TV’s on TV

| Jan 10, 2008
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ronnieheaderpicwbg2.jpgMore specifically: why aren’t there more?

Our cable provider, Time-Warner recently added Logo, the GLBT network to our lineup. They did so without any fanfare, but that’s understandable, considering the Bible-belt style political atmosphere here in southwest Ohio.

cashetta2007workproof.jpgWe’ve been watching a bit of their programming, and really liked what we’ve seen so far. There was a stop-motion cartoon, Rick and Steve: the happiest gay couple in all the world, that was kind of like a gay version of South Park, and a stand-up comedy special hosted by Margaret Cho that was hit and miss. (Though it did feature a rather funny drag magician, Cashetta.)

And although I typically despise reality-based programming, I’m going to give one a chance, because it’s about Calpernia Addams. Transamerican Love Story is Calpernia looking for love. Not my usual fare, but hey! You gotta support your own.

Logo also features a number of documentaries and movies with trans-themes and characters, and I’m sure I’ll watch them as they come along.

Unfortunately, I’m sure I’ve already seen most, if not all of the docs on Discovery, Discovery Health, Discovery Science, TLC or any of the other members of the Discovery family.

And while I’m usually happy to see any trans-themed show offered up for the education of a wide audience, I’m disappointed that there isn’t a lot of variety in the aforementioned documentary category.

It seems like 95% of any show on the telly is about transsexuals. It’s not that I’m anti-TS, by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to wonder where the crossdressers are. I’d like to watch a show about someone like me, with the hopes of learning something. Maybe, just maybe, the focus of a transvestite documentary will share some insight that will turn on a light bulb in my head.

But, instead, the only people willing to go before the cameras are transsexuals. Is that the key? Crossdressers by and large are closeted, and unwilling to share their stories with the public?

Or is it that our stories aren’t interesting enough to share with the general public? Are producers not impressed with how we live?

Why does it matter? There are a lot of misconceptions about transgendered people. And while TS’s seem to be getting their stories told, the same can’t be said about plain old ordinary, run-of-the-mill crossdressers.

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Category: All TGForum Posts, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

Ronnie Rho has been writing for Transgender Forum since May of 1999. One of these days, she'll get it right. She's been described as the "world's most famous recluse," but only by people who don't know her very well. She is unmarried, and lives in Cincinnati.

Comments (3)

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  1. angela_g angela_g says:

    I think we’re interesting because with a CD you get two for one. We’re two! Two! Two genders in one. (And if you get the reference you’re an old CD, too.) But, when I was the executive director of Renaissance we would try to set up television appearances and we could almost always find a TS or two who would go on a national talk show but CDs didn’t want to do it because it would expose them to their friends and family. I don’t know if it’s changed but in the ’80s and ’90s finding an “out” CD, and especially one with a spouse who was willing to be on the show, was as hard as finding a drag queen who hates glitter.

  2. says:

    I think there’s something deeper at work here. TS’s are easier to accept because they don’t challenge the binary gender idea, once one accepts the “woman born into a man’s body” (or vice-versa) paradigm. We who move back and forth between genders, or even camp out somewhere in between, are much harder to understand, explain, and assimilate. Plus, we don’t fit easily into quick sound bites. In short, we’re conceptually inconvenient.

  3. says:

    Amen to all you said Ronnie! I wish that someone would do a CD documentary. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned one of the reasons there hasn’t been much of a move towards a documentary being the mostly closeted existence of the CD community. In spite of that, I think that there would be at least a dozen individuals and couples with interesting stories that would be willing to be filmed and tell their stories. Any independent film makers out there looking for something to shoot?

    I’m ready for my close-up.