May 14, 2022
Disney-ABC Drama Paints Parent of Trans Teen as Racist, Teacher as ‘Hero’ Who ‘Gets It’
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A recent episode of the ABC drama A Million Little Things featured a parent reticent to allow his child to indulge in transgenderism being portrayed as a bigot while a teacher who supports the student’s transition is treated as a hero. Disney owns ABC. The episode airs as Disney continues to push its radical LGBTQ agenda.
In the episode, “Out of Hiding,” series regular Rome Howard (Romany Malco), a teacher at a prep school, is discussing his upcoming parent-teacher conferences with his wife Regina (Christina Moses) when he mentions that a young female student of his named Madison (Ash Spencer) wants to be called “Maddox” because she doesn’t want to be a girl any more.
Rome says he is worried because Madison’s parents do not support their child’s transition. But Rome does.
During the episode, Madison appeals to the Rome because he “gets it.” Madison asks Rome to explain to her parents that she does not want to be thought of as their little girl.
During the encounter in the classroom, Madison tells Rome, “it’s my parents. They’re not like you about it. You know, I chose Maddox because it feels right, but it’s also at least similar to the name that they gave me. I thought it would be easier on them, but I was way off.”
Madison then adds, “Um, I’ve tried to tell them that I’ve always been like this, but they only see me as their little girl. So um, so, I was wondering, do you think that you could talk to my parents for me at your conference today? I mean, maybe if Clark and Isabelle hear it from an adult who gets it, they’ll start to understand.”
Upon hearing the names of the child’s parents, Rome has a flashback to his own school days, and wouldn’t you know it, Clark — a white man — was a racist as a student.
Rome recalls back to an incident when he was young when Clark posted a sign on a school water fountain that read “whites only.”
Watch via MRC:
Later in the episode, the parents arrive at the school for the conference and when Clark first sees Rome, he formally apologizes for the racist pranks he and his pals pulled on a young Rome.
From there, things progress to a point where the teacher tells the parents that when their child is in his class, he will call “her” “Maddox” and will accept the child’s decision to transition to being a girl.
Once Rome tells Clark and Isabelle that he feels that “Maddox is one of my best students,” the parents note that their child has gone through a series of phases, including a yoga obsession, an interest in crystals, and a “goth phase.”
But Rome has an issue with the parents’ desire to blow off the gender transition as a mere phase.
Watch via MRC:
Rome lectures the parents, saying, “All due respect, I don’t think what’s going on with Maddox is the same as being way into The Cure. Uh, but we’re here to talk about your child’s academic performance. Now, the whole point of documentary filmmaking is to capture the truth on film. In fact, that’s how I first learned of Maddox. And he is exceeding all of my expectations. Now, I know it must be really difficult letting go of yours, but while he’s in my class, at least, he gets to be who he is.”
Despite that the series is portraying Rome as the hero who cares about the student, and the child’s parents as snooty, racist, rich people who don’t accept their child for “who she is,” there are repercussions for Rome’s actions.
To further demonize the parents — in the series the school is a private academy — the wealthy Clark and Isabelle move to retaliate against a teacher. They threaten school administrators to fire Rome or they will pull their hefty financial support from the school.
Watch via MRC:
Still, as Newsbuters revealed, the plot line may not be much of a hit with ABC’s viewers. Since the transgender theme was introduced, A Million Little Things has been hemorrhaging viewers.
Indeed, Wednesday’s episode was another low and earned the series one of its lowest ratings ever, losing 24 percent in the key demo and a 15.35 percent decline overall. It was also second to last in ratings among every show airing on all networks that night.
But the transgender theme of the series’ fourth season fits right in with Disney’s continued attacks on Florida for its Parental Rights in Education law, that prevents school children from pre-k to third grade from being exposed to controversial gender identity politics and age-inappropriate conversations about sexuality in school.
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Texas Supreme Court allows abuse investigations into supportive families to resume, but will they?
When it comes to the ongoing Republican assault on trans rights, national media has put a lot of focus on Texas. While Texas is far from the only state trying to strip trans youth of basic rights (looking at you, Alabama), it is definitely among the most notorious. As Daily Kos covered in the past, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion (which is essentially a non-legally binding analysis of existing law) arguing that parents are committing child abuse by allowing their trans and nonbinary youth to receive gender-affirming health care. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott then directed state agencies to investigate parents on these charges.
As we know, gender-affirming care is lifesaving care. It is safe and age-appropriate. It is not a decision made quickly. It is not abuse. Even still, some families have reported they’ve already gotten visits from state workers to check on their home and children which is, at minimum, traumatic. Eventually, a lawsuit against the state on behalf of one set of such parents led to a district judge putting an injunction on the investigations. This was a short-term win.
And now? The Texas Supreme Court technically permitted the state to resume investigations except into the family represented by Lambda Legal and the ACLU in the lawsuit, whose investigations are currently on hold, as reported by the Texas Tribune. The court was ruling on whether or not the lower courts (which permitted the injunction) overstepped, but not the actual investigations. Is this a little confusing? Yes. But we can break it down below.
RELATED: New Hampshire Republicans push bill requiring public schools to 'out' trans youth to parents
To get the timeline in order, we can go back to February of this year, when Abbott gave the directive to follow Paxton’s opinion and investigate reported instances of gender-affirming health care being given to youth, including things like puberty blockers.
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From there, Lambda and the ACLU worked on behalf of a 16-year-old trans teen and her family to sue the state in order to stop the investigations against them; the family was reportedly one of the first to have an investigation open against them, per NPR. District Judge Amy Clark Meachum was able to pause investigations into the parents by issuing a temporary order, and then later was able to pause investigations statewide. These were wins!
As of today, thanks to the Texas Supreme Court, however, Meachum’s order has been lifted, with the exception being the original family in the suit.
Now, some folks are celebrating Friday’s ruling as a win, as the court does explicitly say the governor does not have the “authority to investigate, prosecute, or impose reporting requirements regarding child abuse allegations.” The court also pointed out that neither Abbott nor Paxton could “bind” the Department of Family and Protective Services’ (DFPS) “investigative authority.”
This all sounds encouraging, but again, the court didn’t rule on the ethics of the situation, but whether or not the lower courts were overstepping with the injunction holds. So … What happens now?
DFPS will decide whether or not to continue investigations, as well as whether or not they will open new ones. According to this ruling, the agency was responsible for determining if the investigations met state regulations, to begin with. Per The New York Times, it is not clear whether the ruling will cause the agency to resume investigations right away (or at all) or not.
If the department closes the cases, we can breathe a sigh of relief. If it doesn’t close the cases? It’s likely many more parents will sue the state.
For me? I’m taking it as a cautious win, but I’m not outright celebrating until the agency confirms those cases are closed and that more aren’t on the way.
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