Forget The Lawsuit, So B. Scott Is ‘Transgender’ Now?

2013 BET Awards - P&G Red Carpet Style Stage

A few hours ago TMZ posted that self-proclaimed multimedia maven B. Scott filed a lawsuit against BET to the tune of $2.5 million dollars, for their discrimination based on his outfit at their music awards show earlier this summer, in which B. Scott was slated to be a pre-show correspondent. There are lots of layers to Scott’s lawsuit and TMZ’s tweet, so let’s get started.

TMZ called B. Scott “transgender” and Twitter erupted, replying to TMZ that Scott’s look was not transgender, but androgynous.

And this is where my problem derives.

First off, B. Scott is known for his catch phrases like “Love Muffins,” video time with Mariah Carey and his YouTube vlogs spanning back to the days of him sitting next to his patio with a towel on his head. Over the years his brand has expanded from YouTube- which has more than 93,000 subscribers- to television, capturing the admiration of a loyal followers which then prompted him a spot working with networks like Bravo and BET. With all of that said: one thing he has not been known for until now was self identifying as  transgender.

It is very irresponsible for B. Scott to claim being trans after all of these years of stanning for androgynous or gender non-conforming. Interesting thing about sexuality is that it does involve this magical spectrum we tend to only speak about when it comes to our bisexual, downlow brothers or lesbian sisters. We all experience time periods where we learn more about our sexuality and gender. So I totally get that.

Today, he released a personal statement on his blog accompanying the lawsuit to explain. “It is by that definition that I accept and welcome the ‘transgender’ label with open arms,” said B. Scott. “It is also by that definition that BET and Viacom willingly and wrongfully discriminated against my gender identity during the 2013 BET Awards Pre-Show.”

After reading his blog post, maybe he is going through the process (or in his words “accepting ‘transgender’”). I can only hope his actions don’t spiral out of control with assumptions in our community. For those guys who actually are fluid in their style of dress between masculine and feminine to be lumped in the same category as transgender. It’s definitely not fair to them or the transgender community.

Although the words transgender and androgynous are used interchangeably, they are not the same. To be transgender, in the simplest terms, is to have a fluid sexual appearance and/or gender that you self-identify not matching one’s assigned sex. Androgyny, on the other hand, is the combining of masculine and feminine to create a more ambiguous or neutral look.  As I’m perplexed myself trying to follow his story, his actions will continue to confuse those who have no idea what it means to be a member of the LGBTQ community.

Instead of suing for $2.5 million, perhaps B. Scott could have taken the time to educate the community about sexuality and gender identification. Imagine a panel with transgender, transexual, a-sexual, homosexual black men talking honestly about their experiences, setting the rules for conversations. I would give anything to see a special on black men, hosted by black men, talking about their sexuality and gender. Developing  a platform to demonstrate the many, many characters found in our community besides the ones we read about in books or see on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” would be beneficial.  We have to stop the (white, heterosexual) media from writing our narratives and be willing to tell our own stories at any risk.

BET was well aware of B. Scott’s “look” when they hired him. To say it was a miscommunication is an insult to his and our intelligence. Between his Youtube channel, EBONY Magazine appearances, guest spots on television and larger digital footprint on #BlackTwitter, a quick Google search would have given the most simple “Catfish” victim a true idea of who he is and how he dresses. Even when spats were released about B. Scott not feeling comfortable on the red carpet, I still felt something was off base then. If he was not secure he wasn’t sticking true to his brand, why even continue with appearance and/or change?

Was there no contract signed before hand? In an open letter written by B. Scott soon after the incident, he said all his outfits were pre-approved with a BET employee. So it’s okay for BET to police the outfits of correspondents, but performers aren’t given the same restrictions? If BET is worried about their brand’s image, B. Scott was the least of their problems until now.

At the end of the day, I can respect B. Scott’s decision to identify as transgender; however, the timing couldn’t be any better or profitable. There are trans women and men out here being powerful representations of what we’ve seen in the past like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox. It’s time for us to start recognizing the “T” in LGTBQ and not make a joke or cop out for trans people.  If we want to complain about people policing and making money off our sexuality, we must demand respect from our own. In the famous words of the now transgender B. Scott, “Bitch. Boo. Bye!”

Drew-Shane Daniels is the founder/editor-in-chief of MUSED Magazine Online and a practicing homosexual. As a freelance writer he has written for outlets like Huffington Post, VIBE, Global Grind, BET.com, Soul Train, The Good Men Project among others.

  • Lawrence Lewis

    This is very interesting and I can see B. Scott’s perspective. I am very comfortable with the transgender identification as its my understanding that transgender identity is an “umbrella term” that includes all forms of gender non-conformity and not just individuals who were transsexual.

