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Opinion

WALSH: New HBO Documentary On ‘Transkids’ Accidentally Tells Disturbing Truth

DailyWire.com

On Monday, a disturbing clip from a recently released HBO documentary went viral. In the scene, congregants at a unitarian universalist church are invited by the female pastor to “proclaim their identity publicly as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning, intersex, pansexual, asexual, or any category I’ve left out.”

A mother then pulls her young son (four years old, it turns out) onto the stage to announce that he’s really a girl. But the poor child appears to have no interest in being paraded around like his mother’s show pony. He hands the microphone back. “I don’t want to do it,” he protests. The mother takes it upon herself to come out on her son’s behalf, informing the audience that her boy, Phoenix, “would like you to know that she’s a girl and she prefers she and her pronouns.”

Completing the apparently familiar ritual, the pastor hands the child a pink flower as the congregation repeats its creepy affirmation in unison: “May you be well, safe, and whole. We honor you exactly as you are.” Of course, that’s the exact opposite of what they are really doing. 

This isn’t even the worst scene in HBO’s “Transhood” documentary, now available on their streaming platform. The film follows four “transgender” children over the course of five years. It is clearly meant to promote and normalize the form of child abuse just described, but any rational person who subjects themselves to it (I did, but I wouldn’t recommend it) will come away with a number of important insights that the filmmakers did not intend. 

Phoenix’s case is particularly instructive. Before the forced coming out party, we see the boy in a dress, on a bed filled with lots of pink and rainbow-colored things, being read a book called “Jacob’s New Dress” by his mother. In an interview, the mother, Molly, tells us that Phoenix is “gender expansive, non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender awesome, under the trans umbrella, girlboy, and rainbow boy” before concluding that “we don’t really have a good term.” The father, Zach, mostly sits quietly (a common theme in the film) but agrees that his son’s gender is “up in the air right now.” Eventually, Phoenix, who never at any point shows any strong desire to be a girl and appears to be mostly confused and bored with the whole thing, is nonetheless “socially transitioned” into one.

But the years pass and Phoenix continues in the nasty habit of being a boy despite his parents insisting otherwise. Eventually they get divorced (another common theme) and decide that, never mind, actually their son is a boy after all.

The good news is that Molly feels better at the end because she’s worked through her issues and is turning a new leaf. We are not told how her son really feels about having his gender switched back and forth while his home life is ripped in two and his parents give up on their marriage. His feelings and wellbeing appear to be more of an afterthought amid his mother’s psychodrama.

Shades of the Phoenix story can be easily detected in the other three “transkid” profiles. Jay, aged 12 when filming begins, is a girl making the transition into a boy. Her father doesn’t appear to be in the picture at all, but her mother, Bryce, is a lesbian who meets and marries a defensive lineman from the local women’s football league. We are first introduced to Jay when she is being given her first hormone blocker injection before the onset of puberty. Later she goes into surgery to have a blocker implanted in her body. Bryce seems unsure, even at times distraught, by her child’s transition, but nonetheless goes along with it, funds it, and facilitates it every step of the way.

A similar dynamic with Leena, 15-years-old at the beginning of filming, and also just beginning the medical transition — in this case from boy to girl. We meet Leena and his divorced father, Mike, as the two are out bikini shopping. We learn that Mike had his hesitations about the transgender thing when Leena first announced his gender confusion around the time of the parents divorce nine years prior, but has since learned to accept it. His son’s ambition is to become a Victoria’s Secret model, and Mike, along with his ex-wife, accompany Leena to his first modeling tryout. By the end of the film, Leena has decided to take it all the way, going under the surgeon’s knife (the surgeon is also transgender) to make his physical transition permanent. 

The most disturbing story of all is that of 7-year-old Avery, a boy who, according to his parents, is really a girl deep down. Avery’s mother, Debi, traipses the child all around the country doing media interviews, attending marches, rallies, etc. The camera’s catch the moments when Debi informs Avery that he will be “writing” a trans-affirming children’s book and then going on a book tour, and when Debi tells Avery that a National Geographic photographer will be arriving shortly to take pictures for the magazine’s upcoming cover story on gender. Avery is clearly unhappy with all of this. He objects to his mother’s schemes and at one point late in the film, upon hearing that he will be forced to attend yet another LGBT rally in DC, says that his life is “ruined” and voices a level of exhaustion and weariness that no child should ever know.

Avery doesn’t seem very invested in his female identity. Minus the long, neon-colored hair and the overcompensating rainbow outfits that his mother puts him in, he comes across like a relatively normal young boy. Debi, noticing this with some level of alarm, decides that Avery is just a “tomboy transgirl” — that is, a boy who is a girl who acts like a boy. As for Avery’s father’s view of everything, it is never made entirely clear. Like the other fathers in the film, he is a useless lump of nothingness, floating along with the tide while his wife psychologically and physically destroys his son in order to satisfy her own unquenchable narcissism.

That is the lesson the film doesn’t want to teach us, but does anyway. There is no mystery to the trans-ness of Avery, Phoenix, Leena, or Jay. In Avery’s case, his mother has seemingly imposed his trans identity onto him. Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a known mental illness where a parent — usually a mother — pretends that their child is sick, or sometimes even causes the child to be sick, in order to gain sympathy and attention for themselves. If the psychiatric industry was at all honest or trustworthy, Debi would be diagnosed with this disorder and her children removed from her care for their own safety. As it happens, though, and as the film clearly portrays, doctors and therapists are much more likely to feed into this kind of mania than diagnose and treat it. That is the other piece of the puzzle that removes any mystery from the trans epidemic among children. The entire medical field, with very rare exception, has bought into radical left-wing gender theory. A gender confused child with a parent like Debi stands no chance. He will find no help, no protection, from his pediatricians or his therapists. They will send him off to be drugged, mutilated, and further abused. 

But not all trans kids have parents like Debi. The other kids in “Transhood” seem to have mothers and fathers who are perhaps less exploitative than they are confused, incompetent, and self-absorbed. All throughout the documentary we constantly see the parents turning to their kids and asking them for direction, relying on their children to take the lead. Phoenix’s dad at one point gives the closest thing we hear to a fatherly lecture, telling his son-turned-daughter-turned-son that it’s okay that he was a girl before, and it’s okay that he’s a boy now, and it’s okay if he becomes a girl again, and really it’s all up to him. “We’ll call you a girl later if you want,” he says. Well, gee, thanks for the advice, pop.

Like any child, Phoenix desperately needs direction, leadership, and clarity. What he gets instead are shrugging shoulders and his henpecked father’s pathetic refusal to offer any guidance of any kind. It is up to Phoenix to figure out who he is, what reality is, what anything is. His parents will provide nothing to the child except food, a bed, a roof, and a bunch of pretty dresses should he decide he wants to wear them. Other than that, the boy is on his own.

Of course, the documentary wants us to learn a different lesson. In the epilogue before the credits roll, the last thing we are told is that Leena, right after waking up from his gender reassignment surgery, turned to his mother and whispered “I’m free.” I doubt whether he said that at all, but if he did, it was yet another expression of the tragic confusion that has plagued him since early childhood. He is not free now that he has rejected himself and his own biological nature in a way that can never be truly undone. But that is another lesson he will have to learn on his own, with no help from his parents. And the sad thing is that when he does, it will be too late. 

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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