Beck v. Springer
One of the things I have to exercise some self restraint on, while writing for this blog, is the desire to us it as nothing more than a platform to say “Look Here at this wonderful story!” and “See?! This is great news!” because it seems like, over the last 18 months or so (In my mind I date it from the Vandy Beth Glenn decision) there has been a regular flow of stories concerning trans issues and people that signal good news for us all. It serves as a refreshing counter-balance to the oh-so-common media trope which features the murdered or assaulted transsexual all too often thrown to the wolves of bigotry as a “man in a dress.”
It is of course true that we are still very much obliged to be cognizant of the risks of who we are or what we do. Being trans, or indulging in crossdressing, does increase the risk that we will be the target of non-random violence. But there is nothing wrong, too, in feeling some warm fuzzies that society does seem to be ever-so-slowly coming out of the stupor or traditional thinking and facing up to the question – where’s the harm in treating these people equally?
For far too long, the overwhelming voice of the media when it came to trans people or crossdressers could be summed up in your average hour of the Jerry Springer Show. The misconceptions, caricatures, and insulting stereotypes dominated and, in turn, the majority of the non-suspecting public just assumed that that message was accurate. Now, as more and more trans people achieve a level of visibility and, shockingly, turn out to be perfectly normal, even heroic people, those negatives caricatures become harder to maintain. The wheels do grind exceedingly slow, but they DO turn.
The latest example of this is former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck. She’s currently in the public eye due to her book “Warrior Princess” about her service, and her post-service transition. Only the most unthinking neanderthal can file an exemplary person like Beck in the same file with your average Springer guest. Attitudes can’t help but change. Can’t happen soon enough.
Photo by: Molly Marshall