Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Transphobia: Ooh, You Are Awful!

At the time of typing the second most viewed story on The Daily Telegraph's website this week has been; "Transvestite had sex with a dog at English Heritage castle".
"The cross-dressing man was caught with the animal in the dry moat of King Henry VIII's Pendennis Castle overlooking Falmouth Bay in Cornwall.
"The 33-year-old mounted the pet after it chased him out of sight of its woman owner.
"The owner had been walking around the ancient castle with a friend when the pair spotted the lone transvestite on the morning of Saturday July 10th at around a quarter to twelve.
"He was wearing a black dress and walking around the steep-walled, empty moat."
It's one of those bizarro news stories that went viral. Several people sent me links to it - you may have had them too.
Heading up the Yahoo homepage this evening is this news story; "Cross-dressing robber makes big error".
"A cross-dressing robber with fake breasts and a blonde wig has been arrested by police because he failed to shave off his beard.
"...[Police] officers have labelled Dennis Hawkins the "dumbest" after his alleged raid on a bank in Pennsylvania."
Many newspaper websites have a separate "news" section called something like "Weird World" - the stories are there as a bit of light relief from all the real news about war, unemployment and oil spill disasters.
Both of the above mentioned stories are certainly weird - it's not the sort of thing you see every day.
But you get the impression that most of their appeal is the belief that there's something inherently weird - and incredibly funny - about a man in a dress.
Transvestism is always a joke, that's why it's such a staple of British comedy.
When a dog bites a man, that is not news.
But if a man bites a dog, that is news.
And if a man in a dress bites a dog, you better hold onto your sides and hold the front page!
Actually, 'man in dress fucks dog' probably wasn't the best example I could have picked to illustrate this.

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