Monday, July 28, 2014
TIMEs are changing...
Time magazine recently featured the very first transgender person on their cover, Laverne Cox, with the headline The Transgender Tipping Point. Although this is a great step forward for understanding and accepting transgender individuals in society, it barely grazes the surface of the issue.
My husband is not ignorant. He considers himself to be open-minded when it comes to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. But when a story about a person undergoing a sex-change operation, his mind closes right up. He is quick to judge if the man "makes an ugly chick" or "how weird/gross" the whole thing is. He also continued to call the individual "he" even though she was living as a woman and had undergone surgery to become one.
A woman who becomes a man is entertaining on television, but a man who becomes a woman is a deep threat to masculinity. It seems that as a straight man, being attracted to someone without knowing that they were not born female was a humiliating experience. A friend of my husband had something similar happen on an online dating site and is still being teased about it at work; it comes too close to the line of being homosexual, especially in a workplace that is entirely male in the department they work at.
I was quick to correct my husband and remind him that it is politically correct, and more respectful, to use the gendered pronoun that the person is living by, regardless of the gender they were born. . I referenced what I had learned in my UWT course, explaining that ‘sex’ referred to the biological gender we were born with but ‘gender’ was how we identified with. Most newspapers and magazines, including Time, follow this format as well.
What the media often fails to pick up on are the hate crimes aimed toward transgender people often by heterosexual males who feel threatened by this gray area between what is male or female. Although our society has made wonderful advancements in the LGB portion of LGBT, we have a long way to go before transgender individuals are accepted. Maybe a Time magazine cover will someday feature a transgender man or woman with a headline announcing their accomplishments as a person, not because of their sex/gender/lifestyle choices.
Posted by Sierra S. at 11:48 AM