Last Saturday, NBC aired an episode of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) containing a skit that is still haunting us. In this skit, male actors with facial hair dressed in women’s clothing and proceeded to mock transgender women in a fake ad for “Estro-Maxx”, a fictional estrogen replacement therapy. Not only did we find this skit far from amusing or comical, but we were also horrified by SNL’s horrifying use of misleading, bigoted stereotypes of the daily lives of transgender people.
Many in our community are transgender, and the rest of us have transgender friends and family members. We know that this kind of humorless “humor” does nothing but reinforce the ugly stereotypes that are used to excuse continued discrimination against transgender people, and against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as well, for that matter.
We at the Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus urge local media not to make the same mistake made by Comcast and “Saturday Night Live”, and to instead do their homework and realize that transgender people are people, too, and not some flat caricatures we can point and laugh at.
We also hope this will be a wake-up call for the people of our great State of Nevada. Transgender people are currently being denied work, housing, health care, and numerous services and accommodations that the rest of us take for granted. And as of now, they have no options for legal remedy. This must change, and we hope our Legislature will take action this year to fix this and stop the cycle of “legal” discrimination here in Nevada.
What we saw on SNL last weekend may have been disgusting, but we can take action now to ensure this anti-transgender hatred and bigotry is legitimized no more.