Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

GLEE: Go Call Your Congressman

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | April 15, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Media, Politics, Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Coach Sue Sylvester, Glee, Hell-O, homophobic behavior, she-male, Sue Sylvester, transphobia

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury:

I stand in the dock accused of defamation, of discrimination, by maligning the good intentions of GLEE, that favorite television show of the gays, by that most savage means and instrumentality of slander -- satire most foul. coach sue w cell.jpg

Indeed, I admit it -- admit it most heartily. No, no, I will not deny, I will not abjure, I will not recant. I say unto GLEE: "Blame me not. Rather cry to your Congressmember."

Yes, my crime was profitable. In a few hours, my post had thousands of readers, whereas before, in my guise as a humble seller of ENDA, the boring job protections bill for the gays, I struggled to garner a straggling few here and there.

So what have I to say to you, who shall decide my fate?

I say take up the tele-phone machine, and say unto your Congressmember:

"Verily, I waste endless hours with the tele-vision machine, caring naught for real discrimination and harassment every day to my people, but to-day I put aside the tele-vision for a few minutes to call for ENDA, H.R. 3017, and say please and verily pass this bill." The number of the beast is 202-224-3121!

And what was it I declaimed so offensively to the sensibilities of you upstanding netizens, charged with the solemn duty of upholding the morality of this great realm?

I had the audacity to wonder out loud whether GLEE was truly a friend of the LGBT community, because they put words into the mouth of that foul villain, Coach Sue, that spoke of the "she-male," a vile creature more daunting than many-headed Scylla and swirling Charybdis, than the evil-coiffed Gorgon, than the deadly winged Sirens?

For that was I pilloried by 72 comments and more flung in my face. For that!? Verily, I said:

Awake, ye denizens of the net! Heed the call of the reality-based community! Shake off that horrific slumber induced by the tele-vision, and forget GLEE, even forsaking Coach Sue! Take ye action! Call your Congressmember and tell them you demand ENDA!

Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they KNEW! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! --

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! I defamed GLEE! I called Congress at 202-224-3121! -- I demanded ENDA! -- tear up the planks! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of her hideous heart!"

Jillian Weiss, having been convicted of homosexual offenses, will henceforth be blogging from her new location at Reading Gaol.

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All I can say is: I'm glad to have you around- you're priceless.
And effective.

“Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.”

- German Proverb

Oh the shame of it Jillian! I only have one thing to add. If anyone hasn't bothered to pick up the phone and call in support then please go to the following site for additional motivation ---> http://www.endahurtskids.com/

Yeah Deena, that site was pretty vile. When I asked my Congressman to support the bill in its strongest language the staffer said he definitely does. MD7

Listen up Cheerios ... Sue Sylvester says whip out your gaudy bedazzled overpriced apped out smart phones right now and call your wide stanced, toe-tapping closet case Members of Congress and demand an end to heinous and vile discrimination.

Thank you Jillian Weiss for getting the importance of linking pop culture with activism.

Those who chastised lobbying groups for using Kathy Griffen's celebrity status to push phone calls to Congress still need to apologize (and get a clue) ... but I'm GLAAD that smart activists like Dr. Weiss understand that most regular folks are more moved to action by pop icons than political leaders.

If we could only get Lady GaGa to use her new single "Telephone" to encourage her fans to use their telephones to call Congress 202.224.3121 to demand equality?

Food for thought.

Yours in the united stand for equality!

+ Phil

Dr. Weiss,

Here is an example of why *I* haven't gotten too worked up over ENDA:

"Illinois is one of only 13 states that have a policy protecting transgender people against hiring bias. The Illinois law, created in 2005, prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

'The laws help protect me from getting fired or thrown out of my apartment,' she said, 'but they do not help me obtain a career, medical insurance or housing.'

Interviewing for jobs wasn't an exceptionally positive experience when the topic of her transgender identity came up. 'There's always a point in the interview where you could see the hamster fall off the wheel in their head,' she said.

She recalled an incident in which she received an e-mail from a company that wanted to consider her for a writing position. She sent the best writing samples she had, and some bylines were under her previous name.

'I got a call back two days later," Avery said. "They had a question about the name on some of the samples.' She assured them that they were all her work, and after a long pause, the interviewer said he would call back next week for a full phone interview.

No follow-up call ever came."

quoted from: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/04/14/transgender.irpt/?hpt=Sbin

And even if ENDA is in place, and you have a job, winning discrimination suits is extremely difficult, esp with the Supreme Court we currently have in place.

Yes, it's better to have those laws than to not, but in my experience, fighting discrimination (sexual, ethnic, age, GLBT, ablist, or otherwise), tho good in the long run for society overall, is ruinous for the individuals involved, laws or no laws.

