India Willoughby from CBB is a Fake! GNI columnist Alicia Perry shares her thoughts
I am a huge Big Brother fan and like a lot of fans I eagerly await the arrival of new housemates. This year at the launch I tweeted my delight & pride for #CBB including a transgender woman in their line-up of an all-female cast to celebrate Year Of The Woman. Now, 6 days later, my pride has turned into embarrassment. I have watched & waited patiently for #CBBIndia to show everyone that transgender women are decent human beings, ordinary girls who like others practice morally correct values and principles and deserve respect. Furthermore, I got my hopes up yet again that stereotypical views about transgender women could be approached and addressed, on National television, in a dignified and articulate way. How wrong I was. It is now apparent that India Willoughby has been exposed as a fake, attention-seeking, spotlight-grabbing, gas-lighting, undeserving example for the trans* community. Moreover, for the countless number of LGBTQI+ youth, India has completely let them down by her disgraceful & inappropriate behaviour.
Being on the show she has a massive platform to be a resounding ambassador for the trans* community and an admirable inspiration for society as a whole but what does she do? She plays the pantomime victim and carrys-on like a spoilt, immature child. She constantly talks about her transition but moreover, her old life and continuously refers to herself as a past-tense man; at a time when most transgender women & men are uncomfortable when it comes to talking about their past life.
It breaks my heart to say this but the transgender community will continue to face social rejection, stereotyped stigma, apprehensive discrimination and damning inequality while hugely popular reality shows continue to put people like India on them.
We already have a lot of work to do in this social area but the ripple affect from people like India is undoing great work being done by grassroots organisations.
What a huge and vital opportunity wasted, they don't come about that often. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement!