Monday, May 16, 2016

Media shortchanging transgender community in 'bathroom bills' debate

The above video of Hope Tyler, the mother of a transgender child being interviewed on CNN, is easily one of the best things I've seen in a while.

 From Raw Story:

Speaking to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on New Day, Tyler said that her daughter, Kylie, began transitioning to a male named Kai at the age of 12 after she became paralyzed.

 “It was a wonderful relief because we finally figured out what was going on,” Tyler recalled. “Ever since she was little, she was dressing in tomboy clothes… And then at the age of 9, 10, and 11 anxiety kicked in horribly. And we would go to the [emergency room] and they couldn’t figure out what was causing the anxiety.”

 “Conversion disorder is when your body shuts down physically and you become paralyzed in your arms or your legs,” she noted. “And Kylie, at the time, was in a wheelchair for five months.”

Tyler said that she began researching the condition and discovered that her son’s transition to a male was not simply a matter of psychology.

 “Girls have XX chromosomes, boys have XY chromosomes,” the mother pointed out. “The gene that determines your sex is called the SRY gene. And when the little piece of that Y gene falls off, that’s what causes a transgender boy. When there is no X involved in the chromosome, that’s what causes a transgender girl.” “Another thing people need to know is that there’s a whole series of XXY, YYX,” she continued. “These are people that have breasts with male genitalia. There’s also people that have both genitalia. These children need to be recognized.” 

Ever since this nonsense about "bathroom bills" began, the media has featured NC Gov. Pat McCrory defending his awful anti-lgbt law,  members of anti-lgbt groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, or pundits throwing out ugly missives about "male predators invading women's locker rooms and compromising their safety."

In many cases, they've allowed transgender men and women to be misgendered or semantically described as pedophiles without bothering to correct these grievances.

But they have rarely featured any medical professionals dealing with the issues of the transgender community or someone who can properly articulate the situation of being transgender.

To be honest, the news media have been very slack in bringing solid knowledge to the issue of "bathroom bills" and the transgender community in general. Instead, in a way author Paddy Chayefsky wrote about in his screenplay, Network, they seem to be intent on  "articulating" people's ignorance and fears. Who knows? Maybe they feel that dry (but accurate) statements from medical professionals are less entertaining than creepy (but false) anecdotes about little girls being trapped in lonely bathrooms with a 450 pound linebacker wearing a mini-skirt complete with a thick layer of drool coating his five o'clock shadow.

Maybe they fear that if they correct Sen. Ted Cruz when he goes on a paranoid tangent about "grown men sharing bathrooms with little girls," he may cut off their access to him on other issues.

Whatever the case may be, rather than bringing solid knowledge and understanding to this issue, some members of the media  given too much time to overpaid pundits who are too eager to build a reputation with which to sell their next book. anti-lgbt think tanks whom they know will afford them a good, albeit inaccurate soundbite, or elected officials  more concerned with being re-elected or gaining higher office than fairness.

None of these entities mentioned have credible background of research in this issue or a stake in ending this drama.

I guess what I am saying is that the fact that Miss. Tyler dropped so much knowledge about the transgender community was wonderful. But it's sad that it's taken this long for anyone to articulate such an intelligent point of view. And if the media was more concerned about gaining the truth rather than exploiting the situation, it wouldn't have taken this long.

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