News | Transgender

Letterman Calls Pregnant Trans Man an 'Androgynous Freak Show'


Via Shakesville comes this ugly nugget.

David Letterman's show last night not only featured Walnuts' high-larious comedy routine, but also a Top 10 list in which Thomas Beatie, the transgender man who is now 23 weeks pregnant, was labeled an "androgynous freak show."

Letterman attempts to explain Beatie's situation using a cutting motion: "He had the thing."

Beatie is scheduled to appear on Oprah tomorrow.

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. David Letterman is showing real ignorance in this instance.

    Thoman Beatie is a female to male transgender man and therefore, even if he had had the full transition, there was no "thing" to chop off.

    The fact that he has not had the full transition is why he is able to become pregnant and have a child. He still has his ovaries and womb. He only had his breast removed and has been on a regular testosterone regimen. After he stopped the testosterone treatments for a few months he was able to have periods again.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 2, 2008 12:24:18 PM

  2. Maybe some sexy male underwear model will guest on Letterman's show tonight, and we'll forget this whole ugly incident.

    Posted by: Clyde | Apr 2, 2008 12:26:44 PM

  3. And people were up in arms about Jay Leno?

    That was absolutely disgusting and extraordinarily ignorant. I'm glad I don't watch any of the night talk show circuit.

    He should be ashamed, and people should be outraged.

    Posted by: Tyler | Apr 2, 2008 12:27:13 PM

  4. Who cares. It is weird.

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 2, 2008 12:33:30 PM

  5. "Deliberate cruelty is unforgivable," isn't that what Blanche said.

    Some would argue that by making himself public, Beatie made these kind of vicious attacks inevitable; but picking on someone who can't defend themselves, or who hasn't been an abuser themelves, is just plain cowardly.

    I haven't liked (or respected) any late night TV hosts since Dick Cavett & David Susskind. These hosts of the last thirty years don't seem to know shit about shit.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 2, 2008 12:34:24 PM

  6. oh i loved dick cavett, miss derick honey. he's one of the greats. did you ever see the show with charles pierce? fabulous!

    Posted by: the queen | Apr 2, 2008 12:42:15 PM

  7. Letteman wasn't making a chopping motion, he was making a surgical one. And I thought the Top 10 was pretty funny. And is this not a weird thing to people?

    Posted by: Frank | Apr 2, 2008 12:42:23 PM

  8. John McCain got Letterman good last night when he said something to the effect of "You remind of a guy who gets in a hot tub and gets excited watching his swimsuit inflate."

    Posted by: mike/ | Apr 2, 2008 12:47:04 PM

  9. Oh come on... righteous indignation over something that causes anyone who has heard about it to pause, tilt their head, and say, "Um, what was that?" I don't care HOW open minded you think you are, when you heard about this story, you were taken aback about it. To assume that others, regardless of their progressive views, aren't going to 'go there' for the sake of their own world view sanity, is disingenuous at best, and just as ignorant.

    Posted by: taodon | Apr 2, 2008 12:50:34 PM

  10. Yes, it's weird. As in "out of the ordinary." But in no way does that give Letterman or his idiot writers the moral right to call him a "freakshow." That's just pathetic, and it shows how deeply uncomfortable they are in their own gender -- that something out of the ordinary makes them attack.

    Posted by: ted | Apr 2, 2008 12:51:23 PM

  11. and for those children who don't know whom i'm talking about, you can see miss charles pierce (one of great queens of all time!)on youtube at:

    Posted by: the queen | Apr 2, 2008 12:52:27 PM

  12. I give Beatie credit for having the courage to tell his unusual story. Trans people are treated far worse than gays, sadly often by the LGBT community. For a number of years I worked at an LGBT community center. After that experience, I realize that there is far more variety of sexual expression than most people realize in both the gay and straight community.

    Posted by: voet | Apr 2, 2008 12:54:10 PM

  13. Interesting how no one has mentioned Michael Jackson or thought to defend him, since for this particular joke he's being mocked just as much, if not more.

    Is it because most people have concluded that Jackson is, indeed, an androgynous freak show?

    Letterman is a comedy show for mainstream America. And I'm sorry, but if you ask 99 percent of straight Americans what they think of this case---as well as a good share of gay men, based on the postings on this story and the previous one---the response is, WTF? Someone is claiming to be a man, but still has female plumbing, and is pregnant, and is trying to score a lot of publicity.

    Sorry, Beatie created this circus. And another word for a circus is freakshow. I'd be far more sympathetic if this didn't seem so contrived for personal gain.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 2, 2008 1:04:47 PM

  14. I agree with TAODON. For me, Beatie's story only further highlights the differences between the gay and trans movements and the issues facing them.

