Trans in the media

Yesterday was a crazy day. I started on TV early in the morning and was mostly busy with interviews all day. I even got to talk some of my book, the reason why I do this media-thing in the first place. Norway is a small country and trans-issues are not very well known, so I’ve done a lot of educating. I’m not afraid to talk about myself, and some transsexuals find that intimidating. I’ve been told to shut up because I’m not representative for the whole trans-community, especially in terms of being gay. That makes me really angry, bacause it was one of the reasons I didn’t come to terms with my identity earlier. I haven’t heard from any of them this time, but I know where to go to get my head chopped off. I’ll just give it some time.

It’s exhausting to answer questions about myself all day, but I’ve got to meet many nice journalists and got some very positive comments from strangers irl and online. It feels good. And I do think what I do will benefit others in the long run.

Some things puzzle me a bit about how the media like to portray transsexuals. Why is it so important to print my old name? It doesn’t reveal anything about me, really. And very few people knew me by my intermediate female name and not by my male name. I’m happy that no one has tried to print my given name, bacause that would be a link to the past with a lot more consequences.

I try to make my gender-experiences less freakish by linking them to common human experiences, but it seems like the media don’t like that. I guess they would like to portray me as a freak. It doesn’t bother me all that much, because I think they’ll have a hard time to accomplish it. I honestly don’t think people see me as a freak, not in person anyway. And that is what matters.

Norway is a small country, in good and bad. I recently read Gender Outlaw’s post about transmen in the media, and how it makes him frightened of hate-crimes against transgender men, including questioning his own safety. I’m convinced that this is almost non-existent in Norway. I feel free to speak, free to be visible and free to talk to the media without facing the terror of hate and violence. It’s a real privelege! I wish everyone could have the same freedom of speach as I do! And feel safe.

(I’ve posted links to the interviews on my norwegian blog, but wasn’t sure if anyone not speaking norwegian would be interested.)

2 tanker på “Trans in the media

  1. Kudos for standing up and being counted. Its important for transpeople, and in my opinion, especially transmen, to be visible.
    I didn’t know that it was possible to transition FtM until 6 months ago. Before that I was just muddling along trying to be myself, but thinking I was *stuck*.
    People like you being out in the media, mean that other young people wont feel so hopeless for so long.

    The media do love the ‘freak factor’. Its pretty hard to make a sensible person look too much like a freak though, and I am glad that you don’t feel threatened by that behaviour. I’d find it very stressful.

    We are lucky here in Australia, particularly in Canberra, to not need to fear violence. FTM invisibility means that I am more likely to get my arse kicked for being a ‘faggot’ than for being read as transsexual. I’m glad that we have the privilege of safety too. Sometimes I just want to package up all the transpeople in the USA, and ship them over here to be safer.

    Are those interviews in English? I’d be interested in taking a squiz.

  2. I sometimes do think about hate crimes and how being trans puts me at greater risk of violence. However, I was beaten up when I was 19, and I was just a heterosexual woman in the wrong place at the wrong time. I happen to live in a rural community where I pretty much never hear about violence, so logically, I have little to worry about. The idea of traveling does cause me some concern, but perhaps that too is illogical since I will no longer be traveling as part of a lesbian couple, but as a man in a heterosexual couple. Provided I pass, I should have an easier time, not harder!

    Yes, the situation in the US is really bad. I unsubscribed from a slew of US-based trans RSS feeds because I was having to read about so much violence. I know there are many beautiful people in the US so I tend to think of it as a lotus: beauty that grows from the mud.

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