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Op-ed: Trans Tabloid Stars — We've Come a Long Way, Baby!

Op-ed: Trans Tabloid Stars — We've Come a Long Way, Baby!


Being objectified and exploited just like cisgender ladies is progress, right?

I recently decided to go on a spiritual retreat to the couch and binge-watch Star Trek for the 23rd time. I still haven't binge-watched Orange Is the New Black, though. Please forgive me, Gay America, not even Ruby Rose can get me interested in that show. Since I was unplugged from the Internet and my cell phone was used only to summon pizza, I remained blissfully unaware of the outside world for the most part. So Sunday night, when I finally decided that I needed to return to the online world, which begged for my witty re-weets, I finally caught up on all the "excitement" I had missed.

Apparently we trans folk had quite a few new firsts. I believe the media likes to call these "turning points." I'm not sure why though, because with as many turning points as we have had occurring all at once, it seems like we're just doing doughnuts in the parking lot with our '78 Trans Am. We have a reality show about a 14-year-old trans girl, which really speaks to me as a 38-year-old. There was a world champion bodybuilder who came out as trans. I'm not entirely happy about this because she not only looks better than me, but she is in better shape. The military began its process of ending the ban on trans people, meaning that if this whole comedy thing doesn't work out I can get my old job back. Oh, and a has-been baseball player is trying to cling to fame with his few good fingers left by showing trans solidarity by wearing a skirt for a week.

However, I think the two biggest new turning points we had were in the one arena where it truly matters: the celebrity gossip circuit! Yes, the one realm where true equality lay -- the purview of Gawker and TMZ. Apparently Jamie Clayton, the star of the Netflix series Sense8, went on a date and kissed ... Keanu Reeves? OK, we'll take it! Also, rumors started flying about Caitlyn Jenner dating Candis Cayne. Candis was the first trans woman regular in a prime-time show back in 2008. Does it count as a turning point if you're ahead of the curve? Anyway, throw in the fact we're now talking about Caitlyn Jenner feeling weird about wearing a swimsuit in public and people talking about what designer brands she's wearing, we truly have reached a major milestone.

Don't you see, folks? This is the true sign that we trans women are finally making the right strides. No longer are trans people a curiosity and sideshow. The days of Jerry Springer and terrible stand-up comedy jokes are behind us. We have truly broken through. We're now completely objectified! Now we get to have the general public obsess about our fashion choices, our sex and dating lives, our body insecurities, and our opinions. In time trans women will be seen just like regular female celebrities are, two-dimensional sex objects and blank screens to project our insecurities onto! Why we already have other celebrities calling Caitlyn out for not being the right kind of woman or not the right kind of activist. It's perfect. We're achieving the true American dream, to be gossip fodder meant for tabloids and our celebrity-obsessed culture. Oh hey, trans men, don't worry, I'm sure we'll get around to noticing you guys too at some point.

The insatiable media is turning us into a Hollywood media circus, obsessed with our every personal detail and secret. Taking paparazzi photos of us in compromising and unflattering situations. Our every personal struggle obsessed over and mocked by talk-show hosts. Scrutinized and judged on impossible-to-achieve and wildly arbitrary standards that ultimately reduce us to miserable shells of human beings. Where in our efforts to please as many people as possible, we anger everybody. Actually, now that I think I about it, I would be happier if they just stuck to obsessing about our genitals.

Amanda-kerrix100_0AMANDA KERRI is an Oklahoma City-based comedian and a board member for OKC Pride. Follow her at

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