Transbigotry and Glee: the missing GaGa lyrics

I’m sort of getting tired of writing this series. Not because I’m bored — to the contrary, there seems to be a reason to keep writing it at every turn.

But it’s because it makes my brain hurt.

Now I’m not trans. I’m just a friend. I feel I should say this when I’m approaching trans issues because I know how the defenses of allies often read to me, a gay person. I’m just doing my best to examine why a show that makes itself out to be about acceptance goes out of its way every single time to exclude trans identities.

This time around, it’s just bizarre. Sort of like it was in the Rocky Horror Picture Show Episode. I can’t even come up with a good reason why the word “Transsexual” was removed from the lyrics of  “Sweet Transvestite” and I can’t come up with a good reason why this verse was removed from the “Born This Way” performance.

No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive

Now there’s little question that this episode was pretty gay positive. We’ll talk about the word “bi-curious” later. I have a life, you know. (Or I can pretend).

The featured performer in this episode was definitely Kurt. And in this performance, he wears a shirt that says “Likes Boys”.

This verse belonged in the performance.

It’s hard to not suspect it has something to do with the word “transgendered”.

Is this Brad Falchuk, who wrote the episode? Is it down to Ryan Murphy? Or is this a Fox thing?

It makes my brain hurt because Ryan Murphy had pitched a pilot about trans people (which was not picked up, but still) that Dot Marie Jones (who seems like a reasonably sensible human being, actually) speaks of in glowing terms as something that she worked on that really affected her. My nature wants to believe that this is not Glee being transphobic.

I want to believe it’s Fox.

What do you think?

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8 thoughts on “Transbigotry and Glee: the missing GaGa lyrics

  1. I wrote a post about this episode as well, but not so much about my thoughts on this…

    I suppose that, when it comes to “transphobic” Glee moments in general, they come from both the writers and FOX.

    In other episodes, where “acceptance” wasn’t as harped upon and characters used words like “tranny,” I think it was incompetence/bad humor/personal discrimination on the writers’ part.

    However, on this particular occasion, I have a feeling it was FOX. I think the writers were making great strides to be as inclusive as possible and wouldn’t have voluntarily taken Gaga’s verse out. I felt like they really were trying to leave viewers feeling happy.

    I, too, want to believe it’s FOX. Who knows, I may just be convincing myself.

  2. Yes. And the use of the word “tranny” is the sole thing that sticks in my head and makes me remember that it can’t possibly be just Fox.
    There’s something else involved as well when not only just are trans people excluded from Glee, but slurs are used, not contextualised and not in any way called out by the responsible adults in the scene.
    And then one of the actors rushes to Twitter to defend the use of the world (which is another argument about reclaimation and who is qualified to reclaim, but I digress).

  3. Pingback: Lady Gaga praises Glee’s “modern social messaging” « Deconstructing Glee

  4. Pingback: Born this Way missing LGBT verse included in Glee Karaoke Volume 2 « Deconstructing Glee

  5. Pingback: 4.05: The Role You Were Born To Play | Deconstructing Glee

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