Monday, January 26, 2009

Media Watch on Gender

This week I have noticed the ongoing gap in general understanding of trans identities and politics starting to close in some ways, and perpetually continuing in others.
The first article was in Victoria's Times Colonist.
Growing up Different in BC
Including interviews with transfolks (who's pronouns they get right part of the time), doctors, some of whom actually advocate for local surgeries, and the health minister who seems to continue to believe that until trans patients waiting for surgery in BC make up a majority of his workload, they don't deserve to have the care and safety of having surgery close to home. I have written about this before and will do it again, the trauma caused by post-surgical travel is unnecessary and detrimental to patients in a very fragile physical and emotional state. Airplanes are not a healthful healing environment, and airports are not a safe space from discrimination and harassment. I am happy to see the paper in our province's capital covering this topic, but I would like to see province wide publication of this as news, and province wide response to Health Minister George Abbott. We are here, we want surgery and we want it close to home, in top notch facilities, with well trained doctors like Dr. Bowman, and we want it covered by provincial medical coverage.
Is that really too much to ask? It would be a financial savings to the province in a very short time if they quit exporting patients. It would keep the economy of SRS locally based and not dependant on inter-provincial travel which can be undue harm to patients post surgery.

And in completely other news, the mainstream public (in this case the riders of Translink in Vancouver) continue to be bombarded with transphobic media like this:
The "joke" that is transwomen working in the sex trade is an ongoing target of physical abuse and emotional harassment. This little entertainment piece, published in Vancouver's 24 hrs News Paper which is given out free on public transit continues to perpetuate this with lines including,
"the actor... failed to realize that the scantily clad sexy blonde giving him a lap dance wasn't a woman, until the stripper removed his wig"
"Kiefer was lost for words and hastily pushed the stripper off his lap..."
"Kiefer's jaw dropped and he shoved the she-male away as pals collapsed screaming. He looked angry...."
It seems that for straight men to feel "deceived" by the gender of someone that turns them on is still a rational excuse to lash out in physical and emotional abuse. I don't think so 24hrs!

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