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2012 GLAAD Media Awards and the trans community

Commentary: Trans Progressive

Chaz Bono, Cher and Mary Bono at the GLAAD Media Awards

I was wonderfully surprised at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles Saturday, April 20. I was working the red carpet with my still camera draped around my neck and a small YouTube quality camera in my purse, and one of the actors I was introduced to by who I assume was her publicist was Jamie Clayton. She is an incredibly energetic, funny and attractive actor.

And, she’s trans.

I had a roughly one-minute-twenty-second interview with her on the red carpet where she talked about her new syndicated television show, Dirty Work. In the dark comedy about a trio of young people who clean up crime scenes after the investigators leave, she plays one of the three “bioremediation engineers” who do the hard work of site clean-up.

And, the character she plays is trans.

It’s not often that one sees a television show or film with a trans character in which the trans character isn’t sexualized and portrayed as somewhat deceptive. An employed, young trans woman with an interesting job – it appears that Jamie Clayton is playing a developed character and not a caricature of a trans woman.

Chaz Bono is someone who I’m already familiar with that I interviewed briefly.

On the red carpet of the 2010 awards event, the last question I asked him about was if he thought it was difficult to do one’s transition in public, and couched the question in terms of Los Angeles Times sportswriter Christine Daniel’s transition. He stated that he thought it was harder for trans women in the public eye that it was for trans men.

So, I asked him a follow-up question this year; I wanted to know if, after the year of taking all of the media drubbing he has over the documentary Becoming Chaz and his participation in Dancing With The Stars, he felt the same way. He answered this way: “My opinion hasn’t changed … I still think it’s harder for trans women.”

Chaz Bono was the recipient of the prestigious Stephen F. Kolzak Award; the Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. Chaz is the first trans person to be the recipient of this award.

GLAAD has been expending their community credibility to fight for trans people, trans issues and the fair portrayal of both in the media. And, their support for full inclusion in the LGBT community was reflected at the GLAAD Media Awards this year in who attended the event, and who was honored at the event.

And if you ask me, that’s a good thing.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=23670

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012. Filed under Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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