I think Oprah was overall pretty sensitive to the issue at hand. She asked a few leading questions, but it seemed more because Thomas was obviously nervous and hadn't rehearsed his story.
More bothersome than Oprah implying that the death of Beatie's mother somehow made him trans was when he said that he tried to get in touch with organizations to get help and they either told him to keep quiet about it or didn't respond. I've tried to do some investigative blogging to find out who said what, and I'll have more on that next Monday.
What's disturbing and sickening, though, is the way that other shows have handled it. More on that after the jump.
Bil posted last week about Letterman calling Beatie a "androgynous freak show." But yesterday morning Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski called Beatie's pregnancy "disgusting" and "useless," repeating over and over again that they didn't want to know any more about it. Here's video of the general douchebaggery, via Queerty:
He also led into the next story by saying "This is probably why 81% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction."
Um, yeah. It has nothing to do with that 5-year war for oil or the housing crisis or that city getting destroyed by a hurricane that still hasn't been rebuilt or rampant corruption in the Bush Administration. Americans are just so vapid that this is what makes them upset. Thanks, Joe.
Also, from Media Matters, here's video of Bill O'Reilly calling this pregnancy a "tragedy":
Last, Pam points out the discussion board over at Oprah's website on the show. The comments range from ignorant to hateful. I wasn't able to find anything positive there after a quick scan, but I'm sure there are a few nice comments.
(Sidenote to anyone who is still under the mistaken impression that we're not all in this together: notice how many of these people, from Oprah to ThinkProgress, to random commenters, conflate "gay" and "transgender." For all legal purposes, Beatie's a man married to a woman. But even some of the most open-minded straight people don't see the difference as readily as we might think they do.)
I'm still looking into what orgs are doing to ameliorate this situation. It seems like the community was caught off-guard here since I haven't seen much positive discussion of this. And even though stupid punditry is their bread and butter, Media Matters is only up on one of these items. I know that there's some behind-the-scenes work going on here, so I'll keep you posted.