When I started to write about gender identity issues 2013, which included cross-dressers, transgender and gender fluid individuals, I was viewed as being a bit “off” and even those who were my friends questioned me on WHY I would write about gender identity issues. My straight and gay friends equally were confused about the gender identity topic and often would make jokes about these groups, some still do.
When I was the C0-Executive Producer of the program, “I Married a Cross-dresser” produced for SKY TV in 2014 in the UK with Fenton Bailey of World of Wonder , the wildly successful producer of TV shows, like Ru Paul’s Drag Race and Million Dollar listing and many more documentaries and shows to mention, there was a short window of interest in the transgender and cross-dressing communities.
Around this time, Caitlin Jenner “came out”, the scripted series Transparent was a hit, I Am Jazz was in its second season and other transgender shows and movies were being pitched, including one of mine, “Rori’s Party” which focused on gender identity and was a finalist in the New York Television Film Festival Lifetime TV competition.
Yet, after a year of what I think was an overabundance of transgender related TV shows, the topic was relegated to Caitlyn Jenner in her reality TV series, and the government installing their first “all gender” bathroom. Yet, the media coverage of these gender searching groups covered the stereotypical definitions of these groups without really understanding who they are and how they fit into society. We haven’t made much progress on the topic, until now.
Within the past couple of months, I have had friends who have teenagers who are talking about being gender fluid and transgender. One high school survey in California indicated that 22% of the high school population stated they were “gender fluid!” That’s a big number and I would suspect that just being gender fluid now is pretty cool, but the definition of these groups and who they are behind the labels need to examined.
As the host of my radio podcast Shades of Gender, I cover the topic of gender identity and getting to know the people behind the labels. It is so important that we start acknowledging these groups that identify as alternative gender identities and get to know them for who they really are. Join me on Shades of Gender for my latest radio podcast on gender identity issues.