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Tipsheet

Liberal Filmmaker Slams ‘Gender-Affirming’ Care After Son Came Out as Transgender

AP Photo/Armando Franca

A left-wing, San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker said this week that she no longer believes in irreversible “gender-affirming” healthcare after witnessing the impact the LGBTQ+ agenda has had on her son, who came out as “transgender” in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns.

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The filmmaker, “L.E. Dawes,” whose real name was not published, wrote an op-ed in The Dallas Morning News about her son’s decision to transition to live as a girl. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her “extroverted, active and affectionate boy” became introverted and withdrawn, spending a lot of his time online. Eventually, he came to his parents and said he was transgender and wanted puberty blockers and to eventually go on estrogen. And, he requested that he get voice training to sound more feminine and undergo “facial feminization surgery,” knowing that their insurance would cover it. 

Dawes said she and her husband were “shocked” by the news (via The Dallas Morning News): 

My husband and I were shocked at his pronouncement. Not because we are transphobic, but because our son had never exhibited any discomfort with his body or identity.

We had not imposed gender stereotypes on our children. Still, he was such a typical boy. Because we didn’t believe in toy guns, he turned his stuffed elephant into one. Spider-Man was the only thing he would be for Halloween — for years. He was well known for spending most of his time shirtless. And he loved to make everyone laugh doing pratfalls, farting on demand and making silly faces.

Despite our shock and confusion at his announcement, we were still liberal California parents. When he told us he was transgender, we nodded and said, “OK. We love you. We support you.”

Fearful of the pervasive mantra “Better a live daughter than a dead son” that insists non-affirmed trans kids are likely to kill themselves, we started using she/her pronouns and his new chosen name. I offered to take him shopping for women’s clothes, to do his nails, to teach him to shave his legs and to use makeup. (He declined.)

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In 2021, the parents called three local gender clinics for minors to get their son an appointment. They were unable to get an appointment or even be put on a waitlist because the clinics had seen “such a huge increase in new patients”:

That’s when we realized we are not rare. Transgender identities were spreading rapidly, often within social networks. Five of the 10 kids in our son’s closest friend group are now identifying as trans or nonbinary. Our neighbors on both sides each have a trans kid. One of our son’s teachers told us he had so many kids with new identities, some “out to” their parents and others not, that he had to make a chart to know when to use which names and pronouns.

I joined a local support group with more than 100 members for parents of kids with rapid-onset gender dysphoria. Hearing their stories, with so many similarities to ours, I couldn’t help but think that something other than kids finding their authentic selves was going on here.

Dawes noted that under the American Academy of Pediatrics, any child who claims to be “transgender” is affirmed in their “gender identity.” Now, her upcoming film “Affirmation Generation” shows that oftentimes, children’s mental illnesses are being ignored when they go to a gender clinic to receive care: 

These kids are risking sterility, sexual dysfunction, a range of complex medical issues from stroke to cancer, and increased mental instability for a treatment that has not been proven to work. Most frightfully, studies have shown that transition does not reduce the risk of suicide in this vulnerable population.

[...]

And that is why I made this film. Even if my community disapproves. Even if I have to use a pseudonym to protect my son. I made this film because too many parents believe what I used to believe: That kids’ trans identities should not be questioned, and that medical transition is the only path. The truth is so much more complicated than that.

Being liberally minded means keeping an open mind. Give me and the 12 experts, six detransitioners and more than 40 articles and scientific studies cited in the film a chance to present the evidence.

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Dawes pointed out that other countries who previously spearheaded the gender-transition agenda for children have since backtracked. Townhall previously covered how England’s National Health Service even issued a warning claiming that most minors who believe they are transgender are likely going through a “transient phase.” 

This month, Jamie Reed, a former case manager at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital published a tell-all piece with The Free Press about the “morally and medically appalling” way children were treated for gender dysphoria. 

“By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to 'do no harm.' Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care,” Reed wrote. In the piece, she described herself as “politically to the left of Bernie Sanders.”

In addition, Reed claimed that “anyone who raised doubts [about the care] ran the risk of being called a transphobe.”

“The mental health of these kids was deeply concerning—there were diagnoses like schizophrenia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and more. Often they were already on a fistful of pharmaceuticals,” Reed explained. “This was tragic, but unsurprising given the profound trauma some had been through. Yet no matter how much suffering or pain a child had endured, or how little treatment and love they had received, our doctors viewed gender transition—even with all the expense and hardship it entailed—as the solution.”

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