Perfect Duluth Day | Duluth News Events Music and More



Transistor tran bashing?

I can’t help but bring up the Transistor’s latest cartoon that has spurred a lot of commentary in the Facebook world.

The cartoon has a male figure with the words “She had a dick” in a speech bubble above his head. The bottom of the cartoon makes the statement, “Best reason to break up.”

Is this really the best humor Duluth’s got to offer on the front of its premier arts/culture zine? It is hurtful and tasteless. For posing as such an open-minded literary mag, this cartoon is discriminatory toward our transgender community.

31 Comment(s)

  1. Well, some people want their girlfriends to be endowed with penises. Some do not. I don’t think the cartoon is offensive because choice of partner genital and sexuality is a valid personal decision and could indeed be a reason to break up with someone.

    If we’re going to take a hyper realistic view of the cartoon, though most likely pre-dating interaction would screen out non-compatible sexual endowment or expression before a relationship was entered.

    piker | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  2. It might be rude and crude ( in a humorous cartoon? gasp!) but I don’t see the tranny-bashing there. Maybe a transgendered person will comment here and let us know if this is offensive to her/him.

    DaVe | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  3. Thanks for saying “premier.”

    True, the cartoon could have had the caveat, “Unless you’re into that.” But, caveats in cartoons are expressly not funny.

    The cartoon currently has 0 comments on FB. I would very much appreciate a link to the commentary, if you could.

    What lead you to the assumption that the figure is “male?”

    adam | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  4. You “can’t help but bring it up”? You can’t help but stir the shit, is more like it.

    You’re just assuming that the character shown IS a male. It’s a pretty simplified drawing. How can we really know?

    If your partner doesn’t have the expected equipment (whatever that may be), I’d say that is a just cause for breakup. Just because transexuality is finally gaining acceptance doesn’t mean heterosexuals have to accept that type of relationship with whomever comes their way. In the same way gay people are born gay, straight people are born straight. Don’t discriminate.

    Also, “premier arts/culture zine”? It’s a community calendar with a story at the front.

    Karasu | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  5. My interpretation of this comic is based on a subtle element. The phrase “Best reason to break up” is in quotation marks, therefore I assume the cartoonist is relating that this is something that was said to her or she overheard.

    Therefore, my interpretation is that the cartoonist is holding the statement up for ridicule.

    It’s subtle, and that wasn’t my first interpretation, so I’m not totally surprised that someone would take offense. And maybe I’m not interpreting it as the cartoonist intended, but … well, that’s how I’m interpreting it.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  6. Political cartoons and even just cartoons, and art in general play an important role in any kind of public and community life.

    If this cartoon has stirred up a lot of controversy and discussion, that is as it should be. That means that the art is producing a reaction, discussion and the desire to “learn more.” If this post on PDD is the only real “controversy” that is fine, too.

    One possible caveat goes to what DaVe said, it might be a “tranny joke” but that is different from “tranny bashing.” Where is the line? I don’t know and I agree it would be interesting to hear from some transgendered folks who might be willing to share their reactions.

    I didn’t find it funny, so I’m not going to defend the humor of it. One thought when I saw it on the newstand as I walked by is that it is recycling a twenty year old joke from a Ton Loc song AND I believe there was a similar joke in one of the Crocodile Dundee movies of similar vintage. I bet a version of this joke has been being told for far longer than that, even. So I’m not sure that the cartoonist was breaking any new ground here.

    JP Rennquist | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  7. What part of cartoon don’t you understand? This was not an astute review of a drag show. It was an absurd joke. Anyone who chooses to connect some presumed dots and make it about transgender people needs to get a grip! There are many ways to champion trans rights in this world. Pulling something out of thin air and smearing it on facebook is not activism. Keep doing your thing, Transistor!

    yoniohno | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  8. It is hurtful no matter how you approach it. Given the timing, it is cruel and insensitive. Coupled with the headlines for “Super Gay Cabaret” and “Agent Fruit Loops” I wonder if they aren’t just garden-variety gay bashers. Maybe swastikas next issue?

    SuperX | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  9. Good use of Godwin’s Law, SuperX.

    adam | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  10. LOL Adam, didn’t even know of that. My point… hate is hate and hate never ends well.

    Hyperbolic regards,


    SuperX | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  11. Yes you are. (And there’s clearly a lot you don’t know.)

    Find me another paper of record that has been listing, for example, the North Country Bears’ Fur Flee events for the past seven years. Or every other GLBTAQI event in the area that they can get their hands on. Or served on the executive committee for Duluth-Superior Pride when the “GLBTAQI” tagline was adopted.

