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.