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The Mainstream Media and Transgender Issues

2009 February 8
by SarahLeia

Going back to Anne’s post about a boy living on Bryn Mawr’s campus…

I have personal experience with this; James lives on my floor.  What I found interesting about this article is that it fails to mention that there is another male living on the floor, and I am fairly certain that the reason the other male is not mentioned is that he is transgendered.  The only reference to the possibility that this may have come up in the conversation is the parenthetical remark that the article’s author throws in there to acknowledge the presence of transgenders on our campus, in general.

I am not at all surprised that the other male living on my floor wasn’t mentioned in the article.  I don’t think that transgendered issues are talked about enough in the mainstream media, and when these issues are brought up, I don’t think they handle the issue in a very constructive way.  Before coming to Bryn Mawr, I had almost no exposure to transgender, intersex, and other non-“normal” conditions, aside from the occasional joke in a movie or on TV about someone picking up a prostitute who “was actually a dude”.  Transgender issues jus weren’t something I was ever in contact with.  Now that I live on the same floor as a transgendered individual and am reading about gender issues in this course, I am gaining a whole new perspective on what it means to be male or female that I had never even been in contact with before.  These issues don’t seem to be things that mainstream America is ready to confront in a mature way.  Because of this, we get articles like this one about a boy living on our campus that fail to mention that there have been males living on our campus for quite some time before James made his choice to live here.

(as a side note, we have this article posted up on the door of our tea pantry on the floor, and there have been numerous post-it note responses tacked up next to it.  one of my favorites says something along the lines of “females produce testosterone too!”  I thought that was cute!)

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