Engendering change

Some happy news on the transgender tip.

Published May 25, 2007 11:34AM (EDT)

Hello, progress! Despite that news-weary sensation that the human species is mired in an era of honor killings, Paris Hilton and little-girl abductions, I had to dial back my end-of-the-week misanthropy with some happy transgender news.

First, the city of Cambridge, England, has announced the country's first transgender mayor, Jenny Bailey, whose longtime partner, Jennifer Liddle, is also a male-to-female transsexual. The best news of all? Nobody (except me, of course) is making a big deal about it. The Times Online actually framed the new mayorship as the continuation of a "rich history," not a departure from tradition: "Even by the rich historical standards of Cambridge, the appointment is unprecedented." Bailey's ex-wife, with whom she raised two children (now 18 and 20), says she's incredibly proud of her. Her fellow politicians seem universally encouraging (insofar as they're quoted). It's a frickin' transgender lovefest -- G-rated and in the illustrious City Hall of Cambridge, no less.

Second, South Korean transgender hottie Harisu got married to her rapper boyfriend, Micky Chung, in a froth of tulle and chiffon. Though I could have been spared her vow to become a "housewife who is cooking well, sexy and caring," to each his/her own gender stereotypes, right? Vive la différence! Or la même chose if that's really what you crave.

Finally, for some reason, seeing a Christian publication snark back about the "transgender bias" in the media following Newsweek's recent "Mystery of Gender" issue only made me smile.

By Carol Lloyd

Carol Lloyd is currently at work on a book about the gentrification wars in San Francisco's Mission District.

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