funny hahas

Did Everyone Laugh At Saturday Night Live Trans Medication Commercial?

Just take Estro-maxx once a day, and no longer will hormone treatments get in the way of leading a regular life. Haha, y’all! Did everyone get the joke? Trans people are hilarious! Are we all ready to take offense at Saturday Night Live‘s brand of trans humor? Here’s how this is going to play out. GLAAD will issue a press release calling the skit “irresponsible” and “offensive,” and ask NBC to pull the clip from the web and not air it again, maybe even issuing an apology. NBC and Lorne Michaels will remain relatively silent, and everyone will forget about the skit by the next time Scott Lively opens his mouth.

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  • JMDdiablo

    Come on guys, that was pretty funny. I didn’t see it as demeaning or anti. It was showing transexuals as normal and having normal issues. Are PMS or birth control commercials offensive too?

  • Jason

    Queerty, try applying your sensitivity to the people YOU constantly laugh at and spew snark on. Asses.

  • Brandon

    @JMDdiablo Are you serious? This is terrible. The entire butt of the joke is that trans people are laughable freaks and bearded ladies – that it’s silly to think of them as normal people and CEOs. Transphobia in this country is so out of control and it’s exceedingly difficult to counter unabashedly negative portrayals of trans people like this one when there are basically no realistic or positive ones out there.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    People only laugh at SNL ironically–or by mistake.

    SNL hasn’t been funny since John Belushi choked on his own vomit.

  • patrick

    At least male and female identified actors get to satirize the commercials and or medications and or conditions that affect them for laughs.

    This doesn’t fit in the same category of satire because the actors involved are clearly male and not pretending to be transgendered as much as trying as hard as possible to appear like they are trying too hard.

    As with everything on SNL the skit was more awkward than funny and this one in particular seemed a bit mean spirited.

  • Andy

    It was funny.

  • Dave

    You forgot the part where GLAAD helpfully suggests to SNL and NBC that they can atone for their sins by, funnily enough, donating money to GLAAD.

  • Gary B.

    I thought it was funny.

    Seriously, this PC thing is getting out of control.

  • Kev C

    I remember when SNL did comedy, back when MTV played music videos.

  • Tori

    @Gary B.: Yeah, what happened to the good old days when we could belittle people with reproach. I doubt your trans so it hardly affects you when things like this are put on TV.

  • Pandora

    It’s good to know that SNL has no problem punching trans people in the gut over and over again. We don’t get enough bullshit from the people that try to kill us or from our families that disown us.

    The joke here was about how funny trans women are! Look at them! They look like men! OMG! So hilarious!

    I’m sorry, but when I have seen two trans female friends in the past month attempt suicide because of “hilarious comedy” like this, I’m not laughing.

  • BS

    It is funny video. I think it is also funny how because I am gay people assume I am going to be pro trans when I am actually not. Ya it is mean but I just dont get it and dont care to.

  • Shannon1981

    I don’t find this any more funny than I find anti gay jokes. I am a lesbian, not trans, and I don’t pretend to understand their situation at all, just like I don’t want straight people to try to understand mine. But stuff like this- be it against blacks, gays, whites, muslims, jews…the list goes on…needs to stop. It isn’t funny. It is offensive.

  • Canadian

    Offensive, and worse, not funny.

    I can handle offensive when the skit is super funny – but this was just lazy.

    I’m not trans, don’t know anyone who IS trans. I’m slightly more outraged at how non-funny it is than its transphobic nature… but hey, human empathy.

  • MAC

    I thought it was mean spirited and not funny or particularly clever.

    @BS So you’re anti-trans? Do they not deserve the same understanding and acceptance that gays do?

  • Lucas

    I’m willing to forgive some offensiveness in exchange for humor. However, this was not particularly funny. The *entire* part of the joke was, “Look at this funny looking man with boobs! Aren’t trans people so freakish?” It was offensive. It’s a bit sad that something as explicitly mean spirited as this can be made about trans people in 2011. The LGB community has made huge strides in the past decade, but we may have left the T behind.

  • Lucas

    Actually, it wouldn’t shock me if someone higher up at NBC didn’t like it either. Does anyone from the West Coast know if this skit made it in the WC edition?

  • Shannon1981

    @Lucas: Good question re: the west coast seeing this. I live in SC, so nobody here would bat an eye at it..but in more progressive areas something like this should definitely raise more than a few eyebrows….

  • Dana Taylor

    @Brandon: I found this incredibly offensive. What the public sees after transsexuals have been trying to gain acceptance, tolerance, civil rights and needed treatments SNL shows all we are are men in dresses. This is what the public will remember when it comes time to vote for a trans-inclusive ENDA. I suspect trans will be simply dropped from ENDA in the end.

  • Lucky Luke

    I thought it was pretty funny.

  • Alan

    I can usually laugh at such things but this just seemed mean-hearted.

  • hephaestion

    The last truly funny sketch on SNL had Gilda Radner in it.
    It’s been Homophobiaville ever since.

  • Jeffree

    SNL being in NYC should, in theory, have access to the best writers and be more aware of Trans issues. They went for a ch.eap shot and an easy laugh. Totally unprofessional.

