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Film / A Kid Like Jake

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A Kid Like Jake is a 2018 drama film about the parents who raise a gender nonconforming boy. It's based on a 2013 play written by Daniel Pearle, who also adapted the screenplay.

Two parents, Alex and Greg (Jim Parsons), are trying to get their 4-year old son Jake into a private kindergarten. While applying to several schools, the topic of their son's gender expression comes to the forefront. They've never thought much of Jake's love of princesses or skirts but, now that he's branching out and going to school, it's becoming a larger issue. When Jake starts acting out, his father Greg begins to wonder if he should see a therapist, which causes a drift with his wife Alex because she doesn't understand see why Jake needs therapy.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: This issue is a focal point of the film. Jake loves wearing skirts, playing dress-up, playing with girls, and doing other stereotypically feminine things. It's in question whether he's a feminine boy or whether his behavior is due to underlying gender dysphoria, but it's never answered.
  • Homophobic Hate Crime: Downplayed. Jake gets bullied by the other kids for his femininity. At his 5th birthday, another boy pushes him and calls him a "flag".
  • Kids Are Cruel: Even at his young age, Jake is already being bullied by other boys for being feminine.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Jake obviously loves Disney Princess stuff, but the film can't refer to them by their Disney-exclusive names. For example, Ariel is only called "the little mermaid". Aurora gets referred to by name, but "Aurora" has been used in the Sleeping Beauty fairy-tale.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Jake starts drawing bloody, aggressive images. This, combined with his tantrums, makes his father wonder if he should see a therapist.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Jake is an innocent kid who likes wearing skirts, dresses, and other girl's clothes.