Tag Archives: Laura Jane Grace

Trans News Out of Hollywood Could Be ‘Jenner-cide” for Our Cause

SeleenaK_2011-10-21-14.38.17Here I go again … seeing the world from a totally different angle than so many of my peers.  Tell me you think I’m wrong but please don’t hate me for my opinion.

The bandwagon is once again overloaded.  Since the news that Bruce Jenner might be transgender hit the tabloids several months ago, much of the trans community has been piling on.  Wishful thinking, maybe, that having an all-American guy transition would be as good for the transgender movement as it was when a US Navy SEAL went public.

But this one is very, very different.  Jenner is part of a group of attention whores who, unlike the Olympic Decathlon gold medal winner himself, have little reason to be in the spotlight at all.

Now, honestly, for most transitioning there is an awkward stage.  It’s that time when the male existence has been left behind yet the female appearance, with help from hormone or surgery, just hasn’t kicked in yet.

Most who transition with dignity keep a low profile at that awkward time if they have the financial means to do so.  Emotional transition may have occurred but appearance wise, we’re somewhat in between.  And to be honest, it’s a time when we are least likely to gain the compassion of the uninformed..

So Jenner, who likely has access to funds and image management we could only dream of, takes the long road to transition.  No disguising girly look.  Just facial hair removal, a trachea shave and nail polish .. and the tabloids likely had a field day searching for, and publishing, only the weirdest photos they had access to.

Let’s face it.  Bruce Jenner was handsome guy, and, post transition, you can be sure she will be an attractive woman, but that time in between is, dare I say this, unsettling to the mainstream eye.

In my opinion, by the way Jenner is handling things, I get the feeling that this is just as much about greed and money as it is about moving on with life as her true self.  And here’s why:

  • no celebrity leaves home without an appearance strategy; “no one will see me” is never a strategy.  Be cute; be funny, draw compassion; but when the ugly comments far surpass the kind, it might be time to change the strategy
  • Jenner’s news, and upcoming interview with Diane Sawyer, is ramping up during the February ratings period.
  • The ‘mixed emotion’ comments coming from the Kardashian kids is perfect, salable drama

But it all came off the tracks.  The photos circulating are very unflattering and appear to be of a person who  is not moving from male to female but who is struggling to find a place somewhere in the middle.  And with a very uncomfortable scowl that reeks of tension; not someone who is happy to finally be true to themselves.

Those of us who have had friends transition know the “glow” that suddenly appears when the emotional bridge has been crossed.

The cruel, demeaning online comments about his “secret” situation are outnumbering the non-judgmental by 100 to 1 (my best estimate, of course).  

So am I judging?  I suppose I am, because in the world of Cox, Mock, Beck, Prakash, Pejic et al, this was the big one.  The one that, if simply done with the respect and dignity almost all of us seek, could have not only opened the door but ripped the door of it’s hinges.  And instead it will become a circus that will invariably make some wealthy person even lots wealthier, while the rest of us will appear to the general public to be even freakier than we are.  *winks*

As I write this, news has just hit that Jenner has been involved in a motor vehicle crash that has taken someone’s life, quite possibly while being followed by trans-celeb-chasing paparazzi.  OMG.

So, in closing, rumour has it that Bruce will be using the girl name Caitlyn or Kaitlyn.  In the Kardashian world where every woman has a first name that starts with the letter “K” , would anyone like to bet that Ms. Jenner will choose the “K” version of that first name?

If you want to be supportive of Jenner in transition, I’m cool with that.  But don’t give me any bullshit about it being good for the trans community.  Because, in my opinion, it’s not.

Bruce Jenner was a Gold Medal Winner in the 1976 summer Olympics held in Montreal
Laverne Cox is an American actress, reality television star, television producer, and LGBT advocate
Janet Mock is an American writer, transgender rights activist, author
Kristin Beck is a former United States Navy SEAL who gained public attention in 2013 when she came out as a trans woman
Padmini Prakash has become India's first transgender to anchor a daily television news show
Andreja Pejic is a transgender Australian model of  Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb ethnicity.

Laura Jane Grace

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of her. Since most of my crowd is more mature, I assume many of you have not. But, in my opinion, she’s the face of transgenderism for the next generation. And she’s a fabulous spokesperson.  Intelligent, sincere and very pretty although not as “girly” in appearance as some of us strive for, Laura Jane Grace is a songwriter and the lead singer/front person for a band called Against Me!  Transgenderisn appears often in her songs, which I would call dark folk with a grunge influence.  Not my cup of tea but I do respect her work.

Below is the link to her interview done by George Stroumboulopoulos for the CBC up here in Canada. It’s 22+ minutes in length but well worth a peek.

Strangely, most of the transgender community seems united with their positive feelings about the interview, although many have expressed displeasure because she failed to correct George when he said something about her “choice to transition”.  Personally, I had no issue with that and even if Laura Jane did, rather than get into a discussion which likely would have caused Strombo to correct himself for his choice of terms, she had the class to move forward.

“You want them to notice, the ragged ends of your summer dress. You want them to see you like they see every other girl. They just see a faggot. They’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick.“~ from Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me!

Aside from being a good interviewer – he does his research – George is really a non-judgmental guy who truly does understand.

Laura Jane mentions she suggested the book Whipping Girl by Julia Serano as recommended reading for those wanting more information on gender dysphoria.  Although I’ve heard of the book, I haven’t read it but likely should.  If you’re interested, it’s available here.

Yes, Laura Jane has it easier than many of us.  Her generation isn’t a locked in to the rigid gender “rules” quite as tightly as my generation is, she lives in the music crowd  – a stereotypically non-judgmental grup – and is married to an artist, but the internal challengers and conflicts she once experienced were the same.

Although she’s doing a wonderful job bringing transgenderism to the young masses, there’s something going on behind her eyes that I find somewhat worrisome.  I wish her well.

And to George Stroumboulopoulos, well done!