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WATCH: What Would You Do If You Witnessed A Mom Refusing To Accept Her Teenaged Trans Kid?

Here’s an interesting sociological take on the Candid Camera TV set-up: hire two actors to play a mom and son who are having an emotional discussion about the son wanting to be a girl. Set the scene in the middle of a crowded New Jersey diner, and see what the other people in the restaurant say.

As a gay person with a vested interest in making sure our LGBT youth are happy, I’d probably step in and defend the son. But if I were straight, or older, perhaps I’d let them settle the matter on their own. What would you do?

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Mar 16, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 42 Comments
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      This is such bullshit.

      Anyone of us could be set up with some event of bad humanhood, where you stand by
      and do nothing.

      I once saw a man get knocked to the ground and robbed, two gay guys on the street just pointed at the man on the ground walked away. Thankfully me and another individual
      helped the man to his feet and stayed with him until police arrived.

      And yes I am sure there have been times where I did nothing when a decent person would
      have stepped in.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen Ira
      Stephen Ira

      You do not mean “trans son.” You mean “trans daughter.” Stop being transmisogynistic, Queerty. This is clearly a recurring problem for you.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      It makes me so happy to see such older generations be so kind and understanding. I almost cried when that one older woman came and sat down!

      Mar 16, 2012 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      The scenario would have been more realistic had the kid been dressed as a female,
      thus put those being tested in the position of actual public acceptance of what he
      was telling his mother he wanted to do, I’m guessing the reaction would be much less
      sympathetic.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ginasf
      Ginasf

      1) The idea a trans kid would bring their parent to a noisy, crowded diner to inform them they’re trans is absurd. If you think it’s hard coming out to your parents as gay, try to imagine what it might feel like coming out to them as trans.

      2) There is so much misgendering in the “What Would You Do” piece… especially by John Quinones and, has been mentioned, by Queerty. Evan, if you’re going to be the one now posting trans-related stories on this digital rag, then please learn something about our community and have some respect for us.

      If they really wanted to deal with trans issues in a real way, have a gender variant trans woman getting served by someone who proceeds to make mean remarks to her face or behind her back or doesn’t allow her in the women’s room. That really happens every day.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Interesting that the female-to-male white knight ratio was 4:1. I’m sure Jason can explain why this means women are inherently evil.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evan Mulvihill
      Evan Mulvihill

      @Stephen Ira: Fixed to be more readable. The gender doesn’t really matter here, it’s about the concept of being rejected by your parent.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • parasite eve
      parasite eve

      i just cried…..my dad cant accept me before now he loves me….now im a beautiful woman…..its not a choice to be a transgender…….i know what i am eversince i was born

      Mar 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • parasite eve
      parasite eve

      im a transsexual….and i dont disagree with any of these…..this goes to show that…..people really care….specially OLDER PEOPLE who we thought are very conservative….this is just amazing thank you

      Mar 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      Yes, it appears that many older people care…until they enter the voting booth….

      Mar 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      It could just as easily have been any gay kid w a negative rejecting parent assailing his/her sexuality. This clip hits all of us. Beautiful post Queerty.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      GinaSF, your idea makes MUCH MORE sense

      >If they really wanted to deal with trans issues in a real way, have a gender variant trans >woman getting served by someone who proceeds to make mean remarks to her face or behind >her back or doesn’t allow her in the women’s room.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      Message straight people got by watching this show: Oh those poor, pathetic, gender-confused gay kids. It’s so sad how these emotionally vulnerable effeminate gays aren’t comfortable being male. Maybe all these gay kids need is a good sex-change operation. Oh gawd, I hope my kid doesn’t turn out to be gay!

      Mar 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • W.P.
      W.P.

      @Evan Mulvihill:

      “The gender doesn’t really matter here, it’s about the concept of being rejected by your parent.”

      I beg to differ. The gender _does_ batter here. It’s about respecting a person’s identification. Understandably the actor is not actually trans, but still respecting a person’s self identification is important. Stopping transphobia starts with the little things; and being apart of the LGBT community doesn’t give a person (of any of the categories) a free pass to disrespect someone else.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • W.P.
      W.P.

      “The gender _does_ matter here”*

      Mar 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      Whether sexuality of any kind is in play, the whole premise of the show, that premeditatedly creating a public spectacle is worthwhile entertainment is shameless.

      The mannerly principle of not deliberately provoking others is the foundation of civilized living, and “What Would You Do” does it no favors.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wesley Horace
      Wesley Horace

      i hate this set up on the show. i do not come to a restaurant to be made uncomfortable. and as much as i am sympathetic to the kid, that is not the time or the place to come out. i wouldn’t do anything in most situations.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PS
      PS

      This TV show has really shown itself to be pro-LGBT over the past 1 -2 years. They’ve had several LGBT related scenarios that have leaned “pro” LGBT tolerance.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jakey
      Jakey

      @Ginasf: “The idea a trans kid would bring their parent to a noisy, crowded diner to inform them they’re trans is absurd. If you think it’s hard coming out to your parents as gay, try to imagine what it might feel like coming out to them as trans.”

