By Jonathon Van Maren
It took the gay rights movement decades to gain domination of the entertainment world. The transgender activists who were right at their heels made much shorter work of it. Hollywood transitioned in scarcely a decade, with every TV genre—including and perhaps especially children’s entertainment—pushing transgender storylines.
This potent propaganda is accomplishing two primary goals: the normalization of gender ideology in all its forms and the demonization of dissidents who oppose it. In just a few short years, our culture’s most powerful storytellers have enlisted in the service of the trans movement. Consider a few recent examples.
In 2022, director Billy Porter (a gay man renowned for dressing in drag) released the coming-of-age romantic comedy Anything’s Possible. It is a standard, cheesy teen rom-com with an angsty pop soundtrack—except for the fact that Kelsa (whose name means “brave”) was born male and now identifies as a “trans girl.” Kelsa looks like a girl, too, and Khal, her classmate, falls hopelessly in love. He watches Kelsa’s YouTube videos about going on puberty blockers and transgender experiences and decides—like the open-minded protagonist that he is—that none of that matters. Gender itself doesn’t matter. They are just two teens falling in love, and anything’s possible.
It is more complicated, of course. References are made to the fact that Kelsa’s body isn’t female, but that is dismissed out of hand as irrelevant to love (although not, presumably, to love-making). The film is a powerfully normalizing piece of LGBT propaganda in large part because Kelsa is played by Eva Reign, a biological male who “transitioned” at a young age and can very much “pass” as female.
Just as teen transgenderism is normalized, opponents of transgender ideology are demonized. When Kelsa is briefly barred from the girls’ bathroom, it is portrayed as a bigoted attempt to tar a transgender person by exploiting unreasonable fears. Those who refuse to use Kelsa’s “preferred pronouns” are portrayed as vile, “illiterate” people who merely wish to cause unnecessary pain. A mother who objects to Kelsa using the girls’ bathroom, presented as a loudmouthed bigot, is told bluntly: “You are a danger to your daughter with that attitude.” The scene ends with her own daughter telling her, “I don’t think like you,” and storming out.
Both Porter and Reign see the film—which was released on Amazon Prime—as “part of a revolution.” As Reign told Entertainment Weekly: “Artists often times make [art] either in response to the culture or in opposition to it.” Both hope that Anything’s Possible will affirm the titular premise and spawn an entire subgenre of transgender stories.
But before that there was A Kid Like Jake (2018), directed by Silas Howard, a transgender director seeking to push LGBT ideology through art. The film features an all-star cast (including prominent gay actor Jim Parsons as lead) and tells the story of parents struggling to understand their “gender-nonconforming” four-year-old son, who insists on wearing princess dresses and “tucks” his penis between his legs in the bath—both key indications, according to trans activists, that he is transgender.
Jake’s lesbian preschool teacher (played by Octavia Spencer) asks the father why he “didn’t tell [his son] there are some men who wear skirts in our culture” and emphatically informs both parents: “Let me tell you: the impulse to embrace children as they are is not a political agenda.” The film ends with Jake, dressed in girl’s clothing, being swung down the sidewalk by his parents.
That is a clever place to end the story—because in our culture, kids like Jake often end up on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and then, finally, under the knife for castration and other surgeries. But Jake’s future is left up in the air. His trajectory is likely tragic. Transgender child star Jazz Jennings, a kid like Jake, is now sterile and will likely never experience sexual pleasure due to his “transition” to female.
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