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7 comments | Friday, August 15, 2008

Yesterday's announcement of the inclusion of transgender female Isis Tsunami on the new season of America's Next Top Model via an exclusive interview with US Weekly sent the mainstream media and the blogosphere into overdrive.

The criticism was swift and hard for Isis as well as Tyra Banks and the producers. GLAAD sent out a call to action asking its supporters to condemn the crude and dehumanizing comments made by Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett and Us Weekly Editor-at-Large Ian Drew.

While laughing and joking, Jarrett mocked Isis’ description of herself as a woman whose “cards were dealt differently,” and said, “That’s an understatement!” Drew referred to recent instances of transgender visibility on reality television as “The Crying Game ’08,” going on to call the show “America’s Next Top Tranny.” Drew then said that she doesn’t look any different from other contestants because “they are not exactly the most high-class group of women.” Throughout the segment, Jarrett switched back and forth between male and female pronouns, and both Jarrett and Drew suggested that Isis “fooled” people by “blending in.” They went on to make crude remarks about her genitalia and the pitch of her voice.

This type of crude behavior is unacceptable by any standard, after all Isis is a human being . But the sad part about it is Ian Drew is obviously a HOMOSEXUAL! It's one thing to have those outside of the community participate in trans bashing but it's an entirely different story when it happens from someone who should know better!

Below is just a sample of how people are reacting to Isis across the blogosphere courtesy of the resident idiots over at bossip.com under the headline "America's Next Top Tranny".

It's obvious that a little Transgender 101 is needed due to comments like those above and the obvious lack of exposure and education around transgender issues.

Let's just go ahead and get four of my pet peeves out of the way for all of the trans haters and then I'll break it all down.

1. Never under any circumstances refer to a transgender Male to Female as "he", "it", "he/she", or "she-male". It's offensive and inaccurate.

2. Whether you like it or not sexuality and gender identity expands far beyond heterosexuality, male and female. There is a gray area.

3.Transsexuals have existed from antiquity. Stop acting like they're new and we're living in our last days!

4. Stop erasing any doubt that you're homophobic and ignorant by opening your mouth and speaking. Read a book! (Other than the bible to support your hatred. I suggest reading one that you can actually comprehend.)

Class Is In Session:

What does transgender mean?

Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex.

What is the difference between sex and gender?

Sex refers to biological status as male or female. It includes physical attributes such as sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, internal reproductive structures, and external genitalia. Gender is a term that is often used to refer to ways that people act, interact, or feel about themselves, which are associated with boys/men and girls/women. While aspects of biological sex are the same across different cultures, aspects of gender may not be.

Are cross-dressers and transvestites the same as being transgender?

No. Cross-dressers wear the clothing of the other sex. They vary in how completely they dress (from one article of clothing to fully cross-dressing) as well as in their motives for doing so. Some cross-dress to express cross-gender feelings or identities; others crossdress for fun, for emotional comfort, or for sexual arousal. The great majority of cross-dressers are biological males, most of whom are sexually attracted to women.

Drag queens and drag kings are, respectively, biological males and females who present part-time as members of the other sex primarily to perform or entertain. Their performances may include singing, lip-syncing, or dancing. Drag performers may or may not identify as transgender. Many drag queens and kings identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Is being transgender a mental disorder?

A psychological condition is considered a mental disorder only if it causes distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their transgender feelings and traits to be distressing or disabling, which implies that being transgender does not constitute a mental disorder per se. For these people, the significant problem is finding the resources, such as hormone treatment, surgery, and the social support they need, in order to express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. However, some transgender people do find their transgender feelings to be distressing or disabling. This is particularly true of transsexuals, who experience their gender identity as incongruent with their birth sex or with the gender role associated with that sex. This distressing feeling of incongruity is called gender dysphoria.

How can I be supportive of transgender family members, friends, or significant others?

• Educate yourself about transgender issues.

• Be aware of your attitudes concerning people with gender-atypical appearance or behavior.

• Use names and pronouns that are appropriate to the person’s gender presentation and identity; if in doubt, ask their preference.

• Don’t make assumptions about transgender people’s sexual orientation, desire for surgical or hormonal treatment, or other aspects of their identity or transition plans. If you have a reason to need to know, ask.


For my straight readers and those of you who have stumbled upon my site for the first time from links from other blogs, please take this post as an opportunity to learn about a segment of the population that has been marginalized and discriminated against even by some in the LGBT community. Isis Tsunami is a beautiful woman who obviously deserves to be where she is after overcoming many challenges. Let's cheer her on instead of tearing her down.

Write FOX News and let them know how outraged you are by their comments by clicking here.

Get into the broadcast that started this mess and the fierceness of Isis Tsunami below.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I have nothing agaisnt homosexual or transgender people, for what you chose to do with your life is your business. However, as a heterosexual woman, I have a problem when transgender people (or others) trying to identify with the biological opposite (i.e. the sex they wish to be) as a whole. A transgender man will never be able to empathize with the hardships as well as the blessings that come with being a woman. Just because he may have an operation to remove his genitalia and/or taking hormonal shots to give off the appearance of a woman, he will never embody the true essence of a woman.

I'm not going to sit up her and say I totally understand how it feels to be "locked up" in a body that you feel as though you can't identify with...to be honest I don't understand it at all, but not everything is meant to be understood. Therefor, if a woman or man wants to dress, act, and/or give off the impression that he/she is the opposite sex, then so be it...just don't expect to be totally respected and understood as the opposite sex.

August 15, 2008 2:53 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

why not have a transgender modeling show? True they are used in modeling however, most of the girls on tyra's have not had cosmetic surgery, transgender girls and guys usually have some type of augmentation. Just a thought before ya curse me out.

August 17, 2008 9:23 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Poster Mahogany Gyrl lives is Brooklyn. Most blacks in Brooklyn are Jamaican.

You already know what she thinks without reading her post.

August 17, 2008 1:46 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Reading the those comments on Bossip was just disgusting. It amazes me how people can spit hate filled words and Gods name in the same sentence.

August 18, 2008 11:36 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

yes, we (black people) still have a long way to go if we can't understand hate is hate, oppression is oppression etc ....

and we (same gender lovers), ditto -- when we at times exhibit behavior that says we just don't get it either.

August 18, 2008 2:00 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

your tip to the family members of a transsexual person about not making assumptions about what they plan to do was awesome

the other day I kind of started talking to my mom about wanting to sort of take anti-androgens, and she was like "but if you don't like being a man then you need this surgery" and it kind of freaked me out, although I'm not easily swayed by anything usually :D

so that's an awesome tip.

Btw, gay people (I mean gay males) unfortunately are the kind of people that I expect to most hate me/direct mean sarcasm towards me if I mention anything about wanting to be a transsexual

Yeah, and Isis is my new icon I tell you that, she maybe plays along the media stereotype/cliche about "being trapped in the wrong body" (which is not exactly how it is in life) which Izzy Hilton for example doesn't (another icon) but anyway she's so cool!

I hope she has some YouTube channel/website where you can follow her (I discovered her just recently so haven't even done proper research)

February 03, 2009 7:47 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Karen J.... you obviously have a problem with transgendered people. First of all, a transgendered WOMAN would be able to empathize with the hardships of being a woman and even more hardships from ignorant people such as yourself. You are not acknowledging their gender. Educate yourself. Remove HER genitalia. Usually transgendered people take hormone pills. Do you even know anyone who is trans? The true essence of a woman is hopefully not as uneducated, dumb and cruel as you are. I have a problem with transphobic biggots. Plus did you know that gender and sex are two different concepts? I have no respect for nor do I understand biggots.

November 10, 2010 4:55 AM


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