    This trite, un-funny, lame concept mess shows why SNL should stick to music, Weekend Update, & guest stars.

  • BS

    @MAC: I wouldnt say im anti trans im just in no way pro trans. wouldnt be friends with one and they gross me out. i know it doesnt make sense as i am gay and wanting straight people to accept me for who i am. maybe my views will change someday but for now i only care about my cause.

  • Dana Taylor

    @BS: People like you gross me out. And no, not because you are gay.

  • TC

    FFS. Being politically correct is not the awful thing so many people have come to believe it is. It’s about being polite and respectful of everyone. Not so hard. This wasn’t funny.

  • Jeffree

    @BS: Good on you for being honest about the “ick” factor. Bunch of people will prob jump on you for saying that, but you did point out your own contradiction. Just like its takes many homophobes to meet/get to know a gay guy or lesbian before realizing we are more than our orientation, it may take the same process for you.

    Best way to grow out of your phobia may be to get to know some Trans people. Read up on or listed to some of their life stories and they’ll seem familiar because they mirror our own in many ways: the confusion, the pressure, the rejection, the self-hating and hate from others.

    The “gross” factor is what many homophobes think of about us. Doesn’t feel good when you’re on the receiving end, does it? So don’t perpetuate the same lack of acceptance to others.

    Your own discomfort with Trans people is something that can change, If you expect to be treated as fully human, you’d do well to extend the acceptance you need/ want to Trans folks as well.

  • Shannon1981

    @BS I appreciate your honestly, but wow, how hypocritical, and downright disturbing, coming from a member of the LGBT community. Seriously, I gotta say, it really bothers me how, so often, the “B” and the “T” in LGBT not only catch hate from straight people, but from us too! Unbelievable. We need to stick together. Whatever your issue with trans folks are, you need to get over them, STAT.

  • Thomas Marx

    I am not a transgender. The idea of someone who isn’t a transgender passing judgment on whether something like this is funny or not disturbs me.

    With that said, the skit bothered me. I didn’t understand the point of it, and I didn’t like that the punchline seemed to be that men who were born the incorrect gender were funny because they had boobs and long hair but also had facial hair.

    Was it offensive? Not to me. I just thought it was stupid and didn’t make any logical sense. But I am not a transgender. And I personally think people should stop complaining about the “political correct” shit (which basically asks for people to treat those different from them with respect instead of disdain) and start realizing that you can be funny without tearing apart people who are different from you.

  • Teddy Partridge

    @Lucas: Yes, it was in the West Coast version, and I found it incredibly offensive. How is it that of these incredibly talented young New York-based comics, not one said, “Hey, this isn’t funny, the punchline is ‘Look, trannies!’ and that’s simply not funny!”

    I’m still an SNL fan after all these years but between this stupid and hurtful ‘ad’ and the skit two weeks ago about Cher and Chaz Bono in which the punchline was ALSO “Look, trannies!” I have to wonder what’s up with the trans hatred in Lorne Michaels’ SNL shop.

    It needs to stop. It’s not funny, and people are hurt by it.

  • namari

    I found it offensive from the very beginning, but I was trying to keep an open mind about it. Maybe they were trying to be.. funny and not trans-phobic, somehow? Maybe it would have redeeming qualities?

    .. until the end, when they said “Side effects may include spontaneous enjoyment of TLC’s ‘Say Yes To the Dress'”. And then they were being trans-phobic and grossly stereotyping women in the same skit, and it was way too much.

    Not cool.

  • BS

    @Shannon1981: I know that I should not think that way but it has a long backstory. Does queerty have a forum for talks like this. I would love to talk about it overall.

  • Shannon1981

    @BS: Glad you realize that it isn’t exactly ok..I applaud that. IDK that there is a forum here. I just go into the blog threads.

  • Godkas

    -Copied from my response to a youtube posting of this skit-

    SNL has always been known for its lowbrow humor, however, this is nothing more than bigotry. Trans people want nothing more than to have their outward appearance match how they feel inside and to live their lives as the gender they most identify with.

    This skit perpetuates the misinformed social stigma about transgenders? portraying trans females as “hairy guys”. It is immature, insensitive, and should not be tolerated in todays society.

  • Chris

    (1) The commercial was not funny. It was lazy, it was obvious, and it relied on a stereotype for the only gag.

    (2) An awful lot of comedy hinges on stereotype. Jews are nebbish and obsessive, black males are aggressive, short-tempered and scary, white people are uptight and repressed. Good comedy plays against these stereotypes to create a joke that is more intelligent, but not all comedy is good comedy.

    (3) I really wish folks in the LGBT community in general, particularly trans people, would stop defining their identity by seizing every opportunity to feignn outrage about every perceived slight. Was the sketch offensive? Mildly. But it did portray trans people less as freaks and more as ordinary people living ordinary lives, even if the gag was “haha, look at this bearded dude with tits.”

    (4) I’m sorry to have to point this out, trans folks, but an awful lot of you ARE men in dresses, or hairy dudes with tits. At least at some point. Personally I am very pro trans, but you have to acknowledge that its a very strange thing, especially to middle America. That doesn’t mean you don’t have equal rights, but no one has a right to not be offended or made fun of. Get over yourselves – and please stop playing the suicide card to back up your narcissistic outrage.

