It’s “Freaking Out the Squares!” time again- the former Chastity Bono, daughter of Sony Bono and Cher, a female-to-male transsexual who now goes by “Chaz”, will be on “Dancing With The Stars.”
I appreciate that the resumes of many of these people are pretty thin. They put Bristol Palin on, who was famous for nothing other than being the daughter of somebody famous and misbehaving. But Ms. Palin is at least a little photogenic. “Chaz” Bono is just disgusting. She- I refuse to use “he”- is a big, fat, ugly, surly thing covered with ugly tattoos. She looks like a really nasty bull dyke lesbian, except for the facial hair. Beyond her revolting appearance- she looks like something you’d see ritualistically humiliated on Maury Povich- she is not personally appealling or charismatic. In interviews she appears angry, terse, and guarded. With her physique she will not be able to dance for shit. With her personality she will not be interesting or appealing in pre- and post-interviews, almost as big a part of the show as the actual performing.
I will give the producers the shock value. Most of the people who would be inclined to watch the show will have seen this beast on the celebrity news shows that are on in the early evening. I guess a few will be curious to see more and tune in, for a little bit of ratings.
But the real reason for putting her on is to shock, disgust, horrify, but ultimately desensitize the public. This type of thing has been on daytime talk shows for years. But these shows are understood to be places to parade freaks for the amusement of bored people who due to unemployment, illness, age, or just idleness are at home during the day. They are likely to be socially marginal people themselves. But productive people who have jobs watch TV at night. It is these people who must be forced to accept as normal the phenomenon of transsexualism.
The mandated view of transsexualism is that some individuals have in the brain, or the mind, a different gender than of their body. Some less politically correct think these people are just homosexuals who can’t accept it, and rationalize that they are really of a different gender. One scientist who has studied it thinks transsexuals are sexually excited to think of themselves as the opposite gender. Transsexualism seems to be more prominent in the Thai and Polynesian cultures, and accepted by some Plains Indian tribes.
The idea emerged at some point in the 50’s that it would be good to “treat” these individuals by administering hormones and modifying their bodies with surgery to resemble the opposite gender. This is part of mainstream medical and psychological thought now; some states even require the “treatments” be covered by health insurance, and government health plans in Europe cover it.
Being sexual deviants, transsexuals are covered as the “T” of the acronym “LGBT”- or however many other letters are added. Nonetheless it is not widely accepted as homosexuality is. Homosexuals don’t seem to like transsexuals, just as male and female homosexuals don’t care much for each other.
Getting people to accept homosexuals wasn’t too hard, since to begin with people know what homosexuals are, male or female- they have been part of human society for millenia. transsexuals probably have been as well, but while being a non-conforming member of your own gender has been understood, actually trying to live as a member of the opposite gender has not. It was not possible to significantly modify the body; it’s now only partially possible but once a condition is medicalized the medical profession has control over it.
A recent episode of “Family Guy” featured a transsexual. Of course anything can be done anytime on a cartoon; but the chance to put a very marginal “Z” list “celebrity” like “Chaz” Bono on primetime TV comes only once in a blue moon. I suppose the producers would have hoped for a more appealing specimen- more Hilary Swank as Teena Brandon/Brandon Teena- but if they want to make the American TV-watching public run to the bathroom and puke, they have their girl!
It seems that homosexuality- and probably transsexuality- have to do with fetal development, the exposure of the fetus to hormones in the uterus. These conditions are, not to put too fine a point on it, birth defects. Fate is a powerful and often terrible thing. We are born as we are, and can do little to change it. But the idea that people and society will be better off if people are given a blank check on their behavior does not hold up. Male homosexuality is quite physically unhealthful. Female homosexuality does not foster disease as sodomy does, but lesbians do not appear to be happy, well-functioning people- not the least in that most while claiming to be 100% homosexual still have intercourse with men sometimes.
Homosexuals need to be encouraged to be celibate, or to restrict their sexual activity to a minimum. Masturbation is a perfectly acceptable substitute. Transsexuals need to be made to understand that while they have strong feelings about being of the opposite sex, they are not. Asking people to control their sexual behavior and suppress their illusions is not new or unreasonable. Ideally there would be effective medical treatments for these conditions, but that would require society to first be willing to admit that would be preferable.
I can’t help but think this could backfire, but the people in charge aren’t going to let that happen. Every effort will be made so that “Chaz” appears acceptable. She will get some kind of a makeover, interview coaching, and the interviews will edited for best effect. There will probably be a sympathetic segment on female-to-male transsexuality, and how brave and wonderful she is.
To the extent that people aren’t won over- as some women will be- people will be glad just not to hear about it any more.