I am much more likely to read Time or Newsweek instead of Out. I tend to enjoy political news and the current obsessive presidential campaign coverage more than white gay male focused pop culture articles. However, I heard that the April 2008 issue would be their transgender issue so I couldn't help myself. I bought the issue. Before I get into it any more let me say I really appreciate and applaud their effort and overall it was pretty enjoyable.
After the jump I talk about the first few pieces in the issue and will try throughout this week to talk about some of the other articles that dealt with transgender issues. I will also repost the short resources lists so that they are available here as well with some commentary of course.
Letters from the Editor
Aaron Hicklin, Editor in Chief, deserves kudos for not only agreeing to do a transgender issue but for being honest about the struggles he and the magazine staff had throughout the process. I found it interesting and refreshing that he openly admitted that no one on the staff was transgender. I would point out to him that it would be prudent to admit that this information is true only as far as he knows or that they had openly admitted. I like that he talks about growing more and more interested in the content as they were going through the process of generating it.
T Cooper is a transgender writer based in Manhattan and brought a lot of experience to serving as guest editor of the magazine for this issue. I don't envy him the work that he must have done to get it in the shape that it is in upon publication. I appreciated that in T's letter from the editor T mentioned that it was peculiar that gay men still didn't really get the difference between sexual identity and gender identity.
The Money Shot
On page 29 of the magazine they have a section titled "The Money Shot: The Cost of Trans." This section included prices for razors, cosmetics, surgeries and such. What struck me as weird about it is that of seven things named with prices only one is relevant to transmen (breast removal surgery or ace bandages) but there is no distinction or explanation made between transmen or women in the feature. Weird and probably pretty confusing for folks who are being exposed to these things for the first time.
That page also included the statistic from the Transgender Law Center that in San Francisco 75% of of transgender people do not have full-time employment.
Everyone should go out and buy the magazine and write letters thanking Out for covering transgender issues and individuals even if it had a slightly tokenizing and sensationalistic feel to it.
Eastern Editorial Offices
P.O. Box 1253, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113
Phone (212) 242-8100 Fax (323) 467-0173