Bil Browning

Weekly Reader: McDonalds, Drag Queens, & Gender Reassignment Surgery

Filed By Bil Browning | April 30, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Weekly Reader
Tags: best of Bilerico, drag queens, gender assignment, gender identity, McDonalds attack, Weekly Reader

Gender identity issues were popular this week on Bilerico. Whether it was news about the poor woman attacked in a McDonald's last week, the finale of RuPaul's Drag Race, or gender reassignment surgery, mcdonald.jpgevery day this week had at least one lively post related to gender.


Video: Trans Victim of McDonalds Attack Speaks Filed by: Bil Browning
Comment of the Week: Joann Prinzivalli Filed by: Dr. Jillian T. Weiss


NYC Subway: Family Guy Does It Again Filed by: Cathy Renna
LGBT Social Media Ethics: What Happened to Decency? Filed by: Leone Kraus


Chrissy Lee Polis: The New Kitty Genovese? Filed by: Jessica Max Stein
The Lisa Miller/Janet Jenkins Saga: Liberty Counsel, Anti-Semites and Anti-Gay Christianists Filed by: Michael Hamar


Trans Woman Banned from Hotel for Life for Going to Bathroom Filed by: Alex Blaze
RuPaul's Drag Race: Alexis Mateo Was Robbed Filed by: Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer


An Open Letter to My Genitals in Advance of Surgery Filed by: Drew Cordes
Iowa Republican Party Wants to Re-establish Slavery Filed by: Joe Mirabella


Demons at Harvard Filed by: Patricia Nell Warren
Why Hate Crimes Legislation Is Still Not a Solution Filed by: Yasmin Nair

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With apologies to Drag Race fans,

I really am uncomfortable with the pairing of the attack on Chrissy Polis and other trans issues with an article on RuPaul's Drag Race under the same category as "gender identity issues."

Drag is not a gender identity. It's a performance, entertainment, Drag Race is a television show for chrissakes. You could have mentioned the article on the trans woman banned from a hotel and made this whole post about all the screwed up stuff that happens to trans women.

Instead, you plugged the Drag Race article where men in drag are giving female pronouns (something denied a lot of trans women) and described as "[making] catty comments about each other" "[coming] off as a shallow bitch" and having "no sex appeal, no fun" (all, coincidentally, misogynist remarks trans women face daily).

In light of all the other articles on trans experience you link here, the one on the Drag Race makes "gender identity issues" (which you identify this article being about) seem campy, a performance, and something done to be objectified by an audience.

People don't always know a lot about trans women. By reinforcing the idea that drag and violence against trans women are related, you are indirectly reinforcing the idea that transsexuals are here for others' entertainment.

Surviving violence and undergoing SRS are not light subjects. They are extremely personal and often not the points trans people wish to be known from. Please do not dishonor the intensely personal experiences of these women by comparing them with campy television performance. Chrissy Polis especially did not ask to be outed or made a poster child for trans issues. Please do not place her beside someone who dresses as a woman and uses "tranny" and "shemale" for fun and ratings.