When I was a kid I saw his HBO special. I watched it so many times I still know most of the words. It was the first time I saw a man dressed feminine, be funny, and not have women as a punch line. He didn’t slump out in front of the stage embarrassed by his clothing, he came out perfectly happy, hoping around, and didn’t do some silly feminine voice for laughs, he just used his voice, he wore his clothes, spoke about social injustice, and he was fucking funny. It was nice to watch a comedian and not be the fucking punch line or a flattened stereotype for laughs.
The story of Beth Thomas is a shocking one. Horribly abused by her biological father until 19 months of age, by the time social services came and rescued her, she had already been incredibly scarred and severely detached. Beth started developing disturbing behaviors, especially towards her adoptive parents and younger brother, Jonathan. Her mom Julie caught Beth masturbating several times a day until she made her own vagina bleed and had to be hospitalized. Beth poked pins into her brother and into her parents’ pets. As she got older, on a particularly violent occasion she smashed her brother’s head into the cement floor of their basement until he needed stitches to close a gash in his forehead. Beth’s intention was not merely to harm her brother but to kill him. She often voiced her desire to kill her entire family including her parents. Yet the most disturbing aspect of Beth’s behavior was her complete lack of remorse and concern for her actions. She was well aware that her actions were wrong and hurtful but this did not matter to her. Not long after these incidents her parents brought her to a therapist named Connell Watkins, who diagnosed Beth with a severe case of Reactive Attachment Disorder. HBO aired a documentary on Beth titled Child of Rage. After many years of therapy, Beth has grown up normal and is now a pediatric nurse.