Trans Youth: HBO Vice Peddles Child Abuse
An HBO VICE Production
An HBO VICE Production
Frankly, the name gives it away. Caveat emptor. So a self-selected audience gathered at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. Some of us, perhaps, came out of scientific curiosity.
Truth is, I came ready to mock. But I stayed, despite the very uncomfortable quality of the presentation documentary, because I hoped a semblance of balance would permeate the proceedings about “transitioning youth.”
Not only was I disappointed, and there was no real attempt to handle the red-hot and excruciating topic with dispassion and anything like scientific rigor, but just sitting still in the packed auditorium space, surrounded by rapt devotees or whoever the new minority victims are, proved uncomfortable in the extreme. The filmmakers kept referring to this aberrant thing as “human rights.” But is it?
Yes, I came to witness the latest craze of irregularity, hoping for science amid the fetish lavishing. The gruesome reality is that children as young as first graders, kids with no idea how to tie their shoes, let alone “choose their gender identity,” are being permitted to decide what bathroom they want to frequent, because they “feel” they are boys not girls, or vice versa.
still from Trans Youth
A child of 8 or 9, formerly Amelia, now Max, sat between her parents after the film, for the Q and A. S/he had a boy’s haircut, and wore ambiguous gender neutral chinos and shirt. But when s/he was asked questions by the fawning audience, she giggled, covered her face, shone radiantly at all the attention, and behaved, ridiculously, like the girl she was born. Ending every response with, “Max, out!”
The film featured a number of transitioning kids, one a “girl” of high school age. He/she regretted starting puberty-retarding drugs “too late,” and rued for the camera the fact that he/she was “too tall,” and her body was “too mannish.” Charlotte has a voice deeper than James Earl Jones, wears a ton of makeup that just makes her look like a drag queen, and makes clear, though no one said anything, that going from female to male seems lots easier than the obverse.
Even so, the film is full of first and second graders asking, “What are you?” to little Max, indicating that they could not easily discern what was what. He was banished to the school nurse’s bathroom, to avoid fights with the other ids who screamed, “Get out of here.”
One of the less pleasant aspects of the retardant drugs to delay unwanted puberty is that growth is slowed, so girls becoming boys attain shorter heights than regular boys do. Indeed, little Max was slight, with rounded limbs and girlish physiognomy despite the butchified haircut. Soon, he’ll get testosterone injections and toughen up.
My questions were not asked, because the podium people who made the film, HBO male and female, did not call on me. The questions I sought to clarify were: Why, when 17 year olds are not allowed to drink and join the military, attend an R movie or buy adult beverages, have parents failed to guide their confused and attention-seeking offspring into counseling and regimens of therapy before the irreversible steps of administered testosterone or estrogen, severally? What it seems like to an observer not enamored of changing one’s birth gender is that these parents are guilty of massive self-delusion, obeisance to absurd trends, and, most of all, child abuse. They may love their kids, but they are bad parents.
Therapists are still so new to the entire phenomenon that they could not with assurance say what the results might be 20 years down the line. What if the children woke up one day and realized they did want children, or did not want high heels? Serious questions.
But therapy and examination of why a little girl or boy rejects his or her biology is not ventured. “Are you sure you want to be a boy/girl?” They ask repeatedly. To kids who can’t decide whether to have peanut butter wrap or a chicken salad for lunch.
The big issue, apparently, was that stats show that whereas regular kids commit suicide at a 4.6% rate, according to the film, trans youths commit suicide at about 41%, they maintain. So harassed parents and grandparents, bemused and clearly uncomfortable at the entire situation of intrusive interviews and kids becoming reversed at tender ages, yowl, “It’s not just bathroom choice—it’s life and death!” The bathroom fight continues all over the US, by the way.
Another question, unasked by any of the largely rapt crowd of Upper West Siders, was, Why are children so young, or even of teen age, being permitted to decide such crucial decisions in the first place?
There was a lot of hugging and averring, “We’re so proud of you!” Like a bunch of SNL dopey Al Frankens telling himself he’s worthwhile, and besides…. But why? Why does freakish nonconforming and endless shots, operations, implants and removals warrant hugs and glowing plaudits?
Simply put, the film made me sick. I left feeling nauseated, almost dizzy with the underlying deceits and malpractice, angry. It took several hours [and a caramel macchiato] to calm down.
From what is presented in this documentary, the entire enterprise, at least for young persons clueless about life, is that this is child abuse.