    I’m not a legal expert and frankly have never even seen or heard of this personality until today, but I really do hope that B. Scott can find a resolution that is amenable and does diminish the B. Scott “brand” as it were. Congrats on standing up!

  • MonicaR62

    You are incorrect in the difference between being transgender and androgynous. A transgender person perceives themselves as a member of and is actively working toward becoming and living full time in the gender role opposite to the one they were born in.

    Androgyny is what B Scott is doing.

  • Omelio Alexander

    I’m slightly disappointed by the decision to use the term transgendered even with the broad definition he provided. Personally I was under the impression the he was a man who simply made no concession over his style and demeanor. I encourage that ideal of the dissolution of gender. However it was his gender non conformity that caused the incident and when dealing with the law terminology is rigid and there is no coverage for gender nonconformity except trangendered coverage.

  • http://thestateofwest.blogspot.com/ reggiewest

    although I was NEVER here for B. Scott, the following story only confirms my decision to never be a “love muffin”. I actually feel that the whole BET thing is a publicity stunt. [S]he brought it up via twitter but I guess because it died so quickly (along with her following) that [s]he needed something to renew her 15 minutes. Either way it goes, I hope she doesn’t get one red cent from BET/Viacom.

  • Kema

    This news of him being trans is new to me. In order to be trans you have to identify your gender with one opposite of your birth. Even though he wears weaves, make up, and woman’s clothing that doesn’t mean he’s trans. I think he’s using the label of another lgbt group to push the discrimination card for his lawsuit. I get it, but that doesn’t make it right. Which is another reason I have problems with certain gays. They often disassociate themselves from trans people when it comes to rights, laws, and other issues but latch hold when it;s convenient. What he’s doing isn’t helping his case. Especially since it seems it’s at the cheap expense of trans people.

  • AmericanBoi

    I was very shocked when TMZ referred to B Scott as transgendered. Bc clearly hes not. Then i read his open letter about his lawsuit, and saw that he himself welcomes to the term. I too have a problem with that. This is the thing, and i know this might upset alot of ppl but this is how i feel. This is all getting to confusing. You dont want the media defining us but we cant even define outselves. Last time i checked B Scott wasnt trans and wasnt trying to be. I’m gay and its confusing to me, i couldn’t imagine how straight ppl think. We have the trans, we have drag queens, and now we have this new wave of half way drag thing going on. Like Derrick J and Miss Lawrence. Men in full make up, heels, and sometimes dresses or skirts, but arent considered drag queens. B Scott USED to be androgynous. I was a fan back when his youtube videos were hot. He always had long curly hair and very prominent check bones. But he never wore lipstick and eye shadow and stuff. Now hes wearing full on heels and his face is beat like his last name is Kardashian. So i think the androgyny went out the window. Hes in the same catagory as Derrick J and Lawrence. Whatever they consider that. idk.

    Anyway, his situation is very unfortunate and i do agree he deserves an apology if everything he stated is true. i dont believe he’ll win this lawsuit…but whatever. good luck girl.

    • https://www.facebook.com/ZionMarQuiese.Devereaux Zion MarQuiese Devereaux

      I agree with everything you stated- every word!!!

  • taino

    This article is screaming with transphobia. Not only is the definition of transgender incorrect, but it correlates gender with sexuality. They are not the same. The way to respect the T in the LGBT community is to accept when someone identifies as such and not argue about the intentions of one proclaiming such identity. Instead of an article that questions whether the label is “right” for B.Scott, how about an article about celebrating B.Scott’s decision about coming out trans – it takes bravery and courage, no matter the timing. Also, the ultimate insult is that the author keeps using male pronouns to identity B.Scott, this is a clear sign that their is a lack of knowledge around trans-issues and a lack of support.

    • Noel Gordon

      Co-sign! Co-sign! Co-sign! Thank you for speaking truth to power and calling out the author on his bull shit. I hope everyone will read this comment and take it to heart.

    • AmericanBoi

      But up until it was time for the lawsuit, he never was transgendered. B Scott is not transitioning into a woman, nor has he ever implied that he was. hes not trying to reverse his gender. he is a man, who wears make up and women’s clothing. HES NOT TRANSGENDERED. Amiyah Scott is transgendered. Lavern Cox is transgendered. B Scott IS NOT, and NEVER has been or alluded to be. He has made youtube videos about LOVING being a man. And thats the point the author is making. He will “accept the term” because its convenient at the moment in relation to the LAWSUIT he is filing. And this is coming from someone who never agrees with Drew (the author). And for you to scream transphobia, girl. get the fuck outa here. Hes calling it what is it. B Scott is a man in make up and heels.

