Last week, RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3 contestant Carmen Carrera and Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox appeared on Katie Couric's talk show, Katie, to discuss transgender issues in the media. The two women are highly revered as role models for the trans community as they continue to break through stigma and social obstacles to prove that anything is possible. However, the interview of these two sweet women quickly began to leave a sour taste in the mouths of their supporters as Couric posed multiple, repetitive questions about their "private parts." Both Cox and Carrera responded eloquently and with as much poise as anyone could be expected to exhibit. If you have not seen it yet, check out the short interview below:
As one might imagine, this less-than-tactful line of questioning caused a lot of outrage and the backlash was great enough to warrant responses on various social media platforms from both Cox and Carrera, and finally in a video segment from Katie Couric herself.
I am so deeply moved by the dialogues that are happening around my appearance with Carmen Carrera on “The Katie Show” on Monday. It is my dream that by highlighting the deep humanity of trans people’s lives in the media, elevating actual trans voices to speak the truth of our lived experiences in ways that don’t sensationalize and objectify us, those human voices and stories can be a part of the disruption needed to end the disproportionate injustices that threaten so many trans people’s lives, particularly the lives of trans women of color. It is a state of emergency for far too many trans people across this country. The stories of women like Islan Nettles and CeCe McDonald are far too commonplace in our community. I look forward to engaging in more dialogues about the complicated intersectional issues around these injustices and ways to make them a thing of the past. I am so grateful to Katie Couric and her show for the opportunity to highlight these important issues. -Laverne Cox
Watch last week's Follow Up Friday segment of Couric's show where she explains that their choice to keep the controversial question in the segment was intended as a "teachable moment."
Despite the controversial question that was posed to them, however, the appearance of these two successful women on mainstream media outlets as models of success and prosperity is certainly a step in the right direction for the transgender community at large. And the outrage that was shown as a result of the controversial "private parts" question only serves to reinforce that, while we do still have quite a ways to go in the fight for stigma-free equality, that many people are listening and fighting to reach that goal.
What do you think?
What do you think?