Splitting the Baby: A Review of the Documentary, “Dead Name”
By Mary Weller for truthXchange
The documentary Dead Name grips your heart from its first minutes as it tells the stories of three parents and their struggle to fight for their children, caught by the full-force push of radical gender ideology throughout our culture. Devoid of sensationalism, politicization, or manipulation this well-produced movie allows you to meet Helen, Bill, and Amy, each of whom have a son or daughter who has identified as transgender. Viewers are shown the resulting devastation this has caused them and their families. Though each story is unique, what binds the three together is the clear parental love and palpable heartbreak expressed by each in this courageously honest film.
Listening to Helen, the mother of 4-yo Jonas, talk about her discovery that Jonas’s other mother (from whom she is divorced) had introduced the idea to their young son that he might be a girl in a boy’s body, I was reminded of the story of King Solomon being appealed to by two mothers fighting over one living child. Wanting what was best for her son, Helen tried to observe and ask honest questions about what was actually happening in his life, and tried to determine whether this announcement that he was now a girl named Rosie was something he was truly manifesting on his own, or whether the idea was being pushed on him by his other parent, pre-school officials, and surrounding ideologically-driven sources. At one point during his kindergarten year, Jonas told Helen that his other parent had told him about sex-reassignment surgery. He was six years old. That night, in terror in the bathtub the traumatized child kept yelling, “When am I having it?? Am I having the surgery??” while Helen tried to reassure him that he would not. Using the diction of his very young age he explains on video, “If you want girl parts, and you don’t have ‘dem, you can do a special surgery where dey turn your penis inside out, and der’s a bagina inside.” Originally open to simply finding out what this was all about, Helen began to discover all of the permanent damage that could be done to her son through the real, physical medical interventions due to this ideology. She was horrified, going to court to seek full legal custody of her boy in order to protect him.
Bill, the father of a young man named Sean, shared the desperation he felt as his son began to pursue a transgender identity while away at college and also dealing with the ravages of stage 4 colon cancer. Sean had also lost a leg in an earlier fight with cancer. Initially, an endocrinologist turned down Sean’s requests for cross-sex hormone therapy because it could have fatal consequences for him. But, struggling with body image issues, living in an apartment with three trans advocates, facing another battle with cancer, and weighed down by the traumatic loss of his mother, Sean clung to the idea that he was a trans woman. As Bill sought to protect his son and find help for the clear trauma and mental health issues he faced, this loving father was told repeatedly by therapists, his son’s new friends, and even members of his own family that he was unloving, judgmental, and wrong. Bill wanted his son healthy and whole, and for this he has been condemned by many in the communities where he sought help.
Amy, the mother of a young woman who came out as trans within weeks of a breakup from her boyfriend, told her story as tears streamed down her face. She told of how her daughter’s personality changed drastically and her attitudes and mental health have continued to deteriorate, also causing damage to Amy’s marriage. Seeing that her daughter had fallen under the influence of a trans-identifying friend as well as online influencers who were painting an unrealistic picture of the effects of “gender affirming care”, Amy said at one point, “I love her enough to let her hate me.” Amy began to recognize a scripted pattern to the demands, justifications, and threats of suicide her daughter used to fight with her. She, a loving mother who knows her daughter better than anyone, could tell that all of this was coming from the outside somewhere; this was not an organic, natural development in her child’s life. Once, when Amy described listening to an old recording of her daughter singing and how much she’d loved her daughter’s voice, her daughter told her, “Don’t tell me any of that. I want to forget that.” Her daughter wants to erase history, to forget the reality of who she is and was.
These three parents, and countless others like them, are like the loving mother before King Solomon pleading for the life of her newborn son. Confronted by an adversary who selfishly viewed her precious child as merely a token or idea, the mother begged Solomon, “Oh my lord give her the living child, and by no means put him to death!” Scripture tells us that this dear mother was willing to give up anything because, “her heart yearned for her son.” (1 Kings 3:16-28) But to whom do Amy, Helen, and Bill appeal when, instead of Solomon and his wisdom, these parents face governments, institutions and individuals who have imbibed deeply of the very lies of radical gender ideology that threaten their children? To whom do they turn?
Part of the answer to their predicament is in the movie Dead Name . Showing the dangers facing our children and the devastation these parents have shared with us, filmmaker Taylor Reece seeks to balance the scales of justice, informing viewers about the truth of this movement. Equipped with knowledge of the harms and heartbreak inherent to the trans activist movement, it is my prayer that each of us would join our voices to those of these families and others like them. Christians must defend the vulnerable, speaking on behalf of those who love children best: their parents. The family is a God-ordained institution of protection for children and we must defend parental rights vigorously.
I highly recommend watching Dead Name . It is not easy to watch, but it is entirely worth your while. Then, please access additional help in understanding and speaking to transgenderism from a Biblical perspective, by utilizing some of truthXchange’s free resources like those linked below: