Transgender Surgery Making Major Headlines
In my experience, conversations about anything transgender happen face to face or on niche media outlets. Since news of transgender surgery stories have been getting more press lately, I was not surprised to see transgender surgery being covered in The New Yorker. I was, however, surprised by how many perspectives Margaret Talbot managed to cover in her story.
I am thrilled that The New Yorker is so thoroughly covering the topic. While readers who are already interested in transgender surgery might simply nod along with the article, readers encountering unfamiliar subject matter will likely have a lot to take in–much like Talbot said about her attendance at a workshop called “Binary Defiance”:
The information contained within the article is information that is easy to take for granted if you already know it. Meanwhile, there are people like Mike Frey walking around in the world who, as The Superficial aptly puts it, is:
If you want to risk being appalled on a Friday morning, watch this clip of Frey exhibiting his “newfound” knowledge:
I am thrilled by the thoroughness of The New Yorker’s coverage, but I hope that readers take the time to read and not simply skim. A simple skim here could reinforce notions about gender that do not need to be reinforced.
At its best, the article highlights that concrete binary gender norms are still such a prominent force in our society that even socially-conscious parents feel anxiety about their children identifying with one gender or another. Parents are willing to embrace a transgender child–they just want their child to tell them which gender they are. Ambiguity is still unsettling for many. It is still difficult to accept a boy who wears dresses or a girl who wears boxers, not as transgender, not as gay or lesbian, but just as themselves.