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.
CLASS IS DISMISSED
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.