Friday, December 7, 2012

Reflection 12-5-12

I thought that this week’s class discussion was very interesting an informative. There were a lot of facts and information that I did not know about the transgender community, so having an open discussion with the possibility to ask a lot of questions was very helpful.  There seemed to be some confusion with in the class and a lot of different opinions. To me I think it is important to learn about the transgender community since they are a group that is often discriminated against. I believe this is due to the lack of education and the feeling of not understanding.
                Initially when I thought about how transgender women are represented in the media the image of a drag queen popped up. The fact that this was the first thing that I could think of shows how I am falsely grouping people together. It also shows that transgender women do not have an accurate representation, and they often get portrayed based on stereotypes people have about this group, one being the idea that all transgender women are drag queens striving to be “hyper feminine”.  The different clips that were shown during class really showed a different view than the one that first popped up in my head, but they still have many stereotypes embedded within the images. Some of the common themes that we saw in all the clips was the idea that “all” transgender women want to have reassignment surgery, they all want to be feminine, that us as an audience should feel pity and sad for them, and lastly that most of these roles are never played by a transgender women instead they are played by a woman. This last point made me look back at all the different groups of women we have discussed throughout the semester. Looking back at many of these groups history in the media, many times they are never played by a woman from that particular minority group, instead they are played by a white woman or in this case a woman not a trans woman.
                Overall I think for things to change people need to become more educated and aware that transgender women are not “abnormal” or “freaks”. They are humans just like me and you. Here is a video that I came across on YouTube. It is a discussion between the first transgender American top Model contestant Isis King and transgender advocate Janet Mock, where they talk about some of the issues we discussed in class. 


  1. I absolutely agree with you Sarah! Someone at the end of class on Wednesday had made the comment that prior to this class she was quite indifferent about transgendered individuals and even now learning more about them she did not care. I am not one to judge but my question is how one can be ambivalent, still, after obtaining such an extensive amount of information about who they are and their struggle to just "not care". With education comes the responsibility of using what you have learned to educate the masses. Now, I'm not saying to go and become an activist of any sort, but ambivalence is just as bad as being a witness to a hate crime; our lack of motivation to want to exact change makes us a perpetrator of the brooding hatred and disgust for transgendered individuals as well.

  2. This was a great conversation! Isis King and Janet Mock are simply two beautiful women. They not only overcame the transgender stereotypes, but also racial stereotypes. At one point they address the use of the "tranny" and the "n.." words. These reflects how engaged and aware of the whole picture they are, and brave to face it. In my mind, it is just crazy the idea of juggling with both the sexual identity and the negative reaction from the society. These women just did it graciously!