Tag Archives: tv

TV Spotlight – My Transexual Summer

23 Nov

I’ve recently been watching “My Transexual Summer” on Channel 4.

The show is a documentary about 7 Transsexual people from various walks of life who are attending a summer camp as a way of coming together to help each other out with their shared problems and change people’s perception of what it is to be a Transsexual person.

I believe its been a long time coming that a show like this to appear on television, because it gives the issues of Transgender a much needed shot in the arm. They’re still in the minority, and as a result there is still a level of ignorance and fear where there need not be. Lets hope this show paves the way to greater things in the future.

My Transexual Summer is shown at 10pm Thursdays on Channel 4

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/my-transsexual-summer

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Quite Interesting

18 Nov
“I have to do this, Mother, I’m a tax inspector.”
Being incredibly cool, the highlight of my Saturday night was sitting in front of the TV with a happy furball on my lap whilst watching the new QI episode. Who doesn’t love a bit of Stephen Fry? I have so much respect for the research elves and I adore the mix of intelligence, humour and wit that has turned a simple panel show into something unique.Saturday’s episode was entitled Inland Revenue, focusing on all things financially related. Lo and behold, within ten minutes of the programme’s start came a question about Pakistan’s transgender tax collectors.

In Pakistan, transgender people are a cause of great embarrassment to much of the population. They are part of a third gender called hijra, and are the subject of great discrimination and derision. They are often forced to work as wedding dancers, sex workers, or as mentioned in QI, tax collectors. They are harassed, abused and intimidated by both their fellows and the police.

There is a strong tradition of tax evasion in Pakistan, and the government is constantly seeking new ways of forcing or convincing people to pay their tax bills. In this case, a group of transgender women are sent round to the offending shopkeep who is told to cough up or else. The ‘or else’ generally leads to the women singing and dancing around the shop, causing great embarrassment for the shop owner. This, presumably, ensures the swift payment of the tax bill for fear of more embarrassment.

While this is all very interesting, I think QI makes light of a very serious situation. It was only last year that improvements were made in government legislation in Pakistan which discouraged discrimination and ensured that hijras enjoyed the same rights as other Pakistanis in inheritance, employment and election registration. The Guardian covered the story here.

You can watch the QI clip above (the specific segment is from 2:45 – 5:30). I’d love to hear what you all think of this; please leave your comments below!