'Transhood': New HBO Max documentary 'more exploitative than Cuties'

Phoenix, a four-year-old subject of the HBO documentary 'Transhood,' sits on his bed wearing a dress as his mother reads him a story called 'Jacob's New Dress.'
Phoenix, a four-year-old subject of the HBO documentary 'Transhood,' sits on his bed wearing a dress as his mother reads him a story called 'Jacob's New Dress.' | Twitter/MattWalshBlog

A new HBO Max documentary raises new questions about the transgender debate and how parents play a role in shaping their children’s gender identity, and it has prompted calls to boycott the streaming service.

HBO Max released on Nov. 12 a documentary called “Transhood,” which chronicles the lives of four transgender children over a period of five years. Popular blogger and podcaster Matt Walsh accused HBO of “promoting and normalizing the most horrific forms of child abuse with its show and he urged subscribers to “#BoycottHBO.”

He described the documentary as “even worse and more exploitative and dangerous than ‘Cuties’ was,” arguing that “it should provoke an even stronger backlash from us.” The Netflix film “Cuties” sparked immense backlash over its scenes featuring underage girls dressed in sexually provocative clothing and dancing suggestively.

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Walsh tweeted out several clips from “Transhood,” the first of which shows a pastor of a unitarian universalist church recognizing and celebrating anyone who identifies as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, pansexual, asexual or any category that I’ve left out.”

In the clip, a mother brings her young children onto the stage, including a 4-year-old boy named Phoenix, who appears to be dressed in girls’ clothes and rainbow-colored pants. She introduces Phoenix as another person on stage handed him a microphone.

The child is hesitant to speak into the microphone but his mother urges him to tell the audience if he is a “boy or a girl.” While Phoenix initially says that “I just want to tell them that I’m a girl,” he declines to address the audience and hands the microphone back to his mother.

“Phoenix would like you to know that she’s a girl and she prefers she and her pronouns,” the mother announces. The audience then begins to chant in unison, “May you be well, safe and whole. We honor you exactly as you are.”

Walsh remarked that “in a healthy and well adjusted society, this video would end with the police breaking down the door and hauling every adult away in handcuffs. We do not live in such a society.” In a subsequent tweet, the blogger contended that “the only meaningful divide in the culture right now is between people who are okay with this and people who want to see all of the adults in that room locked in prison forever.”

Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatrics, also denounced the documentary.

In an interview with The Christian Post, she slammed the “institutionalized gaslighting of our children” by the institutions of “medicine, psychology, education [and] mass media.”

“When we tell children, parents or the general public that you can be born in the wrong body, that is science fiction and it is gaslighting. When we abuse children psychologically in this way … when we affirm them in this delusion that they’re born in the wrong body, we are making it far more difficult for them to embrace reality,” she said.

“The fact is many kids under the age of seven are still developing cognitively. When we tell these young kids … the lie that they might be born in the wrong body, … it’s psychological abuse because we are disrupting their normal cognitive and psychological development.”

Scenes in the documentary show Phoenix’s mother reading such books as Jacob’s New Dress to her son. “You’re literally watching her brainwash the child into thinking he’s a girl,” Walsh said. “It’s no mystery how children end up ‘trans.’ This is it. Right here. #BoycottHBO.”

In his review of “Transhood,” Walsh discusses “Munchausen syndrome by proxy,” a “well-known mental illness where a parent – usually a mother – pretends that their child is sick, or sometimes even causes the child to be sick, in order to gain sympathy and attention for themselves.” He also laments the fact that “the entire medical field, with very rare exception, has bought into radical left-wing gender theory.”

According to Cretella, many women who suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy have imposed their child’s gender identity onto them: “In regards to transgender belief … there’s a certain percentage of parents, especially mothers, who are basically convincing … their children that they are born in the wrong body and it is all due to psychological illness in the mother. Again, … that is one potential cause, we don’t know the exact percentage … involved in that particular category.”

Cretella agreed with Walsh’s assessment about the medical field, asserting that “those who control medical education are essentially promulgating gender ideology as science.” She contended that the embrace of gender ideology by the medical establishment has consequences for children who struggle with their gender identities.

“There is hard evidence that teenagers especially and even some young kids who suffer from transgender beliefs suffer that way because of untreated traumas and other psychological illness,” she said. Examples of these underlying psychological conditions include depression, anxiety and trauma from sexual abuse.

“What we are doing to these kids with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries as teenagers is absolutely criminal,” Cretella contended. “It’s not science. It’s criminal. It truly is institutionalized child abuse coming about because we have these institutions that have embraced radical ideology over the Hippocratic oath and over science.”

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