There’s Something About Transphobia

in Opinion

I’m continually amazed at the hatred and bigotry shown by the Fox Broadcasting Network. The fall lineup includes the inherently transphobic series, “There’s Something About Miriam.” The series first aired in the 2004 in the UK and features six men who try to win the affection of 21-year-old Mexican model Miriam. In the final episode it is revealed to the suitors that Miriam is a preoperative transsexual woman.

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The series originally ran in the UK and was widely condemned by the media as “the cruelest reality show idea yet.” The contestants sued claiming that Brighter Pictures had committed conspiracy to commit sexual assault, defamation, breach of contract and personal injury in the form of psychological and emotional damage. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

The show portrays transgender people as deceitful sexual perverts who get their jollies by preying on unsuspecting men. It’s the same type of voyeurism and “gotcha” exploitation that killed Scott Amedure. Amedure appeared on a taping of the Jenny Jones Show, revealing his “gay crush” on Jonathan Schmitz. Three days later Scmitz bought a shotgun and went to Amedure’s home and murdered him. In the trial that followed, the defense tried to blame Amedure for his own murder. This type of panic strategy was also used in the murder trial of a transgender teen, Gwen Araujo.

When media giants like Fox use transgender people in such a “Jerry Springer” kind of way, it serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes that will have a negative impact for years after the program airs.

H/T to NG and Roger Catlin

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.

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