With the media wondering if 2015 is “the year of the transgender child,” and adult trans characters picking up acting and best series honors at the Golden Globes for Transparent, one might wonder if transphobia still exists in the mainstream press.
That illusion was shattered when Bruce Jenner recently appeared in a heavily doctored cover photo for InTouch, where Bruce’s face was superimposed onto British actress Stephanie Beacham’s body. Russell Brand was so outraged by the photo and the public’s response that he dedicated a full episode of his news show Trews to the defense of Jenner.
Russell’s assertion that transphobia is one of the last vestiges of accepted discrimination is hardly new. Trans advocates have been saying for it for several years now, long before Laverne Cox became a household name for her role on Orange is the New Black. While it isn’t confirmed that Jenner actually is transitioning to a woman, his experimentation with gender is one of the most high-profile stories to have yet emerged.
If he does transition, Bruce would be going under the lens in a way that no famous trans person has before (save perhaps Chelsea Manning) — his link with the Kardashian sisters, after all, staples his reputation as a highly-recognized figure in pop culture. As Brand notes, that makes Jenner a target like never before.
“For some sections of the media, transphobia seems to be the most recent and encouraged form of prejudice, now that racism and homophobia are not tolerated… We can’t be homophobic anymore… Can’t be racist anymore… But still can be transphobic though, can we?”
Russell went on to describe a recent TMZ newscast, where the anchors openly mocked and laughed at Jenner’s feminine gender expression. Brand described the scene as “like when you see ‘Blade Runner,’ or some dystopian thing” from the future where “everything’s a bit ‘hello, we’re evil now!'”
“It’s such a celebration of the worst aspects of human values. What this does is it sanctions people being judgmental and cruel towards transgender folk. This climate of bullying and judgement and cruelty is a violence of its own nature.”
Russell isn’t the only person upset about InTouch’s Bruce cover. The New York Daily News reports that Kris Jenner has decided to completely cut off the magazine and its counterparts because of their treatment of Bruce.
“Kris (Jenner) has cut off contact with In Touch, Life & Style and all Bauer publications. They won’t get any ‘real’ quotes from the family, and will be banned from Kardashian-Jenner red carpets, events, premieres and fashion events.”
Do you agree with Russell Brand about Bruce Jenner’s InTouch cover?
[Image via InTouch and Celebrity9]