By Jonathon Van Maren
On May 29, 2014, TIME Magazine published a cover story titled “The Transgender Tipping Point,” featuring Orange is the New Black actor Laverne Cox, a biological male identifying as a woman. The story was heralded as groundbreaking moment for the trans movement, and the cover itself was as much of a tipping point as the cultural shifts it described. Media coverage of this sort, much like political polling, is designed to shape public opinion as much as gauge it. Saying that there is a tipping point does much to make it so.
The just-released March 29 cover dedicates the famous red frame to the transgender movement once again. There is a photo of actress Ellen Page, hair cropped short, a mournful expression on her face, wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans. Page now identifies as Elliot and claims to be a male. Previously, Page had identified as a lesbian, and married a woman. They’ve since split.
TIME’s story was a glowing endorsement of Page’s latest coming out. Their story — as well as the stories covering their story published in nearly every Western publication — obediently called Page a “he,” and the saga was one of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, if a butterfly came out with various body parts severed, discarded, and sewed back up. In Page’s case, she underwent what is called “top surgery” — a double mastectomy. “Healthcare” in the age of trans includes the amputation of healthy breasts, and if you question that, you’re a transphobe.