Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Carmen, When You Agree To Be The Butt Of A Reality TV Joke...

Don't be surprised, shocked and angry when the producers of that show disrespectfully treat you like one.

Carmen Carrera from Season 3 of RuPaul's Drag Race is in the process of transitioning and she recently appeared on an episode of the ABC show What Would You Do when she portrayed a transitioning waitress in a New Jersey diner to test the reactions of the patrons to another actor playing a transphobic customer.  

She agreed to appear on Monday's episode of the TLC reality TV show Cake Boss as part of a joke that was being played on Cousin Anthony   Well, the show appearance didn't quite turn out the way 24 year old Carmen envisioned it would.

Im so upset right now, I cant stop crying. My heart truly hurts. I need people to understand that I KNOW I was born male and not ashamed of it. I wouldn't of cared if they said I was born male or USED TO BE male. By calling me a 'MAN' promotes ignorance and makes it ok to call transgender women, men. PEOPLE GET BULLIED, BEAT UP, AND KILLED FOR BEING TRANS BECAUSE OF THIS IGNORANCE! There was a time it was like that for gay people, even for some ethnic groups. Its not ok to call a gay person a fag, its not ok to call a spanish person a spic, its not ok to call a black person a nigger. THIS IS THE SAME TYPE OF THING. I made it VERY clear to the producers on how to use the correct wording before agreeing to filming this but instead they chose to poke fun and be disrespectful. Thats not what Im about! Please voice your opinion.
Be careful what you wish for Ms. Carrera, because the TransGriot is about to do precisely that in this post.

First lesson my trans youngling, is that all publicity ain't good publicity.   Ask trans folks who did the Jerry Springer Show or similar tabloid TV fare back in the day when they were your age or older and came to later regret it. 

Carrera tweeted this comment a little later concerning her thoughts about what happened on Cake Boss.

Im really trying to be a positive role model for trans people and it upsets me that after I SPECIFICALLY asked the producers of "Cake Boss" NOT to disrespect me or trans people. Before I agreed to do this show, I was assured and then reassured that it wasn't going to be like the JERRY SPRINGER show or MAURY. Let me make this clear. CALLING A TRANSGENDER WOMAN A MAN IS WRONG. Period. Its degrading, its rude, and its very hurtful. I may not have been born a woman, but im NOT a man. I told them I would mind if they said "born male" or "was a male". After taking this journey its not fair at all to be lied to by the producers. PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG. EDUCATE AND PROMOTE EQUALITY AND RESPECT!!!!!!!

No problem.  I have your back sis and will signal boost your comments.  

But back to the post.

Carmen, I'm also happy to hear that you want to be considered as a positive role model for our community and sincerely wish to use your celebrity status to discuss equality and trans human rights issues.

But appearing on Cake Boss ain't and wasn't the place to do it. If you want to be taken seriously as an advocate, you need to go to media venues where you will be treated with dignity and respect. 

Granted, the tired borderline transphobic Austin Powers reference was uncalled for along with Cousin Anthony's transphobic tweet aimed at you I didn't like for which he and Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro both later apologized for.

But the fact remains you were an agent in your own oppression when you agreed to not only go on that show, but be the butt of a joke on top of that. 

Carmen, chalk this experience up as an activist lesson learned.   Since you expressed an interest in advocating for our community, I would urge you to get in contact with GLAAD and participate in one of their media training sessions the next time they conduct one in your area.

Because my dear trans sister, you have the prerequisites needed to be a great activist.  You have the desire to be an advocate, a heart full of love for our community and you're drop dead gorgeous on top of it..

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