That, plus having hard-core conservatives as my representation in Congress (my rep is actually Dan Burton, one of the worst), leaves me pretty unenthusiastic about fighting.

Tho I would be happy to be convinced I am wrong! :)


Carol :)

It IS understandable Carol.

Millions of calls, emails or anything else to Dan Burton won't change his mind. You have to either replace him or change the minds of his constituents - two things we are not doing as a movement.

Lobbying doesn't work for LGBT-issues. Never has, never will.

I love it, Jillian! Laughter & activism go well together! Keep up the good work.

BTW, I agreed with you on this week's Glee episode. I don't care how Coach Sue is portrayed, using the "s**m***" word is offensive and should be stopped.

I find myself confused Abby. You see I happen to have some shemale friends. They are wonderful people who make a living in the international sex trade. They are not U.S. citizens and have no hangups about the word shemale. I have been fortunate in life to have traveled to more than 50 other countries. In general I have found by comparison that the North American/European cultures are so puritan in perspective that they are the most condemning of societies excluding perhaps Muslim nations.

So, your reply confused me. Are my friends dirty or nasty? Is it terrible for them to accept what they are and enjoy life? Just wondering because to them shemale is simply a word like janitor or CEO. It carries no denigration in their world.

It's cultural. Situational.

For example, COON is known in Australia as a popular brand of cheese, rather than a racist slur.

To ROOT in the USA does not involve sexual intercourse, whereas it does in Australia.

Had this episode been written for, and targetted at, an audience in a culture where "she male" wasn't perjorative, that would have been one thing.

But it wasn't, was it?

battybattybats battybattybats | April 16, 2010 12:14 AM

Or if there actually were Sex and Gender Diverse people involved.

It's ok to show villains being villainy, to show villifiers villifying, when its done in the context of the people involved.

But what about an all white cast show where the white villain calls the white hero the N word because they have a tan?

2% minimum of the male students at that school would be closetted crossdressers, going by the U.K. stat it's more like 6% and some stats suggest 10% or more.

There's been plenty of news reports about the issues of transitioning and crossdressing students.

It's only been a couple years since a crossdressing student was shot and killed at school after all.

So it's easy to have those issues in the school and on the show. But it's taboo, invisible, ignored.

Thats the problem. If their going to include the slurr they shloud be including the slurred. Who infact demographically they should always have been including in the first place.

When members of a minority use a word to describe themselves, this does not mean that the word is shorn of all negative meaning and that malicious use by members of the majority is not somehow problematic or even offensive.

It's also offensive to defend the usage by saying "but my trans friends..."

Tab Hunter’s Ghost | April 16, 2010 10:09 PM

I find your phrasing problematic here:

"It's also offensive to defend the usage by saying "but my trans friends…”

If you said “I find it offensive. . . ‘ then it would be authentic. But you make the claim of total offensiveness, which the previous poster clearly debunked. She clearly doesn’t find it offensive and her friends clearly don’t find it offensive.

The claim of privilege to name offensiveness clearly does belong to the offended but the other side of that coin is that the offended have a responsibility to accurately portray their offense as their own.

I think this is part of the disconnect we are seeing in these threads and part of the cause of the hostility. I doubt that those who argue against the offensiveness are being disingenuous -- they don’t take offense.

If the point is to educate and ask them to rethink their position and become an ally then say so. It is certainly the right of the offended to be hostile and offensive in their responses and to claim weariness at having to be patient -- that is part of the role of teaching and bringing about change. Agitation and negotiation both play their role.

BTW I called my reps and senators. None are committing to anything but they didn’t completely ignore me either, which I see as a plus. I talked to them and explained my position and I think I made them think a little bit. Incremental? Yes, but worth it to me.

So you're saying I'm wrong because I didn't use the precise phrasing you demand?

Nice attempt to avoid addressing the point.

But if you want to know:

Deena tried to make the objections to the use of the word "shemale" by a cis woman on a series written and directed by cis people about her friends, and how trans women in this thread who object to the use of "shemale" as a slur by cis people are somehow insulting her "shemale friends" and makes them "dirty and nasty."

This is deflection. And yes, this strategy is generally offensive to the people it's used against.

Also this, this, and this.

Since my last comment fell into the spam filter,

Deena tried to shift the focus from the offense taken by trans women at the use of the word "shemale" by a cis woman in a television show written, directed by and cast with cis people and recast it as offense at her friends who identify as shemale, and tried to claim that our objection to Glee's use of the word somehow makes her friends "dirty or nasty." I am allowed to call this offensive, because I was offended.

Your attempt to tell me how I'm allowed to communicate when I'm offended is also offensive.

You should read this page, specifically:

Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone

Unless You Can Prove Your Experience Is Widespread I Won’t Believe It


Hmm what did I miss ahh the joys of working the night shift and not watching network tv when I am home.