Arts & Entertainment

April 22, 2011

The local news cares about queer kids and takes on trans issues. What is going on?

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Written by: Erika
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Things happened on my teevee today. Well I don’t actually have teevee, it was on my computer. But, is it pride week or something and I missed it? First, Global BC did a three part/three night series on transgender people called “Transformations”, and then a Southern Ontario CTV outlet did a three part/three night series on lgbt youth in Canadian universities. And you know what else? THEY DID A REALLY FREAKING GOOD JOB!!

Recently, Sebastian wrote this amazing article over at autostraddle, called, “Trans Etiquette 101: No Offense, but that’s Offensive” about how to talk to and about trans people and also pointing out all the super crappy things people say when they don’t know how to talk about trans people.

FTM trans man, Syl from Global BC playing his guitar, being "normal"

It is pretty easy to tell “freakshow” stories, putting trans people’s lives on display in a way that is reminiscent of the Dion years or something, but I thought Global BC did a great job, talking about things like empowerment, and also the complexity of gender identity in the first place.

Syl, their second interviewee says that “We’re just like everybody else, trans people, we’re just trying to make it in the world, have peace of mind, put food on the table, stay healthy, We have the same needs as everybody else. We need love and light, and have a nice simple life really. We’re not that different than anybody else.”

Hmmm.. that’s funny. Because based on the response from the Florida Family Association to Degressi’s new transgender character, Adam Torres, you would have thought trans people’s real agenda is to brainwash your kids and make them really, really super queer.

Degrassi's transgender character, Adam Torres

The group is organizing a boycott of MTV because of their positive portrayal of a trans teen which they believe promotes the “transgendered lifestyle”. This little gem is from them:

It is very concerning that your company would knowingly advertise during a television show that condones and promotes transgender lifestyles to an audience that is almost exclusively watched by young teens and children.

MTV is airing through their Teen Nick channel for kids episodes of the show called DeGrassi which affirms and promotes the transgender lifestyle to an audience of millions of young teens and children.

So which is it? Promoting the transgendered lifestyle or “trying to make it in the world, have peace of mind, put food on the table…”?

In CTV’s coverage of predominantly southern Ontario universities, they too did not steer away from trans issues or trans people but engaged the issues pretty directly for an evening news program. The series aims to find out the issues university students are still facing, and what administrations are doing about it. Overall, the message though if mostly positive, and you get the impression that yes, after high school, it does get better.




About the Author

|Executive Editor & Co-Founder| A mostly hippy and always hungry cultural critic, closeted pop-culture lover, and food know-it-all. Half cowgirl, half Ivy leaguer. You will find me writing on the crazy sh*t that happens on my teevee, feminism, philanthropy, religion and politics. I like singing shows, high-waisted skirts, scotch, two-stepping, and all forms of breakfast foods (sweet AND salty).



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