Commentary

Transfixed by Trans Fiction

By Tim Graham | March 12, 2021 | 10:04am EST
A protester participates in a transgender march. (Photo credit: DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
A protester participates in a transgender march. (Photo credit: DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

Our dominant media’s celebration of transgenderism must inevitably include the distorted sounds of our tastemakers becoming transfixed by trans fiction. 

Exhibit A is a new novel titled "Detransition, Baby" by trans woman Torrey Peters. It’s published by One World, an imprint of Random House which describes itself as “dedicated to providing a home for authors who seek to challenge the status quo, subvert dominant narratives, and give us new language to understand our past, present, and future.” 

Subverting the “dominant narrative” of the gender binary draws many earnest if unsurprising endorsements – Vox, BuzzFeed, O: The Oprah Magazine, and so on. The publisher especially likes The New York Times “Editors Choice” blurb from trans-woman author Andrea Lawlor, who proclaims “'Detransition, Baby' might destroy your book club, but in a good way.”

Let’s attempt to explain the plot, although it’s a quintessential blur:

1. Ames was born James, but became “Amy” for a few years, until he “detransitioned” to Ames. This signals he’s still fluid and “distanced from himself.”

2.  Reese, also a trans woman, was his lover when he was “Amy,” but they broke up over the detransitioning.

3.  Katrina is Ames’ current boss, whom Ames impregnated after an office party because he suggested all those testosterone-blocker treatments probably made him sterile. But obviously he’s not. 

4. Ames proposes to Reese and Katrina a parenting throuple of sorts: “Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together?” 

Now everyone on the libertine left wants to be part of an “evolution” in the literature of “marginalized people.” NPR promoted this novel twice over, since NPR is a taxpayer-funded sandbox for the Revolution. First came a 34-minute author interview on March 2 on the Sam Sanders podcast "It’s Been a Minute." Then Sanders did a shorter promotional report on the “news” show "Morning Edition" on March 8.

Sanders touted the “trans lens” that the author brings to educate the masses: “Torrey has noticed this trans lens more and more in the wider culture, this understanding that gender is not fixed, that it can be performed and presented in many ways.” 

Gender is a “performance,” not a biological fact. Thanks to NPR and the rest, Peters insists we’ve arrived at the moment “where the dominant culture begins to understand itself through the terms set by the marginalized culture,” that we should all now define ourselves by the lights of “queer scholars.”

The NPR host did raise one expected critique from the left, that the “detransition” of the title could be used as an “aha” moment for the right-wingers. Peters insisted that “in order to detransition, you have to first transition. So therefore, detransition belongs to trans people. It's ours. And we shouldn't let other people weaponize it against us.”

Grooving on the usual NPR vibe, Sanders and Peters agreed the “strict nuclear family” paradigm “isn’t working.” The incoming new age will reject “constraining gender roles” and welcome an inevitable arrival of – wait for it – “heteropessimism.” 

It should not be shocking that the next step is Hollywood -- “trans lit” translated into television. The leftist producers at Anonymous Content are developing the novel as a television series, a “half-hour dramedy.” Torrey Peters is executive-producing and will write the pilot episode. The husband-and-wife team of Joan Rater and Tony Phelan (via ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy) will also executive-produce and serve as showrunners.

This is another reason why a new Gallup poll finds almost 16 percent of Generation Z (college-age) Americans now identify as LGBT. The propaganda mill for “heteropessimism” is picking up speed. Can a traditionalist Resistance make this a debate? 

Tim Graham is the executive editor of NewsBusters and the director of media analysis for the Media Research Center.

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