Video hosting website Vimeo has scrubbed a recent documentary that profiled three families whose lives were upended when their children began to identify as transgender.
“There are two main issues here,” filmmaker Taylor Reece told Fox News Digital. “One is the censorship, which is really concerning, and the other is the issue itself, which has got to be discussed. It has to be. They can keep trying to suppress it, but ultimately it has to be discussed.”
“I’m very disappointed in Vimeo. … This is clearly yet another pressure campaign, and they just folded. I can assure you there was no hate speech in this film.”
Reece is the director of “Dead Name,” which was released last month for purchase and rental on Vimeo, a New York-based video hosting website that confirmed to Fox News Digital on Monday that the film had been removed from its platform in accordance with its Acceptable Use Policy governing “harmful, hateful, and misleading content.”
The documentary has since been uploaded to a separate website, where viewers can purchase or rent it.
“We can confirm that Vimeo removed the video in question for violating our Terms of Service prohibiting discriminatory or hateful content,” the company said. “We strive to enforce these policies objectively and consistently across our platform. Vimeo has notified the account owner and all purchases have been refunded.”
“I’m very disappointed in Vimeo,” Reece said. “The film was up for something like 34 days. They didn’t suddenly sit down with popcorn and watch it one night. This is clearly yet another pressure campaign, and they just folded. I can assure you there was no hate speech in this film.”
Reece, who said someone within her extended family is dealing with the issues she tackles in the film, recounted how she interviewed more than 100 parents for it. The hour-long documentary hones in on the separate but similar stories of three parents named Amy, Helen and Bill, whose children’s gender identity struggles became apparent at the ages of 15, 4 and 18, respectively.
Bill recounted in the film how he believes his son Sean, who suffered from health complications his entire life, ultimately died from complications related to cross-sex hormones after falling in with people at college who affirmed him in a transgender identity. Sean’s classmates later criticized him for using his son’s given name, or “dead name,” during his online memorial service, from which the film gets its title.
Helen told the story of how her son developed two different identities and began talking about genital surgery at 4 years old. Amy said her adolescent daughter’s transgender identity “just came from somewhere and swept her away.”
All three parents discerned that their children’s confusion was the result of external influences, and each smacked up against opposition from professional therapists who affirmed their children in the opposite sex without question.
“They all seem so different, except that they aren’t,” Reece said of the stories she chose to highlight. “In all three cases, you have parents who feel alienated, who feel ostracized, who feel marginalized, who have been stunned and shocked at every juncture, whether it’s been from a nursery school all the way up to a really fine college.”
Reece explained how her documentary “doesn’t hew toward being religious or political,” but rather “focuses on the pain and anguish that parents are experiencing when they are dealing with a child who is caught up or who suddenly declares himself or herself as being transgender.”
Noting that the transgender debate might be merely theoretical and political for many people, Reece said families who find themselves swept up in it are ultimately faced with medical challenges, especially when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are involved.
“By the time they become adults, they’ve been on these medications for a long time, and they’re likely to remain on these medications,” she said of the children. “So my concern about this issue is that the route to this medical intervention was too unchecked, too unscrutinized, and certainly not discussed in a national way. We’ve not had a substantive discussion about it until recently.”
Reece said that before Vimeo removed it, sales and rentals of “Dead Name” were “robust” and poured in from 16 countries. She said feedback was “excellent” and not incendiary.
“This issue is so important. We’ve got a whole generation of kids who have been captured with this and will age out. If it’s not time to discuss this now, then I don’t know when it is.”
“I hope more than anything in the whole world that I can bridge the gap somewhat with this film: that we wouldn’t be red or blue, that we wouldn’t be anything other than parents looking at this,” Reece said. “Not divided, but united by the fact that we all are raising children and that this is an issue that’s probably in every household in one way or another, and we don’t have an organized way to wrap our heads around that.”
While she maintained that she does not want its apparent censorship to become the emphasis of what she was attempting to show with her film, she noted that the scope with which conversation on the issue is shut down has contributed to why many parents are “blindsided” when they encounter it in their families, and why they feel so alone when they do.
“I don’t want to have to campaign about censorship and being silenced. I want the film to speak to this issue. This issue is so important. We’ve got a whole generation of kids who have been captured with this and will age out,” she said. “If it’s not time to discuss this now, then I don’t know when it is.”