Translife: TV

I love to watch TV. As a kid, Saturday morning cartoons were one of the few things that could actually make me wake up early. TV shows filled my day when Dad was busy, and they still provide me background noise to this day. I’m watching Dan Vs. while I type this.

I also hate TV. I hate the media. Sometimes, I even hate books! Mostly because they’re too close to real life. Or worse. They rarely show good lesbian representation, and trans rights are basically a distant dream. They’re primarily written by cis het white men who’ve gotten pretty good at writing things they don’t know, but still struggle when it comes to making jokes that don’t insult me to my core. Event he more progressive and feminine stories may accidentally suggest not only that all men are dicks, but that all men have them… and therefore, anyone with one is a man.

At the risk of losing you guys, does anyone remember the episode of the Simpsons where Patty came out as gay? She wanted Homer to perform a marriage ceremony, and Marge was dead set against her sister being gay. Until she discovered that Patty was actually about to marry a man in disguise, and realized she couldn’t let her poor sister go through with it. So she tore off the man’s collar, revealing the Adam's apple, and exposing the bride for the man he was!

It seemed very nice to me as a child. However the man had gotten into this situation, he was in fact a man. Patty was a lesbian, and wasn’t attracted to men, didn’t want to be with one. Marge was a good sister who’d overcome her own prejudices to save her sister.

That was me as a kid. Now, I wonder if that’s going to happen to me, one day. If someone’s going to catch me shaving off a bit of stubble, and then yell in front of everyone that I’m secretly a man in disguise trying to trick my lesbian bride into a marraige she doesn’t want. That’s really how some people see me — not as a lesbian, but as a straight man in a dress

That’s how a lot of media portrays me. Not always intentionally — sometimes, it really is just meant to be a man in drag. Which is fine, because there are men like that! Yet, you have to remember that there are people out there who can’t tell the difference. TV shows often blur the line for a joke, not just in the Simpsons but across many shows — men dressed as women to trick people into sleeping with them. They might think it’s a cheap and harmless laugh.

To me, accusations like that are potential life destroyers I could live without. Maybe some people want to say things like that are just jokes, and maybe in a perfect world where everyone can tell fantasy from reality that would cut it. We don’t live int hat world. We live in this world, where people are told to write what they know, and they watch what they know, and they continue their whole lives never quite changing what they know — and when they try to write what they don’t know, we end up with things like that Simpsons episode.

This particular blog doesn’t have much of a point to it, I guess. It’s just me ranting about how I feel, about what I personally know, in the vague hope that it’ll change what others think they know. So maybe next time you watch a show, and you laugh at the guy disguising himself as a girl, and stuffs balloons under her shirt which you just know are going to pop — maybe you’ll stop to think about the real transwomen out there, who live in fear of being discovered. Because it won’t end in silly jokes, but in a beating. Maybe one day, people will do research and actually get to know new people — so when they write what they know, it’ll be about people of all sorts!

A transgirl can dream, right?