‘The Carmichael Show’ Wades into the Trans Trend

September 3rd, 2015 3:51 AM

On the episode “Gender” of The Carmichael Show, main character Jerrod Carmichael is paired up with a kid through the Big Brother program who confesses to him that he is gay. Jerrod is freaked out at first by the responsibility of guiding a teen who is coming out, so he consults with his parents because “the world's a tough, judgmental place, and you two are the toughest, most judgmental people I know.”

After talking with his family, Jerrod feels confident that he can handle it. But that’s when the boy drops a bomb – he isn’t gay (that's so passé!), he’s transgender (all the rage on TV right now!) - and Jerrod doesn't know how to respond: 

-Jerrod: What's up, man?
-Jordan: Hey. This isn't one of our days. 
-I know, I know, I know. But I came to tell you, look... I'm totally cool with you being gay. Not only that, I think you should tell the world, man. Whenever you're ready though. 
-You're being serious? 
-Yeah, absolutely. Now, how is that for advice, huh? Enlightened? Sure. Uh, evolved? I could go on and on about how well I'm handling this. 
-I appreciate that, Jerrod, I really do, but... The thing is... I'm not gay. 
-I'm sorry, Jerrod, but the whole reason why I told you I was gay was to test your reaction. 
-I repeat: What? 
-If you had freaked out at me when I told you I was gay, I wouldn't have said anything else. I never told anybody this before, but... I'm transgender. 
-Do you know what that means? 
-It means I'm a girl even though you see me as a boy. 
-Jordan, did you know basketball was created in Springfield, Massachusetts? They used peach baskets instead of regular hoops, and they had to climb a ladder to get the ball out. Isn't that the craziest thing you ever heard before? (Laughs) 
-I just told you I'm transgender. 
-Peach baskets!

Just when Jerrod was starting to get comfortable with the idea of his "little brother" being gay, he's thrown for another loop that he is completely unprepared to deal with, so he goes back to talk with his family.

Overwhelmed by all these new societal changes? So are the Carmichaels! After finally being forced to accept gay marriage (as Joe says, "The Supreme Court has told me I need to accept these people, so I always do what the Supreme Court says.") accepting transgenders is a bridge too far:


-Maxine: Why are you guys so accepting of gays but not of someone being transgender? 
-Joe: We are not against the transgendered. But I'm just getting used to people being gay, and they done changed the rules on this one again. It's too fast. Too furious. 
-Cynthia: You have to understand, Maxine. We went from not having a phone to having a phone with a long cord to having a cordless phone to having a cell phone. Now we don't even call people, we text 'em. I just can't go through all these changes. 
-Jerrod: Okay. So I think I understand what being transgender means, in theory. It's what sex a person identifies as. But, look, Jordan likes playing basketball. He's great at it. And he plays video games. We hiked a railroad track to find a dead body. 
-M: You're just describing Stand By Me. 
-J: We watched Stand By Me. You know? I-I'm just saying he likes to do boy things. 
-M: There is no such thing as "Boy things." 
-Uh, I didn't see Stand By Me, but I have hiked to see a dead body. 
-M: Okay, look, the whole thing with gender is that it's just a social construct. It's not innate. We are taught what is male and female.

The Carmichaels are like any other American family trying to get by in a world where things are moving extremely fast - too fast to properly judge the effects of these changes and if they are beneficial in the long term or if these trends are harmful flashes in the pan.

Meanwhile, you have liberals like Maxine who lecture on things like gender fluidity. If you've ever raised or taken care of little kids, you know that gender is largely innate and not a social construct. Just ask anyone who’s given their boy a doll that he turned into a gun, or a girl a truck that she pushed in a stroller if there is such a thing as "boy things." Boys and girls are different, it’s a biological and hormonal fact that liberals try to deny - to everyone's detriment.