Normalizing the behavior has always been the crux of the gay agenda. Part of the process involves mainstreaming the lifestyle through entertainment.

–Unattributed quote, Transgender Plot Unfolds on Daytime TV, Focus On The Family News

For those who haven’t heard, the ABC Soap Opera All My Children (AMC) is adding a transitioning transgender/transsexual character. GLAAD and some New York based transpeople have done some consulting with the AMC producers with the goal of creating a realistic, transitioning character. That might be a little hard since they named the character “Zarf” and made hir a rock star, but hey — this is a soap opera we’re talking about.

Damon Romine, GLAAD’s entertainment media director, was one of the consultants and had this to say about the storyline:

“Telling the story of a character’s transition from male to female is groundbreaking television. All My Children has a track record of telling honest and important stories, and we applaud them for their commitment to sharing Zarf’s story with compassion and integrity.”

GLAAD is glad; others aren’t so happy. Janice Crouse, of the Concerned Women for America, says that:

… the show’s plot is no accident, but a carefully planned strategy by gay advocates.

“They will push as far as they can until the people say, ‘That’s far enough.’ You can be sure, unless we express our outrage, this will continue to heaven knows how far they will go.”

Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute at the Media Research Center has his reaction captured in an AgapePress article:

Knight says ABC “likes to think of itself as cutting edge,” and the network has already, along with countless others in the entertainment industry, embraced the homosexual agenda fully. Therefore, he suggests, ABC is now bringing a transgendered character onto All My Children, largely “to shock, to get headlines, and to try to get more people to watch one of their longtime soaps.”

Pro-homosexual ABC and Hollywood think Judeo-Christian standards are “just a holdover from a bigoted, superstitious era,” the culture and media analyst contends, and as self-described progressives, they need to attack those faith-based values. “They are dedicated to tear down every moral standard,” he says, “and they’re now using the transgender people to do it.”

Meanwhile, Knight asserts, transgender individuals themselves are among the homosexual agenda’s casualties. “I see these poor, sexually confused people as victims and pawns of a larger movement that wants to destroy Christianity and to turn America into a country we would no longer recognize,” he says.

Knight believes homosexual activists and their supporters realize that the homosexual lifestyle is so empty and devoid of meaning that the best they can do is to continue shocking people. (emphasis added.)

And, Exodus International’s Alan Chambers has a section devoted to his reaction to the AMC TG character in Focus On The Family News’ Transgender Plot Unfolds on Daytime TV. From the article:

…Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, says it won’t be a true depiction of what life is like for transgendered people.

“What it does is really highlights the inaccuracies, and fails to convey the complexities and the difficulties that people who are struggling with these things face.”

Although the show’s producers were prepped by folks from GLAAD, Chambers worries they still won’t portray the issue in the right light.

“The people who are transgendered, the people who are in homosexuality, I would venture to say from personal experience, that they’re not at peace and that true love isn’t able to be found in those types of relationships.”

That folk of Crouse’s, Knight’s, and Chambers’ ilk would comment on a transgender soap opera character was of course to be expected. I know I was waiting for the other shoe to drop as soon as I read the initial AP stories on AMC’s character plans.

That said, I find it difficult to believe Bob Knight has much, if any, sympathy for transpeople like me as “victims and pawns of a larger movement that wants to destroy Christianity and to turn America into a country we would no longer recognize.” He’s previously said of transgender golfer Mianne Bagger and the United States Golf Association:

“The USGA has now surrendered to the decadence and political correctness that is sweeping over Europe,” he says. “One would have thought that the USGA would have had more backbone. The women’s golf tour should be about women, not castrated males.”

Knight adds that “the blurring of the sexes is a direct insult to God and athletes who expect to complete with their own [gender].” (emphasis added)

As for Alan Chambers’ comments, I don’t believe Chambers has the slightest clue of what a “true depiction” of a transperson’s life might look like anymore than what a gay person’s life looks like. (Remember, this is the same Chambers who’s affiliated with the TV program that says homosexuals don’t exist.) Chambers no doubt interacts more with people who identify as ex-transgender than those like me who currently identify as transgender, but even beyond that I can see in his quotes above that he’s again confusing gender identity with sexual orientation. He appears to be making the assumption that all transgender people are looking for male-to-male same-sex relationships as a function of being transgender. Well, my personal experience is that I’ve never had a sexual relationship with a man, and have no intention of ever having one. A significant percentage of transgender women identify as lesbian or asexual. (And, it’s been estimated that up to a third of transmen identify as gay men, so there may be the actual male-to-male same-sex relationships Chambers believes transpeople engage in.)

On an episode of The Simpsons a few seasons back, Lisa responded to gay pride marchers chanting the slogan “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to us” by saying “You do this every year! We are used to it!” We seem to be on the cusp of a similar moment in transgender history — the media is getting used to the “us” that are transgender. Although this sudser character is going to be the first transitioning transgender character on scripted American television, this by far isn’t the first transgender character on scripted American television. And hey — there have been plenty more transgender characters on reality shows like the Surreal Life and documentaries like Transgeneration. Transpeople exist; transpeople’s lives are going to be reflected in the media because we do exist.

Crouse, Knight, and Chambers may not like it, but just as LGB people entered the mainstream years ago, transgender people are more and more coming into the mainstream. Religious right organizations and their ex-gay political allies aren’t going to be able to turn the clock back on the media’s — and the general public’s — interest in transpeople.

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