Dana Beyer, writing for The Huffington Post, takes a look at the transgender state of affairs and comes to the conclusion, in this excerpt, that it is, slowly, (sometimes frustratingly so), getting better…
In the past week, there have been a remarkable number of trans related stories:
• Independent commission finds no justification for military’s transgender ban.
• A story on trans Jews at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
• Cosmo Magazine (!) reported that the porn industry is getting more respectful in its use of language with respect to its transgender actors.
• Brandon Ambrosino, grossly ignorant of the trans experience and recently hired by Ezra Klein at his new project, vox.com, generates major blowback.
• The Forbes Billionaires list this year includes Jennifer Pritzker, now openly trans and the major benefactor to the Palm Center which is the force behind the efforts towards open military service.
• The New York City Department of Education, where I started my school years, issued guidelines for trans students.
• The Pacific Justice Institute – the main right-wing force behind the referendum to derail the California trans student rights bill, AB 1266, was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
• CrossFit is being sued by a trans woman for discrimination.
• Wendy Williams, the eponymous host of “The Wendy Williams Show,” spewed ignorant pseudoscience along with her guests about Chloie Jonsson, the trans CrossFit personal trainer.
• And then there’s Ellen being labeled “transphobic” for her jokes at the expense of Liza Minelli, a woman with a long history of being parodied, like her mother, by drag queens.
This slew of media stories lends credence to the statement that we are “in a trans moment.” Suddenly reports are popping up about discrimination, transphobic comments are being noticed and called out by the gay media, our bureaucracies continue to move forward with updating guidelines to protect their gender non-conforming students, Forbes Magazine notes the presence of a trans billionaire without snarkiness, and a distasteful drag queen joke gets smeared as transphobic.
My take-away is that the educational process has reached a tipping point where people are taking notice and doing some research. People are interested enough that the media feels it’s worth covering. The dictum ascribed to Gandhi, which states, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,” seems to be playing out. We were ignored for decades, when we weren’t being laughed at. Then all the attention we got was either hostile or insulting, with movies about trans serial killers and late night comics using us for routine comedic fodder. The fighting for trans inclusion began in earnest with the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) in Congress in 2007, and accelerated with the passage of the California School Success and Opportunity Act and subsequent failed referendum attempt this year.
Read the whole column here: