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Exploring GLAAD’s Silence On Beatie

thomas_nancy.jpg
If you’re anything like us, you’re wondering why GLAAD’s remained silent on Joe Scarborough’s trans trashing last week.

For those of you who missed it, Scarborough and his cohorts on MSNBC’s Morning Joe took multiple shots at pregnant trans man Thomas Beatie, whom they referred to as disgusting and the such. Obviously we all knew Beatie’s Oprah appearance would cause a controversy, but had hoped that mainstream news agencies would have a little more class. Not Scarborough, though.

That story broke on Friday, so we figured GLAAD wouldn’t get involved until Monday. Well, they didn’t. We were a bit disappointed in their silence and decided to do a bit of digging. Rather than addressing our initial questions, the media watchdogs at GLAAD directed us to Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center For Transgender Equality, with whom GLAAD has been working on the Beatie story.

Keisling insisted that her team and the kids at GLAAD have been working behind the scenes to work things out with MSNBC. She also informs us that NCTE offered its expertise on the matter prior to Beatie’s outing by suggesting medical experts and counseling journalists on how to approach this sensitive story.

No GLAAD representatives would go on the record, but an anonymous activist close to the matter informed us that some leaders are shying away from the Beatie story because they don’t want his story to be representative of the entire movement. A pregnant trans man, they claim, does not represent the entire “community,” whatever that means. Said the gay: “He has a goal that’s different than ours. He wanted to get publicity, sell a book and strike a movie deal.” Beatie’s unilateral self-interest, it seems, ended up alienating potential allies.

GLAAD assures us, however, that they have spoken to MSNBC to rectify the matter. An MSNBC spokesman, meanwhile, told us they’re not sure whether or not the cable news network will release a statement. The delay speaks volumes.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Apr 9, 2008
Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

  • 32 Comments
    • David Hauslaib, Queerty
      David Hauslaib, Queerty

      Let’s not kid ourselves: If GLAAD was interested in the matter, they wouldn’t be working behind the scenes — they’d be issuing press release after press release until someone listened.

      As for MSNBC’s failure to issue a statement (let alone an apology)? Pretty ballsy.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 10:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Maxwell Tomas
      Maxwell Tomas

      GLAAD and the other Big Brother/Sister LGBT groups are just mad that this couple did not bow down to their wishes to stay silent. Therefore, they are hoping that this story will go away and not sully the good graces that they have sewn in the hetero community. You know like garner us the ability to be married, adopt kids, and not get fired due to gender identity… Oh, that’s right; we still don’t have those legal rights.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayBobVT
      GayBobVT

      Didn’t I hear/read that Beatie was surprised by the uproar caused by the pregnancy? If Keisling and NTCE offered their “expertise” prior to the publicity tour, there shouldn’t have been a surprise.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Starsailor_X
      Starsailor_X

      As a mature gay man, I have to say that this whole trans-saga strikes me as a totally self-indulgent and publicity-motivated event devised solely for profit (laced with a heavy dose of exhibitionism.) I can see no other reason beyond financial motive why this could not have remained a very private matter instead of becoming a public spectacle. If it gives ME the creeps, then I can only imagine how straight people must feel. Fair or not, this just feeds the old “slippery slope” admonition that conservatives love to fling in the faces of all gays when the subjects of equal rights and same-sex marriage are introduced into mainstream media conversation. And speaking only for myself, I have to say that the whole “pregnant man” angle veers dangerously close to the tattered old Carnival tent with the flapping banner reading Freak Show.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerunity
      queerunity

      conservatives may love to throw these issues out but the queer community must stand up when any of our members are being victimized

      http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

      Apr 9, 2008 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayBobVT
      GayBobVT

      To: No.5 Queerunity

      What if we don’t consider ourselves members of the “queer” community?

      Apr 9, 2008 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      GayBobVT, you don’t have to be a card carrying member to do the right thing.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HellsKitchenGuy
      HellsKitchenGuy

      We have made such strives, now we have to put up with someone like this representing the “gay” or “queer” community. It ticks me off that we are so close in so many ways and have to put up with all the odd-balls coming out of the woodwork.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hisurfer
      hisurfer

      “Didn’t I hear/read that Beatie was surprised by the uproar caused by the pregnancy?” I didn’t read this … but I also don’t believe it for a second. This couple knew exactly the reaction they would get. They’re not naive kids.

      The more I read, the more I think this is much ado about nothing. Literally, nothing. Thomas wanted to be treated like a man, not transgendered. Fine. He had breast reduction and took hormones. Fine. He stopped the hormones, and is now pregnant. Fine.

      That doesn’t make him a “pregnant man.” That doesn’t even make him a pregnant FTM, as he pretty much kept all his original female equipment.

