New Film “Adam” is the Most Transphobic, Lesbophobic Film In Decades
How was this feature film made in 2019?
The feature film “Adam” is due to hit theaters on August 14th, much to the dismal of transgender folks and lesbians everywhere. Based on the controversial book by Ariel Schrag and directed by “Transparent” alum Rhys Ernst, the film, according to IMDB, the film “Tells the story of awkward teen Adam, who spends his last high school summer with his big sister and throws himself into NYC’s lesbian and trans activist scene. In this coming-of-age comedy, Adam and those around him encounter love, friendship and hard truths.”
That’s a heavily sanitized version of what viewers are about to see. Adam is a cisgender male who discreetly watches his older lesbian sister have sex. Adam then decides to pretend to be a transgender man and integrates himself into the LGBTQ community, intent on seducing unaware lesbians into having sex with him.
In his new disguise, currying both favor and support from real LGBT young people, Adam meets a kind-hearted lesbian who he engages in sex with- by taping down his penis with an ace bandage and wearing a strap-on.
It gets worse; During another sexual encounter with his new girlfriend who believes he is a female-to-male trans person, Adam removes the strap-on during sex and engages in intercourse using his real penis, without her consent or knowledge. This is supposed to be a romance, not a horror story or lesbian rape fantasy, but that is exactly what it is. Compounding this, every character that identifies as a transgender man also, bizarrely, identifies as a lesbian, inaccurately signaling that trans men are not men, but women.
To add insult to injury, the film continues its reckless and grotesque misrepresentation of both transgender men and lesbians by having Adam, in the final act, reveal to his lesbian lover that he is, in fact, a cisgender man. The woman, despite having been deceived and then raped by the bro-dude, forgives him, claiming she has fallen in love with him and had fantasized during sex that he was a “real boy”anyway, hence she is suddenly “cured” of her lesbianism.
The film goes to great lengths to smear lesbians, implying that they can be lured from their inherent sexuality as if it’s a restraint, as long as the dick is good enough. I can’t think of anything more repellent than the fact someone thought this was going to make a great film, especially in a social and political climate where, according to GLAAD, trans people and lesbians are the two communities most vulnerable to rape and physical violence.
Transgender men have the least representation in film than any other minority, so to have a cisgender man mimic a transgender man with such nefarious intentions is nothing less than irresponsible, especially since the film promotes the weaponizing of ones gender to sexually victimize innocent parties.
Adam serves as nothing more than a tremendous insult to the LGBT community. It perpetuates the dangerous myth that transgender men and women aren’t genuinely trans at all, but impostors whose motives are purely sexual. This is a common accusation made against innocent transgender women by trans exclusionary radical feminists, and this film will only stir more ire, especially toward trans women who already endure torrents of online abuse at the hands of extremists accusing us of exactly this scenario.
The film romanticizes rape, re-framing it as an act of love rather than a woman sexually abused by a sinister man. It postures itself intentionally to delegitimize lesbian sexuality as much as it does trans identities- one might expect that this book was undeniably written all for the sake of the male gaze… but it was written by a woman. Schrag is a lesbian herself who, incidentally, wrote for the third and fourth season of the Showtime series The L Word. I am stunned at how a lesbian managed to author a book that is such a damning indictment on both of our communities.
Notably, the film boasts appearances from POSE star and trans actress M.J. Rodriguez as well as former Saturday Night Live comedian Ana Gasteyer. Ernst was a nominee for Sundance 2019’s NEXT Innovator Award for directing Adam.
A Tumblr user wrote a review of the book the film is based on four years ago and had this to say;
“Ms. Schrag’s central anxiety is as transparent as it is tired: If I were only a trans man, I could get laid.
This refrain, along with “all the butches are transitioning!” are the political and observational equivalent to “all the Mexicans are coming to America and taking our jobs!”
The idea that sex is easier to have (or partners easier to find) when you’re a transsexual is preposterous, stupid, harmful, and transphobic.
Perhaps the saddest failure of Adam is that the topic of masculinity and sexuality is not an uninteresting one, nor is it unimportant. However, it is tremendously complex, and such a narrative would require a level of nuance that it is clear that Ms. Schrag fails to possess the talent to execute. In Adam, she has brought a cudgel to a scalpel fight.”
While film and television has seen a crop of powerful and positive depictions of trans and lesbian experiences, respectively, Adam seems intent on thumbing its proverbial nose at social progress and accuracy in representation in the industry, and instead delivering a deeply flawed perspective that utterly distorts both sexuality and gender while exploiting it for shock value.