    (5) Lastly, Queerty, if you can get over your Outrage boner for a second, how about a tiny bit of credit for SNL’s history of supporting LGB AND T artists throughout its long history? SNL has been bringing Queer performers into American households LONG before it was mainstream enough for shows like Will and Grace. SNL has always treated us as equal members of society, including an equal opportunity to be made fun of, often with lazy stereotyping humor. We should thank them for that.

  • kayla

    Umm…I laughed…….just being truthful!

  • Godkas


    What you are failing to see is how things like this effect both the population at large as well as the trans community.

    The population will see something like this and ingrain in their subconscious that it is acceptable to ridicule, discriminate, harass and even attack (in that order) transgendered people.

    Now I feel I should explain this in detail because if you have any understanding of how the human brain works you would know that jumping a line of acceptability say from joking about something to attacking it would be unacceptable. things happen in small steps for a reason because its easier to justify a small step. jokes turn into discrimination discrimination turns into harassment harassment turns into aggression. It is just psychological fact. So in essence making a joke of a serious matter can have unintended ramifications.

    Also the trans community. Imagine how something like this will effect people who are on the road to coming out and accepting themselves. As anyone in the LBGT community knows the fear present in exposing yourself to the world can be crippling and deny you the comfort and happiness we all deserve.

    Furthermore. What is this “suicide card” you speak of. 41% attempt. its hardly a card its just statistical fact.

    All that having been said I do agree they have helped in their own small way and while nobody has the right to not be made fun of this could have been handled better. Because rather than people accepting that trans women ARE for all intensive purposes reproduction aside ARE female.

  • Godkas

    They instead think of them as hairy men in dresses

  • Nikki H

    @BS: Wow! It’s hard to believe someone who is gay could make that statement. Shocking really at such prejudice can exist in someone who is also considered “alternative”. I guess you also hate femine gay men and butch lesbians. O, you’re probably grossed out by women period. By the way, as a Trans woman I wouldn’t be friens with a moron like you.

  • ron

    Trannies ARE the very definition of freaks, and no amount of self-righteous political correctness will ever change that.

  • Nikki H

    “Society has a long, long way to go before transgender and gender-nonconforming people receive equality. In every category, respondents reported that discrimination is still widespread. Ninety percent reported being harassed at work, and respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed. Respondents were far more likely to have attempted suicide, or be HIV-positive than the national average. And poverty is far more common as well. Transgender people of color are hardest hit by these inequalities.”

    We need to send a message loud and clear that we will not be victims of discrimination, and that we will fight back against it in every sector of society

  • Godkas


    The definition of freak is unusual or deformed. so by your logic any disabled person is a freak. You just took a shot at countless war veterans who are missing limbs, people who were born with defects, oh and BTW most of our presidents.

    Maybe you should rethink your criteria.. and if that is beyond you I really hope you become disfigured at some point in your life so you can join the ranks of what you so clearly hate.

  • Nikki H

    @ron: @ Ron….Ronnie sweetie, you are the fu–ing freak! Look in the mirror.

  • Shannon1981

    @Godkas: Agree wholeheartedly. And like I said upthread, I don’t pretend to *get* the trans plight anymore than straights *get* the gay plight. Hell, at least we, for the most part, seem to be getting away from people actually killing us. Skits like this simply reinforce that “freak” persona with people who cannot grasp the concept, and lets them think its ok to be skeeved out by trans women.

    @ron: Not cool to say that, least of all on a queer blog, seriously.

  • kayla

    @ron: I certainly don’t think there is any need to use the word “freak”! I believe people have the right to have sex changes and certainly I don’t think any person should be discriminated against, including transsexuals. However, as a person of my particular faith, I can’t pretend I think it’s moral…That however, would not justify treating transsexuals with anything other than equal dignity…But I honestly don’t get it…And after having seen the naked bodies of post-op transsexuals…well…what is there to say! Does this make me a bigot…? I’m not sure…

  • Nikki H

    @ Ron. Well, I guess I’m in good company. Most of the greatest minds and creative geniuses of their day were considered freaks by the commoners.
    Frankly, I think the Trans people that I know are some of the most sensitive and enlightened individuals that I have ever met.
    You obviously are not on the same level.

  • Nikki H

    @ Kayla. I appreciate your honesty but yes it does make you a bigot if you think Trans people are immoral, regardless that you have enough integrity not to discriminate. People are born as Transsexuals. It is not a choice. It , therefore, has nothing to do with morality. It has more to do with living honestly and authentically so that the mind and body are in sync.
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just as there are beautiful as well as unattractive people who are cis-gender, the same is true of Transgender people.

  • kayla

    @Nikki H: I don’t believe the body should be defiled. I consider the operation undertaken by transsexuals to be mutilation…However, as I’ve stated, I don’t think they should be prevented from doing this, nor should people be allowed to discriminate against persons who undergo the operation…The truth is I have absolutely no problems with people who cross-dress, since they are not “mutilating” themselves…It’s my particular moral point of view…You have the right to completely and utterly disagree with it….I am also concerned that there have been people who undergo the operation and then regret it, as well as various health issues that come as a result….But again, I would not want to prevent anyone from having the right to have the operation!

