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After Every Sunday…

| May 10, 2010
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monday0410It’s Monday again! And that means we roll out a brand new issue of TGForum. Even though it’s now the 21st century and electronic publishing on the Web means anything we publish hangs around forever (unless JoAnn forgets to pay the bill for the server space) we tend to still relate to the world in old fashioned print terms. The Monday Edition is actually just the latest addition to the ongoing work in progress that is TGForum.com. It’s like one gigantic magazine that you can travel back in time with by just scrolling down and hitting the “previous” links. Go ahead and take a trip back to last May. I’ll wait.

This Monday before I tell you what’s in the Monday Edition I have to ask a question. Did anyone see Family Guy last night? Never the most sensitive animated fare (some of the best laughs come from Peter Griffin fighting a giant rooster till they’re both almost dead and then killing him anyway in a new fight over a restaurant tab — or there was the time when Stewie the football headed baby almost beat Brian the talking dog to death when Brian hadn’t paid Stewie the money Stewie had loaned him. Good times. But I digress) Family Guy can’t be mistaken for a lighthearted look at the American way of life. It’s often satirizing and parodying foibles and prejudices in messy and sometimes really  non-funny ways. The writers don’t consistently hit the right note and it’s possible to end up wincing rather than laughing at some of Peter Griffin’s antics.

Last night they took on transsexualism. The great horn dog of Family Guy, Glenn Quagmire, a man noted for his many female sex partners, introduces the guys to his dad, a decorated war hero. Dan Quagmire appears to Peter and his neighbor to be very gay. They let Quagmire know that they think his dad is gay and after some shenanigans at the Naval Ball where Dan is being honored Dan finally let’s Quagmire know that he’s not gay — but he’s always felt like a woman inside.

There’s a really fast SRS the next day (no time for a long recovery) and soon the wincing begins in earnest. While mostly there are unfunny jokes about Dan Quagmire’s gender change there are also a couple of laughs and some understanding. But not enough to make up for the homophobic treatment of transsexualism. The reactions of the characters to Dan’s change and the way Dan is used in the plot don’t do much to advance the understanding of transsexuality. The episode is called “Quagmire’s Dad” and if you didn’t see it on Sunday it will show up on Hulu.com in the near future. Take a look and let us, and maybe Fox TV, know what you think.

Now, off the soap box and back to the Monday Edition. First up it’s Ronnie Rho’s This Week In Transgenderism. There’s so much stuff in TWIT I can’t even mention it all. The boy who’s going to the prom is a dress… or maybe that happened Saturday? The transgender meeting that was mistaken for a beauty pageant and raided by the Islamic cops, but it wasn’t a pageant… or was it? There’s the crossdresser who likes to wear schoolgirl uniforms and swears he did not moon anyone. Learn about the Sisters of Solidarity in Singapore, Donna Rose entangled with another body in sweaty embrace, TGs in politics and a whole lot more. It’s all in TWIT.

Next we travel back in time through the prose of our TG historian Miss Michelle Moore and her TG History column on famous TS Jan Morris. The first of a two parter on Miss Morris, we learn about her early years and find out how she came to climb Mount Everest. Well, as a travel writer I guess these things do come up from time to time. Don’t miss TG History — Climbing Mount Everest.

And we round out the edition with Pamela DeGroff’s Perpetual Change column. This month Perpetual Change is a review of a new CD by a group that Pamela introduced us to back in May of 2007, The Shondes. Find out what Pamela thinks of their new CD My Dear One and get some other information on TGs making music. It’s all there in this month’s Perpetual Change.

That’s it for this Monday Edition. Be sure to let us know if Family Guy disgusted you or made you laugh. Or possibly both.


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Category: TG Forum News, Transgender Opinion

angela_g

About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

Comments (3)

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  1. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so I suppose any appearance in pop culture is good.

    Of course, then there’s TWIT Notes…

  2. angela_g angela_g says:

    The Family Guy characters’ reactions to Dan’s gender change range from interest to amusement to disgust but the most important reaction, the son’s, goes from anger and shame to acceptance of his father’s needs and they end up hugging. Then there’s a sex joke but hey, it’s Family Guy. The most negative thing about the episode is the reactions of the other characters.(Particularly Brian’s. Brian we thought you were more evolved.) But, even there there is an acceptance that TS people exist. It seems to say “we might not get what they are about but they’re part of our world.” So maybe you’re right and it will get the average viewer a bit more acclimated to the existence of gender variant folks. Anyone else see the episode? Got a pitchfork and torch?

  3. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    I hate to criticize something I haven’t seen. And I don’t like Family Guy, so I’m probably not going to take the time to find the episode.

    That said, this seems to be a common theme in modern comedy/satire: A less than sensitive take on transgenderism, and we in the community grab the pitchforks and the torches and start up the hill to the castle.

    But, let’s remember, these shows aren’t made for us. They’re created for the general, non-TG populace. So, while they may offend us, we have to ask: how does someone without a T-friend react to the message? Could it be that sometimes, we cringe, but the average Joe grows a little?

    I’m not saying Family Guy is going to win hearts and minds and turn Pat Robertson into a big ENDA cheerleader, but the average viewer: does it move them a little closer to acceptance/understanding/familiarity?

    Just a thought. And feel free to disagree with me.

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