In a preview of an upcoming episode from ABC’s program, What Would You Do?, an irritated diner patron comes to the aid of a waitress being verbally harassed by another customer. The waitress ins questions, is a real transgender woman but the verbally-abusive customer is an actor. The program puts forth an interesting scenario, and one that I’m sure plays out more and more often, and it’s great to see someone standing up for the woman, who is, indeed, just trying to do her job. Interestingly, when the actor asks the irritated patron if he thinks it’s “ok for someone to be disgusting,” the patron replies, “It’s okay to be whoever you want to be. This is America.”
There are plenty of Americans who would strongly argue that being an American does not entitle you to be “whoever you want to be,” although they might give lip service to the ideal. Even more interesting is the word ABC uses to describe the recent progress made by the Transgender/Transsexual community. In reference to people who are having a difficult time accepting the existence of transgender people, ABC calls it a “trend.” That struck me as very strange. Is someone feeling like they’ve been born the wrong gender just a “trend?” What about other members of the LGBTQA community? Are their identities just a trend? Or worse yet, is our acceptance of their identity a trend?
You can watch the clip, read about the scene on ABC’s website, and see the problematic label HERE.