Recently, the Supreme Court let stand a ruling that a transsexual police officer was wrongly demoted for dressing as a man at work but a woman off hours (and sometimes wearing makeup and long nails while on duty). He'll receive over $300,000 in restitution and have his legal bills paid. Impressive!
Hollywood continues to increase its coverage of transgender issues. This season, several new movies -- some generating Oscar buzz -- will feature prominent actors in gay or transgender roles. Breakfast on Pluto is by the director of The Crying Game and tells the story of an Irish transvestite and an Irish Republican Army militant. In Transamerica, Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives fame plays a transsexual who meets her teenage son for the first time. Capote, Brokeback Mountain and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang also deal with these themes. It will be interesting to see how balanced a portrayal these films will pull off. Hopefully, shining light on the issue will bring us closer to acceptance and understanding.
On cable television, Sundance Channel’s reality series TransGeneration follows the lives of four transgender college students over the course of the 2004-2005 school year as they face academic, social and family challenges and confront their gender identity. Though I am not a big fan of the reality show format, I think this show will help illuminate the everyday concerns of transgender youth by giving us a view into their first-hand experiences.
In the realm of porn, transgender features are really hitting their stride. A series I highly recommend (and which is currently ranked #2 in AVN's specialty films rankings) is She-Males Invade Italy. Produced by Rocco Siffredi for Evil Angel, this series is a revelation. Seriously, this is some of the best porn I have ever seen. The scenes bring together hot Italians of 3 distinct persuasions: men, women and male-to-female transsexuals. There is one orgy scene with at least 15 people and everyone plays with each other. There is something so liberating in seeing this, the melding of gender, the tossing away of tired hang-ups, the pure joy of unadultered eroticism. If I were the director, the one tweak I would make would be to add a stronger femme domme element by having the women don strap-ons and have the men fully switch in and out of the receptive roles just as the women and TSs do. Now that would be hotter than hell ;-)
On a final note, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Alice in Genderland, psychiatrist Dr. Richard Novic's memoir of his triumphant struggle to balance wife and kids while at the same time fulfilling his ever-present desire to live life as a woman. By having an understanding spouse who allows him the freedom to explore his feminine side on his own (and even have a boyfriend), Dr. Novic finally finds peace and happiness.
I initially read Dr. Novic's story with the intention of gaining a better understanding of my cross-dressing submissives. Yet in the end, I found inspiration to be honest and assertive about my own needs and desires. We may not all look the same or have the same "parts," but I truly believe we can all learn from each other.