Just after Jaah Kelly publicly announced she was a transgender male, in a video posted to her Ask.fm account, she fell into a deep depression. She was a 14 year-old kid at the time. The announcement was prompted by a question posted anonymously online.
“When I posted that video, I was so scared. When I was younger, I always felt like I had to make a choice. I knew that I was a girl who liked other girls. But because of what I was taught, I felt like the only way you could like another girl is if you were a boy.” — Jaah Kelly
Now 18 years old, Jaah, who writes music, has come forward revealing that she was a lesbian that had struggled with internalized homophobia as a kid. She was taught that the only way she could like another girl, was if she was a boy.
In a recent interview with Paper magazine, Jaah says, “When I posted that video, I was so scared. When I was younger, I always felt like I had to make a choice. I knew that I was a girl who liked other girls. But because of what I was taught, I felt like the only way you could like another girl is if you were a boy.”
In the now removed video, posted when she was 14, she said, “I believe I am a boy and want surgery and the medication to help me be who I was supposed to be…” She said she knew she was trans at 6 or 7 years old. That she’d slowly begun to identify with he/him pronouns, and her family was supportive in addressing her as such.
While Paper magazine talks about how “LGBTQ teens” face “rejection from their own communities” and the “potential of homelessness,” they don’t mention that now, in many states such as NY, doctors wouldn’t legally be allowed to look into causes, such as internalized homophobia, if Jaah had come to them. That they’d be legally required to immediately affirm a child as trans, day one, and proceed accordingly.
And while Paper magazine talks about various hardships of “LGBTQ youth,” clumping the letters of the acronym together, like a package deal, a one-size-fits-all, they don’t mention that the letters in that acronym are very different from one another, with often opposite needs and concerns. They don’t mention that, in the U.S., double mastectomies are being performed on 13 year-old kids who don’t ‘conform’—Way before they ever even have a chance to reach full cognitive brain development (around age 25).
Paper writes, “Jaah’s vegan, mostly because her family is also vegan, and she’s not old enough to legally drink, so she’s slowly nursing a nonalcoholic beverage.” But in speaking of things a young adult is and isn’t old enough to legally do, they don’t mention the “informed consent” model that now legally allows kids to pick a ‘gender,’ before they even understand what gender means (stereotypes/roles pushed based on sex). Or that children as young as 8, are now being medicalized with puberty blockers. That whereas previously, liberal studies show the vast majority of kids who don’t ‘conform,’ would grow up and realize they were gay and lesbian—as Jaah has—early interruptions to brain development and puberty, change the statistics, so that nearly none of these kids are allowed to grow up and realize they are gay and lesbian.
“The reason I dress the way I dress is because I want to. The reason I do anything at all is because I want to. It just makes me happy. I feel like there are so many people who don’t do what they want to do in life.” — Jaah Kelly
It’s been reported that Jaah, in a recent radio interview, asked people not to call her transgender or Kelly’s son.
In her interview with Paper magazine, Jaah says, “The reason I dress the way I dress is because I want to. The reason I do anything at all is because I want to. It just makes me happy. I feel like there are so many people who don’t do what they want to do in life.”
Paper writes that Jaah was “someone who rejected binary female coding, opting to wear men’s clothing exclusively over dresses or high heels.” But they don’t mention that there’s no such thing as “binary female coding,” or that there’s no such thing as “men’s clothes,” for that matter… unless “men’s clothes” comes with a set of sarcastic air quotes.
If only “LGBTQ” institutions and media would start teaching people that we need to expand our idea of “girlhood” to include buzz-cuts, toy trucks, worms, digging and spitting, and stop intentionally conflating the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender.’ If only they’d teach people that ‘gender’ is just a hierarchy, a set of roles and expectations, positioning women as objects for male consumption. That lesbians have a long history of flipping off the rules of ‘gender,’ and we do it long before we even understand what it is we’re fighting against.
If only the lesbians could say all of this ourselves… But in the name of “inclusion,” lesbians have been excluded… So much so, that someone like me would have to someday learn, the hard way, that one of the few “lesbian” mainstream publications remaining, had one lesbian writer on staff. Just the one. I had to learn the hard way that lesbians are now the minority at “lesbian” publications. THE MINORITY. AT “LESBIAN” PUBLICATIONS.
Not surprisingly, none of the major “LGBTQ” sites, including “lesbian” sites, have reported on this story. When there’s an epidemic of young girls struggling with internalized homophobia—kids that the “LGBTQ” is pushing to medicalize ‘no questions asked,’ no parental consent required—you would think “lesbian” magazines would, at the very least, want to keep lesbian readers in the loop. But they don’t… Follow the money.
So, yeah… If only… Instead we’re living in a time where lesbians are being removed by cops from events, bars and restaurants, just for being in a place, sitting on a bench, wearing a T-shirt that says “lesbian.” A time where the human rights of gay and lesbian children are being violated, by the very institutions that were once set up to protect them. A time where an alarming number of same-sex attracted young women are exiting childhood with scars, and then they’re being aggressively shouted down and censored, by the institutions and media that were once set up to protect them.
Sweeping the collateral damage under the rug—and virtue signaling, while pushing this idea of an “LGBTQ” person, rather than looking at each letter in the acronym as having very different needs—comes with serious consequences. Perpetuating a toxic male-dominated culture, that consistently and endlessly tells lesbians we’re “incorrectly female,” isn’t woke—It’s causing significant harm to baby dykes.
While I give some props to the few sites that actually covered this important-to-the-lesbian-community story, they still fail to acknowledge that Jaah could’ve been among the long list of kids now coming forward, saying they were harmed by people they should’ve been able to trust. That they were “affirmed” and medicalized before they ever even had a chance to know who they were. That they were left with scars.
For the most part, mainstream media has, once again, chosen to turn their back and look away. And what few publications reported, chose to glaze over issues that are important to lesbians, like it’s no big deal. And maybe Jaah hasn’t yet realized what a bigger deal it could’ve been. Maybe she has. Either way, we’ve all seen what happens when lesbians don’t play the nice girl, the cool girl, the good girl… We get taken down by the male-dominated mob we call the “LGBTQ”—Our reputations, our jobs, our means of survival, jeopardized.
But we see what’s happening to young lesbians—the grooming, the indoctrination, the coercion, the conflation—and we’re not going to shut up about ANY OF IT. Dykes aren’t out here to smile and stroke egos. We’re not out here to play nice. We’re out here to come with the realness. And if that makes you sad, you can always just call the cops and have us removed for being a lesbian.
جوليا ديانا — Julia Diana Robertson, is an award-winning author, and a contributor for Huffington Post and AfterEllen—A first generation Arab-American, who grew up between worlds, and currently resides somewhere in the middle with a bird’s eye view.