Wednesday, 21 November 2012

BBC3: Transsexual Teen, Beauty Queen

Yesterday it was the Transsexual Day of Remembrance worldwide, and in Brighton there was a vigil from 7.00pm in the Old Steyne to remember the murdered victims of transphobic hate crime during the last few years, and especially the last twelve months. The total killed for being trans has started to increase again lately, and while the reported numbers are 'small' - 265 during the last year seems to be the official figure -  this total is (as before) mostly from Latin America, and does not include victims from large areas of the world where statistics are lacking or not made available, such as Africa and China. So the real total of people killed through prejudice and misunderstanding, sometimes regime-sponsored, might be a thousand or two - or really anyone's guess. It should of course be nil.

I didn't go to the outdoor vigil last night, but I will be going to the service in the Dorset Gardens Methodist Church in Brighton this coming Sunday afternoon. And wherever I am in future years, I will somehow mark the occasion. Meanwhile I'm inclined to be very negative about holidaying abroad, because I don't want to be a casual victim of someone's irrational hatred. That may mean never leaving the British Isles again. A prisoner of potential foreign violence. Not good, but I do take this special risk of a cruel and heartless death very seriously. After all, whatever the good effect of hormones, and cultivating the right social skills, I still don't have a perfect look; and I'm vulnerable to being spotted by people with a problem, and being pursued to destruction.

But young Jackie Green on BBC3's documentary Transsexual Teen, Beauty Queen last night (which I watched a bit of this morning on iPlayer) had no such problem with her looks (pretty, slim and willowy, absolutely the right shape), or voice (perfect), or demeanour (perfect), or her grasp of what and who she really is.

She was the youngest person so far to have genital surgery in this country (at 16). I imagine it could not come too soon for her, because she was one of those transsexuals who felt very young (in her case, when only 5) that she'd been placed in the wrong Gender Box, and she has never deviated from that conviction. Eleven years of waiting! I'd say that here is a shining example of why children should be taken seriously, and listened to, and believed. Now she wants to become Miss World. To do that she must first complete with 10,000 other girls in the selection of Miss England. Her initial motive is to raise awareness of trans people: to show that an ordinary girl from Guiseley, who just happens to be trans, can make it.

But beyond that, to become a top model. This is looking rather beyond the horizons of the girls on last year's My Transsexual Summer. If it's difficult to get chosen for a top beauty contest, it's notoriously hard to be rated good enough for the fashion show catwalk. So I admire her ambition.

When asked by the narrator early in the documentary about her origins as a 'boy', she was quick to correct him, saying firmly that she had 'always been a girl' with 'a girl's brain and a boy's bottom part', and she added that the average trans girl would assert exactly the same, rejecting any notion that they had ever been male - whatever their outward appearance. And that he should take care with questions of that sort, in case he got slapped on the face by an indignant woman! Absolutely right. That's what I'll do next time some daft man blunders with a question to me like that.

Back to the auditions. She quickly found that all successful contestants need something extra about them, a certain poise, a flair for movement, some special way of walking and twirling around, some eye-catching spark, that will mark them out from the rest. I saw her first attempts at demonstrating this. Hmmmm. I didn't watch anything after that, wanting to get on with other things this morning, but tonight I will catch up with how she got on. I do hope she ultimately did well, and if not, that she gained valuable insight into what the knack was, and hasn't had her confidence shaken. She deserves much better than a waitress's job in Wakefield.


  1. Yes, it's terrible and terrifying that there are a (hopefully very) tiny minority who feel justified in physically attacking or murdering anyone who they don't like the look of.
    However you should be just as safe in most parts of Scandinavia, Holland, and no doubt several other countries too as you are in most parts of the UK.
    Best Wishes, ~ Martin.

  2. Obviously there are some very dangerous places in the world as far as homophobia is concerned but there are plenty of safer places. Parts of the US can be dangerous whilst other places are just the opposite! It is so sad that anyone should be murdered or even attacked because they have gender issues, I just don't understand what is going on the the minds of the perpetrators, what is the reasoning behind the way they feel toward another human being who has the misfortune to be different from them? What makes them so special? I watched the whole program and was full of admiration for Jackie's courage in standing up for not only herself but for all other transsexual people and those with gender issues. I am not so sure it was a good idea to advertise her status too much and I think she realised it wasn't beneficial in her quest to be accepted amongst the finalists when she decided not to make mention of it in the later rounds. Whilst I admire her ambition as a beauty queen I personally didn't think she rated high enough to qualify. She is a nice girl and maybe should have done better but she was competing with girls even prettier than herself. She did however win an award for something else though I have forgotten what that was already and she was given a sash and a tiara to mark that. Well done Jackie. She was also right about always being a girl, something I always maintained I was though if you've read my story you will understand why I didn't do something about it sooner. No doubt your story is very similar too Lucy.

    Shirley Anne x

  3. There is a world ball kicking competition to take place in a certain south american country in a year or so. Nobody seems at all concerned about the nasty brutality we experience there!

    Why have they been given the chance to host something like this when they have such abysmal human rights record?


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