Marti Abernathey

There’s Something About Transphobia

Filed By Marti Abernathey | July 25, 2007 7:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: FOX, Scott Amedure, There's Something About Miriam, transpanic, transphobia

I'm continually amazed at the hatred and bigotry shown by the Fox Broadcasting Network. Their fall lineup includes the inherently transphobic series, "There’s Something About Miriam." The series first aired in the 2004 in the UK and features six men who try to win the affection of 21-year-old Mexican model Miriam. In the final episode it is revealed to the suitors that Miriam is a preoperative transsexual woman.

The series originally ran in the UK and was widely condemned by the media as "the cruelest reality show idea yet." The contestants sued claiming that Brighter Pictures had committed conspiracy to commit sexual assault, defamation, breach of contract and personal injury in the form of psychological and emotional damage. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

The show portrays transgender people as deceitful sexual perverts who get their jollies by preying on unsuspecting men. It's the same type of voyeurism and "gotcha" exploitation that killed Scott Amedure. Amedure appeared on a taping of the Jenny Jones Show, revealing his "gay crush" on Jonathan Schmitz. Three days later Scmitz bought a shotgun and went to Amedure's home and murdered him. In the trial that followed, the defense tried to blame Amedure for his own murder. This type of panic strategy was also used in the murder trial of a transgender teen, Gwen Araujo.

When media giants like Fox use transgender people in such a "Jerry Springer" kind of way, it serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes that will have a negative impact for years after the program airs.


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I'm speechless. And horrified.

I agree with you, Marti, that this serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes that can and do have negative impacts... however, the transperson who makes the decision to be part of such crap and be exploited this way IMO, should be held even more responsible than some lousy television network. The buck stops with the individual who chooses to be part of this nonsense rather than have any dignity. Not every transgender person is the poor victim. In this case, the victims are the rest of the community being portrayed and represented in a negative light.

Agreed. Like I said on the comments on TA:

"I hope Miriam got a huge check, and it helps her sleep at night."

But Fox does have some responsibility in this. They are picking up a series that has a known history of transphobia.

Eh, I think that Fox bears the majority of the responsibility here. Sure, Miriam could have said no, but in a country with 300 million people, I'm sure that Fox would have had no problem finding another transwoman to say yes. She shouldn't get a pass, but let's focus on where the buck actually stops: the people financing the endeavor.

Zach Adamson | July 26, 2007 8:38 AM

I cant imagine anyone wanting to be the butt of such a horrific joke. How must they feel when the truth is revealed and all the contestants reel back in horror. Nothing surprises me anymore with Foxx, but what I cant believe is that any person who has struggled so long and hard to become self aware and self respecting would humiliate and degrade themselves in such a way. Someone needs to do some work on Miriam.

Sue Robins | July 26, 2007 12:20 PM

Well this goes to show a tranny will do anything for a buck. Is it any wonder why the majority of man and women who transition don’t walk but run away from such a shallow community?
All I can say is
Jerry!, Jerry!, Jerry!, Jerry!, Jerry!!!

Is it any wonder why the majority of man and women who transition don’t walk but run away from such a shallow community?

And here all this time I'd been thinking it had something to do with rampant transphobia that teaches us we're "less than human" and despicable and therefore should distance ourselves from the very label "trans" as soon as we can pass and pretend we weren't born differently.

How about a little more compassion to see that a trans person in one of these exploitative shows is only doing what all the non-trans people do in these shows. We're no better and no worse, but we certainly are prone to self-hatred that has a tendency to get turned outward, too.

Sue Robins | July 26, 2007 7:38 PM

I didn’t know the non-trans people were deliberately deceptive just to get attention. Many of us seek to transition to normalize our lives, not to stand out like some circus sideshow attraction. We don’t drop the Trans label stuff to pretend anything. We drop the Trans labels because we have found our sex and gender role in society we have legally changed our documentation and we are no longer trans-anything. Some may admit to being Ex-Trans most simply want to put that behind them and get on with life.
When we see people like this it is a painful reminder of why acceptance comes so hard for those of us who want to just live our lives as Males and Females.


Maybe the compassion should come from those who think that this kind of exploitation does us good when it does all of us harm.

We are not a Freak Show we are Man and Women who have lives to lead and we don’t need this kind of side show dragging all of us down.


"I didn’t know the non-trans people were deliberately deceptive just to get attention."

No offense, but DUH? We're just people.

"Many of us seek to transition to normalize our lives, not to stand out like some circus sideshow attraction."

Being out trans is different from selling yourself out.

"We don’t drop the Trans label stuff to pretend anything. We drop the Trans labels because we have found our sex and gender role in society we have legally changed our documentation and we are no longer trans-anything."

Whether or not you admit to it, you're always trans. If you want to carry that like a heavy bag of shame, go ahead.

"Some may admit to being Ex-Trans most simply want to put that behind them and get on with life."

I'm openly trans, but it's not something I have to put behind me. I want to educate. That doesn't make me a circus freak. She did by exploiting herself not by telling the world that she's trans.

"When we see people like this it is a painful reminder of why acceptance comes so hard for those of us who want to just live our lives as Males and Females."

