FX’s Sons of Anarchy Uses Negative Transgender Stereotype For Comic Relief – Video

On last nights Season 5 premiere of FX’s Son’s of Anarchy the show created by Kurt Sutter about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club hit a series low by using an offensive stereotype “transgender” character stereotype for comic relief.

Via tvovermind.com

Okay I just can’t contain myself anymore.  The BEST part of this episode  was the surprise appearance of Justified’s Walton Goggins, who appears  as a partially transexual hooker named Venus Van Dam.  He/She is all woman  from the waist up, and all man from the waist down.  Venus is hired by the  Sons to setup a local insurance agent who holds the political clout to make or  break Jacob Hale’s dream project, Charming Heights.  Jax drugs the agent  and brings Venus in to stage some compromising pictures.

Now I’m usually pretty laid back about “characterizations” on television but this is just the straw that breaks the camels back.

Besides the fact that Walter Groggin’s isn’t even a good-looking man to begin with.  The character was such a grossly over blown caricature and a  negative depiction of a transgender individual, not to mention that the whole “blackmail him because he’s with a transsexual” storyline which is nothing more than throwback to the 60’s “blackmail him because he’s gay and its disgusting” meme that quite frankly I find it I bad taste, highly offensive and it really pisses me off.

Year after year we get told that there are more LGBT characters on television but so many of them are stereotypes used for a cheap laughs and comic relief at the expense of our community and  its time for that to stop.

Theres a real need for this type of LGBT exploitation to be kicked to the curb.  It’s not a win for us to have characters like Venus Van Damn and Micheal Urie’s character from “Partner’s” on television without any other serious LGBT character representation of our community on television to counter it. And I for one am quiet frankly sick of being uses as a laughline.

Son’s of Anarchy did nothing less than throw a very vulnerable section of the LGBT community under the bus for a cheap laugh.  They should be ashamed of themselves. And we should be saying something about it.

Excuse the quality of the clips below. It’s all that’s available at the moment.


12 thoughts on “FX’s Sons of Anarchy Uses Negative Transgender Stereotype For Comic Relief – Video

  1. You can’t honestly be serious about this post? Sons of Anarchy is a show that is notorious for using any and all racist, sexist, or offensive stereotypes. The fact that you choose now to speak up honestly shows a lot about your character. You couldn’t care less when the words “nigger” or “spic” are used, because they don’t apply to you personally, but god forbid they have a transgender character in the show. Groggin’s character really had no negative connotation towards him. In fact Groggin played a very funny, empowered, character, who seemed to catch the eyes of every member of the cast on several occasions throughout the episode. You brining up the fact that the pictures are to be used as blackmail is completely asinine. The show takes place in modern day America, and whether you like it or not, the exact situation portrayed in the show would prove quite the problem for any man in a political situation today. It is better to have transgender characters portrayed in television as a comedic point, rather than being ignored entirely.

    Instead of attacking Sons of Anarchy for doing what they do best, entertaining, and offending the dim witted, you should be off educating people about the LBGT community. In the future (though I know this advice will be overlooked) try and keep your brittle feelings to yourself. The world isn’t here to spare your feelings, and venting on your blog every time someone upsets you will do nothing for the LBGT movement.

    Someone with a sense of humor.

  2. One more thing, I just want to point out that before you lash out insulting Groggin- “Besides the fact that Walter Groggin’s isn’t even a good-looking man to begin with.” You should hear a direct quote from him “Both Kurt and I, again, wanted to be so respectful of transgenders and to make her as real as possible and someone who is lovely and someone who makes you see past it. Once the shock is over, you say to yourself, “You know what, I get it. She’s really sexy. What a very cool lady.” I hope we’ve done that.” http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/10/09/sons-of-anarchy-venus-van-dam/
    Please, put fourth this slightest bit of research before lashing out at someone in the future.

    1. I am not attacking Sons of Anarachy per sea as much as I am attacking the fact that there are no REAL down to earth positive depictions of LGBT Characters on television to off set off color ones. If that was the case it wouldn’t be such an issue. Just tired of LGBT characters being used for comic relief or in satire. Surely you can understand that.

      1. I definitely understand where you’re coming from, and I may have been quick to attack you, just as I said you did with Son’s of Anarchy haha. With educated people starting to vastly outnumber the mindless sheep who cling to their bigoted ways, it shouldn’t be too much longer before people can open their minds and be more accepting to those they consider different. Anyways, sorry for the attack, and I hope you have a good day!

  3. From the G0YS website:

    ‘When people began to use the term “GAY”, it primarily meant “Same-Sex-Attracted”. G0YS have no issue with that original, simple meaning. However, over time, -the term has taken on lots of ASSociated-baggage as a result of stigmas from stereotypes – many aggressively & shamelessly promoted in the “GAY MALE COMMUNITY” itself.

    It is one thing to be slurred by “outsiders”; — However, the bulk of Gay-male stigmas are promoted as “gay-culture” from within the “gay-male demographic”. When a group declares itself “anathema”, what appeal to “tolerance” remains? None!

