It Mostly Sucks Being Transgender on TV, Says GLAAD

By: Daniel Villarreal
11.24.2012

November 20 was the National Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to pay respects to transgender victims of violence.

And to commemorate the day, Gays and Lesbians Allied Against Defamation (GLAAD) released their findings from a study of trans characters on TV, and it wasn't pretty:

Since 2002, GLAAD catalogued 102 episodes and non-recurring storylines of scripted television that contained transgender characters, and found that 54% of those were categorized as containing negative representations at the time of their airing.  An additional 35% were categorized at ranging from "problematic" to "good," while only 12% were considered groundbreaking, fair and accurate enough to earn a  GLAAD Media Award nomination.

Additionally GLAAD found:
• Transgender characters were cast in a "victim" role at least 40% of the time.
• Transgender characters were cast as killers or villains in at least 21% of the catalogued episodes and storylines.
• The most common profession transgender characters were depicted as having was that of sex workers, which a fifth of all characters were depicted as (20%).
• Anti-transgender slurs, language and dialogue was present in at least 61% of the catalogued episodes and storylines.

Among their examples of negative trans portrayals, they included the episode of Family Guy where Brian the dog vomits a lake's worth of puke after discovering that he slept with a trans-woman. It's odd that Brian would mind trans-people more than he would inter-species lovemaking.

Anyway, it's already tough being trans with all the conservative trans-phobes about. Hopefully better TV representations will acquaint more viewers with the true complexity and humanity of trans Americans everyjwhere

Tags: TV
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