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Hasselhoff: America’s Got Transsexuals!

I was watching “America’s Got Talent” last night.  Guilty pleasure, I know, but what struck me as notable is that they have had three non-traditionally-gendered people in the competition (I hestitate with “transgender” because I don’t know for certain) — a Britney Spears impersonator (hot!), a Tina Turner impersonator (eh.), and an female opera singer who could self-duet, tackling both the soprano and the baritone (impressive).

Anyhoo, after the Tina Turner impersonator, celebrity judge David Hasselhoff exclaimed, “Only in America can a transsexual play live to 20 million people!”

My wife and I just glanced at each other.  “Did he just say that?” she asked.  “Yeah,” I answered, “and he has no idea how offensive that remark just was”.  And that led to us discussing transgender issues, and she initially didn’t really get the difference, and I said “transvestite is: I’m a boy.  I like girls clothes, but I’m a boy” whereas “transgender is: how the hell did I end up with a penis?  I’m a girl!”  And vice versa.

But then I really couldn’t elaborate on why “transsexual” was offensive, though I could explain why “tranny” is.  Then I re-read Autumn’s excellent diary on the topic.  Now I’m not sure “transsexual” is necessarily offensive, but somehow the way Hasselhoff said it brought offense.

Come to think of it, “AGT” also has a boy who twirls baton who says he got “picked on” a lot, and they’ve played up his story of triumph.  Don’t know that he’s gay, but that’s the way it’ll play in Peoria.  Has the Christian American Focus on Naughty Bits Foundation picked up on this yet?  Did I miss the prayer roundup to condemn NBC and this blatantly pro-queer talent show?

Just a few scattered musings on a prime-time, family-hour, most-watched television talent show.  It just makes me feel good to see the way-out diversity on network TV.

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