This week, HBO screened a documentary film, “Valentine Road,” about the 2008 murder of a 14-year-old boy, Lawrence King, by a classmate in Oxnard, California. King had been exploring his gender identity by wearing makeup and heels to school; he had told friends that he was gay and had asked 14-year-old Brandon McInerney to be his Valentine in front of other classmates. McInerney, who had a girlfriend, shot King in head during class in their middle school computer lab.
Heartbreaking. Inexcusable. And yet the New York Times’ film review by Neil Genzlinger actually dared to ask:
Was Mr. McInerney the one who was bullied, by Mr. King’s flaunting of his identity (including wearing makeup and heeled boots to school)?
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Earlier this year, British lad mag FHM named transgender model Andrej Pejic as one of its 100 Sexiest Women in the World. And then! When the mag found out that “she” was actually biologically a “he,” they quickly rescinded the honor — with nasty words to boot. In a statement that was later taken off the magazine’s site (but screen-captured by blogger Alicia Swann), FHM refers to Pejic as a “thing” and says that they’d like to “pass the sick bucket” for their mistake.
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MTV’s “Jersey Shore” had a bit of a situation with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for airing what they deemed to be “one of the most blatantly transphobic scenes aired anywhere on television in the last few years.” During this season of the show, The Situation was out at a club, chatting up a person he presumed to be a woman but turned out to be transgendered. Afterward, he and other members of the crew threw around the word “tranny.” Keep reading »
In the upcoming issue of Seventeen there’s a story about a young woman who discovered that her boyfriend was actually a female. While I think it’s cool that a traditional teen magazine like Seventeen is covering the existence of transgender teenagers, which wouldn’t have happened when I was reading the mag back in the day. But the story’s angle doesn’t do much to discourage negative attitudes towards teenagers who are struggling with their gender identity, and that’s a shame. Keep reading »