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Re: The Wright Stuff - Annie Wallace

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:55 pm
by Ice Maiden
I personally am against people claiming 'firsts', I mean Stephen Whittle Presented the Whole show 'Heart of the Matter in the 90s BBC.

There have even been child presenters in the 90s a 14 year old FTM took a group of trans teens to Holland to find out what their prospects were (Channel 4). I am sure some trans kid has claimed they were the first recently - news just in you ain't not by your lifetime even...

As for Loose Women well here is Nadia on the panel from 2004 ;)

Again... A number have been on since...


We have a Giant Media Archive that can dispel many of these 'Firsts' myths. In the same was Abi Austen (was a Captain in the Para) transitioned but just because she left the army, she retained her 'Cpt' and went on to serve with the US military... Years later Hanna Winterbourne swanns along and eveybody is gushing. Does this mean Abi was a Man in the army and a woman the monet she left? or was she a Woman pretending to be a man but a Captain in the Army? I think we know the truth, She was a serving trans Woman... I mean Trans* Men were Rife in Nelson's Navy and this is documented FACT! When they were discovered they were kicked out, but many were not until they retired!

This is all debatable, What I do not like is the dismissiveness of this "I AM THE FIRST" and medi's desperation to belive the individual, cos they are too lazy to ask anyone who can set them straight - like us - that it crushes the historical contributions of those that went before, and for them it was FAR TOUGHER! Yet their names are most lost, were it not for our media archives, we would not even be able to say this right now.

Re: The Wright Stuff - Annie Wallace

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:57 pm
by Ice Maiden

Re: The Wright Stuff - Annie Wallace

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:33 pm
by Jaycee dove
I think all that matters is that we remember these things and recognise that the changes in society have been gradual and built out of a thousand individual moments and events that have led us to where we are. There will always have been a few genuine 'firsts' but it is very easy to over emphasise these, because quite often when the time arrives for the media to announce something as a first (as a self promotional thing) it means that they are now confident to do that in the hope of it being perceived well by the wider audience. Whereas in the past they would have felt it would have counted against them and so best hushed up.

In other words a publicly hyped 'first' is usually only declared by non trans sources at a point when many prior firsts have already happened without fanfare.

The media are always going to look for hooks to build their stories around and promoting 'firsts' has always been to a degree a way of self promotion to show that they have an exclusive or a way to grab readers. It is not just about trans matters. It is how they work in a competitive industry.

In my 30 year career as a writer I appeared on TV a lot and sold stories to the press as well. But the only times I ever did anything trans related I did so not as a professional and for free in order to avoid the way in which I knew things would be twisted to make it sell.

I saw that happen too often with my work when crazy headlines were cooked up or shout lines on TV features introduced me that wildly oversold what I was about to say. It is just a way of life.

To me it is a really great example of how far we have come in the past half century. What was once taboo is now part of the normal way the media deal with every topic.

In the 1980s, after publishing a dozen books and on a permanent contract my publisher would not publish a book that I had written on being trans because it would - they said - damage my sales potential as a writer if their buying audience knew openly that I was trans.

By the 1990s (after one tabloid media story behind my back that ended my long term relationship) the BBC asked me to explain myself in front of big bosses when another tabloid ran with a story, again without my input, at the time I had made a documentary for them. My producer knew I was trans but we had not told anyone else at the BBC as it did not seem relevant to the programme. Now the BBC were trying to decide if they should have used it to promote the programme. So we could not win.

Move forward to 2015 and I sold rights in one of my books to a movie production company. It likely will never get made into a movie as most such deals never do. Yet the company knew that I was trans - even though it was not in any way relevant to the book or part of the story it told or is mentioned in that book - and wanted me to accept the script writer potentially altering the facts of the true story involving myself and two other women that the book was about. Just to include scenes where I revealed my trans past to them and somehow shoe horned that element into the plot. Given that my transition happened years before the events in the book.

Like I said it is probable it will never get to the point where I have to deal with these things happening in a real film script, but I smile at the thought of how the possibility that I might reveals the changes in social acceptance and our status in the world that I have witnessed.