This month, HBO Max released the documentary Transhood, a film celebrating transgender identity for children as young as age four. According to director/producer Sharon Liese, the film’s central characters — children ages 4, 7, 12, and 15 — “redefine ‘coming of age.'” Many conservatives rightly condemned the film as “child abuse,” launching a Twitter hashtag “#BoycottHBO.”
While the documentary’s basic premise is disturbing enough, the outrage focused on a clip slightly longer than one minute in which a pro-LGBT church celebrates the “transition” of a 4-year-old boy identified as “Phoenix.”
“Today, we choose to recognize, honor, love, and celebrate anyone here who would claim their identity publicly as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, pansexual, asexual, or any category that I’ve left out,” a female minister says in the clip.
A mother brings her two children to the altar and introduces her four-year-old boy. “This is Phoenix,” the mother says. A woman hands the boy a microphone to announce his transgender identity as a girl, but Phoenix turns to his mother, saying he is “shy.”
“Do you want to tell everyone if you’re a boy or a girl?” his mother encourages.
“I just want to tell them that I’m a girl,” the boy says to his mother.
“Okay, you can tell them that,” his mother says. The boy turns to the crowd, holds up the microphone, and then reconsiders, saying, “I don’t want to do it.”
“Phoenix would like you to know that she’s a girl and she prefers ‘she’ and ‘her’ pronouns,” the mother says as the embarrassed boy walks off the stage.
The mother brings her son back to the stage as the congregation joins in a disturbing prayer. “May you be well, safe, and whole. We honor you exactly as you are,” the minister says.
Ironically, the minister, the congregation, and even the boy’s mother did not honor him exactly as he is — they honored him according to a profession of transgender identity that he is too young to make. Even if he were old enough to understand the meaning of gender and biological sex, the boy could not change the fact that he is male — that every full cell in his body carries X and Y chromosomes and that from conception, through his time in the womb, and before and after puberty he has developed and will continue to develop as male.
The minister’s Orwellian prayer about accepting the boy “exactly” as he is involves denying the plain biological reality right in front of her. This is bad enough, as it encourages the boy to grow up with a false understanding of biological sex. Yet this ceremony and the attitudes it encourages may also harm the boy physically.
Many medical professionals now encourage experimental “treatments” to “confirm” children’s “gender identity.” Major medical associations have embraced transgender ideology, recommending experimental “puberty-blocking” drugs with long-term side-effects for kids and cross-sex hormones for older children and young adults. Endocrinologists have warned that the “treatments” actually cause a disease that will likely stunt these children’s growth and cause long-term harm.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has encouraged transgender “treatments” for some who suffer from gender dysphoria, has rightly warned about “a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.” She shared a documentary about the gender clinic in Britain, where whistleblowers have voiced concerns that some parents push transgenderism on children because the parents prefer a “straight” transgender child over a “gay” child.
Men and women who once identified as transgender have grown to reject that identity, lamenting the serious damage they did to their bodies. “I am a real, live 22-year-old woman, with a scarred chest and a broken voice, and five o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman, that’s my reality,” admitted one woman who once identified as a man and took cross-sex hormones. One man described his artificial female anatomy as a “Frankenstein hack job.”
Evidence from the 10 available prospective follow-up studies from childhood to adolescence for gender dysphoric kids (who identify with the gender opposite their biological sex) shows that about 80 percent of those kids lose their gender dysphoria around the time of puberty. For these and other reasons, many pediatricians have condemned the mainstreaming of transgenderism among children as “child abuse.”
Similarly, the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh condemned the HBO documentary as child abuse, urging an HBO boycott.
“HBO is promoting and normalizing the most horrific forms of child abuse with its ‘Transhood’ documentary. If you have HBO’s streaming service, cancel it. Don’t give your money to this evil,” Walsh tweeted.
“It’s grotesque to tell this tiny boy to be ‘well, safe, & whole’ when probably they’ll chemically castrate him with puberty blockers as part of their destructive trans ideology,” political commentator Liz Wheeler tweeted. “He’s not old enough to walk on stage by himself. He can’t ‘pick’ a gender.”
Transgender activism involves a great many societal changes that will undermine the rights of girls and women to privacy in spaces like bathrooms and changing rooms, as well as their right to fair competition in sports. Yet the disturbing advocacy of transgender identity for young children — likely later to involve experimental treatments that amount to chemical castration — is utterly sickening.
Episodes like this should jolt Americans out of their complacency on this issue, and encourage them to stand up for truth against this nefarious movement.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.