Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jazzmun on ABC's "Big Shots" Oct 4, 2007

Another Stereotypical TV Transsistah

5 October 2007

In a 2007-2008 TV season which continues last year's trend of having transgender characters, in 2007-08 we have the novel concept of a transwoman playing a transwoman.

Unfortunately we transsistahs are still getting the short end of the stick.

While many people in the transgender community are excited about Candis Cayne playing Carmelita on ABC's Dirty Sexy Money, and are looking forward to the continued Season 2 exploits of Rebecca Romijn's character Alexis Meade on Ugly Betty, there was another transgender character that debuted this week as well.

On the ABC show Big Shots, it intrduces us in the debut episode to a character played by a transsistah named Jazzmun.

But before we hail that as progress, Jazzmun is playing Dontrelle, a transsexual hooker.

It figures that we transsistahs once again get stuck being painted by the hooker brush while white transwomen are seen running a magazine or being the love interest of a US senator.

As the late Esther Rolle said in her Good Times role as Florida Evans, "Damn, Damn, Damn!"

Memo to Hollywood: Is it so hard for you to create an African-American transgender character that fits the reality of the 90% of us who don't partake of sex work to make our living? Is it that difficult for you to craft an African-American transgender character that isn't the punchline of a joke or doesn't end up dead in the first five minutes of the show?

If it is, may I suggest calling Sheryl Lee Ralph, who played a transsistah named Claire on Showtime's short lived Barbershop: The Series. I think she'd be happy to give y'all some pointers on creating a non-stereotypical transwoman of African descent. If she's not available, dial up Norman Lear, who in addition to creating All In The Family's Beverly LaSalle, created Edith Stokes, the first realistic transsistah character for The Jefferson's back in 1977.

If they aren't available, just e-mail me and I'll be happy to do it if the price is right.

I'm sick of seeing transsistahs being portrayed as hookers or murder victims. We have enough problems in the African-American community trying to dispel that negative image. Just when we're starting to make a little progress, here comes a TV show that reinforces the negativity that we've worked so hard to counteract.

I'm looking forward to the day when I see an African-American transgender character on TV again that reflects my values and the way that I live my life.

I guess if I want to see that type of positive transsistah character, I'm gonna have to dust off that script I was working on and do it my damned self. . . .


Reflections on Mending & Transcending Gender

BY Tom Murry

(DVD Format 82 min.) TJoe Murray Videos 2007
The DVD contains the 82 minute documentary
ALMOST MYSELF with BONUS material.
BONUS material includes:
Additional Director comments
Scenes from 2005's West Hollywood
Day of Remembrance & Rally
"Road to Trinidad" Music Video

"One could say that this is as much a film about society and the way people who are considered
“different” are treated, as much as a film about the transgender people I met." - Tom Murray

Almost Myself - Reflections on Mending and Transcending Gender. After finding a most unusual web site that was seeking funds to help reverse a sex change, award winning filmmaker Tom Murray set out on a fascinating cross country journey to explore just a small part of the vastly diverse transgender community. The filmmaker in trying to define the film and what he learned in making it said that it could be described as Transgender 101 by and for a Non-transgender person What happens with a young Gay man, struggling not only with his sexuality but also gender, decides to have surgery to become a female, and later in life decides to return to being a Gay man again? Can someone live their life full time as a female, but still have a penis? What s life like for a former male college football player, finally living her life as the women she was always meant to be? These are just some of the stories told in the fascinating, poignant, informative and some may say controversial documentary ALMOST MYSELF. The film focuses primarily on women who are white and older, yet were identified as male at birth. The stories include journeys of boyhood to womanhood and the struggles of mending and transcending gender. . . .

Film Series at Ithaca College to Screen Documentary on Sex Change Reversal

ITHACA, NY—The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen film series at Ithaca College will feature the documentary “Almost Myself: Reflections on Mending and Transcending Gender” on Monday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in Textor 102. The screening is free and open to the public. The film tells the story of Judy Kirchner, a transgender woman who contemplates reversing her sex change as she approaches her 40th birthday.
After being born a male, having surgery and living nearly 20 years as a female, Kirchner had decided to become a guy again. Filmmaker Tom Murray, who was conducting research for a documentary on gay life in rural America, stumbled upon a website Kirchner had set up titled HelpMeReverseMySexChange.Org. “Almost Myself” is Murray’s story of how Kirchner unraveled her childhood medical history and fell into and out of the “clutches” of the ex-gay ministries, exploring just a small part of the vastly diverse transgender community.
Sponsored by the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach and Services, the film series focuses on the ways people transgress, challenge and redefine gender as we know it.
For more information on the series, contact Lisa Maurer, LGBT Center coordinator, at (607) 274-7394 or lmaurer@ithaca.edu.

