SPOILER ALERT - I chose to post this here in the blogs rather on the forums where it might be more visible in case the reader has not yet seen the Nat Geo documentary, "American Transgender." If reading or hearing about something before you see it doesn't bother you, then read on. If you don't like to hear about something before hand, you should skip this blog entry.
A one hour documentary that aired 01 May 2012 on the Nat Geo channel.
I first heard about the program here on the TGG forums. Shortly afterward, I created a calendar event for members who regularly check the calendar. I think I might have made a shout-out the day of the program's airing - don't remember now (damn sleeping brain cells!). Then, I finally caught a commercial advertising the program. I was happy with what I saw, as it's rare that these documentaries feature more men than women. Wait, lemme be a little more precise - it's rare that in such shows featuring both men and women, that there are more men featured than woman...but A.T. would be doing just that. WTG, Nat Geo!
The show went well. I have to admit, though, that that opinion is probably a little biased because of the fact that the guys outnumbered the women. Hee-hee. Felt good to know that for once, we were getting more air time than the ladies. Sorry ladies, nothing against you all...but contrary to popular belief, men like to be noticed once in a while, too.
.......Clair is one of identical twins, and was preparing for her wedding after never believing she would ever be looking for a wedding dress. Clair's brother, by the way, is gay.
...,...Eli came from a religious, Italian, Alabama family...the second of four children. He's married, and wants children, but is worried about having a son.
.......Jim grew up in a military family. As with many of us, he felt alone. And then he met Clair, whom he thought was the most beautiful woman in the world.
Of course all three related some of the issues we've all read about, heard about or have experienced: the lonliness, the frustration, the self-hatred, the fear, the unacceptance, etc., etc., etc.
I guess a person could say the highlight of the program was Clair and Jim getting married. And while the program was well-done, I guess there was little control over the wedding, or the people officiating over the wedding. And that is what eventually prompted me to write about A.T.
Toward the end of the ceremony, the woman marrying Clair and Jim announced, "I now pronounce you (she looked at Clair) husband and (then she looked at Jim) wife." It blew me away. Perhaps I am again being too sensative about the whole society-in-general-doesn't-accept-us thing...but a week later, that one spot in the program still bothers me. Funny how something so small can bring a good thing to a screeching halt (or at least come close)...sorta like a turd being discovered in a crowded pool - everyone is having fun, enjoying themselves, and then everyone is screaming and scrambling to get out and now wondering if they might get sick - just sorta ruins a fun day.
I wondered how often something like this happens - whether the couple getting married are trans or not. How do you look at the woman, and say "husband," and then look at the man, and say "wife?" And never skip a beat, to boot. I wondered how accepting and tolerant this woman is. That one gesture made it difficult at best for me to believe that she viewed Clair to be the woman she is, and Jim to be the man he is.
I think had the program not been done as well as it had, perhaps I would not have noticed this one thing. I also wonder if the woman officiating has watched the program, and if so has she realized what she had done, and how does she feel about what she did.
Later, I wondered if there was any chance that the producers left that part in intentionally...