Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Jillian Weiss on Michelangelo Signorile Today at 4:30

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | December 17, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Signorile, Sirius, SiriusXM, The Advocate, The Closer, TNT, transgender, transphobia

UPDATE: The recorded interview of about 20 minutes is attached at the end of the post below.

I have been asked to come on OutQ's Michelangelo Signorile radio show on Sirius XM today. The topic will be transphobia in the gay community, based on the trilogy of posts on that topic I've written during the past week.

I enjoy Mike's show because he covers topics that I find of interest. I don't always agree with his perspective, and I like the fact that he invites guests who don't necessarily agree with his viewpoint. I imagine we'll have a lively debate today. I'm also glad to be heard on this topic because I believe it has a direct bearing on the upcoming ENDA markup promised for January (or February...or March, or...)

To reiterate the thesis of these posts so you can follow along, here's a very brief recap.

As detailed in Transphobia in the Gay Community Part I , based on my 2004 article in the Journal of Bisexuality, the roots of transphobia in the U.S. gay community include stigma for femininity in males stemming from the ancient world, the theorization of sexual orientation as entirely separate from gender identity, and increasing US political acceptance that pushes both political solidification of identity and gender accommodationism.

Transphobia in the Gay Community Part II discussed the idea that a vocal minority in the gay community have long viewed transsexual surgery as part of a history of forced medical "cures" that were as dangerous and cruel as they were ineffective. Gay men have fought hard to create a space for themselves in the world, and some do not have any interest in a new LGBT alignment. Many in the transsexual community have vocally distanced themselves from homosexuality and transphobic gays, whose rejection threatened an already fragile place in the world. These developments have furthered mistrust between the G and T communities.

I pointed out an example of transphobia this week when I posted about The Advocate continually using the term "sex change," using it in unquestioningly posting an interview about an insensitive portrayal of transgender persons on TNT's The Closer television show. That term is known to be pejorative and in violation of the GLAAD Media Guide.

Transphobia in the Gay Community Part III of my series discusses the building of an LGBT alliance in the face of the reality of transphobia within the gay community. We, as a community, must recognize our own biases and begin to understand why transgender people sometimes are so over-the-top angry at seemingly minor incidents. The question of whether this requires more political struggle or, conversely, separation, often appears in this context. I say it's a false dichotomy, and that what is required is more communication, particularly face to face between G's and T's.

I wonder what Mike will have to say about all that? Do you have something to say about that?

Here's the recorded interview in two segments:

Sig 12-17 (1).wma

Sig 12-17 (2).wma

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Thank you for being willing to go on-air to continue this discussion.

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We've got 20 minutes before Dr. Weiss appears. :)

Hi Lynn: Thanks for your enthusiasm. I've attached the recorded interview to the end of the post.

I'm not sure that I explained the issue particularly well, so feedback will be greatly appreciated.

I thought your presentation was excellent, but I should let more knowledgeable people speak to that.

But is there a problem with the link to the audio file? Clicking on it launches the player but nothing plays - at least not for me.

same technical problem here

Okay, I think I've fixed it so you can now hear the interview. But turn your speakers off before you open the post. The audio starts automatically and I haven't figured out how to change it yet. Then you can turn on the audio to the volume you would like.

now i get Connection Error

Jillian, it's not playing. Maybe because I have a Mac? Is there another place to find it?

MitchInOakland MitchInOakland | December 19, 2009 11:41 PM


Try downloading and installing a QuickTime extension or plug-in called "Flip4Mac" (google it for an online source), which allows you to play ".wmv" files on a Mac using the QuickTime player. Very handy, and it works for Jillian's program!

MitchInOakland MitchInOakland | December 19, 2009 11:46 PM

Jillian, I think you realize by now that the separation between "G" and "T" was not merely a matter of expediency among opportunistic gay males. There was a real discomfort about gender that infused many gay men (and that, as you point out yourself, goes all the way back to the ancient world.)

Joni Christian | December 20, 2009 6:39 AM

Thank you for bringing intelligence and light.

Happy Holidays