No one knows we exist

"(The transgender) are not adequately represented in politics, government, or media."

This was a point made in a comment to one of my first blogs.  '... not adequately represented in ... Politics... Media'.

This struck me as odd, as it seems to me that transgender is all over the media lately, President Obama actually mentioned the T word in his last State of the Union speech, and legislators at all levels have been having hot debates over our right to use the bathroom.

There are already two award winning TV shows that feature a transgender cast member (Orange is the new black) or about the life and transition of a Parent (Transparent). Laverne Cox, from Orange is the new Black, appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and has become the 'face of transgender in america' according to the magazine. Jeffrey Tambor, from Transparent, won the Golden Globe best actor award for his portrayal of a transgender father coming out late in life. Making him the first TV actor to win for a transgender role.

Last week 'New Girls on the Block' premiered on Discovery life, a reality show following the lives of six transgender women. Fuse has ordered episodes of a documentary series, Transcendent,  which will follow the lives of a group of transgender cabaret performers.  And TLC has a new show , All that Jazz, this summer about Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen, who wrote a children's book, 'I am Jazz', and has made commercial endorsements for skincare products.

The Canadian show 'The switch' has said that they will add 6 recurring characters that will not only be transgender in the plot, but will be played by actual transgender actors. 'Bold and the Beautiful', a daytime soap opera, reveled a leading character as transgender.

In a recent episode of Ellen, the host gave a lesson in transgender awareness. Mod cloth has hired their first transgender model, and the high fashion industry has already embraced several transgender super models. Celebrities from Elton John to Hilary Swank have recently spoken up for transgender rights.

Mens Health magazine is currently pondering if it should go with Aydian Dowling, a transgender man, for the cover shoot of the 'Ultimate Guy Search' issue. They have receved over 23,000 votes in his favor, putting him at the top of the leader board. 

It's the subject du jour these days, and the video game industry is not missing out as Bioware's fourth installment of 'Mass Effect' which will feature a transgender character.

On the political side,  the US Department of Justice, in regards to a Georgia state prison inmate, has stated that "failure to provide adequate treatment for transgender inmates is unconstitutional".

President Obama has condemned the practice of 'conversion therapy', programs that attempt to 'fix' both gay and transgender individuals. California and New Jersey have banned the practices. 

The White house has added gender neutral bathrooms.

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR, recently announced that they expect to introduce “comprehensive” legislation in both chambers of Congress aimed at protecting individuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Even the normally conservative state of Texas has seen several of it's major cities, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Ft Worth, El Paso, San Antonio, Plano, enact LGBT anti-discrimination laws. 

But it's not all good attention, the 'Bathroom' issue has sprung up across the US and Canada, with lawmakers introducing bills banning transgender from the 'wrong' bathroom. Serval states have introduced 'Religious freedom restoration' laws, essentially giving legal backing to discrimination in the name of God. Unexpectedly, these actions have been met with swift and determined ressistance. Indiana's governer was hit so hard with public outcry, and more importantly, the economic impact, as Salesforce made plans to pull employees from the state, that he quickly made promises to 'Fix' the issue. Arkansas, also with a similar bill, put it on the back burner until things shake out.

Texas state lawmakers, incensed that some of it's cities dare to pass laws they don't like, introduced three different bills that are designed specifically to help people discriminate against LGBT people. Their legislation is designed to nullify the many laws that already exist across the state.

Texas is also weighing is own 'Bathroom protection' bill, but as of yesterday, it too is delayed. -"A top House Republican delayed a hearing on controversial legislation Wednesday that would limit transgender students’ use of school bathrooms and locker rooms, saying the author needed to soften its language."

On the 'Conversion Therapy issue, Oklahoma, and other conservative states, are considering legislation to protect the therapies from legal challenges.

This list goes on and on, the point being that the Transgender have never had so much time in the spotlight. Until now the only inkling that the general public had of us was as either the brunt of some poor slapstick comedy, or as a drug abusing pervert in the back alley of some grimy crime show.

So rejoice all, we the transgendered people of the world have finally gotten our place in the media.

This just in...."Asexuality and Intersex Conditions Are Television’s New Frontier

Oh well our 15 minutes is over, I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.