  • justiceontherocks

    @kayla: I expect better of you. “Defiling” the body sounds awfully fundamentalist Christian. And what kind of surgery is defiling: sex changes? breast enhancement? repairing deviated septums? removing hemroids?

    It’s not a ‘moral’ point. The way someone else alters their body does not concern me.

  • Nikki H

    Hi Kayla. Do you consider someone who has breast implants or rhinoplasty or a face lift as mutilating themselves? Gender Reassignment has been advocated by mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists as currently the most effective treatment for severe gender identity conflict. It is a medical procedure to correct a medical problem. Patient outcome measures show that well over 90% of pastients undergoing Gender Reassignment surgery are either satisfied or very satisfied.
    Below is a link to an article that you might find interesting.

  • Shannon1981

    @kayla: Sorry, but some of your comments on this thread are chock FULL of the fundy party line- that thinly veiled homo/transphobia we all have heard from people who claim to be on our sides countless times. I appreciate the honesty, but you need to rethink some of this. And please don’t push your personal morals onto others. Not cool. If you don’t personally want to do things like this, fine. But, not trying to stop those who doesn’t make you any less of a bigot.

  • Maggie

    @kayla: So you feel qualified to judge morality of an established birth defect? Is fixing a cleft palate immoral too? The AMA has come out with a position that transsexualism is a valid medical condition. But who are they to know anyway? Could it be that they have read the research? Have you?

  • kayla

    @Shannon1981: I have no intentions of “pushing” my morals on anyone, hence my statements that I would never want to prevent anyone from doing the operation. Furthermore, I do not believe homosexuality is immoral in any way, shape or form. And have done what little I can, to help the cause of equality in the form of protesting, writing my representatives and well as prayer….As I have stated above, you have the right to disagree with me, I hope you believe I have the right to voice my opinion…I hardly think fixing a cleft palate can be compared with the removal of breasts or penis….

  • thematics

    @Maggie: You’re confused. People born with anatomically correct reproductive systems and “equipment” don’t have birth defects. The “defect” (a word I wish you wouldn’t use) is in the psychology, known as body dysmorphia, which is recognized as a psychiatric problem and is a necessary diagnosis before insurance will cover sex (gender) reassignment surgery. The AMA recognizes that transexualism is a medical conditon based on the underlying psychiatric diagnosis.

    Intersex people may be considered to have physical birth defects.

    Body dysmorphic disorders are also at the root of eating disorders such as anorexia, but those illnesses aren’t treated with surgery.

  • Nikki H

    @Nikki H:

    Didn’t post my message.
    Transsexuality is not analagous to Annorhexia, which appears to be a psychological problem secondary to negative life experience and self esteem.
    My Gender Identity was established by the time I was 3 or 4 years old. It may be some combination of nature and nurture but none of my siblings who were raiused in the same environment are gay or trans.
    The web link below is quite interesting.

  • Maggie

    @thematics: Considering that research is mounting to show that the brain formed in transsexual people in a cross gendered way, the term birth defect is appropriate and to many transsexualism is a version of intersexism. Since medicine cannot yet modify the brain, they surgically modify the body to match the brain. It is this research that I was referring to, not the psychiatric basis. It is noteworthy that surgery is the recommended treatment for the condition as you pointed out but not for the other “disorders.”

    Also consider that research recently showed that post op transwomen do not report the “phantom limb” feeling of the loss of their male genitalia but males who have undergone surgery for other medical reasons to remove these parts do report it. This speaks to the notion that in trans people, these organs do not register with the brain in the same way as cisgendered males.

  • Christine Beatty

    As a transsexual woman I’m grateful to have transitioned “under the radar” 20 years ago before there were hateful skits like this that told my co-workers are the general public is was okay to mock and laugh at my situation. I’m sure the next transwoman (or transman) who gets stomped or murdered in a transphobic hate crime won’t be laughing. What bothers me is, why are there *any* gay people laughing at this? What if this mock ad depicted the worst stereotypes of gay people? Would they laugh then?

  • The Bony Man

    I thought that this skit was quite offensive as well. I have several transgendered friends, and these stereotypes only enforce the idea of “haha, they aren’t really women”.

  • Francis

    Not funny at all. Not totally offensive to me, but not funny. Just totally stupid. If transgendered folk are offended than I support them in fighting this.

  • Francis

    @BS: Oh, so you know it’s wrong to be anti-trans but because you don’t understand, you’re against it. Sounds a lot like the 50 year olds who are anti-gay. You must be SOOO proud.

  • Francis

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t get how any gay/lesbian/bi/straight supporting person can be totally pro gay rights, and then against or not supporting of transgendered individuals. You’re either for or against equality. That’s my 2 cents.