      It’s not absurd at all. Being in a public place cuts down on the possibility that your parents will make a scene. People handle breakups the same way, it’s practically a cliche.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      To all the haters of this show, and I mean this in as much respect as I can muster…fuck off – this show rocks!!! As PS said, this show is 1.) very pro-gay, and 2.) it encourages people to stand up for injustices, whether it be kids coming out to their parents in restaurants, people making fun of mentally handicapped in grocery stores, injustices seen towards interracial couples, men putting drugs in their dates drinks, or someone leaving a poor innocent dog with nearly no ventilation in a humid automobile (all real episodes of this show). It’s a great venue and reiterates to show people about doing the right thing (standing up for an injustice) or being a coward and doing nothing. This is *good* reality TV.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      A wonderful example of how good this show could open people’s eyes… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhl9MLno424 I did in face tear up in the about 4:00 or so into the episode.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xixax
      xixax

      “transmysoginistic”. really? give me a fucking break. so done with this shit. this transvictimisim has reached the height of absurdity. LGB drop the T.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @xixax: Ouch. not cool, dude.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gideon
      Gideon

      I’m confused after watching this. Is there a difference between being gay and being transgendered? Do gay boys really want to be girls instead of boys? Are we surprised most masculine gay guys decide against identifying as gay because of the stereotypes?

      Mar 17, 2012 at 12:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      The show promotes and uses cliche stereotypes of GLBT childishness, mental instability,
      and emotional scene making. All that’s lacking is a flaming tantrum.

      Just because it’s “GLBT” and in the media does not mean it promotes tolerance of us
      as equals.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 9:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack

      @Gideon– no, the American Psychological Association defines gender identity as being different than sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of sexual, romantic, and emotional attraction towards people of a certain gender. Gender identity is the psychological identity of one’s gender, usually male or female. To be transgender means that your body’s primary and secondary sex characteristics do not align with one’s gender identity. So, a person could be gay and trans or just gay or just trans.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LittIeKiwi
      LittIeKiwi

      I’ve actually known a great many people who Came Out in public – it was done as a safety measure on their part as they knew, or felt, that it would give the person they were coming out to an awareness of Public Decorum.

      people who worry “what others will think” tend to not blow up in public.

      it may not be everyone’s way of doing it, it wasn’t mine (family dinner-table conversation, yo!), but i do know a lot of people who for a very specific reason chose to Come Out in a busy public place.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LittIeKiwi
      LittIeKiwi

      clockwork, do you have a specific plan of action that you feel would better serve the Communities via exposure and visibility?

      and i’m not sure “tolerance as equal” is anyone’s goal. that seems woefully low for a bar to be set.

      “tolerance” is like saying “nice doggy” until you can find a big enough rock.

      tolerance is what people aim for who don’t respect themselves. acceptance and understanding are what self-respecting people command, demand and achieve.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LittIeKiwi
      LittIeKiwi

      i think people should, if nothing else, take away some real hope and inspiration in the sheer fact that there are indeed people out there who will support, promote and encourage love and understanding.

      it should make you all happy. truly.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 10 · Bob wrote, “Yes, it appears that many older people care…until they enter the voting booth….” Not true. You have a statistical distribution. While the probability of being homophobic seems to be higher in the older age groups, it is not like 100% are homophobic. The “many” in this age group who care may not be the majority, but there is no evidence that they change their opinions when they vote. Rather, they are simply outnumbered.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      >clockwork, do you have a specific plan of action that you feel would better serve the >Communities via exposure and visibility?

      – The TV show is FAKE
      – Live you life for real not through television actors

      >“tolerance” is like saying “nice doggy”

      That show wants people to be nice doggies

      Mar 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Touching! Gives me hope.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevininbuffalo
      kevininbuffalo

      @Paul: He’s cool and right.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 8:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LittIeKiwi
      LittIeKiwi

      Clockwork, you didn’t actually answer my question. We’re all aware that the program is “fake” – as in it’s controlled. the responses from the customers are not fake.

      but what I asked you was what specific plans of action you think people can implement into their own lives. perhaps you can share an example of what you are personally doing.

      here, i’ll show you a glimpse of some of what I do

      my mother and father talking about Equality for transpeople: http://youtu.be/zJom6vyRtQc

      Mar 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Curtis
      Curtis

      This made me feel so so so good!
      don’t care if its fake or watever..

      Mar 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drums
      drums

      @the crustybastard: Your comment is amazing and I’m not surprised jason hasn’t replied at all.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      >but what I asked you was what specific plans of action you think people can implement into >their own lives. perhaps you can share an example of what you are personally doing.

      Oh pleze,
      You expect me to list the events, political candidates I’ve spoken to, volunteered for,
      GLBT organizations where I stood behind a table at some park for six hours,
      academic and medical involvement…blah,blah
      LittleKiwi, not my style to self hype my “activist” credentials

      Mar 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • indi.anna
    • Stephen Ira
      Stephen Ira

      @Evan Mulvihill: It reeks of cis privilege to say “gender doesn’t really matter here” in a discussion of trans issues. Gross.

      Mar 19, 2012 at 3:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Samuel
      Samuel

      @Ginasf: I understand that it is difficult to see our community represented in a way that is not as close to reality as we would like, but I think that the very fact that they made an effort to represent our community, even if they haven’t gotten all of the vocabulary down pat, is something. I’m just happy that we were recognized.

      Whether or not we like it, people are not going to be aware of what terminology is correct and what hurts. That’s why I think we need to educate them, not berate them. I do agree that a restaurant would be the last place anyone would come out, and harassment is a big issue. However, there is always a first step, and I think they’ve taken one.

      Mar 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LittIe,Kiwi
      LittIe,Kiwi

      Clockwork, forgive me for asking you to back up your claims. I forget that doing such is a terribly difficult thing to do for you anonymous online commenters.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      @Little,Kiwi
      Get real, either you believe me or you don’t.
      And if you don’t, I don’t care.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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