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Interview: My Transsexual Summer’s Drew-Ashlyn Cunningham

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  1. Great interview. All of you on MTS are doing such a great job for the trans community. Sad about the older trans woman who gave you such crap advice. Have to see it in context of a time when even being gay was illegal and people tried to stay beneath the radar just for self-preservation. So glad you have family support. Hard to underestimate what a difference this makes.Still think it’s a shame people will see you using ‘tr*nny’ among yourselves and assume that gives them permission to use it but understand your reasoning. I don’t think it’s quite the same as the ‘n-word’ or even the ‘f-word’ until real trans people, rather than media stereotypes, have a great deal more visibility. You’re all helping with that. Keep doing what you are doing. Brilliant!
    Sarah L xo

  2. I wouldn’t use the word tranny because it’s too vague- it’s used for drag queens as well as transgender people. Fine if people want to use it for themselves, as you do need informal, slangy words as well as formal ‘correct’ words, but seeing as I’m not transgender I wouldn’t feel happy/confident using it myself and I stick to trans as a less formal term for transgender.

  3. I think we should just forget the labels of trans and “tranny ” and just see them as human beings and if you have to put any labels on them simply call them women or men depending on how they present themselves.

    1. I agree…I am not sure, though I maybe wrong, how being labled like this can help you move forward in your life. I would imagine it can be difficult wanting people to see you as a woman or man when you hav transexual label always there.

      And she is very beautiful!

  4. Watched last night, she is a beautiful womn and should feel happy and proud with herself.

    Hope she gets back to college and gets a better job and has love and all she deserves.

  5. Purity Vendetta 15 Nov 2011, 12:56pm

    Positive feedback? The only reason the feedback appears positive is because it is strictly censored. I am receiving at least 2 emails a day from real TS people, you know intelligent sane people and not whining ‘Young Dumb and living off mum’ types. The idiots featured in this programme made me feel (temporally) ashamed of who and what I am. One day Drew you might need the support of the people that you and your friend in the house have made to look stupid and immature.
    As for Captain Pugwash, Queen Nefertiti and Princess Bubblegum collectively known as Trans Media Watch. Yes keep pushing your Stalinist agenda, I’m sure if you suck up to the media enough you can all have those journalistic careers you are so desperate for.
    Before anyone thinks this is unjustified criticism ask yourself who you would rather put forward a media image of you and your life, sane, well balanced and articulate real people or a bunch of gibbering f wits pandering to the to classic media stereotypes of Ts’s

    1. How is this a stereotype of Trans people, each of them is individual and different, one of them is a peace loving jew one of them is an older woman who tried to deny her true feelings, Drew is a young women very confident in who she is, and theres alot in between.

      If your experience’s don’t fit to those that you see on this documentary then that has nothing to do with stereotypes.

      And as for “young dumb and living off mum”, alot of them seem very sensible mature and intelligent.

      I think it was good for people to see trans people as the same as everyone else, hence there was young people doing what young people do, alot of straight people are exactly the same why should they have to be different just because they are transgender.

    2. Can you post any specific criticisms or just through stereotypes and insults? You are not coming off as “articulate” at the moment; rather the opposite, in fact.

    3. Oh my god, you’re seriously on crack or something.

    4. I interviewed for this program, even got as far as the screen test, I thought I was a good example, being in full time employment, Being the first trans woman in the UK doing my job role. I have good career pospects, in a relationship, no harassment whatsoever throughout my transition, and loving life. But never got picked. I think because I have no controvesy in my life re. my gender status.
      Having seen the mix of girls chosen, I would have little in common with them as my journey is nothing like theirs. Drag queens came to my mind with two of them. But That’s their choice, to live that way. it’s not a critisism of them, but maybe of the people that chose them. i was told they wanted trans success story’s to film. Unless the rest of the series shows different, it hasn’t filled that remit. But the very best of luck to them anyway

      1. Drews a success story and I would argue that so are two of the guys, Max and the beardy one (sorry can’t remember his name)

      2. I have to agree Janet. I have a friend who is transgendered. She now lives in Scotland with a great guy and is a school teacher…
        Some trans females do indeed come across as drag queens.

