Monday, November 26, 2012

Well Duh, GLAAD Review Finds Decade Of Trans Media Images Are Negative

I've been complaining on these electronic pages for years about the lack of positive media images when it comes to transpeople.  If you break it down still further and add race to it, those positive media images become even harder to find.

GLAAD recently conducted a review of the 102 episodes of trans inclusive non recurring characters in non scripted television show aired since 2002.

Not surprisingly to me GLAAD found that 54% of those shows 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.

GLAAD additionally discovered in their review:
  • 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.
I'd be willing to bet if you broke the GLAAD decade long trans character show review down by race those numbers would be worse.

So what can we do to improve those numbers?   First order of business would be to make writers and producers of those shows aware of what they are putting out there that we believe is deleterious to our community.   

As we did as a community and with the help of allies when the dearly departed Work It desecrated the airwaves for its thankfully short run, we put pressure on the networks to get rid of the shows that don't meet that standard and make them aware of the ones that positively reflect on our community by supporting them.   

The ultimate solution would be to actually have trans people of all ethnicities writing said characters on those shows, trans actors to play those characters, and trans people producing and directing them.

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