Tag Archives: television

Zoey Tur is Unfortunately in Hot Water, Again

Journalist Zoey Tur, who has undergone a highly public gender transition and who has also been responsible for even more highly public controversies among the transgender community, has had a police report filed against her by Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro. The complaint was prompted by the following escapades which occurred during a televised discussion regarding Caitlyn Jenner. From the Washington Times:

The report follows a tense exchange between Mr. Shapiro and Ms. Tur on HLN’s “Dr. Drew On Call” over Caitlyn Jenner’s receipt of ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Ms. Tur grabbed the back of Mr. Shapiro’s neck and said, “You cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance,” after Mr. Shapiro called her “sir.”

Mr. Shapiro later alleged that Ms. Tur had threatened him after the appearance, saying, “I’ll see you in the parking lot.” CNN security escorted Mr. Shapiro to his car after ensuring Ms. Tur had left the premises, according to Breitbart News.

Ms. Tur also tweeted “me too” on Friday in response to a Twitter user who said he’d liked to see Ms. Tur “curb stomp” the Breitbart editor.

Seems a bit over-the-top, yes? Tur is a polarizing person in the transgender community, for such other controversies as her “investigation” via Facebook of transgender woman Carlotta Sklodowska, who was harassed for using the female facilities at a Michigan gym. Tur “speculate(d) that Sklodowska was actually a male-identified crossdresser expressing a “sexual fetish.” and further “directly accused Sklodowska of entering the locker room as a sexual predator aiming to “perv out on women.”

Tur also angered transgender people when she:

“…implied that some trans men are not actually trans because they just have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance found in some females. “With hormone replacement therapy,” she proclaimed, “it can be treated and it can adjust people back to where they would be.” Interviewer James St. James confirmed, “So you’re saying that they might think that they’re transgender when actually it’s just a medical situation?” “Correct,” Tur responded. Diego Sanchez, Director of Policy for PFLAG National and a transgender man himself, told ThinkProgress that Tur’s assertion is “false.” He should know; his own endocrinologist, Dr. Vin Tangpricha, has conducted much of the available research on the topic.”

She also twice outed Caitlyn Jenner on television prior to her transition, and she has made inaccurate legal claims, which she did own up to, regarding Title II versus Title VII and its relevance for protecting transgender persons.

Tur, who holds no journalism degrees nor any research credentials nor scientific training which would provide her backing for making the statements which she has made, has been brash and largely unapologetic about her stances and statements. With this latest television embarrassment, she is again casting transgender persons in a bad light. I don’t have a circuit of pet television spots to appear upon, but I have enough professional training and doggone common sense to understand that you do not physically assault your opponent during a debate, nor make vague threats of violence in person! Honestly, I really don’t get it.

From ThinkProgress:

Tur insisted to ThinkProgress that she doesn’t think of herself as a spokesperson of the trans community, adding that she was “fully thinking of the [good of the] community” when she made her comments. But Sanchez warns that despite her intent, the way she speaks about transgender issues — and the way the media allows her to speak about transgender issues — could still be problematic. “It is crucial for the health and well-being of all people who are trans that one person does not declare themselves or be declared a spokesperson for an entire community,” he told ThinkProgress. “It is also crucial that the media not approach anyone in that way. One person’s experience is exactly that: one person’s experience.”

Juro, like Stabler and Sanchez, worries that the political stakes for transgender equality are too high to allow for such problematic messaging and representation. Her advice to Tur is simple: “Please stop saying stupid shit on television.”


Source: Ben Shapiro files police report against Zoey Tur, Inside Edition reporter – Washington Times

Transgender Actress Erika Ervin On Her ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Role


And now, dear readers, in our third article focusing on popular entertainment, I would like you to meet transgender actress Erika Ervin, who plays the character of Amazon Eve on American Horror Story. There is a nice little video interview of here at the link below, where we learn a bit of her early life, transition, and her interview for the part of Amazon Eve – amazingly, where she speaks of how she had to audition in “boy mode” for the part, as the casting director was not looking for a transgender actress! So she’s actually playing a cisgender role, which is a unique breakthrough for publicity for our people.

Erika, you really rock!

Transgender Actress Erika Ervin On Her ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Role.

The Lesser-known Transgender Actress of Transparent – Ms. Alexandra Billings

Alexandra Billings

Most of you have noticed, dear readers, that the Amazon series Transparent and news about the lead actor, Jeffrey Tambor, have been inundating the blogosphere, Facebook, and for all I know Anasazi pueblo artwork. A couple of you have asked me “hey Una, why no mention of Transparent on Transas City?” and the reason is that in some cases, I don’t feel the need to just repeat what others are already reporting upon and saying. I try to focus on lesser-known stories, or else major stories which impact me in some way such that I wish to add editorial content.

