You’ve probably read the article by the two-fisted reportress Siobhan O’Leary about a crusty transphobe with some authority over transgender people’s health care up in Canadia. Important stuff, and I’m unqualified to add to it.
But given revelations that crypto-transphobe slimebag Jesse Singal was having private discussions with other journalists about how trans people shouldn’t be allowed to write articles about trans issues, and given that article prompted a twitstorm of creeps defending creeps in journalism…
One wonders if the cancellation of this article is punishment for Shiv’s involvement in that debate, and advocacy for trans journalists. That’s all we get to do. Wonder.
Upon reflection, it doesn’t surprise me that there’s sort of a consensus in the Mainstream Media (MSM) to privilege anti-trans articles. In my experience, the MSM have always been on the side of the status quo and the powers that be. And misrepresenting and trying to discredit those who would upset the status quo seems to be business as usual for them. I remember in the 60’s and 70’s, when the media would try to discredit feminists, by picking out the most extreme actions and taking them out of context. “Hairy man-haters” was the meme then. (Come to think of it, it still is.) More recently, we’ve seen how the MSM misrepresents black people who are killed by the police as criminals — cf. Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin. Or how only the most rabid muslims and the terrorist wanabees make it into the papers, and not the hordes of US muslims who denounce them.
But I don’t think that you can take what the MSM reports as necessarily an accurate reflection of what people on the street are thinking. Our “hometown newspaper” (feh!), the New York Times, has pretty consistently been giving a platform to transphobes, yet I have found the NYC pretty welcoming. I’m pretty sure that anyone who cares can see that I’m trans (and I wear a medalion with the trans symbol, just to make sure), yet I’ve never had any trouble. Actually, I’ve travelled on airplanes, stayed in motels in the South, and spent a week in the Shenandoah Valley as me and nobody seems to care.
Yes, there are still incidents, yet every transphobic incident seems to call forth a groundswell of support for the victim. I honestly think the tide has turned, and the transphobes in the media (and in Congress) are proving to be increasingly out of touch with the general population on this issue (and others.)
Me? While I’m glad there are people out there like Siobhan and Zinnia Jones and Julia Serano who are willing to rebut the nonsense of people like Mr. Singal, I’m mostly just living my life as an out trans woman. I’m reminded of Tina Fey’s stated policy for dealing with “sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism”:
Great American Satan says
Allison my esteemed gal, you have beautifully contributed to the noble tradition of people making comments on my blog that are much longer than my original posts. Glad your experience of life has been less rugged than it is for some other trans ladies. Of the trans women I’ve worked with most recently, one had all the misfortune and bad treatment, and the other seemed to be doing well mostly by working graveyard shifts (and probably having better friends).
I do like it when I get the long comments. It adds value to my blog without me having to do a lot of work, heh. Thanks! <3
I agree, I’m very privileged compared with most trans people. I live in a very tolerant part of the country, work for a company that makes a point of being LGBT-friendly, and for a department that has been socially progressive since forever, I’m near retirement and am financially well set up for it, so being laid off wouldn’t be a problem.
And I’m white.
But I still think that talking heads like Mr. Singal aren’t all that relevant to what most trans people experience. It’s transphobic lawmakers and neighbors and employers and doctors and such who we have to worry about. And letting those who we encouter who are capable of change experience us and our humanity is what will change our circumstances, not debating people like Mr. Singal who are so invested in not changing.