I agree. But being openly trans is different than selling your transness to the highest bidder to be used and abused.

Sue Robins | July 26, 2007 9:31 PM

“Whether or not you admit to it, you're always trans. If you want to carry that like a heavy bag of shame, go ahead“

Don’t play the shame game with me, being trans is something you grow out of when you transition. That is like saying that a person is always an adolescent.

“I'm openly trans, but it's not something I have to put behind me. I want to educate. That doesn't make me a circus freak. She did by exploiting herself not by telling the world that she's trans.”

You can be openly trans that is fine with me I closed that door over 3 years ago. Just another member of the female half of the human race now.

“I agree. But being openly trans is different than selling your transness to the highest bidder to be used and abused. “

This we can agree on.

You all are way off on this.

This TV show forces people to face transphobia in a stark and emotional way. The guys in this show compeat for her the last two men write her passionate love poems. Then... well Fox can't sue me it's alreayd been broadcast... they change their minds just because she is a transsexual. Which is totally illogical.

Miriam charms those guys as the woman she is and is dumped just because of a anatomical detail. That is the shame of this show. Furthermore I like that it shows that transsexuals can be pretty women with feelings and emotions. Not just rather stately older people who quote position papers drafted at some crossdressers meeting.

By the by. Four months ago as of now she was brutally attacked. No on in the community cared to help her. So it will look really shady if anyone in the community thinks it's a good idea to mount some sort of campaign against her as a person.

"This TV show forces people to face transphobia in a stark and emotional way."

You don't educate through emotional terrorism.

"because of a anatomical detail."

For some, that detail is important. Just because that isn't important to you, doesn't mean it shouldn't be for someone else.

"By the by. Four months ago as of now she was brutally attacked. No on in the community cared to help her. So it will look really shady if anyone in the community thinks it's a good idea to mount some sort of campaign against her as a person."

That's not true. I know people that know her and they are very vital in the fight for trans rights. I don't think anyone wants to mount a campaign against HER but WHAT SHE DID.

"emotional terrorism"

Isn't that a bit of overkill/melodrama? What she did in not telling the guy until they were emotionally attached is really standard procedure. Transsexuals of all kinds who pass like she does do just that. WHAT IS SHE SUPPOSED TO DO HAVE "I AM A TRANSSEXUAL PLEASE KICK MY ASS" TATOOTED ON HER FOREHEAD.

"That's not true. I know people that know her and they are very vital in the fight for trans rights. "

If your talking about let me guess Andrea James.... perhaps you should look up the Wikipedia Page "Miriam(Entertainer)" look at the discussion on there. Look at the things she has had to say about Miriam. She is just such an activist. In googleing this TV show I have seen things written by activist types calling her a "pervert" "liar" and other assorted foul names.

I stand by my comments. It will look really shady if a bunch of old un attractive TS's decide to...I dont know... picket this TV show. At best it will look like sour grapes. At worst it could look like racism, classism, and femiphobia and attract even more attention ot the show than it would get on it's own merits. If anyone does not like TSAM they should just not watch, and leave Miriam Alone to live her life.

"Isn't that a bit of overkill/melodrama? What she did in not telling the guy until they were emotionally attached is really standard procedure."

Really? Are you trans? That kind of idiocy is what kills transpeople. Go read rememberingourdead.org, and read how most of the women there died.

"Transsexuals of all kinds who pass like she does do just that. WHAT IS SHE SUPPOSED TO DO HAVE "I AM A TRANSSEXUAL PLEASE KICK MY ASS" TATOOTED ON HER FOREHEAD."

She played men, she messed with their emotions, and then she got paid.

"That's not true. I know people that know her and they are very vital in the fight for trans rights. "

"If your talking about let me guess Andrea James.... perhaps you should look up the Wikipedia Page "Miriam(Entertainer)" look at the discussion on there. Look at the things she has had to say about Miriam. She is just such an activist. In googleing this TV show I have seen things written by activist types calling her a "pervert" "liar" and other assorted foul names."

I don't need to use Wikipedia. I AM an activist. I wasn't talking about AJ. I don't really even like her.

"I stand by my comments. It will look really shady if a bunch of old un attractive TS's decide to...I dont know... picket this TV show. At best it will look like sour grapes. At worst it could look like racism, classism, and femiphobia and attract even more attention ot the show than it would get on it's own merits."

LOL! So if we got some young, pretty, TS models that would be ok? Frankly, I'm done with this thread with you, because you're not logical. That makes absolutely NO sense.

"If anyone does not like TSAM they should just not watch, and leave Miriam Alone to live her life."

If Miriam wanted to be let alone to live her own life, she should have thought about that before doing the show. Now that she has, she has to live with the consequences of that.

"Really? Are you trans? That kind of idiocy is what kills transpeople. Go read rememberingourdead.org, and read how most of the women there died."

Yes I am trans. Like every other MTF TS woman I realize that men will not take the revelation that you are a transsexual well. Perhaps that problem does not arise for you since you are so obviously a man in a dress to people. FYI here are my pics.

www.geocities.com/hontasfx

Look at my pics and my story then I dare you to have the audacity to tell me jack about being a transsexual you poser.