E. Winter Tashlin

Trans* Targeting Edition [What You Need To Know]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | January 14, 2013 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Buckingham University, coming out of the closet, Fox News, Iran gay, Jodie Foster, Peter LaBarbera, trans discrimination, Uganda, Wade Davis

I've commented before on a growing trend within the American conservative movement of targeting trans* people for hate and ridicule, perhaps born out of the fact that open hatred of LGB people in this country is becoming less and less popular, while acceptance of trans* people lags sadly behind.

Today I can easily point to two particularly illustrative and egregious examples of this disturbing pattern, both from the conservative bellwether Fox News.
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The first, which eloquently displays their bigoted bias is found in the form of the image at found at right. That's a picture of Robin Williams in the titular role of Mrs. Doubfire, in which he plays a man who cross-dresses in order to deceive his estranged ex-wife into allowing him to watch their children. The article said photo is illustrating is a reprint of a pretty reasonable piece about a topic I covered on Friday: Oregon requiring insurance companies to pay for certain elements of trans* related healthcare. Interestingly the article it was sourced from doesn't contain the ridiculous and offensive picture, and doesn't seem particularly sensational in itself.

The second involved Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly mocking and mis-gendering Michelle Kosilek, the trans* inmate in Massachusetts who successfully sued the state for coverage of trans* specific medical care.

This twisted de-humanizing treatment of trans* people and issues cannot be allowed to stand. There's a perception within the trans* demographic that says lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are content to ignore anti-trans* bigotry and discrimination as long as it doesn't directly impact their ability to get marriage licenses and new minivans.

As a queer/gay cis person, I'd really like to be able to say that perception is unfair, but in broad terms that wouldn't be true. Things are getting better, with LGBT advocacy groups becoming more cognizant of the needs of the "T" segment of our community, and individual cisgender LGB people speaking up for their trans* brethren.

But we've got a long way to go to truly support each other equally across the LGBT/GSM spectrum, and if Fox News is any indication, we'd better get our asses in gear. The fight for equal treatment and dignity for LGBT people in America isn't over, our opponents have just shifted their focus to a different front.

  • This heartbreaking and beautifully written post on growing up gay in Iran is worth taking a few minutes out of your day for.
  • Anti-LGBT activist, Peter LaBarbera has released a 20-point manifesto on how people can be better bigots in the new year.
  • Hundreds of thousands of French protestors turned out to rally against marriage equality in Paris.
  • The GOP chair in Illinois is fighting back against calls for his resignation from party members who object to his support for same sex marriage.
  • Risking everything to fight for LGBT rights in Uganda.
  • A conservative Republican lawmaker whose drunken escapades left a 5 year old girl with a severely fractured skull, blames his drinking in no small part on gay marriage.
  • Buckingham University in the UK has ended its relationship with Victoria University in Uganda over the African nation's oppressive stance on LGBT rights.
  • Despite politicians wanting to see how the Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage, NOM is agitating for Indiana's state legislature to get moving on the next step towards a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
  • While rebuking years of media speculation, Jodi Foster publicly acknowledged the worst-kept-secret in Hollywood, that she has a long history of relationships with other women. To see her speech, you can check out today's Gotta See This feature.
  • Acceptance of gay people by Singaporeans has progressed at a remarkable rate.
  • The same Catholic Church-affiliated tech who designed and manages NOM's website is behind a new website for the anti-equality movement in France.
  • Gay former NFL player Wade Davis says that the LGBT community needs to go easier on closeted athletes playing in major-league sports.
  • Finally, Rachel Maddow (with some help from President Obama) had a touching segment eulogizing PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford.

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