    From an entertainment standpoint, I found the scene in this episode wildly hilarious…and indeed, had to replay it over and over, mostly to watch the enthusiastic reaction of the young man in the scene. (The fact that it wasn’t me providing him with a ~positive~ same-gender-attracted role model was a shame. LOL. And it still wouldn’t have made either one of us ‘gay’.)

    From a reality standpoint, I found it painfully disturbing, but not in the way Will Kohler did. It was a very uncomfortable depiction; art imitating life, and quite accurately. There are few transgender individuals that can execute a successful change, one that is entirely convincing. The vast majority of ‘everyday’ cross-dressers, transsexuals and transgenders just don’t quite hit the mark. There are those standout exceptions that amazingly fool both men and woman alike, but they are the rarity. We must also understand, that the character in the episode was unique…not male, not female…but in my opinion an individual that possibly chose to remain at this particular stage of ‘transition’ for the financial gain as a prostitute.

    Can transgenders have a community? Absolutely. But please don’t call them GAY.

    That having been said, what the hell do all these fringe factions have to do with simple Same-Gender-Attraction? Do we, as a community of MEN, have to incorporate every fringe element into our demographic? For this very basic reason, after 28 years of seeing a community of MEN be gradually taken over and misrepresented by extremism and negative stereotypes FROM WITHIN, I have had to distance myself from “GAY”. Luckily, after that 28 year foray, 7 years ago I found an alternative – G0YS – follow the link in my info above. It’s time to get back to a male-centric community comprised of men of good conscience, one that promotes Masculine Respect; one that focuses on promoting a clearly-defined example of Same-Gender-Attraction, rather than blurring the lines; one that provides a good male-oriented example for our young male youth.

  4. I think you are overlooking the very first thing I noticed: all the Christian imagery on the councilman’s wall. There was a large cross in the corner, and several photos of him with a priest, and so forth.

    The “gay” angle was thus obviously used to blackmail A CLEARLY RELIGIOUS MAN…

    It was like “okay, this guy is a church-going goodie-two-shoes. How can we set him up?”

  5. Get a life, to get offended about a ts on sons of anarchy is comical. no its just stupid. If you think about it , if you gay and you raise hell of this, then you need to stay in the closet. most people dont care what you do behind close doors , i just dont want a parade with every one who is out messing up my day. untill you the radicals stay locked up GBLT will just be an enigma. you fuck it up for the normal gay’s who just want to live a normal life.

  6. that was episode was hilarious. This guy plays a hard ass criminal on Justified and now he is whacked out female(?) hooker transsexual. It was disturbing to look at him, like the wires in his brain were crossed up and suffering from mental disorder. Won’t watch Justified quite the same way again. However he ‘does’ in the show would surely pay handsomely to avoid public knowledge of his ‘disorder’. the show is taking some sharp turns, hope they don’t end up in a 180 turn.

  7. Hi…I’m a trans woman..and a long time activist in the Chicago Trans community. Will Kohler…you don’t know the first thing about trans women…I know many trans women…that pretty much mirror Goggins’ role of Venus Van Dam. I feel almost a visceral anger towards self proclaimed Crusaders. Goggins did an excellent job in portraying a SEGMENT of the trans community that really exists. There REALLY are many trans women that are not pageant queens or that don’t meet societies “passing” standards. You seem to imply that the only roles for trans women that are legitimate , are roles that present trans women in a positive roles… I love and admire Lavern Cox…but the role that she portrays in “Orange is the New Blank” is a total fantasy.. Just the fact there is no prison system that allows trans women to be housed with women should raise a few questions . But she passes the trans women as beauty queens test. The writers of SOA…have collected a slew of folks from every possible walk of life and presented EVERYONE, except the babies, as corrupted, manipulating, villainous humans. There are no “good” guys… another thing…the vile relationship Venus and her mother REALLY says something about experiences that many girls that I work with and advocate for on an almost daily basis.

    1. Alexis. That post was written after Venus’ FIRST appearance on SOA when they were just using the character as a stigma to blackmail another character with. NOT after fleshing her out and giving her an actual story.

  8. The show is absolute garbage anyway. Let’s see, it promotes gangs, it tells men and women alike that criminally-minded, bearded morons with loud motorcycle pipes which ruin the peace and quiet of normal people’s days are good, sensitive, complex people.

    No, bikers that look like that care nothing for the rest and relaxation of others, and they frequently steal copper to support their meth habits, that they usually have going on. They’re about as complex as a dog reliving itself and just as elegant.

    I dislike bikers and I dislike the influence the fake ones have over a lot of people.

    In fact, shows like this show impressionable young men and women the lie that drug-dealing(meth and other horrible drugs, not medicine like pot) bikers aren’t the back-stabbing, woman-beating, gay-bashing retards that they are and always will be.

    See a guy with long beard, loud motorcycle, tattoos and a scowl? Sure, he may be a swell guy, but chances are he’d gladly rev his engine over and over at your aunt Suzie’s funeral, if they could, and believe me, they try.

    Did I mention that I rather dislike bikers?

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