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Carolyn Marie

Petition Against Proposed Trans-bashing ABC Sitcom

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Carolyn Marie

It appears that ABC Television has put the mighty dollar ahead of rational thought and sensitivity, and has a show in development called "Work It." The description of the show says it about two guys who find that the only way to get a job in this economy is to dress in drag and pretend to be women. Can't you just imagine all the hilarious situations these two will find themselves in, and how many opportunities there will be in each episode to mention transsexuals and the TG Community.

This promises to be lowbrow humor of the wost sort, taking advantage of the fact that our Community is perhaps the last minority in the country that its OK to humiliate.

The show is already scheduled to air January 3, 2012, so there is little likelihood of derailing this train, but if you want to sign a petition to ABC, here is a link:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ABC-NO-WORK-IT/

Carolyn Marie

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Guest John Chiv

Remember the movie Chuck and Larry, if people had jumped to the same conclusions that this group had, that movie may have never aired. I was not crazy about the entire movie but it was not homophobic. So this petition is based on a brief description and an assumption that it will be negative. Why not wait and see the show, and then have actual examples if there is anything to protest.

Some activists need to be angry all the time and have reasons to play victim all the time. What that does is negate actual discrimination when it occurs and turns people off. Why don't these people work on changing policies in Texas to protect transgender and transsexual employees from job discrimination?

Bosom Buddies was another good show. It didn't make any particular difference that I know of to people's attitude towards drag queens or transsexuals. I remember an episode where the male characters and their experience made them sympathetic to what women go through.

John

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Carolyn Marie

John, it is possible that this show will be harmless. But if the Community waits and says nothing, by the time a few shows have aired, the damage will have been done. At the very least, this petition drive may cause the writers and producers to take more care with their scripts to avoid transphobic portrayals and slurs.

While I don't know anything about the group sponsoring the poll, I do know that the Human Rights Campaign has asked to meet with ABC executives. If the HRC is concerned, I think we need to be, too.

Carolyn Marie

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Guest John Chiv

Carolyn,

I just watched one trailer. Granted those are snippets. And they show that the women pass, they need help with makeup. Maybe HRC is being proactive to get reassurances and that is a smart move before it airs.

I like Lambda Legal Defense because their rulings have had legal impact and they chose their cases well. I like some work NGLTF does but HRC and most other activist organizations depend on funding to exist and getting the community riled up is a good way to get those donations. If I sound like I am judging HRC, I am. When I wrote for the LGBT press and was very actively involved in the LGBT community, I found HRC patronising with a bunch of rich gay men wanting to attend DC parties and not in touch with a significant portion of the community. Also, I don't feel any of the LGB groups do enough for the T community.

You know I respect you Carolyn and my issue is not with you but with these LGB leaders that need to focus on the lives and issues that affect every day LGBT Americans like jobs, healthcare, housing. And when I speak out about this it is not disagreeing with you but my frustration with these national groups. Monitoring TV shows is not going to get us progress. I wish they would work harder on getting ENDA passed. It will be more difficult because we have lost an ally in Barney Frank.

As you know I have worked to make changes locally in my community and I have done the same in the past in other cities.

I thank you for posting these articles because it gives us regular folks to have a say in this and because of you, and because I respect you and your opinion, I am going to read and see what other folks in the community feel.

John

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Guest Cyndi

I remember Bosom Buddies and while it was more harmless than anything, today's market demands more shock value to stay in the ratings. I'm not sure the writers will be above taking cheap shots at the community for the sake of a quick laugh. While they will probably try and work in a storyline similar to that of the one you reference in Bosom Buddies, I think in today's climate, there is little room for a show of this type.

I just think that times change and media needs to adapt and use more creativity, rather than rehashing material from another time. Just my 2 cents, but don't think I'll be watching, and in the end, the ratings will show what the public in general really feel.

Cyndi

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Guest Karen K

I looked at the trailers as well. I am not impressed, they will be going for the cheap laughs. Whether or not it's harmless is not possible to tell. That being said, the characters are not transsexuals, transitioning and trying to find work. They are dressing as women to find work. So their "being" women is an "act". Which is not the case for us here on LP.

Laura Jane

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Guest Risu

Forgive me if I am repeating anyone else's thoughts, I'm at work and don't have time to read all the posts >< BUT! The whole premise of this show is just wrong.

Unless they're going to be working in a drag club, real life trans women can't even get jobs right now due to discrimination, bias, lack of proper or changed documentation, etc... There is absolutely no way 2 men who aren't even TG are going to get jobs in today's economy by crossdressing. The fact that 2 men who aren't trans are dressing as women for "work" shows a total lack of respect for real life TG struggles and that the whole idea in the show is, it's a joke.

I would be willing to watch the show and hope for the best but somehow I doubt this is what we will see.

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Guest Donna Jean

.

It trivializes the struggles that a lot of trans people face in the workplace and sends the message to others that being trans is a matter of practicality rather than an innate sense of who we are. It also demeans women in general and blames the "mancession" (recession) on women.

It reinforces the biased stereotypical misogynistic social constructs that transsexuals are not "real" people and therefore of no worth.

Dee Jay

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JJ

What is shown on a tv program in mainstream media has a greater impact in the long run than any anount of activism by an LGBT group-or any interest group. And humor has been shown to be the most dangerous way of all to misrepresent a group because when we laugh we relax our judgment. A fact that has been used very effectively in the past -for instance in cup cake Germany the campaign against the Jewish people was started with demeaning humor. Purposely so.

I am not saying that is the intent here but I am saying that any comedy possibly demeaning us has the potential to have enormous impact and reach far more people than anything any number of people working in our behalf in other areas can have.

We do need to watchdog this. Carefully. It may be sensitively done but really what are they odds? Certainly there are humorous moments and situations in our lives but what a skewed portrait they convey if the angst and pain and despair that lead us to have the highest suicide rate of any minority group! And you can bet they won't show THAT in any comedy.

Johnny

Johnny

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