‘Dead Name’ — the Transgender Issue Affects Parents and the Whole Family

Jennifer Roback Morse

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is founder and president of the Ruth Institute, which helps the victims of the Sexual Revolution recover from their experiences and become advocates for positive change.

A scene from the trailer for the new documentary 'Dead Name.'
A scene from the trailer for the new documentary ‘Dead Name.’ (photo: National Catholic Register / deadnamedocumentary.com/)

Jennifer Roback Morse NationFebruary 1, 2023

Many people are becoming aware of the serious threat the transgender ideology poses to the health and well-being of children and families. Many are aware of the risks associated with medical interventions for minors in an attempt to change their gender presentation. 

Fewer people are aware of the impact of the ideology that has become a sort of cult on the shattering of families. The new film Dead Name highlights the experience of three very different families whose children fell prey to the cult. This understated film’s power comes from the fact that it simply allows these parents, one father, and two mothers, to tell their children’s stories. Viewers can draw their own conclusions about the damage this ideology is doing. 

The trailer opens with a home video that Helen, a distraught mother, took of her 4-year-old son. He matter-of-factly told her, “if you want girl parts and you don’t have them, you can get special surgery to turn your penis inside out and there’s a vagina inside.” 

The boy’s mother learned that the pre-school was socially transitioning him, when she received a letter that was sent to all the parents, inviting them to come and celebrate and support the transition. In the course of the film, we learn that Helen is divorced from her lesbian partner. (We do not learn which woman is the biological mother.) Helen discovered that her ex had convinced the preschool to start calling her son “Rosa,” and that there was very little she could do to stop it. 

The propagandizing preschool is representative of the larger problem of the corruption of the professions. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, therapists, and school counselors who should be helping families in distress have been completely corrupted by the transgender ideology. 

Amy, another mother in the film, describes her shock when she got a text from CVS telling her that a prescription for her teenage daughter was available. Her daughter obtained this prescription for cross-sex hormones after a single remote “telehealth” consultation with Planned Parenthood. 

“It’s mine. You can’t take it from me,” her daughter told her. Amy says to the camera, “There was no counseling. Nothing.” 

Bill’s story reveals the corruption of the psychiatric establishment. Bill’s son experienced cancer, the loss of his leg, his mother’s death, and his brother’s death from a heroin overdose. As a college freshman, he informed his father that he was trans. 

Bill took him to a psychiatrist, thinking the doctor would surely help his son understand that the numerous traumas he’d been through were the source of his distress. But the psychiatrist only wanted to talk about trans issues. 

“He is definitely trans. You are an unsupportive abusive father,” Bill exclaimed to the interviewer. “I was just trying to keep him alive.” 

A physician had already told Bill that his son should not be given hormone treatments due to all the stresses his body had been under from the cancer treatments. 

Yet his son was convinced that hormones were the answer to his psychological distress. He had been rooming with a group of people who were heavily committed to trans-ideology. In a particularly heartbreaking sequence, Bill describes learning that his son had died. His son’s “friends” objected on social media that he was buried with his “deadname,” meaning the name he was given at birth, rather than his new female name. 

This father, bereft of his son, and before that his wife and older son, had to deal with harassment from these kids who had only known his son a short time, during a very vulnerable time in his life. Bill was not allowed to have an autopsy performed on his son to find out if he actually had received hormone therapy.

This film of understated power encountered hostility from transgender activists, who pressured Vimeo to remove the film from the platform. The Christian Post interviewed Taylor Reece, of Broken Hearted films, an independent producer: 

“I was very distressed to find Dead Name vaporized from Vimeo and without warning. … The film had been up for 34 days. Sales and rentals were brisk. The response has been incredible from more than 16 countries around the world. But I wasn’t 100 percent shocked because I am familiar with the force that the trans activists use to silence anyone who checks or questions their dogma.”

They found an alternative platform. The film can be purchased here. 

This censoring of anything the trans-rights activists don’t like contributes to the isolation the family members feel. The parents suffer alone. 

Amy described going to a parent “support group.” Everyone there had “drunk the Kool-Aid,” as she said. They were all gung-ho to “affirm” their child’s choice of gender. 

Parents are routinely told that their children will commit suicide if they are not permitted to “transition” as quickly as possible. This bit of emotional blackmail is a complete lie, based on fake science. Friends who may be skeptical of the trans claims tend to silence themselves, out of the generalized fear in this “cancel culture” that we are all trapped in. 

This brings me to the point of telling you about this film. These parents could use our support. They think they are completely alone, which, of course, adds to the crisis atmosphere of their lives. 

You, dear Register Readers, can do something constructive. Go watch the trailer. Spring for the 15 bucks and buy it. Share it with your friends. Be part of the solution of creating a supportive environment for these families in crisis. Christian families should do no less than this. 

The Ruth Institute may have played some small part in the genesis of this film. One of the few experts quoted in this film is journalist Brandon Showalter, who has been reporting on the trans issue for years. He gave an important speech at our Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution in 2020. The filmmaker happened to see the video of that speech and reached out to him. He makes a short cameo appearance in the film and, no doubt, contributed background information. 

As far as I know, the creators of this documentary are not people of faith. However, they are obviously open to the truth. How we conduct ourselves in our encounters with people on this issue has the potential to save the lives of the children and the souls of their parents. Do not miss this opportunity to stand for the truth.