When it comes to discussing issues of gender identity and transgender issues, I must admit that I tread very gingerly simply because it is so new to me. Even though I personally know six people who are transgender, I don’t feel that I fully understand all the nuances involved and thus am cautious so as to avoid inadvertently saying something insensitive or even offensive.
Hence I am grateful to Xeni Jardin who uses the publicity surrounding Caitlyn Jenner to provide a helpful guide for those who wish to better know how to speak or write about such issues. Of course, I don’t know to what extent Jardin is an authority on this particular topic though I have found her to be a sure-footed analyst on many other issues, and readers may be able to improve on her comments.
Meanwhile S. E. Smith says that it is time that the media learned how to move past the transition narrative and accurately portray what life is like post-transition.
The media doesn’t show us the often mundane, day-to-day lives of many transgender people. Their gender is part of a multifaceted identity, and it contributes to their experiences in significant ways, but it’s not the only thing that does. You wouldn’t think so if you read… well, just about any media coverage of transgender people.
This is especially dangerous for trans teens. Too many of them don’t see that transgender people can and do live happy, fulfilled lives surrounded by people they love. Instead, they see only tragic (though very real) stories like Leelah Alcorn’s, or the seemingly unobtainable fame of people like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. For teens struggling with access to transition services and basic information and support, the lack of representation in media isn’t just problematic: It can be fatal.
It is strange to me that some people are so hostile towards members of the transgender community. Why do they care enough to go out of their way to harass them, sometimes so severely so that their targets commit suicide? I can only guess that they feel threatened somehow.
Meanwhile the oh-so-pious Mike Huckabee continues to find ways to show that he is a truly despicable human being.