Filed By Alex Blaze | April 04, 2008 11:31 AM | comments
Filed in: Entertainment, Transgender & Intersex Tags: Oprah, Thomas Beatie
Here's part of Thomas Beatie's (the pregnant transman) appearance on Oprah:
iPhone users: Click to watch
Parts 2 and 3 after the jump.
iPhone users: Click to watch
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A couple of the questions in the first video seemed a bit leading in the sense that Oprah seemed to be trying to provide some sort of circumstance in Thomas' life that led him to feel he was transgendered.
Other than that, though, I found the interview interesting and it seemed as if Oprah was far more comfortable with this than her audience. They just seemed stunned.
The Oprah interview was pretty much what you'd expect. It's the aftermath, though, that's horrendous.
Dan Abram on MSNBC interviewed two doctors, asking "is this a man or a woman?". One doctor answered 'it's a hairy woman'.
It's hard to object to Abrams asking that question, given the circumstances. But the affect of him asking it calls into question the authenticity of every person who transitions. That has a psychological impact that we really have more than enough of.
And the doctor's answer - again, under the circumstances - is hard to quibble with; but a helluva gut-punch. And since it has the added 'authority' of coming from a doctor just compounds the impact. There was also an interesting emphasis of describing the Beatie's relationship as a "heterosexual marriage". How else would it be categorized? I guess they felt really tolerant for calling it that.
But that was nothing compared with the treatment the story received on MSNBC's Morning Joe. It was actually painful to watch.
I can't possibly do the description justice. It's one of those things that you have to see for yourself; assuming you have the stomach for it. All three hosts were awful, not just the conservative former Congressman Scarborough.
They had him on camera litterally holding his eyes shut saying 'make it stop - I don't want to know'. And it went downhill from there.
There were references to a veterinarian's and a bird's involvement in the conception (taking comments from the interview out of context). They held up pictures from the NY Post (a Murdoch newspaper) which included a picture of them with the bird to prove they weren't off the wall.
There was a lot more, and I didn't even see the entire show. After seeing it, I felt like ***I*** needed a support group. And I've been facilitating gender support groups for almost a decade. I've been waiting all day for Bilerico to take them on.
It was interesting that (at least in the interviews that I've seen) no one said that a man wouldn't ever want to be pregnant. The only ones I've heard say that were certain MTFs.
I can't watch this--not because I don't want to but I'm at the library and forgot my headphones. And I don't have internet access at home at the moment.
While it seems, from what I've read, that Oprah dealt relatively respectfully with Thomas and the issue, I have to say that I have zero desire to watch nor read the predictable condemnation, ignorance and hatred that will come spewing forth from the Right Wing "pundits" and preachers now that the media has focused its fickle spotlight on us.
I doubt the Coulters, Scarboroughs, O'Reillys, et. al will say anything I haven't already heard or read at some point in the 14 years since I transitioned. And frankly, I'm sick of it and the effect it has on my daughter and our relationship.
No, it doesn't tear us apart, it just eats away at our legitimacy. Wears down our pride and happiness. Makes us wary to share our story with anyone. It's like an ever-present force that must be resisted as it lingers in the cultural background, ready to jump out without warning and leap right for our emotional jugular.
Parenting is hard enough without such an omnipresent insistence that both you and your child shouldn't exist.
People here know that I rarely resort to profanity, but you know, f*ck the Right Wing and its narrow-minded, selfish, and ignorant bigotry.