Imagine this: You’re on air promoting your book, and all the host wants to do is talk about your dating life. Or your genitals. That’s pretty much what Piers Morgan did over the last two nights with writer and transgender activist Janet Mock. Here’s what you need to know.
My knowledge of transgender issues starts and ends with Aerosmith songs. Fill me in?
A transgender person is someone for whom their gender identity does not match their biological sex. This isn’t somebody who “wants” to be the opposite gender: They are the opposite gender psychologically and emotionally, but their physical state does not align with that. If this sounds like something that can make life difficult and painful on dozens of levels even in the most supportive and loving environment… yep! Pretty much! Fortunately, you can help by showing them the same decency, respect and tact you would any other human being.
Already I am sensing that this would be a problem around Piers Morgan.
You’d be correct. Here’s the really, really awkward interview Mock and Morgan engaged in, which kicks off with Morgan giving Mock a backhanded compliment and then goes down the tubes from there:
Just to add to that, there are a lot of issues, as you might have guessed, from telling a transgender person that they were “a boy until age 18.” Essentially, the entire interview, if you know anything about transgender people, came off as condescending and ignorant.
That seems like somebody owes somebody an apology.
Piers Morgan would agree with you, in that he thinks Janet Mock owed HIM an apology. Morgan was angry that the transgender community didn’t immediately celebrate him for being so enlightened as to let one of them onto national television.
It didn’t help that he spent a fair chunk of the last two days freaking the hell out at pretty much anybody accusing him of being transphobic by insisting they were “cisphobic,” which is a great way to inspire intelligent debate on the Internet:
By the way, this is Janet Mock’s abuse, that has Piers so incensed:
While it’s true that Morgan got a slow roasting from Twitter, most of the perceived “cisphobia” mostly boiled down to asking Morgan to, you know, do his job as a media professional. He was so pissy about the whole thing, he got a bunch of people together to tell him how right he was on CNN.
The fact that the above panel doesn’t feature anybody who is, you know, transgender went over about as well as you’d expect.
So, Mock came back?
She did. Notice that the first thing Piers Morgan brings up is why people were being mean to him. That really sets the tone and once again, the interview goes down the tubes:
…So, essentially, Piers Morgan is pompous and doesn’t do his research?
In a nutshell. If there’s a bright side to all this, it’s that his hissy fit propelled this to a much larger platform and hopefully taught a few people to not be total jackasses to another human being just because their personal circumstances give them a brain fart.
And we get to laugh at Piers Morgan! Everybody wins!