Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pam's Ponderings-The T-Girl On Harry's Law

TransGriot Note: The musings of author Pamela Hayes on various issues that affect trans people.

I watched Harry's Law for the first time last night. I only tuned in because I read here at Facebook that they were going to do a trans story. I didn’t think much of the storyline. I found it to be nothing out of the ordinary and quite stereotypical. Hell, in my opinion it was a flop.

The trans girl worked as an entertainer in a nightclub that had transsexuals as regular habitu├ęs. She was fired because she was having an affair with the manager or owner of the club. His wife wanted her gone.

I watched quite a bit of it, but I got bored with the whole thing, turned it off and drifted off to dreamland.

But no questions were raised about this man’s sexuality. He was involved with a transsexual, whom I assumed was pre-op. He was married with children and having an affair with a t-girl. It seems that some of those straight characters would have commented on that and raised an eyebrow while doing so.

There was nothing enlightening about the story. Instead of being a showgirl, I would have liked it had the trans woman been a teacher and the school fired her because of who she was. And maybe in court, her lawyer brought forth some of the children’s parents who spoke highly of her. Maybe one of the kids was doing poorly scholastically and via the trans educator’s tutelage, the kid’s grades ascended.

A colleague could have testified that she was astonished to learn that what’s-her-face was trans. But she was a superb teacher, totally devoted to her students and to the profession of teaching. “I don’t pretend to understand why anyone would change their sex. And it’s not important that I understand. It isn’t about me. Such and such is a first-rate teacher and that is all that should matter.”

And I hated that the trans girl was a showgirl in a trans bar and that she was doing the nasty with a married man.

Consider the implications. It suggests that a trans woman is incapable of acquiring a mainstream job and being accepted/respected by her colleagues, that she can only find employment around her own.

Which is bull you-know-what. I’m a trans woman. I have worked in mainstream and paid handsomely. Over the years, I have had a number of people to offer me employment. And the world is rife with trans women who have had similar experiences.

The married man situation suggests that she couldn’t find a single man and have an honest, aboveboard relationship. That a trans woman could only get involved in a sleazy, backstreet liaison. That a trans woman could only be a concubine.

Sigh. Sigh. Trans people need to tell trans stories. Or at least be invited to consult when non trans folks tell our experiences.

Lastly, the gay actor did a great job playing a woman. His voice was believable.

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