By Jonathon Van Maren
Two documentaries exposing the transgender movement/industry have been released thus far in 2023, and it is only March. The first, Dead Name, I reviewed back in January. It is a grim, chilling look at what parents endure when their children get swept up in the transgender cult and choose to transition. The second, Affirmation Generation, is a broader look at multiple aspects of the transgender craze, from the personal experiences of young people captured by a peer contagion to the industry giants profiting from the medicalization of childhood:
The entire documentary is available online, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in getting a grasp of many aspects of this issue. Interestingly, the documentary comes from a leftist point of view, and it is fascinating to see, once again, how gender ideology fundamentally erodes the foundational premises of both feminism and the gay rights movement. As several interviewees point out, many of the boys and girls opting for “transition” would have once identified as gay, lesbian—or merely tomboys. Gender stereotypes are back in force, this time with horrifying, lifelong, medical consequences.
Stella O’Malley, a psychotherapist, put it this way: “You’ve got the medical model jumping in on the cultural zeitgeist of people pushing back against gender norms”—and children are being medicalized for life as a result. This, says O’Malley, is medical malpractice, because what “transition” is, fundamentally, is “medicalizing perfectly healthy bodies and making them sicker.” Making them sicker. An obvious but jarring formulation. But as many European nations are disavowing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries, 22 medical organizations have gotten behind the “affirmative model” and leftist legislators in the U.S. have doubled down.
Indeed, as prestigious medical bodies in Sweden, Finland, France, Italy, Australia, and Norway express their concerns, the American Academy of Pediatrics is refusing to do a systematic evidence review. As Affirmation Generation makes clear, many individual medical professionals are horrified by this.
This film, like Dead Name, notes that parents are often trapped. Kids will say they are suicidal, get taken to the hospital by desperate parents, and the medical staff will keep them until parents agree to affirm—often without assessing for active suicidal ideation or reviewing the complete mental health picture. Often the children are experiencing passive ideation, but almost everything we know about mental health has been abandoned when it comes to dealing with gender dysphoria. One study showed that 48% of kids identifying as transgender have autism. Many of them have been bullied. The YouTube influencers promising them a new identity and a chance to leave that life behind for a sunny life at the end of the rainbow have become Pied Pipers.
We don’t yet know how many children are “de-transitioning”—Chloe Cole told me that a wave is coming, and that seems likely. Some studies indicate that the “desistance” rate is at least 30% rather than the 3% that gender clinics claim. One in ten teens are now identifying as transgender. Research suggests that long-term regret and mortality occur 8 to 11 years after gender reassignment. Affirmation Generation leaves the implication unsaid but clear: Buckle up. It’s going to be a rough decade for thousands, maybe millions of kids. And the social fallout from this is going to be transformative.