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In the Life Media released an episode of "In Conversation With…" featuring Janet Mock and Isis King concerning representations of transgender people…and especially transwomen…in the media.

They talk about trans representation on television, the counterproductive attention from trashy daytime talk shows, and the frustration of interviewers asking the same questions every time, without any regard for manners or privacy or even relevance.
The video is on the other side.

After Top Model, I went and did all these interviews. People are still asking the same Trans 101 questions," Isis recalls. "'What was your name? How old were you when you felt like you were different? -- all of these questions where I'm like, 'OK, when are we going to move past this?

--Isis King

I get very angry when I see depictions of Trans 101 through mainstream media.

--Janet Mock

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'll be an editor... (20+ / 0-) Voices on the Square when it opens within the hour.  I don't know how much I will continue to post here.  We'll see how it goes.

  •  questions (5+ / 0-)

    What was the sky called before the sun rose?
    When did you know you were the sky?
    Was it dark when you knew you were the sky and you only saw the moon and stars? Or could you see both the night sky and the day sky? For the sky, is there a difference? Or is the sky still the sky - no matter where the horizan is?

    We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. Will Rogers

    by Earth Bear on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:16:13 AM PDT

    •  Pretty much. (9+ / 0-)

      People always want to know what our former names were, as if it puts them in a "power over" position.  Asking what surgeries we have undergone is another intrusive question that shouldn't be asked.

      I fully expect that when I die, someone will want to include my birth name in my obituary.  For the record, my birth certificate lists me as "baby Serven".

      •  birth cert (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rserven, annetteboardman

        maybe all birth certificates should say that; i.e., baby lastname.  

        The questions that are asked are rude. They don't ask why is your hair straight, wavy, curly; why are your eyes brown, blue, green; why are you tall, short, average; why are you right handed, left handed; why do you have an elbow on each arm?

        why does society need to know one's gender? is it just people who love statistics? FWIW, did anyone count the number of people on the Mayflower, etc? and break it down into male, female, adult, child and/or age? and if they did, why did they?

        There were passenger lists at some point - I guess for immigration purposes. Did the Phoenicians or Vikings or Polynesians make passenger lists too?

        Since I figure this is European thinking (lists, keeping records and tallies of "stuff") I wonder if the Persians kept similar lists, or the Chinese, or Botswanans? Oh, right, we know the Egyptians did, so, this habit goes way back for some cultures, not just European. Guess the number crunchers just have to do that.

        But, back to birth records - besides # of births, why care beyond that?

        Heat must be getting to me, goofy questions.

        We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. Will Rogers

        by Earth Bear on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:44:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My TN birth cert shows my self-chosen name: (5+ / 0-)

        Elizabeth Sophia Cross. But the gender (then known as "sex") says "Male."

        It isn't possible to change your sex on your birth cert in TN unless you were misdiagnosed at birth, and the application to change it has to come before the 10th birthday, and two doctors have to fill out paperwork. Obviously, that ship sailed long ago.

        My NC driver's license, US passport, and Social Security information all say "F." I have to settle for that, for now.

        "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

        by Kimball Cross on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:09:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a great video. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I guess that's what it's going to take. Everyone involved being interested in not doing Trans 101. Thanks, Robyn~

    I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

    by triv33 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:37:33 AM PDT

  •  there are many versions of the problem of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    bad questions

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:55:13 AM PDT

    •  oops :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:01:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I've seen that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Riki Anne Wilchins used to have a piece on bad questions in the wayback.

        •  yes she did... it is pretty much the standard vid (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          although I think this is the best YMMV general resource link

          Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

          by annieli on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:18:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  17 things you never say to a transsexual (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, laurustina, Bob Love
        DON'T #1 - "I was just talking to A CHANGE the other day and..."

        To me, this suggests that you are having strange conversations with your pocket money. No one IS a change. One can ask for change, own change, ex-change, change tires, change clothes, change sides, change to a minor key and change of life, but one cannot BE a change.

        DON'T #2 - "You look just as good as I do."

        Of course I do. And this is precisely the state of grace to which we all aspire. But more than likely you do both of us an injustice.

        DON'T #3 - "Well I want you to know I certainly consider you a woman."

        It is a never-ending source of wonderment that well-intentioned, and otherwise very well brought-up people say this to me, with a light of total sincerity shining from their eyes for which any self-respecting cocker spaniel would kill. Unfortunately, this assurance turns on at least four assumptions which, upon closer inspection, prove to be entirely unfounded: a) my gender is a subject about which reasonable people might be expected to reasonably differ; b) my gender is a topic that is currently open for discussion; c) my gender and your perception of it, is something about which I suffer rather a great deal of anxiety and about which I am seeking some reassurance; d) you, since you are a nontransexual, are in just the providential position of providing me with this reassurance I so desperately seek.

        DON'T #4 - "I consider you as much a woman as ANY of my friends."

        What a treat for them; especially your male friends.

