The photo to the right is gorgeous. It is poignant and relevant at this moment in our history where transgender people are fighting hard for recognition and equality. It was shot in a photography workshop by a student and was one of the few images of the man in the dress that was more serious and I think that gives it power.
The background story goes like this: When the scheduled model called up to say she was running late, this amazing and courageous young man stepped up and stepped into the dress to model for his classmates. He was not afraid to stand in and allow the other student photographers in the workshop to photograph him in a dress until the "real" model arrived. This photograph was later posted to a Facebook page and generated a lot of comments most of which were positive and supportive:
- Awesomely creative! Love it!
- this guy is awesome
- Your expressive face, with all your hair pulled back so we can see every dramatic emotion, the joy at finally being allowed to wear women's clothing in public.
- He rocks that dress better than a lot of women would...and with much more confidence as well!
- Hard to drink her pretty!
- Nice dress .. Hhahahaha
- Horrifically awesome is an apt description! poor guy..
- ...........no comment................
- this is just wrong
How many transgendered women are beaten, raped, or murdered because they are seen as "a man in a dress"? How many LGBT youth are bullied, disowned by their families or commit suicide because it is less terrifying and painful to die than to carry on living as the butt of some tired patriarchal joke? Some people will say I am over reacting and I understand it may seem like it is a little bit out of proportion with the content but where is it you start to draw the line? A stupid comment? A hate speech? Bullying? A physical assault? Rape? Suicide? Murder? Until no person is being killed for the clothes he or she chooses to wear, I will continue to try starting a conversation to help people understand the challenges faced by transgender people. Education is one way to alleviate fear and hopefully by talking about gender identity we can stop to consider the implications of these old jokes on the people who suffer the consequences.
It is time for this joke to end because really, this is no laughing matter.