      3. You sound bitter about not being picked , possibly because you are a notable exception in ts transitioning in that you did not face any prejudice/harassment.

      4. You sound bitter at not been picked, possibly because you are an exception in that you have not faced harassment during your transition or the shows production team found more interesting candidates.

  6. Lovely interview – and, for all its faults, a big step forward with the programme. “It’s not about passing, it’s about being happy” – yes, this, always!

    Many thanks from a “real” trans person x

  7. Nicole Hatch 15 Nov 2011, 1:31pm

    Love it! This girl seems to have her act together. Great that people can see Trans issues of daily living rather than just focusing on surgeries and all the sensational stuff. Bravo!

  8. Great to see this programme on television, thoroughly enjoyed it. As an older trans woman my only sadness is that some of the issues discussed are the very same that we fought against twenty odd years ago.

    1. As an even older trans woman Mjka, those same issues were the ones that we were fighting 40 years ago. Yes, maybe it is slightly easier now than back then as there were no home computers, internet, Google and on line forums to turn to for help and research into the subject – you were very much on your own in those days.
      However, as more and more people are now going through this (and at an earlier age thank goodness), the public is more aware of it now and this has led to an increase in trans-phobic crimes and harassment.
      Maybe, somewhere in the future, mankind will lose its bigotries and we can all live in peace and personal fulfilment.

  9. I have not seen the program but after reading this interview I really would like to see it now. It is so nice hear of programming that is about the people and not the procedure and kudos to Drew-Ashlyn for putting the mean women in her place.

    I have met a few tg and to be honest I don’t think of them in that way (as tg I mean) most have been m-f and female is what I see them as. As for passing, well that is such rubbish having to worry about that,everyone of us have met women that could pass for men and men that could pass for women so in my view there is no need to emphasise on passing as she said “not all women wear flowery dresses”. Right now to find it on demand :)

  10. This good give people a better perspective, those taking part are giving their experiences and are not representing trans as a whole, but by doing so they are opening up closed minds.

    With regard to language etc and the use of tranny, Drew has it right, it is about the context within it used. It is offensive if somebody is hurling it as abuse, but between people who know each other etc it becomes acceptable

  11. Great interview. This is perhaps the closest portrayal of actual trans people I have seen in a long time, not with a strong focus on “the surgery” (which is an out-dated term anyway as there are lots of different treatments a trans person may get and you don’t even have to get all of them if you don’t want to) and more of a focus on who they are as people and how they live their lives. It’s very refreshing and I hope it will endear us to the general public and society and lead to more acceptance.

  12. I dunno if i agree with her. Its easy to say its not about passing when you do. She can hide if she ever needs to get away from the trans crap.

    Its a bit like a rich person saying money doesnt make you happy. Yeah it doesnt but it helps.

    1. I agree, some people need to pass in order to avoid harassment. However, what I don’t agree with is the culture in our community that pushes young trans people into doing things that they themselves don’t want to (i.e. treatments they don’t necessarily want) or shuns and condemns those who don’t dress or act within the strict confines of the binary gender roles of male and female. For example I, as a transguy, have been made to feel like I am not “really trans” because I do not present myself as very masculine and act masculine and do traditionally male things. Of course, if I was a cisgender man then no one would question my gender identity even if I was very feminine, so why should it be any different for trans people? There is a pressure to conform to outdated gender stereotypes to appease those who question our gender, even if it’s not necessary to avoid harassment. People should be free to express themselves how they want, cis, trans or anything else.

    2. I disagree she’s obviously ts , so not very easy to avoid the bigotry of the british public , hence her issue with going out.

  13. Loving the show far! These people are bloody inspirational and not just for trans-people. They have so much courage to be themselves – I wish the same were true for me!

