By Family Research Council
The most common question transgender activists use to bully parents into approving their daughter’s lifelong dependency on experimental hormone injections is: “Would you rather have a living son or a dead daughter?”
But the tragic story of Abigail Martinez’s daughter, who took her own life after attempting to transition to life as a boy, proves what a false dichotomy that is.
A hard-hitting new film reveals how the trans movement inflicts death, depression, and familial estrangement in service of the pharmaceutical industry.
The story of Yaeli Martinez forms the heart of “Gender Transformations: The Untold Realities,” an original production of The Epoch Times. Though technically classified as a “docudrama,” the term does not do justice to the reality that plays out on the screen: The majority of the film consists of real people sharing heartbreaking true stories, without an interviewer’s prompting. Through their eyes, the 85-minute Epoch Original production traces the transgender contagion from its funding sources in Big Pharma, to ideologically extremist teachers who radicalize children behind their parents’ backs, to trans activists who brainwash and kidnap minors, to the irreversible damage the industry causes teens and young adults. Abigail Martinez sheds real tears for her daughter’s suicide — and real footage shows trans activists mocking her grief.
The “docudrama” label comes from the movie’s dramatization of the short life, radicalization, and death of Yaeli Martinez. The film renames Yaeli “Evie,” who transitions to “Evan.” But the recreation of Yaeli’s life — which can only be reconstructed, since she stepped in front of a train at age 17 — forms the narrative arc turning patchwork of first-person vignettes into a mosaic picture of lives callously shattered for profit.
Yaeli became indoctrinated in extreme gender ideology through a school LGBT group, where she eventually joined her “friends” in identifying as transgender. One night, Yaeli’s “friends” pulled up outside Martinez’s home, picked her up in an unmarked car, and whisked her away to an unknown location to live with other transgender-identifying young people. “They even took the license plate off of their car,” Martinez remembers.
Things got worse when the government got involved. Yaeli said her mother refused to affirm her identity, causing the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services to put the minor into a group home. A judge would authorize the minor to receive transgender injections against her mother’s will. Eventually, Yaeli — who now identified as “Andrew” — brought her mother back into her life, just as newfound friends began to desert her and reality began to assert itself.
“She told me, ‘Mom, I realized that no matter what I do I’m never going to be like my brother. I’m in pain. I can’t sleep. I can’t concentrate,’” Martinez recalls. “’It’s not working the way that I thought.’”
One day in 2019, law enforcement gave Martinez the news that her daughter had committed suicide. “I was screaming. I said, ‘No, I want my daughter,’” Martinez later told The Daily Signal. She pleaded to be able to spend time with the body of her daughter, whom she had not seen since the child ran away.
“The gentleman from the funeral home told me there’s nothing really that you can see or recognize,” Martinez recalled.
All that remained of her child’s legacy was the undying hatred of the radical LGBTQ movement. The movie includes real footage of Martinez sharing her story, as trans activists yell, “Cry more!” and “What a sob story!”
After removing a child from a loving home and transitioning her, the Los Angeles government refused to acknowledge any responsibility for Yaeli’s death. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Andrew M., as well as to the LGBTQIA community which advocates relentlessly to protect its youngest and most vulnerable members from such tragedies,” responded the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
The statement said nothing about the role of the transgender movement — top to bottom — in creating the tragedy.
That story falls to Martinez and the movie’s ensemble of grieving parents, whistleblowing therapists, investigative journalists, and remorseful detransitioners.
The origin story of transgenderism’s social contagion begins by tracing the money back to the Big Pharma companies that manufacture these drugs. “If you’re going to look for anything in this country, you’re going to follow the money, because it will always tell you the truth. Who’s funding these LGB organizations?” asked writer and investigator Jennifer Bilek. “What I found was a whole lot of very, very powerful moneyed people in the highest echelons of finance, Pharma, and technology.” Dr. Katherine Welch, a concerned physician, agrees that pharmaceutical companies “fund the activists and the NGOs to stir up a lot of passion.” Then the companies ask for emergency use authorization, based on “a mental health crisis among our youth.” Thanks to their combination marketing-and-lobbying efforts, there is now “a $1.5 billion industry for surgery alone,” said lawyer Erin Friday. “And I think that’s an underestimate.”
The trail extends to dishonest researchers, such as John Money, and subject criteria set by organizations such as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The academic cohort produces the shoddy research trumpeted by the media, entertainment industry, and school officials. When Erin Friday learned her daughter had secretly begun identifying as a boy at school, administrators told her, “We need to be a safe space” for her child. “By extension, I’m unsafe,” said Friday.
The message promptly filters down to young people. A few confess to being amazed at the virtually godlike power they hold over their own bodies. “When I went into the Planned Parenthood building to [talk about] the surgery … I could pick from 25 sets of breasts,” said detransitioner David Bacon. “I could build myself.”
But most seek to rebuild themselves from a trauma, or they naïvely believe the transgender industry’s claims that the silver bullet for their depression lies at the end of a needle. Continually hearing the (scientifically inaccurate) mantra that children who identify as transgender will commit suicide if not immediately “affirmed” caused at least one woman to become profoundly depressed. “It made me feel even more hopeless, because I thought there was no way to accept myself. I had to get these painful surgeries and take hormones,” said detransitioner Catt Catinson. Her psychological evaluation “affirmed me immediately” and “just sort of overlooked my eating disorder” and childhood sexual abuse. Abel Garcia received the same treatment, even after telling them, “I might be autistic” and that he felt unsure whether he identified as transgender.
“The worst part, honestly, is that I was allowed to do all this, and that nobody was willing to stop me and have a second opinion,” says Garcia. “Instead, I was affirmed, I was love-bombed. I was allowed to destroy my body.”
So, was Yaeli Martinez, to whom the movie is dedicated.
“This pain never goes away,” says Abigail Martinez. “You breathe and you can feel the pain.”
Yet the movie ends with the hope that some victims of the transgender industry survive long enough to live as their authentic selves, the ones reflected by their biology. “It took me about a year to fully deprogram from gender identity ideology,” said Cattinson. “I feel like it was the act of deprogramming, just changing my beliefs, that allowed me to recover from my depression.” Now, she has reconnected with the family her embrace of gender ideology estranged. “It’s been very healing, having that family connection again. We can just be together and love each other.”
That gives hope to Pamela Garfield-Jaeger, a therapist and social worker who believes adults caught up in the transgender movement “didn’t realize just how harmful this was.” One day, Americans will look back at this chapter as “a dark time in our history, but I don’t think this is going to last.”
But until then, the testimony of Martinez and other grieving families torn apart by extreme transgender ideology, preserved in this Epoch Original, reveals the incalculable consequences when darkness triumphs, even briefly.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.
EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.
The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.
This article is courtesy of DrRichSwier.com, an online community of citizen journalists, academics, subject matter experts, and activists to express the principles of limited government and personal liberty to the public, to policy makers, and to political activists. Please visit DrRichSwier.com for more great content.