While Jay Leno got taken to the woodshed over his "your gayest face" comment, last night's Late Night with David Letterman takes offensive to a whole new level. Letterman's Top Ten List focused on the pregnant trans man. Just wait till #1 - it'll leave you gagging on the sheer nastiness.
9 "It's Angelina Jolie. I'd like to adopt the baby"
8 "This is your wife -- can I borrow your Gillette Mach 3 razor?"
7 "It's Maury. I'd love to test to see if you're the mother and/or the father"
6 "Ralph Nader here. I've had sex with myself for years and never got pregnant"
5 "It's Maury. Again, seriously, how fast can you get here?"
4 No number 4 -- writer still stuck on JetBlue flight -- what's it been, like a year?
3 "Michael Moore here. People ask me if I'm pregnant too"
2 "This is Dr. Phil. We should talk"
1 "Michael Jackson here -- just wanted to reach out to another androgynous freak show"
Yeah. An "androgynous freak show." How very fucking clever.
I realize that the subject of a pregnant man is ripe for both serious discussion and humor. I don't have a problem with poking fun of a difficult issue. After all, laughter has been one of the most common ways of settling differences and adapting to new situations since the dawn of time.
I do have a problem with denigrating an entire class of people just to score a cheap laugh. Pregnant Michael Moore? Fine. Dr. Phil riff? Perfectly acceptable. "Androgynous freak show?" Fuck directly off you nasty son-of-a-bitch. Perhaps he'd like throw in a nigger or kike joke while he's at it...
Comedy is a dangerous intersection of political correctness. Even the best intentioned comics step over the line occasionally into the area of phobic humor. We don't need to treat Letterman like he's Michael Richards, but at the same time if we're willing to go so far as create a website with nothing but people flipping off Jay Leno, perhaps it's time to put up a website with nothing but transgender folks flashing Letterman their genitalia. I don't know any trans folks - whether pre- or post-op that don't have genitals of some sort or another. No one looks like a Barbie doll although Letterman and his writers seem to have the brains of the plastic toy.