    Don’t attribute malice to something just because you don’t like it.

    adam | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  12. Adam, are you responding to me? If so, yes I am what?

    SuperX | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  13. Dear Super X,

    As the author of the Agent Fruit Loops piece, let me say emphatically that you are barking up the wrong tree by referencing ‘Fruit Loops’ in the context of your opinion about the cartoon.

    Also, apologies to the community for saying ‘constructive violence’ when I meant to write ‘constrictive violence’ in the Agent Fruit Loops piece.

    Allen Richardson | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  14. Allen, my apologies then, I read it in sequence with the picture and the gay cabaret thing and unfairly included it because of the pejorative ‘fruit’ in the title.

    SuperX | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  15. Allen Richardson’s comment might make this the best Perfect Duluth Day post and commentary of all time.

    blind | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  16. Tell me you are at least aware that the Super Gay Cabaret is presented by the UMD GLBTQA Commission…

    adam | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  17. Nope, I’ve been out of duluth for 30 years, when I left there were no GLBT groups and trans people didn’t publicly exist. Sorry for mis-interpreting that event title but I am still offended by the cartoon and the timing could’t have been worse. That said, I am relieved to find out that the ‘zine isn’t just a bunch of small town gay bashing homophobes making fun of people… how ironic that someone who is from the GLBT community and from Duluth would interpret your intentions so negatively. It isn’t something I would normally encounter from a professional publication so I guess I didn’t get the context.

    SuperX | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  18. /facepalm

    adam | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  19. This is a joke told at the expense of a minority that gets more hate and abuse than most other groups. This does not seem to be an attempt to show that bigotry is bad. Seems like straight fraternity humor to me.

    Sam | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  20. It’s OK Adam, I’m sure it seemed funnier in your head. It doesn’t seem likely you intended to hurt anyone.

    SuperX | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  21. Adam, you’ve done a fine job standing up to these deviants. I consider myself a crooked homo sapien who finds the physical act of love deplorable, dirty, but often necessary. Withholding my essence from the ladies appears to draw them nearer like moths to a flame. I occasionally indulge in some pretty nasty stuff, but only to push my own boundaries of what I might consider normal behavior. And, I would absolutely disapprove of any GLBTASM activity in my household without prior written consent, but you may do whatever you want to/in/on your rag.

    Herzog | Feb 28, 2014 | New Comment
  22. You’re welcome.

    ElPete | Mar 1, 2014 | New Comment
  23. Pete should probably get the last word with that, but I’m compelled to roll out this example:

    It’s the “Rainbow Rescue Beam” comic that ran in the Jan. 20 Transistor. There is an obvious anti-gay sentiment, but the cartoonist is making fun of the sentiment and not voicing the sentiment. Am I right here, people?

    Paul Lundgren | Mar 1, 2014 | New Comment
  24. It is my wish that one day science will create a kinder, gentler form of comedy.

    TheKujawa | Mar 2, 2014 | New Comment
  25. This joke is barely acceptable now, but only because our society has not fully accepted the idea of full equality for transgendered people. Imagine this same “socially acceptable” joke, but told in another time:

    “Best reason to break up: Her grandmother was Jewish”
    “Best reason to break up: She was in a labor union”
    “Best reason to break up: She was a suffragette”
    “Best reason to break up: She wore glasses”
    “Best reason to break up: She was infertile”
    “Best reason to break up: She was a divorcee”
    “Best reason to break up: She wasn’t Protestant”

    BadCat! | Mar 3, 2014 | New Comment
  26. “Best reason to break up: She didn’t understand satire.”

    dbrewing | Mar 3, 2014 | New Comment
  27. People who don’t understand satire should be put on an island so they don’t infect the rest of the population.

    TheKujawa | Mar 3, 2014 | New Comment
  28. I’m sure most of you lunkheads know this, but “Tranny” is a pejorative term. A transgendered person is transgendered or trans. Calling a transgendered person a tranny is akin to calling a gay person a fag. Don’t do it.

    Rivulets | Mar 9, 2014 | New Comment
  29. As long as they aren’t bashing unicorns I don’t care.

    c-freak | Mar 12, 2014 | New Comment
  30. Two things that I’ve gathered from this conversation/ thread: Jokes aren’t meant to be taken seriously. Seriously.

    Freedom of speech supersedes sand in one’s vagina and/or urethra.

    ElPete | Mar 16, 2014 | New Comment
  31. Your freedom of speech comment does not apply here, as no one here has suggested censorship of the magazine.

    BadCat! | Mar 16, 2014 | New Comment

Post a Comment
Subscribe To Comments RSS

You must be logged in to post a comment.