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Earlier this month, hip hop artist Tyga was publicly accused of cheating on his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner. Why is this even a story, outside of the gossip blogs? Because the person he was allegedly having an affair with was a transgender model named Mia Isabella.
The response was brutal and, sadly, predictable. One meme suggested that Kylie Jenner must really hate transgender people now (referring to the fact that her parent Caitlyn is trans). So we wondered, why does it still seem so scandalous to some people that a straight, cis man could be attracted to a trans woman? And why are people so affirming of Janet Mock and LaVerne Cox, but have no compunction about posting jokes that hinge on the othering of trans people?
To help us unpack all this, we called Preston Mitchum. Mitchum is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies teaching advanced legal research and writing, and is a fierce advocate for trans rights.
Later in the show, we also talk about Serena Williams’ historical success, and what’s behind gender-based criticisms of her (Hint: more transphobia!).