Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reflection on 12.5 Class Discussion

I enjoyed this class a lot because of the presentation Sam created de-bunking myths about transgender people. I'm glad that images were not included in the slideshow of information and concepts because I feel as though even if our professor had shown different people and images, they could still have the potential of becoming stock images. I think if something, like the media, is not diverse in its representation of transgender people, then one or two ideas become the stereotype. There is no one image that could represent someone. No one story that could encompass one's whole life and existence. I applaud the idea of clearing the air of myths and opening it up to questions. That was something that professors rarely do. I appreciated the acknowledgement that it is a college setting and we are all here to learn.

As cliche as it sounds, I believe it to be true that "with knowledge comes great responsibility." (I don't know who said that or if that quote is word for word, but I really think the idea fits here) I think that truth, such as those related in the powerpoint, has the power to alleviate someone's cruelty and assumptions. This class discussion got me thinking a lot about the nature of knowledge. Once you know something, you can't un-know it. I then carry it with me and think about what I can do with it. Prejudice is defined as being a pre-conceived idea not based on fact that someone makes about someone or something. I hope that learning the facts can help change a person's opinion, but sadly, I think sometimes that is not the case at all.

I thought about the film Transamerica (2005) in connection to this. I think the image becomes dangerous when it becomes the only one being showed across the country. The class discussion reminded me of a clip from the video shown a few classes ago. The person on the screen spoke about wanting to see some kind of representation on the screen rather than nothing.

What does everyone think about this idea?
Is any portrayal better than a complete absence? Which is more dangerous?

Lia M.


  1. I also questioned this statement as we were watching this clip, and unfortunately I believe any representation is better than no representation at all. Yes, if we accept representation at any means there's a risk for negative images and stereotypes to emerge, but there are also openings for discussions and for people to question these images and seek truth.

  2. I have to agree with Kelly here, as much as we fear that through the exposure of "difference" we run the risk that these images can lead to the creation of stereotypes, racism, hatred and the like, we must understand that just like any other group of people the ability to come up to the surface and be recognized is better than nothing at all. As people, our fear is that to be invisible means that we are nonexistent, that we become unimportant. At least with the ability to put a face to a category, a discussion can be had, experiences can be made, and changes can be initiated.

    -Christina Z.

  3. I have to say that I see both sides. I understand the impact of imagery, and how it might offend some and give off the wrong impression. However, as you all know that I am from a small town, for someone like me who has never been exposed to this I would find it intriguing to see imagery. I have only been to a drag show once in my life and, to me, this is all I know. From what I learned in class, this doesn't even scratch the surface of transgender. For someone like me, I think imagery would have been even more enlightening.