Loop21.com, the online news site that focuses on the African-American community, published an op-ed by blogger and trans advocate Monica Roberts that challenges the transphobia and overall sexism of the show Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.
In the article “The Transmisogyny Aimed at Joseline Hernandez is an Outrage” Monica criticizes the media for the manner in which it questioned one of the characters' gender identity. Monica argues that the conversation about Joseline Hernandez not only presupposes an ideal imagery for women, but that it also is an extension of the anti-beauty campaigns that women of color have historically faced.
From the article:
“Women come in all shapes, sizes, skin tones and body configurations, but women of color have had to deal with a centuries old ‘vanillacentric’ beauty standard that was not created with them or their bodies in mind and uplifts white women as the ultimate templates for femininity while negatively impacting women of color.
We’ve had an off the charts epidemic of transphobia breaking out in the black gossip blogosphere for several years. While much of it has been aimed at Ciara and Wendy Williams, the latest target in the transphobes sights is Joseline Hernandez of the VH1 reality television show "Love And Hip-Hop Atlanta."
Because Joseline has some traits that are deemed by the Black Blogosphere Femininity Police as belonging to the opposite gender, she has been savaged by rumors that she is a transwoman. She overreacted to those rumors by tweeting a frontal nude photo of herself that showed her female genitalia backed up by a tweet proclaiming she was ‘100% female.’
Transmisogny is gleefully trafficked by the editors of the blogs and runs amok in their comment threads. In one post by Bossip, they used the derogatory anti-trans slur word ‘shim’ in a post about Ms. Hernandez before it was changed.
And as we know words and images matter.
According to the most recent data from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, anti-trans hate crimes and murders are at an all-time high. And despite the efforts of trans advocates to increase awareness about trans people and the everyday hardships they face, the media should do more to tell the stories of trans Americans.
GLAAD worked closely with both Monica Roberts and Loop21 to place this article. We thank Monica Roberts for taking the time to write the piece and we commend Loop21.com for elevating the voices and stories of African American transgender people.