        DON'T #5 - "I would NEVER have guessed you were a transexual."

        This phrase is usually accompanied by a look of the utmost incredulity, followed closely by a searching, penetrating, and largely sotto voice reappraisal of all the things you thought you knew about me (or perhaps only all the times we slept together). Unfortunately, this utterance assumes that your credulity, no doubt a topic of endless fascination to you, is of equal interest to me. Since there are tens of thousands of us (perhaps in your building alone!), the fact that some of us can "pass" (a nasty concept if ever there was one) as nontransexuals only prophesies that, wedded to the entirely fragile notion that you should be capable of identifying all of us on sight, you are destined for a life of more or less unending private humiliations.

        DON'T #6 - "Can you have an orgasm?"

        Yes, but only when I'm asked this question.

        DON'T #7 - "Can you have an orgasm?"

        DON'T #8 - "Can you have an orgasm?"

        DON'T #9 - "You must have had a lot of courage to face surgery."

        To have the actual surgery, I just had to be able to breathe deeply, count at least partway backwards from 100, and fall asleep with some semblance of dignity. In all of these tasks I was reliably aided by enough I.V. anesthetic to subdue a small water buffalo. It would also have helped, had I $10-20,000 in spare change (See #1 above) about my person. Unfortunately, while I was thus drifting majestically off to sleep, I found I also had to be able to watch my friends, most of my lovers, all of my family, and any lesbian who used the term "politically correct" in any context other than a Lily Tomlin joke, fade out of my existence forever. Also, I found that I woke up to endless refrains of DON'Ts #1 - 7, above. That is the hard part; the surgery I could probably do again before breakfast.

        DON'T #10 - "I don't think it's anyone's concern what's between your legs, unless they're sleeping with you."

        Well, yes. But you, like me, might be surprised at the profound lack of fastidiousness some people display to even this tender area, as my weekly trips to the accoutrement racks at The Pleasure Chest and Eve's Garden confirm. In any case, I'm quite certain that whatever is between your legs, even during those hot, sticky, yucky days of summer, is totally above reproach and perfectly charming, while what's between mine, even on the very best of days, is, well, let's just not talk about it.

        DON'T #11 - "I think transexuals are just men in drag."

        Of course you do, and you're entitled, even justifiably proud, to think so. Do not, however, voice this sentiment while surrounded by a full room of men who really are in drag, (for instance, the next Fantasy Ball). Also, be certain to note the exception to this rule, which is, of course, female-to-male transexuals, who are really, well, just women in drag. We all know how naturally distasteful it is when men wear dresses or women wear pants. Do not, however, voice this sentiment while surrounded by a room of S/M dykes in full leather and studs.

        DON'T #12 - "I hear you're a transexual. When did you have surgery?"

        Yes, and I hear you're a homosexual; when did you first suck cock? Ohhhh -- it's not about sex.

        DON'T #13 - "I think of transexuality as a kind of birth defect."

        So do I. I was born into the wrong culture.

        DON'T #14 - "How did you know you're a woman?"

        Well, how did you know you were a woman? Ah-humm: breasts and vagina. Well, I can introduce you to some very handsome, bearded, muscular young men of my acquaintance who began life with the very same equipment, so that's not particularly compelling evidence, is it?. . . I see, inside YOU just know. . . Call me sometime, we'll have lunch.

        DON'T #15 - "Is it true that transexuals are 'women trapped in men's bodies'?"

        Yes, that's right. In my own case, they had to call in both the Fire Department and the EMS and even then it took them hours to cut me out. Luckily I had my Walkman and some wonderful Judy Garland tapes, so it wasn't too awful a wait.

        DON'T #16 - "You look just like a REAL woman."

        How splendid, especially when you recall I'm composed almost entirely of compressed soy by-products. And you look just like a REAL transexual. Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't realize that was an insult.

        DON'T #17 - "Isn't it AMAZING you're the ONLY transexual I know."

        Yes, and isn't it amazing, when you came out to your mother, you were the only homosexual she knew. Ho-hum. The fact that I am the only transexual you know only emphasizes that: a) you probably know a few hundred of us, but you don't know you know us, and we won't tell you that you do; b) there are tens of thousands of us, and more all the time; c) we are secretly plotting to take over the planet earth, and infiltrating your prevailing nontransexual culture is just the first step; and d) while we are waiting to take over your planet, we are amusing ourselves at your expense by seeing just how much we can fuck with your heads.

  •  I for one hope that you will continue to post here (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven, Earth Bear, gerard w, Bob Love

    I've learned so much from your diaries, and not having your voice in this community would be a great loss indeed.

    "Rick should scat. Mitt Romney needs to be left alone to limp across the finish line, so he can devote his full time and attention to losing to President Obama." -- Maureen Dowd, NYT, 2/29/12

    by wide eyed lib on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:57:57 AM PDT

  •  how nice to hear an interview (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    without the ubiquitous trans 101 questions. Isis and Janet are awesome women!

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