Why did schools and officials collude in this destruction of a child's life?

The following is the story of a 15-year-old girl, Sage Lily. The author, her adopted mother (who happens to also be her grandmother), wants the world to know what is happening to vulnerable trans identified children like her daughter.

After Sage’s harrowing experiences became public, a bill was introduced into the Virginia legislature, House Bill 2432, or “Sage’s Law”. It would have required schools to inform parents if their child is identifying as a gender different from his or her biological sex or is a suicide risk. The bill failed at the committee stage.


I am the grandmother of a 15-year-old girl, Sage Lily.

I adopted Sage when she was just shy of two years old. Sage and I live in Virginia with my husband.

Sage started going through gender confusion in 8th grade. To that point she was a straight A student who enjoyed playing piano and writing poetry. At her small school, as Sage informed me, all the girls were either bi, trans, or lesbian. At some point social influence overcame her. She advised her friends and teachers that she wanted to be trans and that Sage would no longer be her name—she requested to be called “Draco” and referred to as a boy. The school obliged since Virginia, by law, requires that students be affirmed by the school staff. Unfortunately, the school did not tell me, her legal mother, about any of this—I was left in the dark. I wish I had known. If I had known, this would have been a much different story.

In August 2021, Sage started 9th grade at the local high school with her trans ID in place, unbeknownst to me. She was bullied and became extremely vulnerable. Soon she was exploited online—a fact I did not know about until later.

On August 25th, she ran away from home. I immediately notified the local sheriff. Her case quickly escalated and the FBI and US Marshall became involved. Sage had been sex-trafficked from Virginia into Washington DC and then transported to Maryland. The FBI and Marshals found her in a locked room at the home of the abuser at 10pm on September 2nd. They called me to let me know, and to inform me that I could pick her up the next morning to bring her home to Virginia. I was told she needed to stay the night at a detention center, as she was being treated at the hospital, and needed a rape kit completed.

I was frantic, as you might imagine, and distraught that I was not allowed to see her right away.

I arrived at the detention center bright and early the next morning. However, once there I received surprising and devastating news—Sage was now being represented by a juvenile attorney and would not be allowed to return to Virginia with us, and I would not be allowed to see her until a court hearing could take place. And, on top of that, my husband and I were going to be investigated for "abuse" because we called her “Sage” and not “Draco”, and used female pronouns in reference to her, rather than he/him.

Abuse charges were filed against my husband and myself and Sage was put in the BOYS’ UNIT of the Children’s Home—where she was AGAIN abused. Following this she was placed in a private room. Again, I was not advised that Sage (with a female body), was placed in a boys’ unit. So now my traumatized child had been kidnapped, sex-trafficked, and then sexually abused again while in the care of the state, rather than returning to her loving home to rebuild. Instead of the trauma care that Sage desperately needed when she was rescued, she was manipulated and our family was treated unfairly. Instead of getting the help she desperately needed and deserved, she was fated to experience even more pain and suffering.

After an investigation by both Maryland and Virginia DSS, the abuse charges were determined to be unfounded. Yet Sage still was not allowed to come home. Instead, she was put on center stage to push a political and gender agenda for a Maryland public defender with clearly no knowledge of trauma caused by sexual exploitation of a child.



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A typical 14-year-old is emotionally immature and struggles with many issues. Sage had additional issues on top of these normal concerns, as she had experienced severe trauma before the age of two. Now with this new trauma of being sex-trafficked, she was even more vulnerable. Despite therapeutic residential programs in Virginia that were willing and able to accept her, the Maryland public defender attorney said Sage could not go because of the trans identification. And the Maryland juvenile court judge agreed!

On November 8th, 2021, the Maryland judge finally released Sage to a facility in Virginia. This was immediately appealed the next day (going against the interstate law for custody) and Maryland continued to retain custody of my child, hoping to place Sage in a foster home in Maryland. Why? Because I called her Sage, her legal name, and not Draco. In this case, it was simply because my husband and I forgot—because certainly, desperate to get our child back, we would have done anything, including using the name Draco. Now our abused child, the victim of a federal sex-trafficking crime, was being sent to a foster home because of gender ideology. There is no way to interpret that this was in my child’s best interest.

To make matters worse, one day, on November 12th, Sage did not return to The Children’s Home after school. She had run away again. Law enforcement, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the FBI were all notified.

At that point I could only hope and pray that Sage was not back in the hands of the predators. I prayed she was still alive. Everyone should have been looking for her. Instead, the Maryland appeal remained active and the attorneys were focused on using her to establish case law for transgender individuals (this attorney went so far as to advise my child she intended to file an appeal and if that failed, would go to the Supreme Court!). This was the Maryland attorney’s main intention—and it was to be accomplished at the risk of my child’s mental health and now her life.

To my horror, the Maryland Marshal found that Sage had been sent from Maryland to Dallas, Texas. On January 24, 2022, the Texas Marshal, through the grace of God, found her in a locked room where, once again, she had been abused by a predator. He had used her for pornography, sold her body for money, starved her, beat her, and drugged her. It was a true miracle she was found. So many children are never found. But, her exploitation would never have happened in the first place if not for the intervention of the state of Maryland.

Now Sage is in a residential therapeutic facility for the next 1-2 years depending on how well she responds to the program. She will struggle with these consequences for the rest of her life. She is only 15 years old. She spent her 15th birthday, October 20th, in Maryland—and I was not even allowed to visit her. I cried all day that day.

I want to share her story with anyone and everyone who will listen. I am just one small voice for thousands of these children that our society is endangering by passing laws that give them more rights than the parents who are there to safeguard and protect them. These new laws are putting vulnerable kids like mine in danger. These kids are not capable of the decisions they are empowered with, and adults are stepping in to exploit them, while their parents have been relegated to the sidelines. These kids’ brains aren’t even fully developed until the age of 25!

We’re allowing these children, schools and medical facilities to legally keep secrets from the parents. This is very real and very scary. I should know.

We need to become one loud voice and warn people that their children’s lives are at stake—literally. There are sick predators out there watching and waiting for these confused kids. Our society is leading them astray by allowing these laws to be passed. It’s a very real issue that deserves much more attention.

Think this can’t happen to you? It can. Please help by sharing Sage’s story.

The author’s name has been withheld to protect her family’s privacy.

This article first appeared on the blog of Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (PITT) and has been republished with permission.

Image credits: Bigstock


Showing 3 reactions

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  • mrscracker
    I’m so terribly sorry for the pain & suffering you all have endured. I agree with Marty Hayden that litigation is really the only solution to ending this sort of abuse carried out on vulnerable, emotionally distressed young people. Expensive civil lawsuits are the only thing that seem to get the proper attention & results. Sadly.
  • Marty Hayden
    commented 2023-12-14 02:12:36 +1100
    What a horrible story! May the good Lord grant Sage healing, and the grandmother peace, and a huge settlement against the State of Maryland. Unfortunately legal action is the appropriate recourse in this instance.
  • Anonymous Author