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Media coverage a mixed bag for transgender community

Should it really concern you how someone else identifies with their gender? The media seems to hold the opinion that it does.

In recent years the LGBT movement has gain enough momentum to cause social reform that was thought to be impossible 20 years ago. However, transgender individuals have not seen the same amount of respect and acceptance that other subsets of the LGBT community have.

This is seen in the way that the media presents actual transgender public figures. The most recent example of this is Bruce Jenner and how he’s allegedly in the process of transitioning into a woman.

Such heavy media coverage of someone who is in the process of transitioning can be seen as double-edge sword.

On one hand you have the positive element, it gives them the ability to tell their story in an outlet that they, to a certain extent, can control. It also gives the public an easily digestible insight into the life of someone who is transitioning.

This is especially noteworthy in Jenner’s case, due to him already having a large public forum that is his reality show.

It also plants in the public consciousness a discussion of an important topic that is wrongly considered taboo.

But unfortunately with that discussion comes fodder for the myriad of malicious tabloid journalists.

In Jenner’s case this can be seen particularly in TMZ coverage of his transition. The childish tabloid obsessively created controversy that surrounds this serves to do nothing more than further trivialize the lives of transgender people and proves that it’s still an issue that needs to be discussed.

But does the good the media can do for the transgender community justify feeding the ferocity of the bottom-of-barrel, shit-eating, tabloid journalist? It depends on the way the person is already seen the media and who has the louder voice in the media conversation.

So far it hasn’t looked great for the side of reason in Bruce Jenner’s case. It seems like outlets like In Touch Magazine or TMZ are gaining more traction than others, thus further propagating being transgender as this taboo spectacle.

Maybe the reason that Jenner has been such a target for these tabloid outlets is that he was already in their sights due to taking part in the broadcast of his family’s personal life; but even if that’s so, it doesn’t justify the further scrutiny into his personal life.

It’s important to note that us having to have this conversation on gender issues is indicative of large problem, that many of us are obsessed with the trivial aspects of other’s identity.

An individual’s choice on how they self identify with their gender shouldn’t be at all controversial or even noteworthy. It’s disgraceful that when anyone comes out as transgender, gay or bisexual that it’s still cause for controversy. Shouldn’t we be past this by now, the greatest win for the LGBT community would be when being a member of it ultimately becomes so normalized that it’s mundane.

It shouldn’t matter what bathroom you choose to use, how you dress or who you choose to sleep with. The fact that our society still think it’s outside of the norm to deviate from our born into gender or sexuality by doing these things that are so ridiculously inconsequential is really the epitome of a society that is obsessed over petty non-issues.

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