I was sat in the office last week working out what article I was going to write that day. Suddenly, one of the IT guys shouted across the office to me ‘Hey mate, have you ever heard of ‘There’s Something About Miriam’? By the sound of his voice, he was in total shock.
A Horrific TV Show
For those who don’t have as long a memory as me, the programme was screened in 2003. Six guys battled it out over a series to woo Miriam, in the sunshine of Ibiza. Little did they know that Miriam was a pre-op transsexual. The whole programme geared up to the moment that she would reveal to the ‘winner’ her secret.
After choosing her guy, Miriam dropped the bombshell.
I tried to be honest with all of you, not just some of you. Yes, I am from Mexico, I am a model, and I’m 21. But Tom, I really love spending time with you and kissing you. You see, I love men, and I love being a woman. But… shh, quiet everybody, please, quiet. But you see, Tom… I am not a woman. I was born as a man.
Cue the winner and the other other contestants either laughing or trying not to vomit.
Back to my colleague. He was under the impression it was probably the most offensive thing that has ever been seen on TV. And guess what, he is probably right.
This programme was in no way an attempt to celebrate the transsexual world. This was solely to create a sense of horror out of the unsuspecting guys.
This whole thing made a complete joke out of the transsexual community. I was surprised, even at the time that they were able to find a transsexual willing to do it. She must have really wanted the airtime.
What was more worrying was the fact that it opened up the possibilities of a public backlash against transgender people. It painted transsexuals as people who would try and trick you into doing stuff with them, taking away your chance to give ‘real consent’. How was that going to help them become accepted members of society?
Needless to say, there was a huge public backlash at the time. After winning the show, and initially accepting the prize of a holiday, the lucky fellow refused to go as he had been lied to (see the video below) The contestants sued the pants of the production company for conspiracy to commit sexual assault, defamation, breach of contract, and personal injury in the form of psychological and emotional damage. It was settled out of court, but the lads apparently got a huge pay off, with estimates going up to $250,000 each.
A Changing Society
Things have got better though. Transsexual people are now accepted all across Ireland. Look at the Dublin TS escorts. They are doing great business, and are seen for what they are; normal people going about their daily business.
The fact this has happened is in spite of, not because of vile shows like ‘There’s Something About Miriam’.
Am I being over the top? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.
When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.