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Trans women were pathetic, violent, disposable, or the butt of a joke.They endured misgendering and slurs from their loved ones and laughed along when humiliated.
This widespread defamation has absolutely impacted how the majority of Americans view actual trans women.
It certainly had an impact on me growing up — not knowing any out trans women in real life, all I knew about them was what I saw on TV and in the movies.
Charlotte embodied every negative trans stereotype possible: she was deceptive about her trans status to a romantic partner and everybody who knew her, she manipulated and murdered innocent people, she wore disguises, she had mental health problems, she was referred to as “she/he/it,” she devoted her life to malicious and vengeful behavior and, after being outed, immediately turned suicidal.
When the show returned in 2016, Charlotte lasted just long enough to embody one final trope: she got murdered.
They were violently outed and interrogated about their penises, and this was considered okay.
If any cis people in the story had a change of heart by the end of the episode, it was considered a positive portrayal, no matter what they’d already put the trans woman through. It remains acceptable, even today, to be openly transphobic and transmisogynistic on television.