What the fucking fuck, “Real Life”?

[Trigger warning: transphobia and misgendering]

I have just managed to get through the first … two minutes, maybe, of a “documentary” entitled “Real Life: Transgender Kids”. (Link to Part 1 of 6 on the ‘tube.*)

Interesting, I thought.  Some insight into the effects on kids and families and communities when young kids are allowed to choose which gender they will present as despite assumptions about biological sex.

Then.

The opening disclaimer, folks, … I’m seriously a bit speechless.  I, ranter of mighty rants, simply cannot fucking describe this fuckwittery.

In this film we will be referring to all the children by their biological sex,

Significant pause.

but this is not how their family and friends see them

Significant pause.

or how they see themselves.

Which seems to beg a pretty FUCKING OBVIOUS QUESTION, “documentary”-makers.

WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO THAT.

Oh, right.  Because screw the happiness on these kids’ faces and screw their wonderfully eloquent expressions of who they are and how they wish to be identified.  We must never be allowed to forget for one fucking second, even in a documentary that purports to treat these kids and their families sympathetically, that COCK means BOY and TRUCKS and VIDEO GAMES and VAGINA means GIRL and PIGTAILS and PINKPINKPINK.

These kids have the massive fucking good fortune to have parents who, sometimes eventually, have allowed them to be who the hell they want to be.  Have accepted their child’s identity and run with it.  But god fucking forbid that the invisible voice on the television screen let you think that that’s their decision to make.  Heaven forfend that this be viewed as some kind of personal issue not slave to the whims of a narrow-minded assumption-heavy society.

Even their own fucking sum-up, somewhat unfortunately reproduced verbatim at gaynz.com, should’ve clued someone in to the fact this was a phenomenally offensive fucking idea (misgendering pronouns edited; note Josie’s mother uses correct pronouns):

One of the children followed is Josie. At the age of just six, [her] determination to be a girl was causing [her] behaviour to become erratic.

“As soon as we’d even praise her using a male pronoun she would just lose it,” says Josie’s mother, Vanessa. “She would throw herself down, she would cry hysterically, I mean the biggest tantrum you could imagine. She ripped the paper off the walls of her bedroom.”

Vanessa goes on to describe some pretty fucking awful attempted self-harm.

So of course it seemed like a fucking spiffing idea to some fucking asshole on the production team to film Josie, and talk to Josie, and be informed by Josie that she is a girl … and then tell the entire fucking world not to believe her.

Fuck you, asshole.

~

*Silver lining:  it gives me great hope for the universe that the top-rated comment on that vid is “thumbs up if you cringe every time they use the wrong fucking pronouns”. Other comments … not so good.

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10 comments

  1. Octavia

    Not only is this doing verbal violence to CHILDREN, which should be a giant red flag to anyone with an ounce of compassion, but I imagine the kids’ parents would be PISSED as well. ‘We opened our homes and lives to you on a very sensitive subject and you said WHAT?!’
    Why would someone transphobic even want to make a documentary that wasn’t out and out rage hatey anyway? Lullz seeming to have empathy is a totes great joke? Oh *fauxgressives*.

    • QoT

      I would anticipate some wonderful “oh but people would get CONFUSED” apologism, because trans people don’t count and somehow it’s not MORE confusing to have the voiceover refer to “he” while the interviewee is saying “she”. That or some wonderfully douchey biological essentialism.

  2. PharaohKatt

    Yuck, that is seriously disgusting. These kids are lucky enough to have parents who love and accept them, only to be reminded that the rest of the world is still full of hate and transphobia and bigotry.

    What the fuck is so wrong with using the right pronouns? What the fuck is so confusing about that? Grrrrr. 😡

    • QoT

      I honestly only watched about three minutes before the misgendering bugged me too much. But it did seem to be looking at some good, positive stories about families supporting their kids, and the kids being very “normal” as their identified gender.

  3. notafeminist

    The documentary is actually pretty good, but the pronouns decision is simply unfathomable. It’s incredibly patronising, and unfortunately not an uncommon attitude for liberals to have. They’re all ‘yeah man trans stuff is fine’ but they’ll still snigger at the suggestion that Lady Gaga looks like a man or Justin Bieber looks like a girl; they still defend gendered school uniforms and gendered bathrooms and gendered choir outfits; they have no real desire to go out of their way to use the right pronouns. They ‘care’ for liberal cred points, but they don’t actually care. I see it everywhere, especially since I’ve been supporting a good friend who’s recently come out. Transphobia is still rife in many parts of the gay community as well.

    We need documentaries like this, but we also need the documentary makers to actually care.

  4. Erika

    I just googled the name of the documentary + ‘transphobia’ because I was shocked that they just KEPT pronouncing the pronouns wrong! I’m glad I’m not the only one. OMG! Why didn’t the parents look at the final thing and banned their children’s participation in this ridiculous documentary? Arrghh I was so angry ¬¬

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