the child his “son” and to use only the child’s preferred pronouns, “he” and “him.” Hoogland, though, has refused to obey the court. He even set up a fundraising website detailing information about the case in defiance of the court order.
Hoogland opposes giving the child puberty blockers, believing the child might grow up to regret the decision. The mother, the medical system and the courts have endorsed puberty blockers for the child.
The Post Millennial, a Canadian website, reported that Hoogland was arrested Tuesday. A judge had issued the warrant and said Hoogland was in contempt of court after talking about the case in public and calling the child his “daughter,” and using the pronouns “she” and “her.”
“Here I am, sitting there as a parent, watching a perfectly healthy child be destroyed, and there's nothing I can do but sit on the sideline according to [the court],” Hoogland previously said. “I can only affirm, or get thrown in jail.”
Last December, Hoogland was ordered by a court to assist in the gender transitioning of the child and was ordered not to call the child his “daughter,” The Post Millennial reported. He refused.
The child has complex mental health problems that the court blamed on gender dysphoria, Hoogland said. He believes the child eventually will grow out of the desire to be male.
“They've created a delusion, and they're forcing parents to live in this delusion,” he previously said, according to The Post Millennial. “What happens when the bubble explodes and the delusion ends? … She can never go back to being a girl in the healthy body she should have had … These kids don't understand. What kind of 13-year-old is thinking about having a family and kids?”
Hoogland said he doesn’t want to have any regrets about the case in the future.
“What kind of father would I be if, in 10 years’ time she's detransitioning, and she asks me, ‘Why didn't you do anything to stop this? None of you stuck your neck out for me back then.’”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Natasaadzic
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.