In this posting, I would like to highlight an interview which the much lesser-known actress Alexandra Billings, who co-stars with Tambor in the aforementioned Amazon series. I think there is some irony that in a story about a transgender character not only is the lead a cisgender man, but the other transgender actresses and actors receive second billing in the new coverage. But let’s not get into that, because I don’t want a repeat of Letogate here. So please, take a little time to read this interview with one of our own, who is I feel destined for a much bigger career in the future!

Alexandra Billings, transgender actor: ‘Transparent came up when I had nothing to lose’ | Television & radio | The Guardian.

Sitcom “The Switch” May Make Trans TV History

I for one am really excited about this program, and I’m really hoping they run at least the first season of it. Some details from the link below:

According to Vancouver-based television producer Amy Fox, her new sitcom The Switch could push trans representation forward 15 years. In a recent Bustle interview, she discussed how the show’s forecasted reach is beyond anything advocates could have imagined happening before 2030.

Why? Because unlike any trans-centered show before it, The Switch has already procured a broadcast agreement from a TV network in Canada. If it reaches its fundraising goal and successfully airs, Julie Vu, who portrays main character Sü, will become the first trans actor to play a lead on television.

The link below has a short video starring the, well, stars of the sitcom. The pilot episode can be seen here.

WATCH: Sitcom The Switch May Make Trans TV History | Advocate.com.

A Roundup of Four Negative News Items

Hey, you can’t say I didn’t warn you…as I’ve gone through the news feeds from mid-week relating to transgender news, yours truly has picked out four post-worthy items which you may not have seen. None of them are especially positive, but neither are they catastrophic. And a couple of them are so over-the-top as to be somewhat silly.

We begin with the case of a gender-variant South Carolina teenager who was forced to remove their makeup prior to having their photograph taken by the DMV. This isn’t especially surprising – first off, it’s South Carolina. I mean, it’s only been legal to whistle on the Sabbath for 3 years now, so you have to expect some lack of tolerance. Second off, it’s the DMV – for crying out loud, if there ever was a domain of senseless, arbitrary, and random application of rules it’s there. Going to the DMV is sort of like entering a Salvador Dali painting, where up is down, right is purple, and number 12 is carrot. So yeah, this wasn’t too difficult to predict…

Next up we have some sad news, as some timbertool (or timbertools) decided to ruin the Trans Pride LA Festival film screening by calling in a bomb threat. It was the second bomb threat of the Pride event, and one which had to be taken seriously given the appalling level of violence shown towards our people.

Next we have the case of ABC News Assignment Editor Ben Sherwood, who came out as transgender in the summer of 2013, and changed their name to Dawn Ennis. Then, after taking steps to transition, declared that they had a bout of transient amnesia, and that they never really were transgender. Then suddenly, they’ve gone back and discovered that no, really, they really were transgender. Now they have been fired from their job, and they are blaming anti-transgender discrimination. Well…folks, you will look until your eyes fall out to find a more pro-transgender person than I, but I’m also wondering why anyone is surprised that an employer might have some concerns over a person who is cisgender-no they aren’t-yes-they-are no-they-aren’t… Honestly, I think this would be difficult for most employers to handle, aside from the fact that there’s no proof or convincing evidence presented to say that it even is a discrimination case.

Finally, we get to comedy time, where the arch-conservative and anti-transgender Linda Harvey, of Mission America, claims that Satan, yes Satan, is behind the growing acceptance of transgender persons in America. It would be easy to dismiss her as another harmless flake…except that she has a lot of followers who believe everything she says. Never underestimate the evil that some will perpetrate all in the name of “fighting evil” (cough…thousands tortured and murdered by witch hunters…cough).

CBS Profiles Trans Youth, as Poll Shows Objections to Trans Accommodations

Transgender children were covered as a topic on CBS Sunday Morning in a fairly positive manner, but they did devote a bit of time to the haters, as well as focusing on a poll showing that a wide majority of Americans believe transgender students should not be allowed to use their gender-congruent bathrooms.

The CBS poll, conducted in March and released this week, found that only 26 percent of respondents believe trans students should be given access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, whereas 59 percent of those polled believe trans individuals should be forced to use facilities of their birth-assigned gender. Fifteen percent of poll respondents either did not know or did not answer the question.

