Trans Pride Flag Creator, 71, Announces Adoption of 14-Year-Old ‘Trans Daughter’

The Navy veteran responsible for designing the transgender pride flag has announced on social media that he and his partner, also a trans-identified male, have adopted a “transgender” child.

Monica Helms, born Robert Hogge, designed the first trans pride flag in 1999. He currently resides in Georgia with his partner Darlene Darlington Wagner, another trans-identified male who is 23 years younger than him.

On December 22, Helms announced that he and Wagner were in the process of adopting a 14-year-old “trans daughter,” who was living with the two adults while the paperwork was being finalized. The child is a biological male who Helms claims is a “girl.”

Helms is currently 71-years-old, but the state of Georgia does not place maximum age restrictions on adoption.

According to his Facebook, Helms began the adoption process earlier in 2022. On July 16 of that year, Helms posted: “We just got word that our home study is done for the adoption. We now have to clean the house and prepare to see a child. I prefer to adopt a trans child. They need a solid home that will protect them from the crap in the world. We’re those parents.”

Days later, on July 21, Helms said: “We found a trans girl to adopt on the Georgia DFCS [Division of Family & Children Services] web site. More info later.” Another update was shared on August 10, with Helms stating, “We sent in a list of six children we would like to look at for adoption.”

In November, Helms asked his followers, “Has anyone ever heard of a trans couple adopting a trans child?” Several individuals commented to say that they believed this situation had occurred, and Helms pressed them for the identities of trans-identifying parents with trans-identifying adopted children ostensibly on the basis that he wanted to meet up with them for advice. One commenter, however, stated that Helms and Wagner may be “the first,” and said that such an adoption would be “historic.”

Subsequent updates state that the two men were being addressed as “mom” by the child.

“She wants to start calling us ‘Mom,'” Helms posted on November 14. A few days later, he updated his followers, writing: “Darlene and I are now Mom². We’ll probably become ‘square Moms.'”

Helms and his partner identify as “lesbians.” Helms in particular began to identify as a lesbian woman in 1997 while he was also working at a pornography shop in Arizona that “sold adult videos” and lingerie.

In September of 2022, Helms’ partner, Darlene Wagner, announced that the two had been approved as foster parents, and were offering their home to children for care. In the post, Wagner made a call for anyone who wanted child care.

“Monica and I are approved Foster Parents now. We were asked to provide respite care for a 16-year-old next weekend, but he doesn’t seem to be interested in staying with us…” Wagner wrote. “I’m somewhat disappointed after all this work of getting our home approved. Are there friends out there who would like to drop off their kid for a weekend at our house to get a break?”

As previously reported by Reduxx, Helms has a disturbing history surrounding his perception of age and sex.

Last year, Helms posted to Facebook announcing his transgender age as 25. Commenters wished him a happy 25th birthday, with one individual noting that by the same logic, his partner, Wagner, would be just 16 years old.

Helms has also authored fantasy stories involving themes of age regression, forced feminization, and lesbian body-swapping in a collection titled Tales from a Two-Gendered Mind.

Cover art: Tales from a Two-Gendered Mind

In one tale, titled “A Woman Scorned,” an Arizona man finds himself being stalked by a young girl who looks “no more than sixteen years-old” and whom he initially mistakes for a Girl Scout.

“The beautiful girl looked at me with her alluring eyes… She announced, ‘All I want is you! I want to marry you,’” Helms wrote in the story.

The child later reveals herself to be a witch who claims to be older than she appears; among her powers is the ability to age very slowly, causing her to look “far younger than her true age.” The man marries her and they have a daughter who similarly does not age in a natural fashion.

Helms first began his “transition” in 1992 after he started illicitly taking Premarin, a form of estrogen developed as hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. Five years later, he declared himself a ‘transgender woman’ and lesbian. In his 2019 memoir More Than Just a Flag, Helms describes how his obsession with presenting as a woman led to the breakdown of his marriage to his wife, Donna, after she had discovered he was hiding away family finances to purchase estrogen, women’s clothing, and to pay to attend cross-dresser conferences.

“I would cash my paycheck and put some in a personal account before depositing the rest into the family account. Donna knew I did this and occasionally got upset with me,” Helms states. Two years prior, the family had lost their home due to bankruptcy.

Monica Helms (Robert Hogge) at a book signing for his memoir in Arizona, 2019. Photo: AZ Central

Yet Helms’ compulsive sexual behavior followed a pattern of escalation, which he describes as beginning with the theft of his mother’s underwear.

When narrating his childhood in the memoir, Helms details how, at the age of 12, he would steal his mother’s undergarments.

“I went into my parents’ bedroom and looked through my mother’s dresser drawers,” Helms writes. “I found several of my mother’s cotton panties and bras, nearly stacked in piles. The ‘Girl in the Shadows’ wanted to try them on. I wanted to try them on. When I did, they felt exciting to wear.”

While serving with the US Navy during the 1970s, Helms began stealing women’s underwear from the laundry room of his apartment complex in South Carolina. He explains his thievery first began after seeing a female tenant’s bra in a drying machine.

“Images of the days when I tried on my mother’s underwear came back to me, pulling primordial feelings with them… As I stood watching the bra swirl around in the dryer, I sensed a growing desire to dress as a woman and to see the hidden woman within me.”

Robert Hogge in boot camp, age 19, and later, as Monica Helms

Helms was secretly participating in erotic cross-dressing and attending drag clubs when met the woman he would eventually marry in 1978. She strongly disapproved of his fetishistic behavior.

“Six months into the marriage, I found out just how Donna really felt about my cross-dressing. She came home one day and found me wearing a dress. She went ballistic and told me in no uncertain terms that I would never dress like that at home ever again,” Helms wrote of the confrontation.

Throughout the course of their marriage, Helms continued to pursue his sexual fetish against his wife’s wishes, spending family finances on clothing, makeup, and hormones. He routinely invested in attending get-togethers, or “Holiday En Femme,” with other male cross-dressers, where lessons were provided on how to talk and walk “like a woman.”

He was also attending sex clubs in Phoenix during the early years of his ‘transition’, which “afforded patrons the chance to watch people have sex in windowed rooms.” Helms tells of how these clubs “enabled me to fulfill each and every fantasy I had concerning sex with men. This included orgies, hot tubs, you name it.”

Concurrently, Helms was working a day job at Sprint, and he began taking his cross-dressing fetish public by wearing prosthetic breasts and “dresses cut too short” to the office, which he attributes to having entered his “second puberty” at the age of 46.

According to his memoir, female co-workers began to complain about his presence in the women’s restrooms, but management ultimately sided with Helms and told women who were uncomfortable to use an alternative restroom located on a different floor of the building.

Helms goes on to write that once he had “gotten all that out of my system”, in reference to the orgies he was participating in, he began to identify as a lesbian woman. He attended lesbian clubs “three to four times a week” from 1999 to 2000, “flirting” and participating in “sensual dancing.” It was during this period that he says he designed the transgender pride flag.

When writing about the birth of his first child, Helms expresses a jealousy of his wife as he watched her go into labor.

“I felt especially proud of Donna for all she had to endure during childbirth… That being said, I have to say that, despite all the pain she went through, I felt strangely envious that she carried and gave birth to both of our boys and I didn’t.”

In November 2022, while Helms was in the process of selecting a “transgender daughter” to adopt, he authored an article for The Advocate in which he states that as a child, he had “prayed for God to turn me into a girl” because he knew he had been “born in the wrong body.” He condemned the “extremist beliefs” behind a number of bills being considered in various states that would restrict the medical ‘transitioning’ of children.

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Genevieve Gluck

Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.

Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.