Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Change We Can Believe In

Recent events have been showing us T folk in a positive light and it is amazing! Look at these things and feel good about where we now are in the world. We have Jenna Talackova as a media sweetheart for standing up to the Miss Universe Pageant, and to Donald Trump by extension (what a bonus!). There is a piece on ABC's "What Would You Do" where an average guy stands up for a trans woman who is being hassled in public. We had a National Geographic special, "Transgender America," that had the most touching and positive presentations of trans people that I think I've ever seen. And Heavens! the Nat Geo special waited for over 45 minutes before showing the trans woman putting on makeup, but even then it was someone putting makeup on her the day of her wedding! It was a story book portrayal instead of the common faintly (or strongly) tabloid views that come up so often.

When we meld this with Chaz Bono, Amanda Simpson being appointed to a senior Commerce Department post, and Mia Macy's landmark Title VII employment rights decision you have got to be positive. All of these things have been showing the general public that we are not "other." That we are just people doing our best to live life as we need to. Isn't that great?

Now here is my new plan to reinforce this change, and it's a page taken right out of a "Big Bang Theory" episode ("The Gothowitz Deviation" if you are just too geeky). Main character Sheldon decides to undertake an experiment where he "trains" the character Penny by giving her chocolates when she exhibits "good" behavior. Then he squirts another character with a water sprayer when he exhibits "bad" behavior. Straight out of the Dog Whisperer!

From now on I'm going to carry a pocket full of chocolates when I'm out and give a treat to anyone who is nice to me! I think it might be safer to forgo the other reinforcement in this operant conditioning project though. I doubt it would help the trans community if I go around squirting people who behave badly.

So if you are out and about and someone comes up to you with an expectant look, like they think you have treats, you may just be running into someone I've been training!


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