Slate Honey weighs in on Prop 8 and “Transvestite” Media Bating

I give you Mr Honey… This is not me, Robyn, I am not a gender-queer Junkie-Ha ha, that’s my most earnest sarcastic disclaimer…now for slate:

A response to gay disclaimers:

I should make a disclaimer myself. I’m a gender-queer junkie. All things related to the gender-queer and trans community immediately grab my ears and eyes. It’s a rainy Thursday, I am grant-writing for my current film project (a film about Transy House—a house that’s been home to a self-made gender-queer family and has been open to homeless trans women for fifteen years). All of a sudden, I hear an ad for the Leonard Lopate show on WYNC, something akin to “One thing you may not know about celebrity chef Jaime Oliver… he likes transvestites.” The web page relating to the Leonard Lopate show has some questions asked of Oliver, the last of which is:

WNYC:What’s one thing you’re a fan of that people might not expect?
J.O.:I love art and graffiti, jazz music, and transvestites.

So, I go to the on-demand podcast to listen. Disappointing! The interview itself is twenty minutes of Lopate and Oliver discussing meats, vegetables and home gardening. Among the chatter about poisonous rhubarb and raising chickens, there is no sign that anyone is about to talk about anything transgender. So, why use as the draw in (on the radio ad and on the webpage) this question that was not asked in the radio interview? Is anyone going to explain what exactly that means, to be a fan of transvestites?If I were Leonard Lopate interviewing myself, Slate Honey, it would go like this:

L.L.: What’s more difficult to grapple? Hetero disclaimers that precede pro-gay rights advocacy, or using a random line about transvestites (that’s left totally unexplained) as a way to draw a listener in to an interview about poultry?
S.H.: Well, Leonard, I don’t believe it’s a contest. What isn’t problematic on the queer and trans civil rights frontier? These both reinforce an already solid conclusion I have: We better self-represent and stick up for ourselves in this world!

On that note, November 20th is Trans Remembrance Day. Something to keep in mind and heart and maybe to counter some tokenizing advertising.

-Slate Honey

And now for an extra note from me-Robyn- Gawker and The View also seem unable to stay away from this subject. Without giving too much credence to the finger pointing dehumanizing antics implicated here: A link

One Response to “Slate Honey weighs in on Prop 8 and “Transvestite” Media Bating”

  1. Yes, mentioning transvestites always seem to attract attention. There are milions of trans-fans out there, but few want to really talk about it. I liked your imaginary self-interview impersonating Leonard Lopate. I did a paper on LGBT advertising recently at the Hofstra LGBT Studies conference on “Queer Icons.” There still are an extraordinary number of ads out there around the world in which transvestites are part of a tired joke about men in dresses, presumed to be hilariously funny. I am really tired of this. Keep up the good writing, I like your blog. Miss Rusty Mae

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