  14. Can’t wait to see tonight’s episode, I am nearly two years into my transition and know exactly what bigotry they all have to face and deal with at some point. Good luck to all..

  15. hi as a trans female the main problem i have ever had is ppls ignorance,and confution between gender and sexuality,befor i was attracted to females ,after im still attracted to females,that is about my sexuality not my gender,it is mainly the lesbian community that cant get there head around it and the gay males,as straight guys only have aproblem if they are insecure about there sexuality,and straight girls seem to be more secure in them selfs.but i found that once ppl understand you are a human being just like them and not a circus act or a deviant or freak,then even the most unlikely person can become a good freind

  16. there seems to be alot of info on eryone but donna who seems very intresting, but am somwhat dismayed it see this as she has such an upbeat out look

  17. In short, i just found it refreshing to see a TV show about trans people which wasn’t focussed on those who “just know” what they want… (see jamie drag queen at 16) and went more into the unglamorous side of many people are trying to find what makes them happy… Possibly the best show I’ve seen on the issue…

  18. HelenWilson 16 Nov 2011, 1:04am

    Looking at the promotional material for the program I thought Drew would probably get on my tits! However watching both episodes I must say she is one of my favourites alongside Lewis and Fox.

    Drew comes across as a really sweet and caring woman.

  19. I agree with her about how trans people have been depicted in the past. The media never shows how successful people can be AFTER transition.

    I disagree with her about the word “tranny”. There is no good way to use that word. In addition it’s basically ALWAYS used in a negative context. It’s used to marginalize transsexual people. It’s there way of saying “You’re not male or female, you’re OTHER [fill in derogatory term].” And I don’t know what she means by recliming, I don’t hear anyone using the “N” word. We may have been born transsexual (mind-body mismatch), but we’re men or women, period. Or as I like to say: Transsexualism is a medical condition, not an identity.

    1. THANK YOU xrk9854!!!! EXCELLENT reply! I TOTALLY agree! I may have been born TS but I AM and always have identified as female. The word ‘tranny’ is a derogatory term and is ONLY used to dehumanize and marginalize TS people — it is NO different than using the ‘N’ word at all…

      1. Mrs. Williams 30 Nov 2011, 4:03pm

        dissagree, which is to say that my opinion is different to yours, doesn’t mean you are wrong and I’m right, just different opinions. In my opinion Tranny, just like fag, poof or dyke is very different to the ‘n’ word. I embrace the labels, they can’t hurt me if I don’t find them offensive so I don’t, instead I love them and so offended, why should I be? I feel good about myself and I’m proud to be me. Feelreally good about who and what you are and nothing else really matters.

  20. @xrk9854 One reason we don’t see many programmes about trans people who are successful post-transition – and this fuels ignorant crap about the number of “regrettors” – is the temptation to sidestep a lot of the prejudice by simply blending in to the background; one need not lie or invent a past, simply not tell too much. I’m lucky in that I was known as a councillor through the whole process, so I couldn’t exactly hide, but never got faced with such direct discrimination as Drew in her interview. MTS is certainly changing attitudes in my social circles and making it easier to be perceived as “normal but different”.

  21. Yuck. You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig!

    1. Hello bitter? Nasty called she wants her vile back! Nasty doesn’t look good on anybody. Even cowards behind a computer screen. You Jack off!

    2. You should know ‘Jack’ — you ARE a pig!

      1. “Jack” here is Keith, a popular but mentally damaged drink-abusing clown that visits here from time to time.

    3. Mrs. Williams 30 Nov 2011, 4:25pm

      Even the ugliest pig with lipstick has feelings and a heart. Oh and I should think is far more beautiful inside than you will ever be.

  22. Hi Drew baby, ignore the haters, there are always gonna be those who just have to hate. YOU and the others on the other hand are brave, so brave, courageous, funny and real. So keep on doing what you are doing, there are so many Trans people out there who need role models who show then that’s its ok and its getting better. Big Love

  23. I saw last nights show , Drew should seek legal advice about the discrimination dished out by the two hags in the bridal shop. This was a blatant display of prejudice, especially their referral to her unsuitability as an assistant when assisting brides, with thinly disguised admission that Drew was unsuitable because she was trans. The stupid shop manager then assessed that Drew would be alien in such an environment by her parting comment about trans not having fairy stories of marraige like others obviously ignorant to face trans women also marry.