    Posted by: Dignan | Apr 2, 2008 1:12:16 PM

  15. I'm having a hard time with sympathy for this guy - I feel like this could have been done without quite so much fanfare. I think the Demi-esque picture is a little over the top. When you seek out publicity, you have to take the bad as well as the good.

    Posted by: John | Apr 2, 2008 1:14:33 PM

  16. The transphobic carnival has come to town today, I see.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Apr 2, 2008 1:21:53 PM

  17. Do I have the right to call him a "freakshow"??

    That is EXACTLY what this is. Back in the carnival days, the bearded lady was a "freakshow." Here's a bearded lady, pregnant with a baby! I think it is weird as hell, and I have moral and ethical reservations about it as well.

    I will certainly get crap for saying this, but this is not in the realm of things that I associate myself with simply because I am a gay male.

    In that I am a gay male, I support equal rights and protections to all minority groups. THat is, however where I feel the similarities between myself and transgender people end. I am a man, that likes to be a man, that likes other men. Other than being an oppressed group, I never really understood why the T got grouped in with the LGB.

    Posted by: Dan B | Apr 2, 2008 1:25:01 PM

  18. He's asking for the attention, he put himself out there.

    Let's call a spade a spade here kids, and quit with the overly politically-correct bullshit, it IS weird, and that's fine.

    Posted by: JLS | Apr 2, 2008 1:29:54 PM

  19. I am sorry, but this guy/girl is a total freakshow and he/she knows it! This person was born a woman, then after plenty of medical procedures and therapy sessions she made the conversion into a man. Then she did what all women tend to do at some point, she changed her mind! SHOCKER! She could have chosen to quietly go through these changes and even resumed her outward appearance as a woman. However she made the decision to go public with her story and keep her male form. Thus opening herself up to all the public mockery the peanut gallery could possibly muster.

    If she wanted to have a baby, she should have stayed a woman. There's a reason why people say, "You can't have it both ways." It's because YOU CAN'T!! So sympathy here.

    Posted by: JD | Apr 2, 2008 1:29:55 PM

  20. Definitely freaky!

    Posted by: WB | Apr 2, 2008 1:37:24 PM

  21. Men who enjoy being a men who have sex with other men."

    That's real freaky--no vaginas at all? Ask 90% of the people on this planet about it. (I'm not in the mood today).

    Hey, QUEEN, thanks for the link to Charles Pience. On that same Youtube page (i guess you call it a "page") there was a Dick Cavett interview with Mae West from 1976. Ah, 1976, a time before gay men turned into arrogant, hyper-masculine wannabes.

    "Freakshow" my beautiful yella' ass.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 2, 2008 1:39:21 PM

  22. And put a maternity top on. Those nips are freakin me out!!

    Posted by: WB | Apr 2, 2008 1:39:47 PM

  23. Queen, saw the clip, very funny. I'm embarrassed to admit I have no idea who charles pierce is. I actually saw dick cavett on B'way a few years ago narrating the rocky horror picture show but had no idea who he was..thnx for the insight

    Posted by: daveynyc | Apr 2, 2008 1:43:16 PM

  24. If anyone created a circus over Mr. Beatie's situation, it would be the media.

    Let's say it was any one of you here who were in Beatie's shoes. Wouldn't you choose to be the first one to comment on YOUR situation rather than let someone WHO DOESN'T EVEN KNOW YOU make judgments upon you?

    Unfotunately, most people are idiots and make ignorant comments on things they know nothing about and are afraid of.

    Bottom line, what Letterman did is ignorant and cruel and he deserves any backlash he gets for it. Why people seem to forget to think before they speak is beyond me. It's not that fucking hard to remember.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Apr 2, 2008 1:46:40 PM

  25. Wow, all the comments that say Beatie brought this upon himself because he was "seeking attention" - I suppose you agree that it was Lawrence King's fault he got shot because he could have behaved and dressed in a way that didn't draw attention to him, right?

    As far as I can tell, Beatie wrote an essay explaining how he and his partner came to this decision, exposing the medical discrimination they encountered along the way, and illustrating another way in which our assumptions about gender, biology and gender roles are more complicated than we like.

    And, TAODON, I guess I invalidate your first claim, because the very first thing I thought of was "good for him." It might help that my former pastor was a transman who had given birth before transitioning, so I was already used to the sometimes confusing family structures that accompany transgender identities.

    Posted by: Jere | Apr 2, 2008 2:03:07 PM

  26. 1 2 3 4 »

Post a comment


« «Antarctic Creatures Great and Small« «