  • Chris

    @Godkas: First of all I am in no way downplaying the very real problem with suicides. Sad as that is, I’m already sick of the newly unavoidable argument that “people kill themselves, and [X] is to blame, so [X] should be illegal/should be banned/etc.” That’s what I mean by the suicide card. So I think society in general should be more tolerant? Absolutely. Do I think every person should consider the ramifications of their actions before they (even jokingly) use the term “faggot” or “tranny” or laugh at a guy in a dress? I do think so. But while there are contributing factors, a suicide is always 100% the fault and responsibility of the person who killed him or herself, and while I believe whole-heartedly in taking action to help those people, I also believe whole-heartedly that we cannot use those suicides as leverage to censor other people or silence those with whom we disagree.

    As to the societal factor, I think you and a lot of people here have it very backwards. No one in America needs SNL to tell them it’s okay to laugh at transgendered people – that is already very much ingrained in our culture. Like it or not, American culture is fairly obsessed with defined gender roles, and people who step over those lines are regarded, fairly or unfairly, as freaks. Transgender people fly in the face of those gender roles, and need to recognize that. As I said, I am fully supportive of transgender rights, but there’s a reality that needs to be faced here, and expecting American comedy to be free of cross-dressing humor is just unrealistic.

    We as a community long ago became the Queers Who Cried Wolf because we refuse to pick our battles. We seize every opportunity to cry outrage, instead of accepting that being a part of American culture means that people are going to laugh at us. We should be saving our outrage for circumstances that are actually outrageous — like people being fired, murdered, or cast out of their homes because they violate some societal norm — instead of cheapening our own message by crying hate crime every time a comedian puts on a dress for a cheap laugh.

  • thematics

    @Nikki H.: (& @Maggie, too) My response post also got sent to neverland: so I’m trying again! I don’t believe that trans individuals should be denied surgery OR considered mentally disordered. My point
    has to do with the oft-used analogy between transgenderism and birth defects. It may be a way to start with explaining transexualism to people who’ve not thought about it, but

    I don’t think it helps reduce transphobia.
    I personally think that likening one’s gender/expression to a cleft palate is confusing and does little other than to increase the lack of understanding. (Mr/M s Transfobe thinks “But I can SEE a cleft palate” and leaves the conversation befuddled). I think a better analogy needs to be made. I’m no poet nor semniotician, so I won’t be much help on the alternative.

    Neither the AMA nor APA’s positions on transexualism are based on the newer research on brain development, not to some of the newer imaging studies Maggie referenced. The official guidelines and positions of those organizations wil always lag behind the science by a decade or more, so Trans (and Intersex) people are left having to be creative in explaining to cisgendered folk what it means to grow up T / I. That may mean coming up with better analogies until the science is further along.

  • Chris

    I’ve also got to point out that there is a world of difference between laughing at a transgendered person and laughing at an actor who pretends to be an ugly transgendered person for laughs. The difference is respect and a belief in human dignity.

    Millions of viewers (myself included, on occasion) tune in to South Park and laugh like hell at Timmy and Jimmy. People watched “There’s Something About Mary” and laughed at the retarded character. Gags where blind people walk into objects are frequent in low-brow comedies. Yet I sincerely doubt that in our lives many of us will encounter a person who would point and laugh at a developmentally disabled kid in a wheelchair, a kid on crutches, a mentally handicapped person, or a blind guy.

    You aren’t giving viewers enough credit. Yes, it’s still too acceptable to laugh at transgendered people – or call them “it,” or “he/she” or other offensive responses. The solution is not to ban the humor, however, it’s to educate people about the real-life behind the jokes, and teach them to be respectful of the dignity of people around them.

    P.S. I realize that I’m making an uncomfortable link between being transgendered and having a disability. I don’t regard sexual identity as a disability, but I think for the sake of the argument it’s a sound comparison. You might throw in the example of the effeminate homosexual, too, though I think that exists somewhere in between the disabled person and the transgendered person in the likelihood that a real-life passerby will point and laugh.

  • Shannon1981

    @Francis: I don’t understand it either. I cringe at two forms of discrimination within our own community: biphobia and transphobia. I don’t think the “L” and “G” in LGBT are superior to the “B” and “T” but it seems many do, especially the “T” who we seem to have left behind in some pretty big ways in our march forward. Sorry to those who think otherwise, but we are eating our own, and it needs to stop.

  • Godkas


    How many times do i have to say this today. Transgender is not the same as a cross dresser. Cross dressers dress like the opposite sex. transgenders want to BECOME the other sex. There is a very black and white line between the two ideas.

    Also ignoring things like this just because its a societal norm and has been for a long time is no excuse. You cant sit around and just let this kind of stuff fly because people will assume its fine and the problem will compound.

    Had gay people not cried out for rights and understanding they would not have gotten to where they are today. This is why we cant just sit idly by.

  • Christine Beatty

    @Chris: When you say “I sincerely doubt that in our lives many of us will encounter a person who would point and laugh at a developmentally disabled kid in a wheelchair, a kid on crutches, a mentally handicapped person, or a blind guy,” you defeat your own argument. I first transitioned in 1985 and have seen people like myself publicly ridiculed that whole time. SNL’s skit perpetuates the mindset that it is okay.

