Elon Musk blames his trans daughter's progressive school for their now nonexistent relationship, according to a recent excerpt of an upcoming biography on the X, formerly known as Twitter, owner published in The Wall Street Journal.
Musk's daughter, who legally changed her name to Vivian Jenna Wilson in 2022, came out as trans when she was 16. Wilson — who goes by her middle name, Jenna — did not tell her now-estranged father she was trans.
The Tesla CEO heard about his daughter's transition from someone else, according to Walter Isaacson, who spent over three years following Musk and who is the author of the upcoming biography.
“Hey, I’m transgender, and my name is now Jenna,” the teen texted Musk's sister-in-law, Isaacson wrote. “Don’t tell my dad.”
When Musk learned of his daughter's transition "he was generally sanguine," according to Isaacson, but after Jenna became a "fervent Marxist" she cut Musk out of her life.
When Jenna filed a request to change her name so that it would better reflect her gender identity, she wrote that she was also requesting a name change because "I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form."
Musk claims, according to Isaacson, that when his daughter "went beyond socialism to being a full communist and thinking that anyone rich is evil" she severed all communication and relations with him. Isaacson says the "rift pained" Musk "more than anything in his life since the infant death of his first child, Nevada."
"I've made many overtures," Musk says of his attempts to repair his relationship with his trans daughter, according to Isaacson. "But she doesn't want to spend time with me."
His estranged relationship with his daughter is why Musk, according to Isaacson, has adopted a so-called "anti-woke sentiments." Musk often publicly complains about the alleged "dangers" of the "woke mind virus." According to Isaacson, Musk told him that "unless the woke mind virus, which is fundamentally anti-science, anti-merit, and anti-human in general, is stopped, civilization will never become multiplanetary."
Musk also partly blames his daughter's ideology and decision to cut him out of her life on Crossroads, a progressive school Jenna attended in Los Angeles, Isaacson wrote. Musk believes, according to Isaacson, that Twitter "had become infected by a similar mindset that suppressed right-wing and anti-establishment voices."
Musk often publicly complains about the alleged "dangers" of the "woke mind virus."
One 2022 study conducted by University of Pennsylvania researcher Sandra González-Bailón and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Nexus found that Twitter, now X, actually gives more visibility to those with conservative ideologies than those who tend to express more progressive views.
In December 2022, just months after Musk acquired then-Twitter, the Tesla CEO suspended the accounts of several high-profile journalists, claiming the suspensions were related to new Twitter rules banning private jet trackers — including those who tracked or tweeted the whereabouts of Musk's jet.
While Musk partly blames his daughter's school for their estrangement, he has also posted a series of anti-trans content on X despite his daughter's gender identity.
In June 2023, Musk posted an anti-trans video to X, adding in a follow-up tweet that: "Consenting adults should do whatever makes them happy, provided it does not harm others, but a child is not capable of consent, which is why we have laws protecting minors," referring to gender-affirming care for children.
Musk also tweeted: "This is a major problem. I will be actively lobbying to criminalize making severe, irreversible changes to children below the age of consent. Shame on those who advocate this! It is utterly contemptible."
Jordan Peterson, a right-wing commentator, quoted Musk's tweet, adding: "Prison. Long term. Without parole. No mercy. And maybe for the compliant 'therapists' as well as the butchers they enable." Musk agreed, tweeting back: "Absolutely."
Despite claims from those who argue gender-affirming care harms children and amounts to "child mutilation," every major medical community, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that gender-affirming care is safe, very rarely includes surgery for minors and diminishes the risk of suicide and suicidal ideation in young people.