India: Transgender to host TV show on Star Vijay

Monday - Oct 08, 2007

Meher Khanna - Televisionpoint.com | Chennai

A transgender will host a 30-minute-long, weekly chat show on the rights of sexual minorities on Star Vijay that will feature transgenders telling the story of their lives.

Rose, a smart and chic transgender postgraduate in bio medical sciences, will be the anchor. The show, which is in the pre-production stage, will contain ingredients of drama, emotion and laughter and, in the bargain, serve a social cause as well.

"Previously, we produced a game show in which HIV positive women came out with their life stories driving a message to the audience not to discriminate against them. Vijay TV has always tried to knit entertainment with a social message. This is a part of that effort," sources in the channel said.

The programme will throw light on who the transgenders are and the medical reasons behind the transformation of a person born as a man into a woman. Apart from this, the show will have transgenders speaking about their experience of growing up and humiliation by family and the society.

Psychiatrists will be present in the show to explain queries on sexual orientation and gender disparity. The show would also have a transgender and her family narrating their story of denial and acceptance appealing to the public to accept their children who are born transgenders and not reject them.

Rose said the programme would certainly bring a change in the way people perceive her ilk because of the mass appeal of television.

"It has been my long standing dream to be a television and a movie star to prove to this world what a transgender is capable of. I never spoke about my gender at home until I completed higher education. After completing studies I had to tell my parents. After many struggles they have now accepted me," said Rose, who was called Ramesh at home.

Rose runs a website design portal and nurtures a dream to act in movies, achieve what sizzling transgender Hollywood actor Candis Cayne did to her community - fight the stigma against sexual minorities through the media and encourage other transgenders to live their identity.

Gay And Lesbian Medical Association Urges Inclusion Of Transgender People In Federal Workplace Discrimination Bill

The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) announced its support for including transgender people in the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The legislation as originally written would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. Last week, however, congressional leaders put forward a revised version which omitted protections based on gender identity and expression, stating that this was necessary to obtain sufficient votes for passage.

Rebecca Allison, a transgender cardiologist practicing in Phoenix, Arizona and GLMA's President Elect, understands the impact of workplace discrimination. "I personally know transgender physicians who were forced to abandon successful practices after announcing their intention to transition," she said. "In addition to causing financial losses, discrimination in the workplace can reduce productivity and put victims at risk for depression. Including transgender people in ENDA will help prevent some of these harms."

"We must do everything we can to oppose the marginalization of transgender people," said GLMA Executive Director Joel Ginsberg. "Transgender people are just as deserving of employment protections as anyone else. We are urging our members and all healthcare providers committed to equality for LGBT people to contact their representatives to insist that gender identity and expression be reincorporated into this critical legislation."

The mission of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association is to ensure equality in healthcare for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and healthcare professionals. More information is available at http://www.glma.org.

The Inner Battle of the Sexes

Kayla Lynch

8 October 2007

In our society, there are two clear genders: male and female. Androgyny may be trendy, but there are only 'male' and 'female' check boxes on driver's license forms, birth certificates, and other forms. So what happens if you just don't fit into either category? What happens when the doctor picks you up at birth, slaps you on the backside, and pronounces you a bouncing baby girl…but you don't feel like one? How are you going to live, growing up your whole life waiting for your male sex organs to grow like all the other boys, but they never do?

Gender identity is how you see yourself. You might have been born a man or woman and "just know" that you are male or female. But when you don't fit into a specific category of gender, you're put under the umbrella term of transgender. The term 'transgender' is broad and covers many aspects of the gender experience. Typically, transgender people have come to the conclusion that they are trapped in the wrong body. Some will go through hormone therapy, electrolysis, plastic surgery, or sex reassignment surgery to complete their transition to the correct body. Being transgender is different from cross-dressing because cross-dressers don't necessarily want to be the opposite sex. The terms 'transgender' and 'transsexual' are slightly different as well: while a transgender person typically will not have the sex reassignment surgery, a transsexual person will.

FTMs (female-to-male) and MTFs (male-to-female) have a difficult time dealing with their gender dysphoria within modern society. They may be labeled homosexual even when they are not so inclined. Some transgender showgirls have exploited their physiology, particularly in the pornography industry, and coined the term 'she-male,' which can be highly offensive to MTFs.

While some trans-people have a clear perception of themselves as being either male or female, some do not share this view. Some feel: Bi-gendered: They have a male and female side to their personalities. . . .