Viral Trans-Model Scores Big Modeling Contracts — Double standard in Accepting Trans People

Interesting times we live in. None more interesting than the fact that with every progress we make in human societal co-existence and tolerance, we also still harbor such stupid double standards. Tolerance and hypocrisy make such strange bedfellows. Viral trans model Laith Ashley's latest milestone is a cause for celebration for the LGBTQ movement but the glaring double standard leave an odious stench. 


The 26-year-old model has been featured in shows for New York Fashion Week for Adrian Alicea and Gypsy Sport. He has also been featured in a photoshoot for Barneys by Bruce Weber.

Ashley found fame when his pictures went viral all over social media. He was was born female and transitioned to a man just a few years ago. Following the highly publicised transformation of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn, Ashley story latched on to the fodder around transgender people and the whole issue of identity. 



There are two differences between Ashely and Jenner. The most obvious is that Jenner is still physically a man who identifies as a woman; ie he still has a penis. Ashley is reportedly a post-op transgender, which means he has had surgical gender reassignment. Basically she has removed her female parts and is now a "he" with male parts.  

The second difference is that Jenner is a celebrity and Ashley is not. That's where this whole situation gets a little dicy for me. See, much as Jenner got praise and scorn over her transformation into Caitlyn, I find that stories about Ashley are shared with more acceptance than scorn. Not to say there arent people who have discriminated against Ashley. 


Just as lesbians tend to get less hate than gay men and feminine lesbian are looked at with less scorn than their butch sisters, it has become evident that female to male trans people are starting to get the same benefit than male to female trans people. 

Blame our patriarchal society that denotes anything that is seen as lessening a man's virile masculinity or our superficial obsession with beauty, it is still disheartening that someone like Ashley is lauded upon for his looks while a Jenner is looked as some parody of womanhood. 


I have been reading blogs about Laith Ashley and followed some of the comments on social media since I first saw his pictures a while back. The narrative is the same; wow he is so beautiful. Turn a page to an equally gorgeous male-to-female trans person like Lavern Cox, the compliments are still there but they are always accompanied by questions of why a man would do that to his body. 

Two girls kissing, its sexy and erotic. Two men kissing, its cute but uncomfortable. And I am not talking about homophobic people, this is directed to people who will gladly call themselves accepting of homosexuality. Now a trans-man is sexy while a trans-woman is 'questionable'. 

Some world we live in hey. I am not taking anything away from Laith Ashley and his new found fame, Caitlyn Jenner reaped great reward for the attention too. However, I couldn't help but pounder a thought on this when I observed the double standards. 


To confuse you more, there is the whole issue of beauty. Is Ashley more acceptable because he fits into the stereotypical model of beauty? Chaz Bono comes to mind.  Then again, Lavern Cox is doing well and getting some positive media coverage. Perhaps I'm off the mark. 

Anyway, this was just a thought I thought I would share. 

Nonetheless, great times we live in indeed. Congrats Laith!! Blaze that trail brotha!!




 

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