Transgender Pillars of Salt
Although I’d like to spend this morning ranting about how Peyton Manning’s neck is going to make this the most intolerable football season in years, I understand that no one but me, Colts fans, and folks who drafted him in their fantasy league really care. And so, I dedicate this morning’s post to something we all care about. That’s right. Dancing with the Stars.
It seems that while I was preparing for fantasy football drafts and such, the ABC Network was looking for more than contestants when it enlisted Chaz Bono, transgender activist and child of Sonny and Cher. When DWTS announced that Bono, who underwent both a physical and social gender transition several months ago, would be taking part in this season, controversy ensued. Organizations such as onemillionmoms.com have called for a boycott of the show, saying that Bono’s casting was “unacceptable” and imploring Christians not to watch it–to prevent any requisite eye-gouging, I’m sure. The Family Research Council has gone as far as to suggest that ABC is attempting to indoctrinate viewers–because, I suppose, one surely catches “the transgender” by looking.
As much as I try to respect the views of others, even those who would love to ensure that gays like myself did not exist, this is just silly. And a really pitiful approach, actually. One million moms should know better. I’m only quasi-parental and I know that the worst way to keep anyone from doing something is by telling them not to do it. That’s, like, basic parenting. You tell a kid not to touch something, and what does she do? Touch it. Congratulations, onemillionmoms. You’ve just boosted DWTS‘s ratings. Further, if the FRC thinks that the LGBTQ community can successfully indoctrinate a noticeable segment of the population by having one transgender person–of 12 total contestants–appear on a show once every 13 seasons, then that says a helluva lot about the power of “the gay.” Because, you know, ballroom dancing is otherwise a thoroughly heterosexual endeavor.
Or perhaps the fear of one Chaz Bono “against” eleven other ostensibly cis-gendered contestants speaks more directly to the tenuousness of sexuality and traditional gender roles these organizations are attempting to preserve above anything else. The fear inherent to these hysterical responses to Bono’s appearance on DWTS is so incredibly transparent, that one is compelled to wonder if treating Chaz Bono as if he is kryptonite is more of an attempt to defend having to confront the construction of gender than it is an attempt to defend traditional “values.”
Above all, though, I suspect that this entire controversy will unfortunately garner support for Bono and prevent us from remembering who we all should really be voting for. That’s right. Ron Artest.