Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SNL's Lame and Insulting "Estro-Maxx" Sketch Angers GLAAD and Trans Activists

The Saturday Night Live title card as featured...Image via WikipediaSNL's sophomoric attempt at humor took aim at preoperative transexuals last Saturday night in a sketch for a fictional product called Estro-Maxx. The skit has drawn the ire of GLAAD and angered the trans activist community nationwide.

As soon as I saw the sketch, I found it offensive and knew that there would be an outcry from the trans community. I decided not to post the video here, but there is a link below for those who want to check it out.

GLAAD released to following statement this week:
In the January 29 episode of Saturday Night Live, NBC broadcast a dangerous and blatantly anti-transgender segment which they called 'Estro-Maxxx' - the punch line of which was the lives of countless transgender people across the country.
The piece was a mock commercial for estrogen replacement therapy and featured men with facial hair wearing dresses, meant to represent transgender women. This segment cannot be defended as "just a joke" because there was no "joke" to speak of. The attempted comedy of the skit hinges solely on degrading the lives and experiences of transgender women. Holding people up for ridicule simply on the basis of their identity fuels a hurtful climate and puts people in danger, especially given how infrequently the media shines a fair and accurate light on the lives of transgender people. "The violence, discrimination and harassment that transgender Americans experience each and every day is no laughing matter," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "Saturday Night Live is a touchstone of American comedy, but Saturday's unfunny skit sends a destructive and dehumanizing message."
We have already been joined in speaking out by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the Human Rights Campaign as well as many other advocates and groups; now it's your turn. Take action and tell NBC it is unacceptable to dehumanize transgender people by turning their lives into a punch line.
Click here to see the offending sketch and to sign GLAAD's petition to NBC.

Some activists are none too happy with GLAAD either. Transexual activist Ashley Love takes issue with GLAAD for not being more inclusive and understanding of the transexual/intersex community. In a posting Monday night on her FaceBook page, Love said, "GLAAD's "handbook" tells straight people that transsexual women are in the same box as cross dressers, so how can they be surprised when mainstream society portrays us as such? Will GLAAD ever stop misrepresenting and misgendering us and REFORM THE MEDIA GUIDE?"

On a personal note, I'd like to say that although I have tried to be as supportive as I know how to be to the trans community and have reported on transexual/transgender issues, I have often found it difficult and frustrating. I don't claim to be an expert on the subject. I am open to input and try to be as understanding as I know how to be. I understand that there is no single way to define individuals who are unhappy with the sex they were born into and want to do something about it. I have tried to reach out to the trans people I know in an effort to better understand, so that when I write about their issues, I can do it in a more sensitive and compassionate manner.

The reaction I often get is somewhat frustrating to me. On the one hand, I understand what a personal and private issue this is. Some folks just don't want their personal lives put on display and used to make a political statement . I get that. Like anybody else, most trans people just want to get on with their lives. Some no longer identify as trans, once their transition is complete. Others hold onto their trans identity in order to make a statement about the need for greater acceptance and others fall somewhere in the middle.

On the other hand, while I totally understand that my (or anyone's) questions may seem intrusive and unintentionally offensive, the negative reaction I often get makes it harder for me to give a damn, but I do anyway. I hope my friends understand that I'm only trying to reach out and establish a dialog so that we can all understand each other better.  
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  1. I have always taken the position that any question asked out of a genuine desire to know and to understand, should be answered honestly and to the best of my ability.

    The misconceptions I have found held in general by non trans (cis) people has shown me just how far the education process has to go. The more we can educate the fewer nasty little digs and spiteful jibes like this so called comedy sketch, there will be.

    If I can offer any insights from my experiences I am more than willing to answer what I can.

    If I can

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  3. Steve because of the misconceptions created by the Transgender Hoard many fail to realize that by APA standards, you have failed transition by transitioning to trans something rather than woman. Some of us knew from the get go we were meant to have female bodies and grow to be women. Professional trans are considered failures by the top level folks that made up the DSM team and advisors and will not be considered "cured" by the new standards. I have no problem with the transgender hoard being whoever or whatever they choose to be,but don't try and highjack a diagnosis that doesn't include them just so they can vilify how they choose to live their lives or to try to gain rights off the gust of gender Identity. They are more then welcome to be professional trans if they so choose. I have a huge problem with anyone representing women such as my self as having anything in common with or being clowns like Sandeen and Helms and company.

    Transsexuality is pretty much proven as much as anything in biology gets proved, to be a neurological pre-natal form of intersexuality. You either are or you are not and ONLY a trained counselor can diagnosis. If you are, you will move heaven and earth to put mind and body in congruence, this is called the Dysphoric Imperative which is the cause of what used to be called GID crisis. Anyone who advocates for the transgender hoard is doing a huge disservice to future women born with this condition by contribution to it's apparent erasure in the eyes of the general public which has been the goal of the transgender dogma for the past 15 years. TGs have left zero room for mutual respect here as you know

  4. Thanks for your comments Brandi. As you know, I've been struggling to better understand your experience and the experiences of those who identify as transexual, intersex or transgender. There is a real distinction between each of the above and also for those who have completed their transition and simply I.D. themselves as either male or female.

    In the articles that I write, I try to be as respectful as I can be. If I slip and use the wrong terminology now and then, please don't take offense, as none is intended.

    I think you might be interested in the work that Ashley Love is doing. You can look her up on FaceBook.

    Thanks, girl!


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