    You cannot climb on your high horse and trumpet “respect and a belief in human dignity” when you turn a willfully obtuse eye to the fact that transgendered kids have the highest suicide rates (per capita) of all youth. Kids don’t have adult sensibilities or sense of proportion; everything is life-or-death and Forever to them. “Get over yourself” is not a comfort. “Jokes” like this SNL skit is just one more nail in the everybody-is-against-me coffin.

    When I transitioned 25 years ago and the world seemingly turned against me (including losing my job and being laughed out of college), I became a prostitute and a heroin addict. It was the only power I felt like I had left. I can’t count the number of times I could (and perhaps should) have died.

    A “Get over yourself” attitude is insult atop very real injury. The LGBT community deserves better.

  • Lucas

    I hate the word cisgender. It was probably created by a lesbian.

  • thematics

    @Lucas: What word do you suggest be used instead of ‘cisgender’?

    p.s. Why would it be a lesbian who ‘invented’ that word? Please explain.

  • Chris

    @Godkas: To be clear, I didn’t say “cross dressers,” as a label for any person, I said “cross dressing” as in the action of putting on the clothing of the opposite gender. The individual’s motivation in doing so is immaterial in the specific argument, and I wasn’t equating transexuals with cross dressers, just naming an action they (usually) share. Yet again I point to this eagerness to be offended as a problem – in this case it prevents us from having a real discussion because we get caught up in semantics.

    I’ll further articulate my main argument, which is not to say “this is all just fine and we should ignore it because it is societal norm,” but rather than transgendered people (AND gay people, AND black people, AND practically everyone else) need to realize that there are certain stereotypes and social norms in American society, and that a certain level of ridicule is to be expected and, yes, tolerated. We don’t bust out the plows every time we see a single snowflake, and we shouldn’t be leaping aboard the outrage train every time a guy with a beard throws on a dress for a cheap laugh.

    This is not to say that we can’t work for societal change – I just think that raising hell about an SNL sketch is completely the wrong way to go about it. As gay men can attest, even as the culture adapts to your presence and societal acceptance is granted, the jokes rarely stop. I realize I’m in the minority here, because every time someone on SNL lisps for an easy laugh this web site explodes into righteous outrage.

    Frankly, I think it’s more helpful to societal change to show that real life transgendered people, while being healthy and normal members of society, are capable of having a sense of humor about themselves.

  • Showertile

    I’m gay, pro-trans and found the skit hilarious. I think it shows the ridiculousness of taking such a huge step lightly enough to need a “once-a-day” pill. It’s more anti-pharm-advert than anti-trans. I’m glad I’m not so easily offended, I’d never get the chance to laugh.

  • Showertile

    I’m gay, pro-trans and found the skit hilarious. I think it shows the ridiculousness of taking such a huge step lightly enough to need a “once-a-day” pill. It’s more anti-pharm-advert than anti-trans. I’m glad I’m not so easily offended, I’d never get the freedom to laugh.

  • Chris

    @Christine Beatty: Christine, thank you (sincerely) for sharing your personal experience. My heart goes out to you for what you went through, and I think reading stories like this from people like you is what really does get through to people, and incrementally shift society’s behavior.

    With that said, your experience does not give you the right to tell other people what they can and cannot do or say. You chose to become a prostitute and a heroin addict – it may not have been a conscious choice, but you were the one steering your ship, and it’s not the fault of people making jokes.

    Individual actions against you are a different story – firing you based on your sexual identity, if I understood your post correctly, is wrong and should be illegal. There may well be people directly to blame for your misfortune, but it wasn’t the people making jokes on the TV. This is sort of central to my point – there are real crimes, and perceived crimes. When we react with outrage at the perceived crimes, our response to the real crime is cheapened.

    Once again, I am not saying we should not push for societal change – I try to make people aware that small actions they may perceive as harmless, like using the word “faggot,” may have much larger repercussions than they are aware. This is a good thing, and we should all encourage people to think before they speak, and to remember that the ugly fat guy with the beard who is transitioning to an ugly woman with a beard may seem funny, but he is a real person with real feelings and he deserves dignity, even if he doesn’t seem overly protective of it.

    What those kids who are killing themselves need are positive role models and supportive parents, teachers, friends, and community members who can instill them with the self-worth and the confidence to be able to say “that’s just a stupid joke,” or “that guy calling me a freak is a loser whose opinion means nothing to me.” That’s not a lesson you instill with histrionics over every perceived slight, or by demanding a sterilized, censored culture in which every potentially offensive word or joke is outlawed. In fact, I’d argue that you are teaching them quite the opposite – your outrage teaches kids that jokes like these are WORTH getting upset over, and therefore WORTH internalizing and tormenting themselves over.

  • Christine Beatty

    @chris who claims, “it may not have been a conscious choice, but you were the one steering your ship, and it’s not the fault of people making jokes.”

    Could you be any more disingenuous? It is the social climate, perpetuated by homophobic and transphobic “jokes” and attitudes, that lead to blatant discrimination, such as me being fired from my job and being forced to make a choice between climbing back into a closet (thus abandoning my transition) or being a prostitute to pay for rent and food. (Gee, should I steer my ship directly at that iceberg or into the Bermuda Triangle?)