      He identifies as a man, but now he ‘s pregnant. This has happened before. Many times, just not on the Oprah show. There is no news here, except for that which they themselves have created.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • madmax
      madmax

      The whole story has certainly taken on a life of itself. Very much fueled by profit motive, to be sure.
      I worry about the fetus…..any effect on it from residual gender reorganization drugs? Hopefully the ob-gyn monitoring the pregnancy knows his/her stuff.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • madmax
      madmax

      I’m sorry….”a life of its own”…….not with it today.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CitizenGeek
      CitizenGeek

      It’s unreasonable to ask people to accept ‘pregnant men’. Beatie is just using the media for publicity, I think.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hayson
      hayson

      What’s ridiculous about this is that a woman (that doesn’t complete the gender reassignment) can marry another woman. AND “he” can get pregnant.

      YET… two “regular” men or women still can’t marry.

      What a fucking joke.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      Let’s see: Beattie serves himself up to the media as a one-person freak show, and then sites like this goad us because organizations like GLAAD (which, for what it’s worth is GAY and LESBIAN Alliance – no trans – maybe it should be, but it’s not) don’t rush to his defense.

      Meanwhile, there are probably several people like him who are having kids q u i e t l y.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • beefy
      beefy

      years ago you were the odd-ball coming out of the woodwork. straight up gays and lesbians were and still are seen as freaks from the outside.

      those who have been judged should be the last to accost someone who they perceive to be ‘different’.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • parisinla
      parisinla

      I agree that the motivation behind this is proift but whats bothering me is how weirded out people are by this… Thomas, formaly Tracy is pregnant… I get that it has media-legs but beyond that this isnt all that weird and the reaction is really negative. I am not a transgendered person, i dont really know any transgendered people but i feel that their struggles are just as relevant and parallel to ours (as biologicly identified gay men and women). for GLAAD (and not all that long ago HRC) to seem to think that the T in GLBT is some how superfluous is insulting to me. What happend to equality and acceptance and PLUR and all the rest of the shit that we’ve been spewing.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RSL
      RSL

      GLAAD doesn’t seem mind rewarding people like Reichen Lehmkukl for being “famous” completely for wanting to “get publicity, sell a book and strike a movie deal”. Oh wait, it’s because Reichen is pretty. Such a shame that our “movement” is far more concerned with such bullshit and self-congratulation and photo opportunities than standing up publicly when people are wronged, no matter how of the norm their situation is.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      Hey, 1st HellsKitchenGuy: It’s “strides” and “oddballs.” If you’re going to assume my identity, at least get the grammar right. And Queerty: why is this person allowed to have the EXACT SAME NAME as me?

      Apr 9, 2008 at 6:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim
      Tim

      CitizenGeek is spot on. It flies in the face of common sense and SCIENCE to suggest a male is pregnant. It’s just not possible. I would hope reasonable people – conservative or liberal – would have a problem with this silliness. This moves even further into the absurd than conservative resistance to evolution! Putting yourself on ‘Oprah’ or any other national program for exposition opens you up to the gamut of potential responses: praise, derision and questioning. Doesn’t everyone in contemporary society know this already? Why would GLAAD concern itself with this?

      Apr 9, 2008 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • billyboy
      billyboy

      Why can’t a man get pregnant?

      In my opinion, the real issue everyone is so disturbed about is that gender and sexuality are colliding with biology, three subjects that have been married since who knows when. Besides all the media hoopla and perhaps impure motives, the thing that really strikes fear and anger in most people gay and straight is that the labels we’ve used so much to build laws for equality are crumbling down. These labels that we feel protect us create inclusivity and alienate members of the human race who just plain don’t fit into any label. Its not a sideshow, its life on screen.

      I don’t know. I’m just 25.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      Well, I don’t know. Didn’t a virgin once have a baby?

      Apr 9, 2008 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DiscipulusLegis
      DiscipulusLegis

      GLAAD’s refusal to issue a press release or call to action about MSNBC’s inappropriate, disgusting segment on Mr. Beatie is incredibly disappointing. This is precisely the kind of defamatory media coverage GLAAD seeks to end. As a former employee, I am ashamed that our movement’s media advocacy organization has been silent on this issue.

      Apr 9, 2008 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick
      Rick

      I can’t see anything wrong with a tranny getting knocked up and making a buck out of it. When we can start to see transgendered people (and ALL “freaks”) as political allies we’ll start to make progress as queers. It’s smart to develop political alliances, respect our allies, and form trustworthy coalitions. It’s idiotic to trust creepy image-fixated ass-kissing apologists like GLAAD: those gutless wonders are who’s actually making us look bad.

