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Becoming Chaz

So, for those of you who can stomach Oprah, a trans-life-story documentary called “Becoming Chaz” is airing on her channel may 10th, so mark your calendars if you like. Not having a television (and I wouldn’t pay extra for access to the Oprah Winfrey Network if I did), I’m not going to be watching it, though I will probably make an effort to see if it is made available online after the fact.

Since it hasn’t actually aired yet, I don’t have much to say, but I already have a couple criticisms. First of all, the presentation in the article about this of previous “trans” related media includes “Nip Tuck” and “South Park”, and from what I’ve seen of the trans-related content of those shows it’s pretty clear to me that either the writer hasn’t actually seen these, or maybe just brainstormed a bunch of things that they knew once featured trans people and didn’t bother to think about the actual content. I mean, should these things really be juxtaposed with a documentary without making any differentiation? The only distinction that the author makes is that they weren’t documentaries (certainly fucking not). Secondly, Rosie O’Donnell is going to spend an hour afterward educating the audience on trans issues. I honestly don’t know much about her, but is she qualified to do that? Could they not get an interview with anybody who participated in the documentary at all? Why not let the documentary stand on its own, is the life story of a trans person not informative enough?

But beyond that, I’m looking forward to having it come out. I’ve seen a lot of trans-related documentaries already (but apparently none that were mainstream enough to count for anything, according to the author of that article), but something I haven’t seen yet is a documentary that is primarily created by a trans person and not presented or narrated by someone outside the community. I’m just hoping that it’s not quite as sanitized-for-public-consumption or voyeuristic as the other stuff.

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