Alex Blaze

Deep thought

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 13, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: boston, bus driver, closet cases, LGBT, marriage, media, Mike Rogers, NPR, outrage, prison, stealth, Tennessee, transgender

After watching the mainstream media's reaction to Outrage, the movie about outing homophobic gay politicians, with the journalists wanting to beat up Mike Rogers and NPR censoring reviews of the movie, and reading up on the trans panic defense, the investigation into the Tennessee transwoman's genitals, medical history, and paperwork to see if she could marry a cisman, and the Boston Herald's weird implication that that bus driver's super scandalous trans status had more to do with his accident than his text-messaging-while-driving....

I'm finding that we live in a society that thinks it's absolutely acceptable for a gay or bi man (or a straight man who has sex with other men) to maintain his privacy, even if he's presenting an image of monogamous heterosexuality to the outside world and profiting from that image. It's completely serious and acceptable to say that those people can deceive others, because just think of their children, their families, their careers.

But if a transgender person doesn't disclose their genital status or history, it's entirely unacceptable and means that that person was trying to deceive others and whatever violence meets him or her is deserved. Obviously, that's the real deception.

What's up with that?

(To clarify, I'm not saying that being stealth is the same as being in the closet, or that outness is the same for LGB people as it is for trans people. What I am talking about is how mainstream culture accepts and justifies certain people's deceptiveness about their identity based on the fact that those people could lose a career but doesn't tolerate another group's privacy, which they could have a million-and-a-half reasons to protect, related to jobs, family, and violence.)


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and that is a realization of privilege, and I commend you for it.

That's the reality we face, every day, and why so many of us get really ticked off when other Queer / CIS GLB folks ignore trans viewpoints or use us as some sort of oddity or wrongness.

Another reason for the paradox is probably because the specific gay men we're talking about are highly-connected and probably friends with a lot of these journalists. Actually, the journalist Mike Rogers talked to in that one video was probably a mo himself, if my gaydar still functions at all. :P

The transpeople in the examples above are probably looked down upon by these same journalists as peasants.

That's probably a big part of it, but that doesn't mean that there isn't also a huge gulf between LGB people's understanding of outness and transgender people's relationship to the concept. Yeah, I think we had that discussion a long time ago here on TBP, where a bunch of gay men and lesbians (including myself) who just found out about stealth were all like, "come out already!" and the transgender commenters were pretty divided on the topic. It took me a few months to make the connection that outness for sexuality isn't the same as outness for gender identity/history.

But it's odd that the MSM takes the opposite position for both groups, isn't it?

What if there was a situation, though, where a congressperson, a fire-breathing het fundie with a little wife or a husband and 2.5 blond kids to boot, and we knew that person was trans, that it was pretty much an open secret? I'm thinking that these same journalists having the vapors over Kirby's and Rogers's work wouldn't have a problem at all spread that information on the airwaves and on dead trees.

Angela Brightfeather | May 13, 2009 11:55 PM

What if there was a situation, though, where a congressperson, a fire-breathing het fundie with a little wife or a husband and 2.5 blond kids to boot, and we knew that person was trans, that it was pretty much an open secret? I'm thinking that these same journalists having the vapors over Kirby's and Rogers's work wouldn't have a problem at all spread that information on the airwaves and on dead trees.

Yes Alex. And don't think that the secrecy of Trans people in high places who are in the closet and make statments against GLBT people don't irk other Trans people to the very point of gritting one's teeth into stumps.

J. Edgar Hoover was a prime example of no one knowing about him being Trans except other Trans people, a few silent gay people like Lee Brewster who sold him women's underwear and a handful of FBI agents. The argument of his doing anything like crossdressing after hours and not being called out for it, flies in the face of someone like Peter Oiler who did the same thing but got fired from his job at Winn Dixie for doing the same thing.

Privelege sucks when it is taken advantage of and all these government people who are working inside the beltline and are GLBT but sit back and say nothing about the Peter Oilers who get trashed and have their lives ruined over the years deserve no respect and damn little quarter or consideration.

In truth, I think that it is better to confront those of privelege and in the closet and to give them the choice of being an ally or being outed. That is exactly what they would do and what many of them have done by taking advantage of others and doing them harm, just to cover their own positions of privelege and limit their own risks.

Because we're not real people, that's why.

i look forward to the day i'm a victim of a crime, and then read my real, legal name in quotation marks.

It'll be double the fun if my boyfriend gets to read it stated as such in my obituary.

Another one of those things in life that makes no damned sense.