As I rather expected, the UK trans community is arguing furiously over aspects of the My Transsexual Summer documentary. I spotted Roz using the hashtag #halffull today and smiled ruefully. I hope people listened.
On the other hand, there does seem to be a story of some sort emerging. As you may recall from my post yesterday, one of the concerns expressed was the apparent lack of representation of people who don’t identify as either male or female. There was a brief hint from Donna, but nothing more to suggest that any of the other participants saw themselves as anything other than “classic” transsexuals — that is assigned one gender at birth, but preferring the other. It now appears that this is very much not the case. In this blog post Max bemoans the fact that almost everything the group said that suggested they were not all signed up to the gender binary got edited out. On Twitter he added “every interview where i talked about gender binary has been edited out”.
You might think, given that I have a boyfriend and am about as girly as it gets in many respects, that this wouldn’t matter much to me. But if you are going to make a TV show about multiple trans people it really would help to cover the whole range of trans experiences, not try to cover some of it up. Also, it is attachment to notions of gender essentialism that lies behind most of the hatred and fear of trans people by the rest of society. Only by getting away from the idea that everyone must be either male or female, and never the twain shall meet, will we ever get to the point where society can accept the wide diversity represented by trans and intersex people.