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Transparent Propaganda

Once trusted storytellers now pose an active threat.

Drag Queen Story Hour
June 25: Drag queens Just JP, left, and Sham Payne read stories to children during a Drag Story Hour at Chelsea Public Library in Chelsea, MA on June 25, 2022. (Photo by Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

It took the gay rights movement decades to gain domination of the entertainment world. The transgender activists who were right at their heels made much shorter work of it. Hollywood transitioned in scarcely a decade, with every TV genre—including and perhaps especially children’s entertainment—pushing transgender storylines.

This potent propaganda is accomplishing two primary goals: the normalization of gender ideology in all its forms and the demonization of dissidents who oppose it. In just a few short years, our culture’s most powerful storytellers have enlisted in the service of the trans movement. Consider a few recent examples.


In 2022, director Billy Porter (a gay man renowned for dressing in drag) released the coming-of-age romantic comedy Anything’s Possible. It is a standard, cheesy teen rom-com with an angsty pop soundtrack—except for the fact that Kelsa (whose name means “brave”) was born male and now identifies as a “trans girl.” Kelsa looks like a girl, too, and Khal, her classmate, falls hopelessly in love. He watches Kelsa’s YouTube videos about going on puberty blockers and transgender experiences and decides—like the open-minded protagonist that he is—that none of that matters. Gender itself doesn’t matter. They are just two teens falling in love, and anything’s possible.

It is more complicated, of course. References are made to the fact that Kelsa’s body isn’t female, but that is dismissed out of hand as irrelevant to love (although not, presumably, to love-making). The film is a powerfully normalizing piece of LGBT propaganda in large part because Kelsa is played by Eva Reign, a biological male who “transitioned” at a young age and can very much “pass” as female.

Just as teen transgenderism is normalized, opponents of transgender ideology are demonized. When Kelsa is briefly barred from the girls’ bathroom, it is portrayed as a bigoted attempt to tar a transgender person by exploiting unreasonable fears. Those who refuse to use Kelsa’s “preferred pronouns” are portrayed as vile, “illiterate” people who merely wish to cause unnecessary pain. A mother who objects to Kelsa using the girls’ bathroom, presented as a loudmouthed bigot, is told bluntly: “You are a danger to your daughter with that attitude.” The scene ends with her own daughter telling her, “I don’t think like you,” and storming out.

Both Porter and Reign see the film—which was released on Amazon Prime—as “part of a revolution.” As Reign told Entertainment Weekly: “Artists often times make [art] either in response to the culture or in opposition to it.” Both hope that Anything’s Possible will affirm the titular premise and spawn an entire subgenre of transgender stories.

But before that there was A Kid Like Jake (2018), directed by Silas Howard, a transgender director seeking to push LGBT ideology through art. The film features an all-star cast (including prominent gay actor Jim Parsons as lead) and tells the story of parents struggling to understand their “gender-nonconforming” four-year-old son, who insists on wearing princess dresses and “tucks” his penis between his legs in the bath—both key indications, according to trans activists, that he is transgender.


Jake’s lesbian preschool teacher (played by Octavia Spencer) asks the father why he “didn’t tell [his son] there are some men who wear skirts in our culture” and emphatically informs both parents: “Let me tell you: the impulse to embrace children as they are is not a political agenda.” The film ends with Jake, dressed in girl’s clothing, being swung down the sidewalk by his parents.

That is a clever place to end the story—because in our culture, kids like Jake often end up on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and then, finally, under the knife for castration and other surgeries. But Jake’s future is left up in the air. His trajectory is likely tragic. Transgender child star Jazz Jennings, a kid like Jake, is now sterile and will likely never experience sexual pleasure due to his “transition” to female.

The Baby-Sitter’s Club is an iconic series of paperback books about teen girls and their babysitting adventures that sold 176 million copies between 1986 and 2000 alone. In 2020, Netflix adapted the series—and turned it into trans propaganda almost immediately.

In Episode 4, club member Mary Anne is babysitting a child named Bailey. Bailey is a biological boy who wears pink princess dresses. When he begins running a high fever, Mary Anne must take him to the hospital. And then, as one media outlet described it: “While Bailey’s life is spared from danger, her dignity is challenged when the doctors continue to misgender her as a boy. Infuriated on Bailey’s behalf, Mary Anne finally finds her voice…and uses it to argue on behalf of Bailey.”

Just in case anyone missed the point, another tween babysitter—Dawn—compares Bailey being transgender to using your dominant hand after years of being forced not to. The actor who plays Bailey is Kai Shappley, who made national headlines in 2016 when, after identifying as female, he was told by Pearland Independent School District leaders that he was required to use the boy’s bathroom. Shappley later became the subject of an Emmy Award-winning documentary, Trans in America: Texas Strong.

The press refers to Shappley as a “transgender activist.” The original author of The Baby-Sitter’s Club, Ann M. Martin, is a producer on the show and happy with the new storylines: “I love that they made Dawn’s father gay and that they introduced a transgender babysitting charge. As someone who is gay, I know how much positive representation matters, especially to kids.”

It isn’t just entertainment aimed at adults and teens that has transitioned in recent years. Blue’s Clues, an animated show for preschoolers that first launched in 1996, released a “Blues Clues Pride Parade Sing-Along” in 2021, which featured a cartoon drag queen, a gay dolphin, a transgender beaver with chest scars from a double-mastectomy, and a panoply of queer and “non-binary” characters. Mr. Ratburn, the teacher in the beloved kids show Arthur, was shown marrying a man in a 2019 episode. The Clifford the Big Red Dog franchise was rebooted with lesbian moms. The popular children’s show Peppa Pig aired an episode with lesbian polar bears.

If trans activists have their way, not a single children’s franchise will be left untouched. Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has multiple transgender characters, and Amazon Prime’s Danger & Eggs has a “trans girl” and a “non-binary character.” PBS’s Sesame Street has featured a Drag Queen Storytime, starring Billy Porter. Disney has debuted several transgender characters.

As the transgender culture wars rage through every American institution, our elite storytellers have thrown their full weight behind the transgender agenda—and we should not underestimate the pernicious power of their propaganda. Anything’s Possible does more to sway teen minds than a dozen sex-ed classes from a blue-haired high school teacher. A Kid Like Jake—and many films like it—do more to mainstream the idea that allowing children to choose their own gender is a matter of morality and compassion then any hectoring Democratic politician, and more to persuade parents they have no choice but to “affirm” their confused and hurting children. Iconic American franchises and familiar cartoon characters are the single most effective method of teaching children the tenets of gender ideology before they can even understand what they are absorbing.

America’s institutions have turned against American families—and America’s storytellers now pose an active danger to those who imbibe and embrace their stories. We should act accordingly.