Hard luck, Madonna, your lovingly assembled rainbow family is no longer the most cutting-edge crew on the showbiz block. If you want to excel as an A-list parent these days, you need a trans child to show off on social media.
Jamie Lee Curtis has revealed that her child, born Thomas, now answers to the name of Ruby. The 62-year-old actress has declared to a waiting world — via People magazine — that the most difficult thing about adjusting to this unforeseen circumstance is calling them by their new name.
“It’s speaking a new language…learning new terminology and words… that was the hardest thing, just the regularity of the word… the name that you’d given a child. That you’ve been saying their whole life. Then the pronoun. My husband and I still slip occasionally. You slow your speech down a little. You still mess up, I’ve messed up today twice. We’re human…”
Interestingly, Curtis said back in 2019 “I don’t think it’s anybody’s business what people’s sexuality is, to be perfectly honest.” Those were the days! They now seem as far away as the times when shy Victorians allegedly covered piano legs for fear of inflaming stray passions. Because now it sometimes seems that every other celebrity parent feels that it is some sort of social duty to reveal their little darling as Very Special Indeed in the downstairs department.
For instance, Charlize Theron adopted a boy called Jackson (bit of an unfortunate memory-jog re: the late Michael and his preference for the company of kiddies there) in 2012 but in 2019, she was telling the Daily Mail that Jackson was now, miraculously — was it transubstantiation? — a girl.
She told Pride Source magazine; “It became harder for us the older she got that people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns — and also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun. It really hurt her feelings.”
Maybe, if privacy is the precious gift which celebrities often claim they desire far more than megabucks, they shouldn’t start putting their children out there to share the unwanted attention which Gwyneth Paltrow called “almost like, how in war, you go through this bloody dehumanizing thing?” How I chortled when Apple Martin, daughter of Paltrow and Chris, recently posted the following warning on Instagram after her mother shared one too many images of her: “Mom, we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent.”
They just can’t help themselves, though, these showbiz moms. Poor old Zion Union-Wade, adored transgender child of the actress Gabrielle and the basketball player Dwyane, got a wagonload of trash talk after their adoring female birthing parent posted a photo on Instagram of their sprog wearing a crop top and long fingernails. But these little blessings aren’t just flashy, they can rack up political points too. It was almost inevitable that Cynthia Nixon, from Sex And The City, now a political activist and late-life lesbian, would turn up with her transgendered child on Instagram. In a 2016 Vanity Fair interview, life-long Lothario Warren Beatty praised his transgender son, Stephen Ira; ‘A revolutionary, a genius and my hero.’
The Smiths — Will and Jada — are the First Family Of Attention Seeking, with daughter Willow publicly praising sibling Jaden for “challenging gender stereotypes” in a Louis Vuitton campaign. Let’s hear it for meritocracy!
These things are fine when they simply add to the gaiety of nations. But silliness can become sinister at some point, especially when it comes to the flaunting of children for publicity. Children’s Crusades never end well. They start out like the Teddy Bears’ Picnic and end up like Lord of the Flies.
When you hear adults talking about educating themselves to fit in with Pushmi-Pullyu world of trans-activist social media, you really wonder how we’ve managed to regress so quickly from logical thinking to believing in magic. Once, the admittedly grimly named “Facts Of Life” were simple; there are two sexes and if they have full sexual intercourse over a certain age, the female involved is likely to reproduce — now go out and play! Now we have Dwyane Wade saying “The only thing I got to do now is get smarter and educate myself more” while Curtis calls herself “a grateful student.” The Facts of Life passed from adult to child have become fictions passed from child to adult.
People who are sexually unconventional have always been drawn to show business; transsexuality may appeal to them in their children as performing is their norm. But the children of the rich and famous who take a totter on the trans side grow up in a privileged, liberal, cosseted environment; as with drug-taking and gambling, these things are far more difficult for non-privileged members of our society. Think of the pain and sorrow spoken about by detransitioners such as the majestic Keira Bell who says “I was an unhappy girl who needed help. Instead, I was treated like an experiment.” This is bravery — not dressing up in your sister’s clothes and capering about on TikTok.
In the infant days of Hollywood, an actress was fabled to have led a leopard on a leash along Sunset Boulevard. The stars still love to show off their exotic pets. But there’s something really icky about it when the pets are humans. Can’t they just go back to the good old days of boasting about their little darlings being fluent in Mandarin by the age of five? The air may be rarefied up there in the gated communities of La La Land, but this condition is spreading like wildfire.
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.