    1. Mrs. Williams 30 Nov 2011, 4:15pm

      If we seeked legal advice every time an ignorant person didn’t employ us because we’re trans we would never find the time or energy to move on. I choose not to fight quite that hard.

  24. “need to wear flowery dresses” How old was she? 150? I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those things, thank you.

  25. I predict that it won’t be long before a real trans person is included in a soap like Eastenders or Emmerdale and I hereby nominate Drew as an ideal choice! Get yourself to stage college now Drew !

  26. dave hawker 22 Nov 2011, 10:14pm

    I think ur gourgess im a straight male sort of but i think id b so lucky 2 have someone like u drew so pretty xxx

  27. I love Drew and I would gladly have her as a friend. She seems so sweet. She is very pretty and genuine. I don’t see her as a male at all, and I don’t think many would. I know woman with deeper voices than Drew, and look more male! Well done Drew.

  28. Angela Mandy 23 Nov 2011, 1:07am

    Hi Drew, my name is Angela and I am a post op transsexual of 8 years. I thought your interview was one of the best I have read and I have actually swopped my days off at work just so that I can watch the progamme on channel 4. Its funny but it has brought back so many memories for me some good and some not so good. I believe you have all done a wonderful job explaining just what it is like to be transgendered in the 21st century. I am so happy for you that you have the support of your family, unfortunately my family died when I was young so I had to go through it all on my own. I hope that I can find friends like you have found in the series, You and the others are doing a wonderful job well done. Ps. would love to meet you all sometime. Angela M. xxxxxxx

  29. Matt Bristol 23 Nov 2011, 11:42am

    Loving the program, as a CD myself i can relate to her experiences in some degree.. Big props to Drew, she really shouldnt have any issues with confidence as she looks absolutely gorgeous & should hold her head high. I would think the main reason she gets so many looks from guys is because of how good she looks. I bet 90% of them would love to take her to bed…. i know i certainly would. :x

    1. kevin osborne dorset 30 Dec 2011, 2:50pm

      yea drew is a real inspiration ,she has a good approach and is succeeding as do the others of the ” team ” cant wait for another series! channel 4 take note !!!!! get filming – soon.

  30. This is an awful programme, it has led to more abuse to those trying to get on with our lives, thanks C 4, to have people shouting tranny at us.

    1. Mrs. Williams 30 Nov 2011, 4:35pm

      If you keep hiding you will never be accepted. Let us love ourselves a lot more and other people will see us and love us. Damn the rest and don’t care about what they think, there will always be plenty of people out there full of hate, we’re not in Camelot.

  31. ashley page 3 Dec 2011, 4:22pm

    Loved the show, advice for Drew…come and live in Bighton, lots of us here, no problems,love you all, from a Golden Oldy.

  32. Michael D Kent 14 Dec 2011, 1:17pm

    I think that you are all wonderful people to have let us the viewers into your private lives. I have many transgender friends both post and pre op and would never dream of calling them a tranny. Some people are just small minded idiots who don’t see the actual person for who he or she is. I was shocked watching your interview in the bridal shop at the way in which you were treated Drew. That was discrimination on a hug scale. This was an excellent programme which has brought to light many issues facing transgender people in this day and age. You are all remarkable and brave people, myself and my partner wish each and everyone of you all the luck and success in the world. I really hope that there will be a second series based around all of you, would be amazing to see how things have progressed for you all. Fantastic xxxxxx

  33. you nailed it, girl.
    its not about ‘passing’ at all, its about being happy with who you are, being confident.When you’ve got that right, the people you meet will pick up on it, and life gets so much easier.
    thanks for being brave and getting out there.

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