    When I finally kicked heroin in 1988 I was faced with a threefold choice: suicide, resuming my life as a male junkie or resuming my transition as a TS woman and swallowing the crap that society dished out daily. By a series of choices, luck and minor miracles I made it work and succeeded. Most of my TS friends from back then died of AIDS or drugs or violence or are clinging to a social safety net. I will thank you not to dishonor the memory of my dead friends with your lectures about “histrionics.”

    Continuing to honor this kind of “humor” as harmless, which is the logic of your position, means that people will continue to laugh at it in the face of all the people hurting and dying over the fear and discomfort that bigoted jokes capitalize upon. If that isn’t worth getting upset over, then what is — besides the obvious?

  • Godkas

    For the record, I am about to start my transition. My outrage stems from the fact that I haven’t even started and I already know what lies ahead. I’ts a physically and emotionally stressful enough process without a bunch of misinformed bigots taking every cheap shot they can take along the way. I’m a strong willed person so I wont be deterred but anything I can do to help raise awareness you can bet I will.

    While I’m at it. Anyone else who is on the fringe or in the middle of transition and reads this. Don’t let bigots steer you away from your goals. You are strong enough to have come this far, keep your eye on the prize and you will succeed.

  • Chris

    @Christine Beatty: Fine, then. It’s everyone else’s fault but yours. Jokes about trans people on shows like Saturday Night Live are the reason your boss fired you, and being fired from that one job left you with no other option except to become a prostitute and a heroin junkie. You’ve been nothing but an innocent ship tossed about on the stormy seas of America’s rampant transphobia, with no option but to watch as others determined your destiny.

    Does my lack of sympathy come across? Sorry, but I have zero patience when people play the victim. You could have found another job. If no one in your town was willing to hire a trans person, you could have moved. You had options, and you made a choice.

    Did a societal lack of tolerance for trans people make life harder for you? Yes, absolutely. Is that something worth trying to change? Yes, absolutely. Do your histrionics about a sketch on SNL, which apparently includes blaming them, at least in part, for everything bad that’s ever happened to you, help? Definitely not.

    Look, I will repeat again that I am pro-trans, or trans-positive, or however you want to phrase it. I support the right of every American to do what makes him or her happy. But just as no religious zealot has the right to tell you that being trans is wrong because it offends their delicate religious sensibilities, you don’t have the right to tell comics that their unfunny jokes about trans people are wrong because they offend you. You blaming bad jokes and unfunny sketches for suicides and deaths from HIV is just as ludicrous as those Right Wingers blaming homosexuality for the decline of the American family.

    People have disagreements, that’s just the way it is, and they have a right. They don’t (or shouldn’t) have a legal right to fire people, physically harm them, harass them, or deny them legal rights – but they have a right to tell jokes, even unfunny ones. Trying to shut that down because you disagree with it is almost as oppressive as shutting down gay marriage. All I’m saying is pick your battles, and stop defining your identity by making a big (histrionic) show of your righteous outrage every time the opportunity arises.

  • Alia


    Yo Chris, I’m a trans woman. I’ve never worn a dress. I rock climb, backcountry ski, and mountain bike. I can throw a hard right down elbow in a fight. I’m not a man, and I have never been one. You speak from a position of male privilege.

    “Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test it’s a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.”

    The LGBT movement needs to cut the fat from its bones.

  • Christine Beatty

    @Chris – your inability and apparent unwillingness to try to see things from another POV and your hiding behind a lofty “free speech” argument smacks of a life of privilege. You speak in abstracts and ideals, I speak from bloody experience. Your latest strawman argument (“It’s everyone else’s fault but yours.”), and your passive-aggressive dismissal shows you only care about debating points. I hope for your sake you never find yourself in a real street fight someday, because nobody will be impressed with your intellectual circlejerk then. Best of luck to you

  • Tori

    @Showertile: Seeing as your gay and not trans it would hardly effect you.That’s like pro-Jewish Christian claiming not to be offended by the term kike.

  • Nikki H


    @Thematics. Thanks for explaining your thoughts. I tend to agree that trying to pathologize Transsexualism is a problem. The fact that the DSM lists Gender Dyphoria as a disorder akin to pedophilia and sexual fetishism is simply wrong. I prefer to use the terms Gender Variant than Gender Disorder or Dysphoria. I think it’s a much less negative descriptor.

  • Mykell

    @Chris: Wow, I’m shocked by how ignorant and anti-trans a self-proclaimed “pro-trans” person is. Let’s point out some of your offensive statements.

    A) The only trans folks who are men and dresses or hairy dudes with tits are FTMs. As in, men who were born female. Did you realize we exist?

    B) Trans people are not so strange in middle America. We do not just live on the coasts. We are everywhere. I’m trans and I live in f***ing Michigan.

    C) Just because we don’t have the right to not be offended or made fun of doesn’t mean we should be quiet and take it when people offend us or make fun of us.

    D) We’ll stop “playing the suicide card” when LGBT organizations start to *really* care about how many of us attempt suicide.

