I’m going to start this off with a link. A link to a New York Times article about Chaz Bono.
Let’s start by asking: Who is Chaz a “reluctant role model” for? I certainly don’t consider him a role model. For starters, many people have said in discussions–and I agree with them–that Chaz is way too early in transition to be considered an authority on trans people. I’m not the type to posit that authority point at some huge number of years, or milestones or whatever. But I’ve been out as “not male” for almost 4 years, and I’ve been in transition for almost 2 of them, and I’m only now starting to understand true trans theory. I wouldn’t want to be considered the only authority on trans issues, but I will admit that authority is a position people have placed me in enough times that I can understand the ramifications of it.
Chaz, on the other hand, has been given a pedestal to shout from and is proceeding to misuse the authority position people have placed him in. Part of me wants to give him the benefit of the doubt, and allow that he may just not yet understand that, when a trans person, any trans person, is put in a media spotlight, zie becomes the authority whether they can handle that, understand that, or not. Cis people unaware of trans issues don’t know how to gauge the authority credentials of a trans person, so they trust the media to gauge that for them. (more…)