(As posted to my Gazette blog on Friday, where it received a lot of hits.)

True confession: I enjoy watching Two and a Half Men, much the same way I enjoyed watching Three’s Company. They’re both screwball comedies with not a lot of serious social commentary — at least, not until this season for Two and a Half Men, which has now added positive LGBT components to its theme. First, they introduced a lesbian character in a main recurring role this season. And last night they introduced a transitioned female — yes, a “post-op trangendered woman,” as the lesbian character referred to her — who hooked up with the somewhat sadsack character Alan. Yes, she told him she had transitioned — without ever using “trans” labels — and he was fine with it.

I have no idea if the character is being played by a real transitioned woman or not, and it is irrelevant, just as it is irrelevant if the person playing the lesbian character is gay or not. As a producer from the set of The L Word explained, actors are hired to portray people — they don’t have to be those people. So, producers/directors hire the people who they feel can best play those roles.

So, what about the character? Was the transitioned woman realistic? Was the show fair?

Well, the character was as realistic as any of the other characters are on the show, i.e. off-the-wall and zany. And the show was fair: there was no transphobia expressed by anyone.

I felt a little uncomfortable with the portrayal when the woman seemed to take on more of a male role — i.e. she punched out a guy in a movie theatre — as if she has a post-op male hangover. BUT, why not? I know lots of transitioned people who can throw a solid punch. And I know lots of born-females who can throw a solid punch, too. My squeamishness had to do with my own feelings about femininity, and how I couldn’t take the dominant role in a relationship (unless I’m playing dominatrix, but that’s another subject). Alan seemed to be happy letting her protect him and pay for drinks and a hot dog at the movie theatre — which fits Alan’s role as a human sponge throughout the series.

The folks who produce Two and a Half Men should be applauded for their efforts to raise some LGBT awareness amidst the often-madcap goings-on in their shows.

It gets better and better . . .

Congratulations to Two and a Half Men!