The Advocate on Monday published an article on an interview with actor Beau Bridges, who portrays a transgender detective on TNT's TV show, "The Closer."
The article is written by "Advocate.com Editors," who appear not to have read the GLAAD Media Reference Guide and are unaware that the term "sex change" is listed in the section of GLAAD's Guide labeled "terminology to avoid." Bridges, who notes that he did a lot of research on the subject and met many transgender people for his previous role in the movie Looking for Normal, stated that he has profound respect for people who get sex changes.
This is by no means the first time The Advocate has used the term. In fact, a search of The Advocate reveals that they used the term in five stories in the last month alone. A Google search shows 1,940 such references in The Advocate altogether, although some of those may have been in reader comments. While Bridges obviously felt that the portrayal was sensitive, he obviously did not understand that the show portrayed the transgender character in a negative light. There's no mention of that in The Advocate article.
The show appears to be no better researched than the interview or the Advocate article.
Here's a few of the plot elements:
That didn't matter to the case, except that Georgette couldn't testify as a woman because the confession he/she had obtained had been as a man... I also loved how Georgette was still straight, in that he (George), still was attracted to women. He had his eyes on Brenda and her "caboose." It drove Provenza -- who we now know is Louie Provenza -- nuts. Favorite line: "You had a sex change to become a lesbian?"
One note in the show's comment threads from someone who is a professional facilitator of sexual orientation and gender identity programming for adults in the workplace, Liz Winfeld of Common Ground Consulting, tells the writers and producers that "your handling of his portrayal and the character was, by and large, derogatory and incorrect." She characterizes the show as "insulting," "benign contempt," implying that trans people lack both professionalism and judgment, and "using other people as foils for sophmoric jokes or the continuing spread of stereotypes that serve no purpose."
There are several other things about this Advocate article and this show that are problematic, but that would take too long to go into right now. I don't expect Beau Bridges or TNT to know any better, but it is disgraceful that The Advocate finds it appropriate to use, over and over again, terms long known by journalistic standards to be pejorative. This is part of what I mean about transphobia in the gay community.