      • bintalshamsa

        You don’t get to decide what Scott is or isn’t. Not all transgender folks are trying to “reverse” their gender. Scott made it clear that he considers himself transgender and he explains the context of that usage of the term. The English language doesn’t have any official terms for those who are not men or women or those who are both men and women. So, those who are beyond those named categories can only make do with some variation of the terminology that’s available if they are forced to label themselves.

        Just as you decided that “B. Scott is a man in make up and heels”, I could decide that you are just a confused heterosexual person in denial. Would that make it true? In reality, you know what you are and what other people refuse to believe doesn’t change your true identity. The same is true for B. Scott. If people should respect your right to be self-defining, then you should respect their right to be self-defining, too.

        • AmericanBoi

          B Scott is a man. That is fact. B Scott wears make up. That is a fact. And B Scott wears heels. Does that not make him a man in make up and heels? Those are facts. I didn’t just “decide” that.

          AGAIN. If you’re a fan of B Scott (and you’d better be as hard as your going under this post) then you too have seen the video where B Scott makes it clear that he IS a man, and LOVES being a man. So NOW that he is filing a lawsuit he is conveniently transgendered. THAT is my point.

          If YOU want to ignore the definition of what transgendered then fine by me. But by THAT definition and what most of the WORLD considers transgendered….B Scott is NOT. I live my life based on facts. Im a man. Thats a fact. I could walk around and consider myself a woman all i want. But i’m a man. And it would be DELUSIONAL of me to get upset or go on rants if people choose not to believe im a woman, because im a man. You can scream the sky is purple if you want to. That doesn’t mean its not blue.

  • bintalshamsa

    (I’m using male pronouns, because B. Scott’s spokesperson said this is his preference.)

    “With all of that said: one thing he has not been known for until now was self identifying as transgender.”

    B. Scott never had a responsibility to tell you or anyone else how he chooses to identify.

    “It is very irresponsible for B. Scott to claim being trans after all of these years of stanning for androgynous or gender non-conforming.”

    According to YOU. B. Scott has no responsibility to live up to anyone’s expectations other than his own.

    “I can only hope his actions don’t spiral out of control with assumptions in our community.”

    You are already spiraling out of control with assumptions about how B. Scott should identify and live his life.

    “To be transgender, in the simplest terms, is to have a fluid sexual appearance and/or gender that you self-identify not matching one’s assigned sex.”

    No. You’re simply incorrect.

    “Instead of suing for $2.5 million, perhaps B. Scott could have taken the time to educate the community about sexuality and gender identification.”

    What in the world do those 2 things have to do with each other? If you think the community needs education about sexuality and gender identification, you could start with educating yourself and then stop expecting B. Scott to do what you could do for “the community”.

    ” We have to stop the (white, heterosexual) media from writing our narratives and be willing to tell our own stories at any risk.”

    Yet, now that B. Scott is telling his own story, folks like you reject it and demand that he tell us something different. You refuse to accept what he has to say about his life. Maybe you’d treat him differently if he was white and heterosexual.

    “At the end of the day, I can respect B. Scott’s decision to identify as transgender; however, the timing couldn’t be any better or profitable.”

    “Better or profitable”? “Better” at a time when transgender people are still being murdered on the streets like they’re less worthy of rights than the pets people keep in their yard? “Profitable”? When even prominent transgender folks still struggle to find work and the majority of transgender folks have to deal with housing issues, food insecurity, non-existent health care appropriate for their needs, and the cissexism that’s present even in queer communities? Please! Don’t get it twisted. B. Scott is taking a very big risk by identifying as transgender and I think that courage should be supported.

    “If we want to complain about people policing and making money off our sexuality, we must demand respect from our own.”

    How about you lead the way by showing some respect for “our own” by quitting with all of the transphobic nonsense you wrote here? That would be a very good start.

  • D10026

    This is dumb! Everyone is identified one way or another and nobody has nor interest enough to try and describe someone by one of the 100′s of subcategories under the altered gender umbrella. Please!

  • Simaya Charlize Fogle

    NO NO NO Lord Help Me….As a Diversity Consultant let me clarify. Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses many different gender non- conforming identities including: transsexual, genderqueer, cross dresser, drag queen, transvestite, and intersex. there are others but well start here.

    A transsexual is an individual who feels that their gender is different than their birth sex. A transsexual lives full time in the gender role different than their birth sex. ie. male to female (Mtf) and female to male. Transsexual go through a transition, whether it medical or social to live ALL the time in their self – selected gender.

