A new documentary takes a powerful look at the gender transition phenomenon and the forces behind it.
“Dysconnected: The Real Story Behind the Transgender Explosion” scrutinizes the complex social machine driving the popular but experimental practice of medically and socially transitioning gender dysphoric people, especially children.
The effects can be devastating, argue those interviewed in the film.
“Dysconnected” had its world premiere on Oct. 8 at the megachurch campus of Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.
The trailblazing documentary was produced by filmmaker Donald J. Johnson and his production company, Runaway Planet Pictures. Johnson wrote, edited, and narrated the film as well. Catholic publisher Ignatius Press executive produced and is distributing the documentary.
“Dysconnected” examines how the medical, mental health, education, and pharmaceutical industries have aligned in prescribing a swift gender transition as the solution to gender dysphoria.
The film argues that a slew of medical and social factors contribute to the current tsunami of gender transitions among the young, especially including “the autism factor,” “the cool factor,” “the porn effect,” “the trauma effect,” and trans-identifying people just wanting others to “know I exist.”
Several “detransitioners,” formerly transgender people who transitioned back to their birth gender, share their stories in the film. Medical and mental health professionals weigh in as well.
The documentary follows the story of Daisy Strongin, now a wife and new mother, who identified as male as a teenager. She went on testosterone and received a double mastectomy but later detransitioned.
“My story, as someone who has been through the thick of it, can also offer hope to those who have transitioned and may feel regret,” Strongin told The Daily Wire.
“It’s an important film because it challenges a narrative that has become so widely accepted and celebrated, that average Americans are too nervous (rightfully so) and vastly ignorant of the endless layers of this issue to oppose it openly,” she said. “But the time has come for the status quo to change. It is no longer uncommon for transgender ideology to deeply affect families, especially if they have adolescent or teenage girls.”
Besides interviewing Strongin, the film also pulls clips from her old vlogs in which she documented her gender transition, including her chest reconstruction surgery, and ultimately her transition back to identifying as female.
Walt Heyer, one of the first detransitioners, and detransitioner Billy Burleigh speak about how sexual abuse can lead to gender transition and share their personal stories. All of the trans-identifying people Heyer works with have been broken in some way in the past, he says.
Meanwhile, the mental health profession has been flooded with “affirmation care” protocol that does not always line up with the best interests of the child, Pamela Garfield-Jaeger, a licensed clinical social worker who founded The Truthful Therapist, says in the film.
Autistic children are particularly vulnerable to developing and locking into a transgender identity with “black and white” thinking, according to Maria Keffler, cofounder of Advocates Protecting Children, a nonprofit dedicated to “fighting the gender industry, and especially its predation on children.”
“My entire friend group, first we all slowly realized we were gay, and now we’re all slowly realizing we’re trans,” said a 15-year-old female autistic detransitioner who remained anonymous for the film.
Hard-core pornography is also a driving factor in a growing number of young girls identifying as male in order to avoid being sexualized, argue some of the film’s interviewees.
Others interviewed in the film include Dr. Patrick Lappert, a plastic surgeon in Alabama, billboard activist Chris Elston or “Billboard Chris” on Twitter, Erin Brewer, cofounder of Advocates Protecting Children, Ryan T. Anderson, author of “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” Christopher West of the Theology of the Body Institute, Abigail Favale, author of “The Genesis of Gender,” and Carl Trueman, author of “Strange New World.”
The film focuses heavily on the interviews but splices them with news headlines, newscast footage, social media content, and animation to illustrate its points.
It concludes with an emphasis on the intrinsic spiritual value of the human being as body and soul from a Catholic perspective.
During the making of the documentary, Strongin found out she was pregnant with her first baby, a boy she and her husband named Gabriel. The film ends on this uplifting note that healing is possible for the victims of the transgender movement.