The Glow of Utter Servility: NY Times Bows to Honor Transgender Lobby 'In Their Own Terms'

March 18th, 2014 7:32 AM

The New York Times carries the sermonizing flavor of "Can I get an Amen?" when it turns to topics on the “LGBT” agenda. The Thursday Styles section could be called the Aren’t They Fabulous? section.

The top half of Thursday’s section was a huge picture of a “trans man” and a “trans woman” in love, illustrating a Jacob Bernstein story appropriately headlined “In Their Own Terms: From art to advertising, transgender people are increasingly visible in popular culture.” The Times itself makes that visibility a priority, devoting an entire inside page to profiling prominent figures in the “gender nonconforming” movement. Bernstein, the son of Watergate star Carl Bernstein, called them "trans-superstars" on Twitter.

That starts with “trans man” Rhys Ernst and “trans woman” Zackary Drucker, neither of whom has plans for a gender reassignment” surgery, although we’re told Zackary had recent hormone injections in his behind. The couple stars in an art exhibit:

“Relationship,” a photo exhibition currently on view at the Whitney Biennial, the two have chronicled that process and the evolution of their own love affair. (In a recent preview of the Biennial, Holland Cotter of The New York Times wrote that the Ernst/Drucker photographs “put queer consciousness on the front burner.”)

That a show by two transgender artists should be so prominently featured at the 2014 Biennial should come as a surprise to no one. It is just more evidence of the increasing presence of trans people at the center of popular culture.

That also includes a new ad campaign by Barney’s department store, also lovingly chronicled in the Times. One of those models, Valentijn de Hingh, is profiled, as are actress Laverne Cox (“Orange Is The New Black”) and author Janet Mock.

These pseudo-women are honored by noting the politically correct rudeness of talk-show hosts Katie Couric and Piers Morgan, who failed to fully embrace the fairy tale these “transgender people” demand by asking about their plumbing, or being too complimentary.

Like Ms. Cox and Ms. Carrera, she [Mock] has been somewhat offended by the tone of some of her television interviews. Last month, Ms. Mock went on Piers Morgan’s CNN show (it has since been canceled), where the host all but began the interview by saying how “amazing” it was that this attractive woman had once been biologically male.

“Had I not known your life story, I would have absolutely no clue,” he said, as the scrawl at the bottom of the bottom of the screen read “Born a boy.”

Ms. Mock pounced on Twitter, and Slate ran a withering piece on Mr. Morgan’s performance that evening, chastising him for being “obsessed with appearances” and accusing the show of promoting the segment in a “sensational and ignorant way.”

The less "ignorant" don't attempt to be accurate about gender as they write sentences like “She was an honor student in high school while she worked as a prostitute on Merchant Street in Honolulu, which is how she saved the money to travel to Thailand and pay for gender reassignment surgery.”

It also feels mandatory to heap praise on the subject. Mock “looked effortlessly fashionable in a pair of black Theory jeans and a denim shirt with the sleeves rolled up, showing off her gold-colored infinity bangles. “

For their part, Ernst and Drucker have read deeply in the ideological manuals for the gender-bending:

There weren’t a lot of transgender role models for Ms. Drucker and Mr. Ernst growing up. But their parents were progressive and supported their children’s gender nonconformity.

In high school, they both became familiar with the writings of Kate Bornstein, a queer theorist whose books “Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us,” and “My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely” outlined a way of living that did not ascribe to traditional gender conventions....

Ultimately, Ms. Drucker said, she’d like to get to a point where we “surpass” the binaries of gender altogether.

“That would be the greatest transition of all,” she said.