      And here’s the cotton-candy version: the spiritual world doesn’t actually acknowledge gender so why don’t we just focus on who’s on top in our bedroom and keep our noses out of our friends’ gender stuff?

      Apr 10, 2008 at 2:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hisurfer
      hisurfer

      “and keep our noses out of our friends’ gender stuff?” Um, maybe because our friend is on Oprah, in the Advocate, and signing a book deal as we speak. Our noses aren’t in his gender stuff; his gender stuff is in our noses. We’re allowed to comment.

      Although once MSNBC attacked, they attacked all of us. GLAAD needs to speak out if they’re worth anything.

      Apr 10, 2008 at 3:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Teabaggin' Your Face
      Teabaggin' Your Face

      Why is every one up GLAAD’s ass when the National Center For Transgender Equality (NCTE) is “working behind the scenes,” too. Shouldn’t they be the ones publicly calling for an apology? Unless they know something about Beatie and this situation that hasn’t been made public — like, perhaps, she isn’t as transgendered as she claims to be. Is it possible that GLAAD and NCTE aren’t being more vocal about this because it’s a big scam and their mission is damage control?

      This whole situation just doesn’t pass the smell test. And what stinks the loudest is the the money this so-called “pregnant man” and her partner are trying to make by exploiting the pain and suffering real transgendered people go through as they try to gain acceptance and understanding both within themselves and society.

      PS. What I find especially touching is the Demi Moore-esgue photo of a naked, pregnant, mustachioed Beatie holding her with-child stomach while flashing a hairy armpit and exposing her surgically altered chest. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to stir up controversy in order to sell books at all. Nice publicity photo.

      Apr 10, 2008 at 6:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      Tim,

      Let’s not forget that not too long ago, SCIENCE called mentally healthy love between two women or two men impossible/wrong/disgusting. I am ashamed by how some members of the gay community, whether the consider trans to be members thereof or not, have been treating this case. It’s not that Beatty has the audacity to come forward with his story, but rather that he has the courage to. Arguments like ‘it sets back our movement’ or ‘it makes me uncomfortable’ parallel those of the Christian right or of self-hating homosexuals. Again, shame on all of you who have condemned Beatty, you’d do well to take some time to reflect on your own journey of self-acceptance before you attack his.

      Apr 10, 2008 at 7:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      I do not feel at that Beattie was coming forward with the issue to self promote a book, movie etc.

      It wasn’t until the later half of Oprah that a book was mentioned. At it was the neighbor that mentioned it..NOT BEATTIE.

      Apr 10, 2008 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greg
      greg

      you fools need to proofread your posts before you press the submit button.

      Apr 10, 2008 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Piper
      Piper

      Wow.
      I feel really weird right now. I was sure that people would be supportive of Beatie in the queer community if no where else.
      Part of the reason he came forward was because he and his wife wanted to tell the story, instead of someone else telling it for them.
      Yeah, sure he’s a writer, I haven’t heard what the book is about. When others write books about their life experience we don’t jump down their throat, why are we doing it now?

      As a movement, we will never succede if we are tearing our own members apart when they don’t tow a specific line.

      The bottom line for me here is they are bringing a beautiful little girl(they identified the sex) into the world. The want to share their story, fine. I will probably buy his book, and proudly refer to him by his prefered gender!

      Apr 11, 2008 at 4:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillieHewes
      WillieHewes

      I can’t believe you guys are telling them to “have kids quietly”. You know, the closets are going cheap at IKEA, maybe you should get one, too.

      Apr 12, 2008 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rainne
      Rainne

      Wow, where the hell do you people get off calling Beatie a freak and such? Do none of you people remember back before it became “trendy” to be gay? Just because all of a sudden all the cool kids are bicurious or whatever doesn’t negate the fact that those of us over the age of 25 remember when you could still get shot for standing in the parking lot of a gay club or an MCC church.

      Or that some of us live in areas where you still CAN.

      You people need to re-evaluate your priorities and remember that whether you identify as gay, trans, genderqueer or some other thing, WE ARE ALL QUEER TOGETHER. Can we possibly stick up for each other once in awhile, or do we all have to act like bitchy queens in the dressing room on a Saturday night?

      Apr 12, 2008 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • g hillary
      g hillary

      I say “congrats” to this couple. They WANT children not like 1/3 of the population in the USA
      that have them and abuse them. These childred will be loved 10 times more than the so called
      traditional family. People should just mind their
      business as it certainly isn’t interfering with
      their lives and they are employed and not on welfare with the governments paying their bills. Just leave them alone and let them be happy and
      live their own lives. I total support them 100%.

      Nov 16, 2008 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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