There has been more than a bit of spin being tossed out in the wake of Janet Mock's appearance on the show Piers Morgan Live on CNN. Mock, who now apparently openly identifies as transgender was the victim of an attempt by Mr. "Autumn" Sandeen to co-opt her experiences as a transsexual when she chose to participate in Dan Savage's It Get's Better video series.
At the time she went public, I expressed the hope that she would return to being a private figure, but unfortunately, she seems to be embracing the role of being publicly "trans." I do note that she prefers the term "trans" over "transgender" or "transsexual." For myself, I reject the term "transgender" completely, preferring to simply refer to myself as a woman. I recognize that "transsexual" is the medical term for the condition I was successfully treated for, but I don't wear it as my identity either. But the fact remains, Mr. Sandeen has no business giving anyone advice, and he certainly does to need to be, again, trying to, again, puff himself up by association with someone who has become something of a celebrity.
In his recent attempt to spin things regarding her appearance on CNN, Mr. Sandeen refers to himself as "being a minor public figure – a 'sublebrity…'" That is more than a bit of an exaggeration. At best, Mr. Sandeen is the perfect example of my mother's advice that "fool's names, and fool's faces are often seen in public places." Mr. Sandeen is the epitome of a "wannabe."
Sadly, Mock seems to have chosen a very public, and political, path following her decision to participate in Savage's video series. I am not going to judge her motivations, though it does make me wonder about her. Granted, she chose to live stealth for a period, and perhaps, having made that first choice, found it difficult to undo what she had done. Once the genie is out of the bottle, as they say, it can be hard to put it back.
I will grant, Mock did not start out choosing the path that Mr. Sandeen has, of openly being a clown, imagining himself the transgender Martin Luther King, Jr. On the other hand, Mock did create the silly, and rather offensive "#girlslikeus" that was immediately, and enthusiastically embraced by the "men in dresses" crowd. Mr. Sandeen doesn't use that one quite as much, but still does occasionally.
I have no reason to think that Mock is not truly transsexual, but she has clearly decided to follow the transgender "party line." That is a shame. She is not only hurting other transsexuals like herself, but is also, ultimately harming her own interests.
As to how Janet Mock was treated by Piers Morgan, well what did she expect? Well, of course, the answer to that is clear…she expected to be pandered to, because she was there as a transgender, which is the current hot item in "identity politics." The expectation is that they will be given special treatment, and not asked "hard questions." Look at the silliness about Katie Couric's interview with "Carmen" Carrera and "Laverne" Cox. Now, here were two men, who claim to "really" be women, with Cox referring to the two them as "possibility models" (I don't even want to think about what possibility she has in mind…), and they went ballistic because Couric asked them about their bodies. I guess reality is off-limits when you are a "possibility models." The facts are simple. They put on nice dresses, and they may look like attractive women, but as Austin Powers said, "It's a man, baby." And in this case, it's the truth… These two have penises, and like the vast majority of "transgender women" (i.e. men in dresses) they want to keep their penises. But they insist that they have to be accepted as "female." Uh, "females with penises…" Uh, no…
Now comes Mr. Sandeen, who complains that Mock is being defined by her transition. One problem that Mr. Sandeen is so quick to ignore…Mock is the one defining herself by her transition. In the article he wrote at the time, Mr. Sandeen predicted:
"Among those new realities she will experience will be a partial loss of membership in the ‘club’ of women. There are now going to be a large number of women who will forever now look at her not as a woman, but as a man in a dress. Those will include less than accepting coworkers who will smile to her face, and then viciously rip into her behind her back. And, members of the religious right will likely soon be calling Mock a ‘mutilated man’ too, and identify her relationship with her boyfriend as a ‘homosexual’ relationship.”There is a measure of truth here. Of course, a lot of this is caused by people by Mr. Sandeen serving as the public face of 'transgender." When you have kooks like Mr. Sandeen, and Mr. "Cristan" Williams, and such as the public face of transgender, and insisting that they are "just like transsexuals," or worse, that they are actually transsexuals themselves, that is going to lead people to thing that is what being transsexual is about. And by identifying with "transgender," Mock is basically associating herself with the men in dresses crowd, not with women. She can protest all she wants, but she has made her bed, and has no business complaining that she now finds it uncomfortable.
The transgender crowd, including any transsexual insane enough to align with it, needs to realize that once they go public, their history becomes fair game. They have no right to demand to have it both ways. If they want privacy, they need to keep their private life, private. If they want to be be exhibitionistic, and that seems to be a major part of being transgender, they need to accept that people are going to ask questions they may not like. And if someone is a transsexual, but decides to join the transgender crowd, they need to be ready to accept that their are, perhaps permanently, forfeiting any chance of being truly accepted as a member of their true sex. Like Esau, they are selling their birthright for a "mess of pottage." And no amount of spin will ever really change that.