JOHNSTON: SheZow presents at a pop-culture level what transgender activists believe and what some academics have taught for years: that gender is completely socially constructed and that people can change genders… Instead of giving kids good role models to follow, this cartoon reflects our culture’s confusion about the two sexes, and kids don’t need that confused message.
Johnston regularly uses his platform at Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink outlet to trash transgender identities. He believes that trans identities are not “healthy” and are “problematic psychologically,” even suggesting that gender variation can be caused by sexual abuse. He also denies that gender is socially constructed and separate from sex, merely because none of the “other genders” can “replicate itself.” Focus on the Family regularly promotes ex-trans ministries, encouraging the use of shame to reject trans identities.
Despite its gender-bending premise, SheZow is not even about a transgender character. Instead, it simply sends the message that it’s okay to stray outside the rigid lines of gender norms, a sentiment which could go far to help reduce anti-LGBT bullying. Watch the show’s descriptive intro:
I spend a lot of time promoting tolerance on this blog. I have so many gay friends and relatives. I have lived a lifetime dealing with hate and intolerance. I have spent a lifetime dealing with my own sexuality and how I react to the different varieties in the other humans I interact with. If I saw this when I was a kid, it wouldn't make me gay. It would probably make me think about who I was and who other people really were. This is about demystifying and mythologizing sexual attitudes. We all have to work at becoming more human. This could help! I believe I have an empathetic understanding of the real nature of human sexuality. What I don't and won't tolerate is hate and closed minds.