Women were more likely than men to believe that trans students should be given access gender-appropriate facilities, with 29 percent of women in favor of transgender-affirmative public accommodations compared to 23 percent of men. Thirty-three percent of self-identified Democrats support trans students, compared to only 16 percent of Republicans.

Unfortunately, the Advocate concludes that the smear tactics of the Pacific Justice Institute and other hate groups may be working:

These tactics, often described as the “bathroom meme,” rely on thoroughly debunked myths involving a fear that people will claim to be transgender simply as a means to gain access to restrooms and locker rooms so that they can more easily assault unsuspecting women. But perhaps, as the poll indicates, the tactics are having some success.

WATCH: CBS Profiles Trans Youth, as Poll Shows Objections to Trans Accommodations | Advocate.com.

Tyra Banks to Produce Transgender Docuseries for VH1

TransAmerica is the name of the series, and it is expected to comprise 8 episodes focusing on a group of Chicago transgender women. According to the network:

“It would be easy to focus on the transgender aspect, but this series is about so much more,” VH1 executive Susan Levison told the Reporter. Banks promised the show “will blow the roof off stereotypes and set the record straight as we experience the lives of these fun, stunning women.”

It’s due to run in late 2014 or early 2015, so keep an eye peeled for it when it arrives. More information can be found at the link below.

Tyra Banks to Produce Transgender Docuseries for VH1 (Exclusive) – Hollywood Reporter.

Two Positive Trans Media Portrayals – UK and New Zealand’

Today I have two very recent positive portrayals of transgender persons in the media to share with you. The first one is unfortunately portrayed by a cisgender woman, Modupe Adeyeye, who will be playing the character of Blessing Chamber in the UK Soap Opera “Hollyoaks.”. I quote the actress:

She said: “I’m not transgender so I’ve had to do a lot of research into it. I wasn’t nervous, I was more excited. It’s a big responsibility, but I always think that you should challenge yourself and not run away from things that are hard. When things are easy, that’s when I get scared, because as an actor you need challenges, that’s what makes you stronger and better in your craft.”

Amy Brosnahan
The next portrayal does include an actual transgender person, in this case Amy Brosnahan of New Zealand, who is participating in a “Battle of the Babes” contest. Now there are many pretty transwomen, but What makes her case special is that she was originally banned from the contest, but was allowed in after the Human Rights Commission stepped in.
Her fellow contestants seem pleased with her presence:

At the Juice Bar in Parnell yesterday, the venue for tonight’s New Zealand’s final, Ms Brosnahan’s fellow competitors said they were looking forward to competing against her.

Finalist Shanise Siriana Wongchiu said she met Ms Brosnahan at the Auckland final.

“She was really nervous, she was just getting ready … she has full potential to actually win this.”

Ms Wongchiu said they bonded after realising Ms Brosnahan was also part-Samoan.

“I personally think good on her, it’s awesome,” finalist Shard McNeill said.

Lagniappe Transgender News for March 25, 2014

This is a collection of various small news items, assembled together so I don’t end up spamming the 50+ folks who follow this news feed via e-mail.

First up, media whore Jerry Springer has somehow learned how to use Google or spoken to an actual transperson, as he is shocked, shocked to discover that “tranny” is an offensive word! While part of me can appreciate that Mr. Springer, host of such episodes as “Trannies Twerk It Out,” “Mom Don’t Ruin My Tranny Wedding,” “Tranny Take Downs,” “You Got Me a Tranny Stripper!?,” “Online Tranny Trap,” “My Girlfriend is Leaving Me for a Tranny,” and “Tranny Bomb!” would like to turn over a new leaf, the cynical part of me says “oh jeeze, next thing you know he’ll learn grass is green and the sky is blue, and then there will be no stopping him…”

Next on the menu, the blogosphere is abuzz over an important gender-related incident a tempest in a teapot where an eight year-old girl has been taken out of her Christian school for behaving and looking too much like a boy.

The family received a letter telling them that if their eight year old granddaughter didn’t follow the school’s “biblical standards,” that she’d be refused enrollment next year. She’s out and in public school now.

Sunnie Kahle has short hair and a huge heart, and as far as her grandparents are concerned, she is a completely normal little girl.

The letter goes on to say that students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl and specifies that administrators can refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.

The letter goes on to reference specific Bible verses that affirm these beliefs.

The letter reads in part, “We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education.”

Here is where I will interject some opinion and state that folks, this is a private Christian school. They have the right to discriminate in just about any way imaginable, and there’s really not much that can be done about it. At heart, this is little different than a Muslim student being asked to leave a Jewish School because…wait for it…she’s not Jewish. This is not a gender hate crime, this is business as usual for private religious schools.

