Taking oneself hostage is a bold move, but sometimes it pays off. It worked for Bart, the hero of Mel Brooks’s classic it-could-never-be-made-today comedy Blazing Saddles, and it just might succeed for the trans-kids movement as well.
Among the latest examples of this gambit is a Variety profile of Jazz Jennings, who became famous after appearing on 20/20 as a six-year-old transgender child in 2007. Attention, accolades, activism, and entrepreneurship followed, including a TLC show, I Am Jazz, that is about to enter a seventh season, after a couple of years off for Jennings to deal with “burnout, depression, and anxiety.” Now, Jazz is back, but Variety’s paean to Jennings and other trans kids inadvertently reveals the dangers of transgender ideology and the movement it fuels.
The piece presents Jazz and other trans icons and advocates as lifesavers, on the premise that trans-identifying children will kill themselves without affirmation and transition treatments. The article claims that laws restricting minors’ access to medical transition “could quite literally be a matter of life and death.” Jazz’s mother, Jeanette, declares, “When I talk to a parent that says to me, ‘My child would not be alive today if it wasn’t for you,’ that makes it all worthwhile. . . . To save a child’s life, there’s nothing greater than that.”
Conversely, skeptics of the trans-kids movement are accused of being hateful, bigoted child-killers. But they are not the ones feeding vulnerable children a suicide script in which the alternative to transition is death. We should be alarmed by a movement that encourages mentally distressed youth to take themselves hostage — the tactic reveals something ugly at the heart of transgender ideology. Furthermore, its presuppositions are unsupported by the evidence. Though those who identify as transgender do commit or attempt suicide at high rates, it has not been demonstrated that early transition will ameliorate this.
Nathanael Blake is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.