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Trans Activist Up In Arms Over ABC’s New “Drag” Sitcom “Work It”

Trans activist are up in arms and enraged over the new ABC mid-season replacement sitcom that will be airing shortly called “Work it”

This is ABC-TV’s decription of “Work It”:

With unemployment an ongoing issue and women now outnumbering men in the workforce, the new comedy series “Work It” follows two alpha males who realize the only way to beat the current “mancession” and land a job in pharmaceutical sales is to pass themselves off as women. Combining all the best elements of the workplace comedy, the buddy comedy and the family comedy, “Work It” centers on Lee Standish (Ben Koldyke) — a quick-witted and likable family man who used to be a top car salesman until he got laid off — and Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco) — a single, hot-headed ladies’ man with no filter — who quickly learn there are fundamental differences in the worlds of men and women that go beyond teetering in high heels and tightening up with Spanx. Lee and Angel are determined to keep their ruse going for as long as they can — and keep their newly found jobs — in this smart, funny and relevant look at male and female relationships at work, at home and socially. Being a better man sometimes means having to be a better woman.

So basically what we are talking here is nothing but a rehash of the old 80’s television sitcom “Bosom Buddies” which starred Tom Hanks and Peter Scholari.  Does that mean that “Bosom Buddies” and even the movie classic “Some Like It Hot” was “transphobic?”

From reading the ABC’s description below one would think that “Work It” was more “mysogynist” than “transphobic” since the men are blaming the women for taking over the workplace and the “mancession” (which is total bunk by the way).  And the charcters to not identify as “trans” characters.  Its not their orientation.  They are straight men who are dressing in drag for work not because its their inner and true identity.  Much like many drag queens in the entertainment business.

Gennt Beeman and Sue Rankin at AlterNet write:
To transgender women, these images are no laughing matter. Their femaleness is no masquerade, yet they often experience discrimination for not being able or not desiring to “pass “as women……. Work It makes a mockery of transgender experiences. It portrays “men in dresses “(a common caricature of transgender people) as comically absurd, while, at the same time, depicting a world in which the difference between one’s gender presentation and gender at birth is a non-issue. If only it were that easy for individuals assigned male at birth to be accepted as they see themselves, as women.
GLAAD of course has reached out to ABC about “Work It” and has been talking with them for months.  But the real question is “Work It” truly transphobic and portraying transsexuals in a bad light or just a crumby rehash of an old sitcom about two straight men who dress as women to get jobs and is it any more offensive than the negative stereotypes that LOGO TV’s The A List represents of real gay men?  Which by the way GLAAD has never said anything about in two years.
 
Whats your opinion?
 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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