Tina K. Russell

June 20, 2008

Paved with Good Intentions: Portraits of Well-Meaning Liberals (UPDATED)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 10:11 pm

From a list of Pride week events in San Francisco:

GAY PRIDE EVENTS
Good Vibrations

“Divas of San Francisco: Portraits of Transsexual Women.” Photographs by David Steinberg. Reception 6-8 p.m. Thurs. Through July 20. 1620 Polk St. (415) 974-8985, ext. 201.

facepalm

If you’re wondering why this makes me so angry, try to imagine a “High-Achieving Academics of San Francisco: Portraits of Asian Women” photo exhibition, or maybe a “Forthright Playas of San Fransico: Portraits of Black Men” one, or perhaps a “Mystical Shamans Who Cry When You Toss Away That Beer Bottle in San Francisco: Portraits of American Indians” one, and you may get the idea.

Basically, stereotyping in praise is still stereotyping. I’m essentially being called a “hot tranny mess,” and it makes me want to pound somebody’s eyeballs out. If I’m walking down the street of San Francisco, dressed in fashionable clothes and toting a purse, I wouldn’t mind people thinking I look pretty (why else would I dress up?), but I would mind if people thought right away, “wow, she’s a diva, she looks like she’s gonna take over the freakin’ world.” I loathe when people praise transsexuals for our default setting of “being transsexual”; they might as well be patting us on the head and giving us lollipops.

Grrrr.

UPDATE: Well, I feel silly now. My dear friend Riftgirl–see her blog, “Being ‘T,'” at right–fills us in through the comments.

I’m SO totally anal at times, it amazes even me. With regard to the exhibit title, it actually is very intentional – and appropriate. From the exhibit notes:

“For over five years, David Steinberg has been photographing transsexual women who frequent Divas Nightclub and Bar in San Francisco, the premier transgender club in the U.S.”

Still, I don’t know what “culture” has to do with a name of a bar. ;-) And on a side note, “premier transgender club”… Groan, I hate that kind of crap.

Hey, Riftgirl, don’t you get it? The nightclub is questioning its gender identity. That’s perfectly normal for its age. (I wonder what its parents think?)

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6 Comments »

  1. Anger over nothing. It’s promoting acceptance of your culture. Don’t be mad just to be mad.

    Comment by Jared — June 20, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

  2. Huh, and I thought I explained _why_ I was mad. (Who got to decide what “my culture” is, anyway?)

    Comment by Tina Russell — June 21, 2008 @ 12:53 am

  3. Dang, and I was just gonna comment that I wish we did get more free lollipops, being the sugar maven that I am. But, Jared, I’m gonna have to disagree with you. Not so much related to the photo exhibit title because, well, I haven’t viewed it’s content. (Maybe it is a bunch of glamor shots of would-be super models.) But “acceptance of your culture”?! What does that even mean?

    Comment by Riftgirl — June 24, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  4. I’m SO totally anal at times, it amazes even me. With regard to the exhibit title, it actually is very intentional – and appropriate. From the exhibit notes:

    “For over five years, David Steinberg has been photographing transsexual women who frequent Divas Nightclub and Bar in San Francisco, the premier transgender club in the U.S.”

    Still, I don’t know what “culture” has to do with a name of a bar. 😉 And on a side note, “premier transgender club”… Groan, I hate that kind of crap.

    Comment by Riftgirl — June 24, 2008 @ 11:15 am

  5. Thanks, Rifty! I’ve updated the post accordingly.

    Where did you find the exhibit notes? I couldn’t find ’em at the Good Vibrations site. (When I saw that they had “digital downloads,” I was like, what? How do you download a vibrator?)

    Comment by Tina Russell — June 24, 2008 @ 7:12 pm

  6. Thanks for making me spit up my pot pie, Tina, with that last comment… 😉

    I copied and pasted the exhibit title in a Google search.

    Comment by Riftgirl — June 25, 2008 @ 11:43 pm


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