  • Nikki H

    @ Chris: Sorry bro but I have to seriously disagreee with your pompous and self righteous diatribe. These comedic skits such as the one on SNL are particularly insidious because they DO shape the culture. I was listening to a radio show from Raleigh, N.C. which featured a guest who was a guy who’d been in the Navy, unknowingly picked up a pre-op Trans girl at a bar and brought her home. When he discovered that she was actually a guy during a make out session, he threw “it” out and proceded to shower with bleach and gargle over and over. The two hosts thoughgt it was hysterically funny and the male radio host actually said “You should have beat the crap out of “it” and taught “it” a lesson. Good God! What sort of lesson are we teaching people. Men are especially afraid to be perceived as gay and situations like these have ended up in brutal murders. Yes, of course, we need positive Trans role models but we also MUST confront such public bigotry and call it what it is. It is not innocent fun. It does shape minds and opinions and perpetuates a climate of intolerance.

  • Nikki H

    Pick your battles. Right. I understand but if you don’t think this seriously effects public opinion then you are sadly mistaken. This is a huge battle! As long as people sit back and say nothing then this crap will continue. When people start standing up and saying that this is offensive and needs to stopn, then it eventually will stop.

  • Scott

    I laughed.

  • Chris

    Folks, forgive me, but you’re absolutely illustrating my point. You’re so busy being outraged by my argument that you don’t actually pay attention to what I’m saying. I’ve not once come close even to suggesting that all trans people are ugly bearded dudes – what I’ve said is that you shouldn’t ramp up the indignation machine every time a comic goes that route. I didn’t suggest that trans people don’t exist around America – but the fact is trans people are strange to mainstream America EVERYWHERE. Note that I am not saying freakish, not saying wrong. Just strange, the way a Spinx cat is strange – there’s nothing wrong with it, you just don’t see it especially often. Anyone who would deny that is just out of touch with reality. I also didn’t say that you should sit down and shut up in general – I said that going from zero to histrionics every time a joke involves gender identity is counterproductive to your goals.

    As for caring about suicide, a lot of us really do care. Many people are working hard to counteract the motivators behind those suicides. Unfortunately you can’t hear a lot about that because it’s drowned out by the noise of a MILLION PEOPLE FREAKING OUT OVER A STUPID SNL SKETCH, or whatever other molehill the professionally outraged community is making a mountain out of that particular day.

    You can go to all the usual arguments (and some of you already have): I’m not trans so I can’t possibly understand. I’m transphobic because I don’t agree with everything you say. I’m minimizing trans people because I don’t have a tantrum every time some unfunny comedian throws on a dress for a cheap laugh.

    My point is that EVERYONE GETS MOCKED. The fact that trans people have real life harder than many doesn’t give them a special right to be free from mockery. Adults get over it, shake off the joke, perhaps make a cutting remark in return, and move on with their lives. That way, when there IS a serious issue – like, for example, radio hosts suggesting that violence is the appropriate response to discovering that your date is trans, or a boss firing someone for no other reason except their sexual identity – they have the time and the credibility to deal with it.

    I’m not wasting more time in this thread. I’ve said my peace, and at this point I’m pissing into the ocean. Go on being professionally outraged. Go one defining your personal identity around the idea that YOU have a right to get PISSED because NO ONE understands YOUR issues. I’ll go on being frustrated by you, and trying to do things that will actually improve the situation for young people, instead of teaching them that they’re so fragile they must fall to pieces every time someone has the GALL to make a JOKE about THEM.

  • Scott

    @Nikki H:

    He didn’t know she was trans. He felt violated.

  • Godkas


    you don’t and never will understand because you refuse to realize humans are nothing more than self important animals who are slaves to their own psychology.

    People understand Jews in Nazi Germany. Then came jokes, then it became acceptable to make imagery demonizing them. Then came fear mongering, followed by hatred followed by hystera and mass genocide.

    Now tell us again how jokes are harmless.

    Social Programming is what it is.

  • Godkas

    People Didn’t* understand ^

  • testington

    I support the trans community but I still found that commercial hilarious. For me the humor is in satirizing the American attitude that everything should come easy, that medications are the answer to everything and just making fun of drug commercials in general.

  • Maggie

    It would’ve been better if there were jokes, but it was just “dude with facial hair in dress.” It’s sort of like just saying “gay people exist!” and waiting for the audience to laugh. I mean, I guess it’s offensive, but even then.. not really. It’s just lazy.

    Besides, five different estrogen supplements a day? You can get by on one and an anti-androgen. Come on!

  • adam

    this skit was so bad and unfunny. It was definitely transphobic…and super ignorant. another recent episode made fun of Chaz Bono…again in an unfunny and uninformed way. It’s obvious Seth Meyers doesn’t know any trans folks. he should be fired…not for this but for making SNL suck so bad.

  • Alexander

    I’m transgender FTM.

    People make fun of everything, for any reason. What’s more bizarre to me is that THIS is what GLAAD/HRC/people choose to fight over when there are more pressing issues for the trans and women community! A bullshit skit does not demand this much attention…but lack of resources for the trans community does. So does increased targeted violence for trans people, so does higher rates of suicide/murder/unemployment for trans people…I mean the list goes on. This skit doesn’t change minds either way. And it wasn’t funny…but it COULD HAVE been, had they consulted/involved transwomen. We make fun of each other all the time!

    I wrote about it, too, on my blog. FYI

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