Parents of ROGD Kids

This content was last updated Oct. 3, 2023, 11:30 p.m. UTC

Parents of ROGD Kids (PROGDK) is an anti-transgender activist organization that presents itself as both an advocacy and support group for the non-affirming parents of transgender youth. The organization’s name references the fringe theory that many trans youth are experiencing an theoretical condition called Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), caused by a social contagion leading them to falsely believe they are trans due to encountering other trans people in person or on social media platforms. There is no direct evidence for this theory, but papers surveying the attitudes of parents frequenting the website for Parents of ROGD Kids and similar websites have been used by believers in a circular fashion as evidence for the truth of their beliefs.

Our children are young, naïve and impressionable, many of them are experiencing emotional or social difficulties. They are strongly influenced by their peers and by the media, who are promoting the transgender lifestyle as popular, desirable and the solution to all of their problems. And they are being misled by authority figures, such as teachers, doctors and counselors, who rush to "affirm" their chosen gender without ever questioning why.

From the Parents of ROGD Kids Homepage, 3 January 2018


PROGDK’s website was registered on December 1st, 2017. The organization has no public leadership information available, but does promote the work of J. Michael Bailey, Ray Blanchard, Lisa Littman, and Lisa Marchiano


PROGDK does not appear to be a registered business or charity, and has no publicly available information about their funding. They do not publicly solicit donations, claiming on their website that they “do not advertise” and “have no budget.”

Origins of ROGD

The fringe theory of ROGD was invented some time in 2016 on websites connected to anti-trans activism. Solicitation for responses to a survey about the proposed phenomenon were posted on July 2nd, 2016, on anti-transgender blog 4thWaveNow. Those responses would be used in a controversial paper published in August of 2018 to legitimize ROGD as a concept. The paper received criticism for its data gathering methodologies, and for seeking only parents’ point of view. It was edited and republished to make it clearer that it was a survey of parental attitudes only in March of 2019.

Anti-transgender psychotherapist Lisa Marchiano would later discuss ROGD on her blog in a post that has since been deleted.


The about page for PROGDK describes transgender people as “not normal,” states that gender affirming care is tantamount to conversion therapy, and falsely states that there is no evidence that transitioning can improve transgender people’s lives. They describe transgender people as a poltical ideology and gender affirming care as experimental.

The website also has a webform that can be filled out to find a “support group” near you, and provides guidance on finding therapists who won’t affirm a child’s stated gender identity or help treat transgender youth’s dysphoria.

2023 ROGD Paper

In March of 2023, J. Michael Bailey published a now-retracted paper alongside “Suzanna Diaz” surveying parents who visited the website for PROGDK on their perceptions about whether their children fit the stereotype of young people who are victims of a social contagion. It found that these parents did believe their children fit that stereotype. The paper was published in Archives of Sexual Behavior whose Editor-in-Chief is the conversion therapist Kenneth Zucker.

As a result of the paper’s publication, an open letter was written to the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) and Archives of Sexual Behavior with one hundred signatories and the support of multiple LGBTQ+ organizations expressing dissatisfaction with Zucker’s work as Editor-in-Chief. Bailey’s paper was criticized for failing to receive international review board (IRB) approval before publication, and for containing leading language based on outdated science. The signatories stated that they would not submit work to the journal, act as peer reviewers, or serve in any editorial capacity until Zucker was "replaced with an editor who has a demonstrated record of integrity on LGBTQ+ matters, and, especially, trans matters."

The paper was retracted in May of 2023, allegedly because “Diaz” does not belong to an academic or medical institution, and was thus required to receive IRB approval before publishing. Bailey stated that the paper was a success, having been downloaded 38,000 times, and alleges that it was retracted due to LGBTQ+ activists taking over academia.

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