Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Eff you, ABC... "Transgender Teens Turn to Prostitution"

This story is pissing me off.

1. At 22, one is a woman, not a girl.
2. The use of scare-quotes around "trans women" and "trans men" is distracting.
3. The focus appears to be pretty exclusively focused on trans women, while ignoring the experiences of trans men. Almost three pages of stories about the experiences of trans women, but only two paragraphs on the experiences of trans men? It just seems to really play into the fetishization of trans women. Especially with so much focus on the prostitution aspect of the story.
4. The story left with the impression that it was "poor trans people, their lives are completely fucked up, and they're out there killing themselves, injecting themselves with brake fluid, and turning to drugs and prostitution to get by. And then they get raped and infected with AIDS. It's just a completely horrible experience." I don't know. Maybe it's just me, but the story really feels like a big sensationlistic piece that reinforces the fetishization of and stereotypes about the transgender population. Maybe that's just me?
5. There are a number of quotes about what "most" trans women are doing- like buying hormones off the black market. That kind of thing always makes me suspicious. How does ABC know what *most* trans women are doing? Sensationlism, or fact? I don't know.

It's not that I doubt or don't appreciate the seriousness of the situations described, but it just feels like a really exploitative story to me. It feels less like a story aimed at helping make the situation better or informing the public to get support for some kind of movement, and a lot more like a modern day "freak show" story- a "wow, look at how fucked up this is" kind of tabloid piece. It's really pissing me off.


Anonymous said...

ABC doesn't know what the hell they are talking about. They get their facts wrong in the opening lines of the story. HRT for transwomen does not affect the voice or facial hair. Assuming they did actually talk to at least one transgender woman for their story, they should know this much.

I won't go into all the other issues this story is riddled with.. it would take an article at least as long as theirs.

~a transgender woman

Ellen said...

Being a Transwoman myself, I agree with anonymous. Where do they get these people?

Of course, most transpeople lose their families, jobs and all that, the most painful thing for me was the rejection of so called religous.