"A glib sex-change joke is a time-honored tradition," Alexander said. "It's nothing new, and it's nothing that I haven't seen before."
In the past, Alexander said, only those already sympathetic to transgender issues would have spoken up about an incident like this, if at all. Now, she said, the concerned responses form more of a community chorus.
"It's an interesting phenomenon now where there's a shift in the cultural landscape where I'm not feeling so alone in the dialog," Alexander said. "[The dialog] is shifting. It's great. It's certainly not something I expected to see."