Next we do have a success story, albeit an international one, so it’s not really in the news so much in America. India’s transgender community is very large and diverse, but often lives in the shadows, the slums, or must exist as hijra, who often are performers and entertainers as part of their begging for alms. This report from India says that the members of the hijra community will be allowed to register as “other” in their gender category for their voter ID. However, of the 3 million or so estimated hijra, only 28,000 have taken advantage of the scheme thus far.

Next we have what should be an inspiring story, but which I feel is marred somewhat by poor visual composition in its reporting. In this testimonial story, a California teacher talks about her return to the classroom after her legal and social gender transition. However, spattered around the article, which tells of the journey of educator Gary Sconce to his new life as Karen Adell Scot, we have photos of:

  • Karen without her wig, bald head clearly shown.
  • Karen shaving her face in the mirror, with clear beard stubble and shadow showing.
  • Karen working out with free weights and looking very masculine in pose.

Thank goodness she’s at least gendered properly throughout the article, but seriously, they were not exactly the best photographs a transwoman could have to tell her story to the cisgender masses. I feel badly for her, and even if she fully intended to focus on these visual misgenderings herself, I still feel badly for her.

Last and certainly least, those wacky legal Hamburglars, the Pacific Justice Institute, have yet again filed suit to try to revive their failed effort to put the rights of transgender schoolchildren up for a vote. No legal observers I have read on this subject appear to be concerned about the PJC’s latest effort, but I’m certain that this won’t be the last of these madcap Legal Smeagols.

Opinion: Two and a Half Men Introduces Transwoman Character. Is this a Good Thing?

Personally, I’ve read other reports from around the net which tend to vary from lukewarm to poor reception among the transgender community who aren’t paid contributors to websites. I mean come on, it’s Two and a Half Men, one of the most sexist and crude shows at times on prime time. On the other hand, they have treated some LGB subjects with sensitivity, such as when Charlie’s mom had a lesbian affair. Perhaps a crucial step towards mainstream acceptance is to not get too offended right away, unless the offense is blatant and unavoidable?

Recently I saw a drag performance with a cisgender woman and a transsexual friend, said performance being done by a gay man. The cisgender woman thought that the performance was entertaining and not offensive. My transsexual friend was torn – she did find the performance entertaining, but was also nonetheless bothered about “why is a man dressed as a woman supposed to be funny? Doesn’t this cause people to view transsexual women as drag performers, and thus not take the fact that our entire lives are uprooted and changed during transition as seriously as they should?”

As a transsexual woman myself, I was torn. My opinion was somewhere between the two – on one hand, I can see where my trans friend was coming from. On the other hand, the performance was done respectfully and well, and was entertaining. The focus of the humor was not on “look at me! I’m a gay dude wearing a dress!” but rather the gay man was simply playing a role which happened to be female.

Context and delivery is everything, and from what I can tell from the clips I’ve watched, Two and a Half Men didn’t do such a bad job. If nothing else, it’s worth waiting to see how the story develops.

Op-ed: Two and a Half Men Introduces Trans Character, Manages to Stay Respectful | Advocate.com.

Editorial: CBS Program Mike and Molly Says ‘F*ck You’ to the LGBT Community

I must confess I disliked the show from the first few episodes which I saw, and pretty much had chalked it up to being just a generic “gotta fill in 30 minutes with something sitcom.” From the editorial which is linked below, by Sue Kerr, it appears that the show is not only using negative transgender humor, it’s rolling in it like a pig in muck.

One for the “boycott” list.

(Thanks to California correspondent Devin for the pointer).

CBS Program Mike and Molly Says ‘F*ck You’ to the LGBT Community | Sue Kerr.

Watch Out – the CW Network Will be Running a Transgender Drama

The CW network, which currently airs some good niche programs (such as my favorite, Supernatural), has in the works a new weekly prime-time drama which may of interest to transgender persons and their supporters.

‘ZE’ follows a female-to-male teen and his family in Texas. When the main character announces he is transgendered and will now be living as a male, his family struggles to deal with issues of identity, personal choice, politics and more. The title ‘ZE’ is a gender-non-specific pronoun to be used in lieu of “he” or “she” when referring to someone who is transgendered.

No firm commitment for an airdate. I’ll post an update when it’s known.
Playwright Kyle Jarrow to Pen Transgender Drama ‘ZE’ for The CW – BWWTVWorld.