June 17, 2007

Transgenders: Less Jerry Springer, More Mainstream Media

That's one of the conclusions in this piece from the Hartford (CT) Courant.

The article mentions transgender characters in popular television shows like "Ugly Betty" and "All My Children," the recent cover story in Newsweek (which I linked to on this blog), a new documentary that recently debuted at the Tribecca Film Festival, and the recent high profile stories of the Largo, Florida city manager who was fired and the Los Angeles Times sports writer who announce his transition to a her.

Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality, partially credits the Internet and medical advancements with allowing people to express themselves physically. That outlet, she says, has created a domino effect.

"There's so many trans people out that more and more people do have trans people in their lives, and that's going to cause more trans people in the media," she says . "... When the entertainment media stories happen, they really have a dramatic impact. When they're done sympathetically, they make people feel safe and more willing to come out.

Ryan Murphy, the creator of FX's "Nip/Tuck," is developing a new series for that cable network that will follow a male sportscaster and father's transition into a woman. The story is unrelated to Daniels' story. Fox and ABC also are developing shows that feature transgender characters, Romine says."

There will never be acceptance of an issue without visibility, and it's these kinds of representations of the transgender community that will ultimately make the unfamiliar familiar," he says.

I believe that's the key point of this article. People have a tendancy to, at best freak out, and at worst hate and discriminate toward people who are different in a way they don't understand. Bringing some attention to the humanity still alive and well in transgender people before, during, and after they transition can only help bring, if not understanding, at least acceptance.

Let's face it, there are probably a LOT of people in our lives we just don't get, but that doesn't mean we should stop loving them. The same concept applies to transgender people.

We need to remember that the fact they are changing physical gender doesn't make them stop being people, and Jesus commanded us to love one another, not just people who are like us or that we understand.

Thanks to PageOneQ for the tip.

1 comment:

  1. We need to remember that the fact they are changing physical gender doesn't make them stop being people

    Well Said!

    - Thank you