By now you have probably read the cover story in Newsweek on gender. I was actually quite impressed with how well it's written, and that they chose to speak with a variety of people who have transitioned successfully.
Of course, there are a few things that irritated me...
Like, Dr. Renee Richards:
Richards and other pioneers reflect the huge cultural shift over a generation of gender change. Now 70, Richards rejects the term transgender along with all the fluidity it conveys. "God didn't put us on this earth to have gender diversity," she says. "I don't like the kids that are experimenting. I didn't want to be something in between. I didn't want to be trans anything. I wanted to be a man or a woman.
Well, that's you, Renee. Some people are still searching, others do not feel they need to be locked into one gender type. Maybe you ought to remember what it was like when you were trying to understand yourself?
I'll say it a million times—my documentary is a vain pursuit, and I can see why a lot of people could say gays are narcissistic, but it is just as important. Until all of us can feel we can walk down the street without ridicule, none of us really will ever be safe from Hitler's Gestapo.
A little paranoia, here? Yes, it is not exactly peachy if you are a transperson nowdays. There is still prejudice, still a real risk of losing jobs, friends, family, social standing, and being harmed in many ways. And as much as the present administration wants to turn us solidly into a right-wing state, I can't compare it to Nazi Germany. She may have been exaggerating for effect, but doing that often turns people away from our cause.
Where are the sidebars with transmen? And while the story is very positive, there should have been some mention of how hard it is for many people to transition, or even find the kind of help they need to understand what they are.
Okay, kudos for a link to the Southern Comfort Conference, which I support and am a part of. More on that particular subject in the future.
But mostly, seeing a major publication treat transgender as a real subject and not as a freak show? Wow.
11/10/09-Edited Newsweek link to point to new location of article.