Put your money where your mouth is
February 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
Well, this has been an interesting week, to say the least, for trans issues in the mainstream media. Glorious things: Trans Media Watch giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, Paris Lees and the (frankly adorable) Livvy James explaining to the BBC why trans people deserve to be treated with respect by the press.
A lot to be excited about. And then The Sunday Times wrote an article about the fact that some trans men can, and do, get pregnant. Guess how well that went down?
I’m not going to link to any article apart from Jane’s Fae excellent response to the bigotry pedalled by The Mail, The Telegraph, The Sun. I was genuinely shocked by the level of vitriol on display – misunderstanding and disagreement I was expecting. Calling trans people “revolting”, “bizarre” and “freakish” – I had actually hoped we’d moved on from the words my childhood bullies had used to describe me. But the pinnacle of the press’s transphobic reaction had to be this – The Sun deciding to hunt down the man in question, and asking their readers to help them.
Forgive me, is your gorge rising? You might need a moment to rinse your mouth out.
But, in a funny kind of way, that shameful display brings me back to the last bit of good news – the launch of a new magazine by, for and about anyone who might occasionally or permanently shelter under the huge old trans umbrella – and any friends they’d care to bring with them.
I was going to do a straight-up promotional piece for META – after all, not only am I Music Editor, but I’m friends with many other members of the staff. But if I could take my writer’s hat off, and put both my reader’s AND activist’s hats on (it’s the latest trend) – I think this is a bigger issue than just promoting my latest venture, or my friends’ latest venture. It’s bigger, even, than just giving trans readers something of their own, to enjoy, to debate, to pick holes in. Because, to my mind, this is a sign to all the bastards in the mainstream media, the ones making money from humiliating and exploiting trans people – a sign to sit up and take notice. We have voices, talent, intelligence – and we’re using them to celebrate our own community, to tell our own stories, to argue our own issues. We’re taking them on in their own arena – and what a lovely job we’re doing of it. Why should we buy one of their hate-filled rags when we have an alternative?
Like it or not, money talks. And if we can make this magazine a success, well – who knows what good might come of the listening? So, please, buy yourself a copy – ask your friends to do the same. Spread the word – twitter, facebook – stick it on your tumblr – I don’t know, go wild and put it on a T-shirt.