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transgendered in the media

It's good that transgender issues are out in the spotlight and people are becoming more aware but there is a flip side. Suddenly we are seeing in great detail much of the great turmoil that some go through to find themselves and in the process the condition is being ridiculed.

Take the example of Dawn Ennis who has now flipped twice on the issue. Formerly known as Don, she was given female hormones to delay puberty by her mother to prolong a child acting career. But whether or not Ennis's condition is legitimate or simply rooted in a plea for psychological help, we are being treated to a media circus which demeans the experience of others.

The tragic story of Christine Daniels served as cautionary tale for many of us but it also was made into fodder for seeing the transgender condition as being rooted in deep mental disorder. The great media pressure that Ms. Daniels was under was undoubtedly a pivotal factor in the suicide and a testament to how much pain she was in. Reverting to life as Mike Penner was probably a reactionary move to relieve that pressure: a last desperate act.

When things like this happen, religious zealots, biased critics and the uninformed but well meaning public join a chorus that begins to see all this as somehow less legitimate. I suppose this is the price to be paid in order to reap the benefits of education but I myself must admit to cringing everytime I see a story that spurs mocking and derision. Sometimes this criticism is warranted but I can't help that feel that it plays into the hands of those just waiting to delegitimize the entire condition.

Still, if we look at sexual orientation as the example we can take solace in the fact that despite a rocky history, there have been great strides made over the decades.

I tell myself that every time I feel like cringing at the media circus.

media circus


Comments

  1. Notwithstanding claims that journalism serves a higher good there is always a living to be made and mass media has to sell product. Sensationalism sells so I would not be too critical nor expect things to change. Ho-hum stories about a happy and content TS are a dime a dozen...as would be stories about folks like you and I who go about our lives in relative peace and privacy. There is little newsworthy about a middle aged man dressing as a woman and driving about town or stopping here and there for a mundane errand.

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually I might beg to differ Pat. It is the combined effortbif all of us doing our little mundane activities that puts us on the map. No sensationalism but just normal everyday things that publicize and paints us in a better light. Thanks for sharing!

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