CNN Celebrates African 'Transgender Hero' Against 'Ignorant Church'

It’s not just NBC Out that’s pushing the LGBT gospel in network TV-land. CNN is competing in the culture wars as well against “ignorant church” folk. Thomas Page at CNN.com pushed this article last week: “Tchinda Andrade: Cape Verde's transgender hero.” A man is the “mother hen” of the trans community in that African island country:

It was the popular singer Cesaria Evora who first introduced journalist Marc Serena to Cape Verde's most famous transgender activist: Tchinda Andrade.

The Sao Vincente native came out as transgender in a local newspaper article in 1998, and has since played the role of mother hen to the country's trans community....

The love she inspires is evident in a documentary co-directed by Serena and Pablo Garcia Perez de Lara last year called Tchindas, which follows Andrade's preparations for one of the biggest annual events on the Cape Verde calendar: carnival.

The film has been sweeping up on the festival circuit. It won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award and screened at the New York African Film Festival earlier this year. Moreover, it's made a star of its protagonist.

The CNN post included a trailer for the film where Andrade is shaving, and another "trans woman" looks at himself and proclaims (in the subtitle) “F–k! What a terrible beard.” CNN doesn’t even blink when the “assaults” on transgenders include being the “victim” of prayers.

Just getting to the point where Andrade can walk the streets by day, selling fried snacks, has taken an awful lot of sacrifice. Andrade has been assaulted in the past (Evora, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, paid Andrade's medical bills).

Serena also recalls hearing about Senegalese merchants in Sao Vicente kneeling in prayer when catching sight of transgender individuals.

To battle intolerance, Andrade and others in the transgender community preach tolerance to Sao Vicente's local youth. In the film, Andrade's friend Edinha tells a group a children a modern-day parable:

"Once upon a time there was an ignorant church," it begins.

Andrade concurs. In between shots of her running around backstage of the carnival, whipping up her team of seamstresses or corralling local kids into a makeshift choir, she dictates an important message to the audience behind the camera:

"We've got to teach the little ones our culture."

CNN doesn't explain whether the "ignorant church" is Christian, Muslim, or some African religion. "Ignorant" is code for "disapproving."

[HT: Jarrett]

Africa Transgender CNN.com
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