    A genderqueer individual- is a gender fluid individual that expresses themselves in a way that is not neccessarily limited to their birth sex. and may or may not maintain the same pronoun all the time. They could look androgynous. Example: A male who might not identify with a particular sex and wears some man clothes sometimes, but could easily put on a pair of heels, and might want female pronouns sometimes or male pronouns sometimes. or a woman who like to mix it u This individual might just abandon the binary altogether. This person identifies as androgynous. Not male or female.

    A cross- dresser- Is a man or woman who where the clothing of the opposite sex for entertainment or personal purposes only, They definitely identify with their birth sex but might ocassionally put on the clothing of the opposite sex for fun.. They may not care if they pass or not as the opposite sex is just the clothing for fun.

    A tranvestite- is a heterosexual man who may put on female clothing for personal sexual pleasure. Its not an identity but a personal sexual fetish for womens clothing. Example: a heterosexual business man who wears lingerie under his business suit to feel naughty.

    A drag queen identifies- with their birth sex but puts on female clothing for money or business purposes. We all know Rupaul, but Tyler Perry’s Madea, Martin’s Shenaynaye, and Eddie Murphy’s Rasputia are drag queens as well. Its not an identity. It might be for female impersonation in the gay culture, or it might be for commedy, but its all about the money. They dont put on the wig unless money is involved.

    An intersex individual is an individual who medically has a condition that makes it difficult to neatly fit into one gender or another. (formerly known as an hermaphrodite now that is considered a derogatory term).They might have ambigous genitalia, or hormonal and or chromosomal abnormalities, They get lumped into the trans-community because they may face discrimination for not fitting neatly into one box or another.

    B. Scott has more than enough room to be considered transgender and still be the B. Scott that everyone know and loves. We have to wait and see which one this person chooses, but even if he doesnt change how he identifies, he CAN self- identify as transgender and fall within this UMBRELLA term. I am disappointed at how people who type an article like this wont even do the research to know what they are talking about.

  • Omelio Alexander

    I think the definition he provided on his website is enough to accept for his legal purposes. But to be clear that is not what most of us understand that definition to be. And quite honestly though that definition includes me I have no desire to be be included in it as my personal choices are to make gender obsolete. I am sexed individual not a gendered one. The anger expressed by some of the people here belies the fact that often time the T is in fact contrary to itself and to the gay community. Below someone complained that male pronouns are being used which means you obviously haven’t read his own words about what aspect of the definition he is using. A male who perceives himself as a man who has an unusual gender expression. There is no transition there. There is simply being which I admire. And more importantly a vast number of gay men could be culturally considered transgendered under this definition which is something I took from the authors argument. And I agree. There is a point at which something like this definition is so broad that it serves no purpose. Except to file a lawsuit.

  • http://www.Twitter.com/Exhibit_REY The Chosen One ~♏~

    I’m honestly not sure how to feel about B.Scott labeling himself transgender. For years, society has been trying to beat it in our heads that Transgender means a man who’s undergone a sex change operation to become a woman and vice versa but I was never convinced that definition was the end-all-be-all. If this is how he chooses to identify himself and if this is how he truly feels, I can’t judge him but I am a bit troubled about what this will mean for men who are feminine but don’t label themselves transgender as well as the timing of his new-found revelation. Hopefully, healthy conversation can follow after all is said and done instead of the usual nonsense!

  • https://www.facebook.com/ZionMarQuiese.Devereaux Zion MarQuiese Devereaux

    He is doing what is going to make him money. Don’t think he just decided this. His “handlers” and business partners have already told him where the money is and that is where he is going.
    We know what transgender is and B. Scott is not transgender.
    Stop the madness.
    He is just trying to get paid and make “history” while doing it.

  • Pingback: And It Won't Stop: Gender Policing & Boys With Dirty Mattresses

  • Peter Jason Payne

    As long as you’re not masculine, you’re going to have a hard time in life. If you can take your oppressors to court, then good for you. You can call me as a witness for the prosecution and I will gladly testify.

  • Lee

    No clue who this dude is. But “trans” is often a misnomer, in that it can often include people who don’t so much as cross the gender line as they do straddle it. That said, if someone identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth, and accepts the pronouns and identification thereof, then they are functionally, and for the purposes of discourse, cisgender (not trans). Being trans is not necessarily about opposites – trans women don’t all have to be femme, trans men don’t all have to be butch – but it is about transition, whether that be medical or social.

  • Pingback: Judge Rules With BET: Asking Trans Host To Change Is Protected By First Amendment / Queerty | JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM

  • Pingback: Morning Routine: Wake Up, Yell, “I’m Trans!,” Sue TV Network | compulsive truth