I rarely watch television for anything. I did view a lot of the election things and I am addicted to Formula One and World Sports Cars, but over all, the lifespan of my television should outlast me at only 2-3 hours per week of use.
I have a close friend who seems to have more interest in the shows on television about these issues more than I. I always joked with her that if she wanted to know more about me or the subject, more than she might have witnessed already, just ask, I would answer. She calls me on everything she finds on television, from the worst of it say like on Jerry Springer, to the recent series on WE. She does not have digital cable, so she cannot get WE. I have satellite; I can, so I agreed to catch them on my DVR for her. While searching and programming, I also found a show on Discovery Health on the subject.
In the past, I had caught shows, specials, movies and such for her, and when asked if I watched or liked them, I normally said no to both. I have yet to find anything I thought truly captured the subject properly, involving the real people in it, the real motives or reasons, the real issues and surroundings and such. Most seemed to employ someone who "played the part" but did not live it, apparently wishing to allow it to still be a profitable production. I use this example of Normal, seen on HBO, Transamerica in the theatres, you get the idea.
Recently, the ones I caught within the last few weeks have come a lot closer to being more about the reality of our lives, and something has come closer to home for once. I have been able to catch 5 of the 6 episodes of Sex Change Hospital on WE. I also caught the Super Surgery - Sex Change on Discovery. While not mainstream say like Fox or CBS as an example, these shows are still widely available to many viewers, and do feature people just like us.
Well close to just like us. I say close because they had the means to afford SRS/GRS. I would suppose if they sought me out or many of us who are still seemingly in a never-ending transition time, who go on day to day with what often seems the end goal will never be obtained, it would be some awful television to watch. The tales of heartache, struggle, loss, broken relationships are in their stories as they are in ours. I did catch many state the "If I could go back", I wouldn't. I heard "If I had to do it again", I would go for the same ending. I also caught the apologies by some for the hurt they had caused loved ones in the past. The ex-spouses lost, the children gone away as well. I also caught the "Life now is better" as well.
I too have lost a spouse and have three children who have no part of me now. I too have lost it all, friends, jobs, my home and such, and even though life by no means is better now in a material sense, it is infinitely better in an emotion sense. I recommend to anyone interested in our lives to see these newest programs. I also know that if those closest to me in my life, if they watch them, they may gain a bit of knowledge in the lifetime of struggle, the losses and the avenues we can follow for some changes like the surgeries, but I know that unless they truly cared about me personally, they can only learn about it first hand by asking me. I will not be on one of these shows, ever. I may never have an operation to finalize my journey. I, like many of us, struggle daily to survive in near minimum wage, near poverty incomes, with many more issues to deal with such as can I even afford to keep an automobile and keep it working to commute to work, can I afford rent and such.
My current job is not one that would afford me these things on television. On a corporate level, they have given me the green light, 100% full support and acknowledgement of my right to be and exist as I am. On the local level it has become painfully evident that I will never be allowed to grow and prosper. When I get home each day, I am still totally satisfied of what I have done personally. I know some have issues with what I am, but they deal with it or ignore it. I watch some of them fight the gender labels, such as he/she or him/her. They got over the name change quite quickly, so that was good. I addressed it as you have no trouble calling so and so by a nickname, think of it as the same. I guess it is not the same when you get hired as Paul and ask to be called Desiree right?
All in all, I think these shows were worth watching, and I hope someone I am involved with sees them, and I hope the same situation could arise in your lives where they might help. They are getting closer to telling the real stories finally.