The milestone of Michelle Obama becoming American’s first African-American First Lady was seen as both a racial and gender barrier-busting moment for our nation. Latinos, Asians, women and countless other minorities continue to push for the day that one of their own will follow in Mrs. Obama’s footsteps.
But how comfortable–or uncomfortable–are we with transgendered people following the same path?
(Editor’s Note: I am not suggesting that there is anything negative about transgendered people)
“Candy,” a magazine targeted towards transgendered peoples, dedicated the cover of its fifth edition to a portrayal of The First Lady as a transgendered woman swearing-in as a politician.
(It is not clear what kind of public official, be it the President, First “Transgendered Lady” etc., the model is purporting to be)
Luis Venegas, publisher of Candy and the man behind the photo cover shoot, told Dazed Digital he envisioned how Mrs. Obama’s White House assent could possibly extend to transgendered people.
“I remember back in early 2007 when the Democratic Party’s nominees were narrowed down between two “controversial” stereotypes never before seen for presidency: a black man, Barack Obama; and a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton. At that time, I thought, ‘when will the time come when these archaic walls break down and the White House will be occupied by, for example, a black, transsexual woman?”
Though, we at NewsOne are not sure that Black people who voted overwhelmingly for President Obama “thought” the same thing.
While Black support for gay marriage has risen to 44 percent as compared to 36 percent over the past year, historically, however, Blacks have shot down gay marriage legislation, be it at the polls or through aggressive grassroots religious lobbies. Given this information, it is safe to assume that this cover may, at minimum, evoke a few side-eyes from Black folks–especially Black women–to say the least.
And, given the various negative images Mrs. Obama circulating around the web that insult her Black femininity, will Candy’s bold and daring cover be viewed in the same vein? Black voters are slowly warming up to gay marriage, but are they getting that warm to the point where they will positively respond to depictions of Mrs. Obama as a transgendered woman?
NewsOne readers, you decide.
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