It's rare that I find somebodies behaviour or attitude so irksome that I have to get it off of my chest as soon as possible in some form, just so I can vent my frustrations concerning it. It's particularly aggravating when this behaviour is so casual that they seem to find it perfectly acceptable and just carry on as if nothing has happened. The person in question is Jacques Peretti, a producer, director and writer who presented the recent documentary on Michael Jackson, 'Michael Jackson's Secret Hollywood' on Channel 4. My issue is not with the subject matter, the singer himself, but the brief side history he gave some of his class mates from Montclair College Preparatory School.
Peretti claims that the murder of the actress Sharon Tate had a 'profound effect' on certain members of Jackson's graduating class, such as Christian Brando, who became a convicted murderer, Danny Bonaduce, who became a drug addict and Chastity Bono, now known as Chaz Bono, who has undergone female-to-male gender transition.
At this point I refer you to my title, because one of these things is not like the others.
Jacques Peretti is trying to suggest that the fear and paranoia that these students experienced led to serious emotional issues in adulthood, which may be true, Peretti gives us no further evidence, however he is taking the idea of transgender identity and comparing it to murder or drug abuse. He is implying that Chaz Bono's transition is somehow connected to a deeper emotional issue or trauma, that it couldn't possibly be a natural or healthy behaviour pattern, which is what I found so disgraceful.
I was not aware of Peretti or his work before this documentary but from what I've gathered he can be a controversial but still informative filmmaker, however his skills in his profession aren't what concerns me. What concerns me is that this small section, of this particular documentary shines a spotlight onto the casual, thoughtless and ingrained transphobia of our society that still persists today and that neither Jacques Peretti or Channel 4 seemed to have confronted or even noticed it, this is what I find so frustrating and truly disrespectful.
See what you think for yourselves and whether you would agree or disagree,