The New Gender Paradigm

Transparent  (Cable Series, 2014)

Mort is the father of a highly dysfunctional family.  At the age of 70, he announces that she's Really a Woman named Maura.  The family freaks out at the news. 

Each Transparent episode tells one more story about how awful it is to live with transsexual parent.  It's also a comedy -- Well, maybe more of a dark drama-comedy.  Meanwhile, Maura is the poster child of WPATH's Standards of Care.  She undergoes psychotherapy....


Is Maura Really a Woman, or a Man in a Dress?

If Maura were your parent, would you call her Mother or Father?

What would you say if you met Maura in a North Carolina women's restroom?

Victim Movies

Doris in Shrek II (2004)

The whole purpose of the Shrek series is to show that a person's outside appearance doesn't necessarily show who they really are -- that is, even an Ogre may actually be a lovable guy. 

In Shrek II, the naughty king goes to the Poison Apple Inn to hire an assassin.  (The Poison Apple is where you can find all of the misunderstood villains.)   His highness calls the barmaid over and...  Great Scott!   She's a drag queen!  (Large frame, 6 o'clock shadow, baritone voice, garish make-up) 


Ha, ha!  Hilarious!  Look at the ugly Man in a Dress -- A villain who couldn't pass if her life depended on it.


Apparently Dreamworks realized they had thrown transsexuals under the bus with Doris.  So in subsequent movies she's slightly rehabilitated:  she's not a Man in a Dress after all.  Instead, she's one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters.  She even takes the lead as they rescue Shrek from the naughty king.  (Wait a minute!  Great strength and leadership are uniquely male attributes.  Maybe she's a Man after all...)  

It turns out Doris has a crush on Prince Charming, throwing him to the floor and jumping on top of him during the final scene of the movie.


Yup, gay transsexuals always get weak-kneed whenever they see a handsome glorious hunk.   Ha, ha!


What would you say if you met Doris in a North Carolina women's restroom?

There seems to be a trend here:  Transsexuals only appear in comedies.  They're always troubled people, boldly trying to assert their inner self, while the rest of the world laughs at them and how silly they look.

Boys Don't Cry  (1999)

A film that tells the story of Brandon Teena, a transman who was murdered as a hate-crime in December 1993.  In general, the story is faithful to the original gut-wrenching horror and disgust.  There's a slight taint of outsider-imagining-they-understand:  Supposedly Brandon is a butch lesbian in search of a relationship -- which is the main focus of the movie.  It's currently impossible for an outsider to understand or believe that a transman is Really a Man seeking a normal heterosexual relationship.


Would Brandon be allowed into the men's room?  Of course he would.   The current social radar isn't set to detect or limit transmen.

Transsexuals

in the

Movies

Kinky Pricilla and Wong Foo at the Birdcage

Drag Queens were apparently the rage during the 1990's:  The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994); To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995), The Birdcage (1996),  The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Kinky Boots (2005), Tootsie (1982),  Mrs Doubtfire (1993), etc.

Movies about transsexuality?  Most people think first of these movies.  After all, they show  (gay) men wearing dresses.   And those men-in-dresses endure harassment & violence from mainstream society. 

     But are they transsexuals?     No!   Drag Queens are entertainers


"The film was a surprise worldwide hit and its positive portrayal of LGBT individuals helped to introduce LGBT themes to a mainstream audience."

             -- Wikipedia


Is Frank Furter Really a Woman or a Man Wearing a Dress?  ...Or more accurately, a Corset.

After watching the show, would you be less likely to harass transsexuals or think they're freaks?

Which restroom should Frank use if she visits North Carolina?

The Danish Girl  (2015)

A bio-fiction based on the life of Lili Elbe, a famous Danish painter who medically transitioned in 1930 - 1931 -- surgery which ultimately led to her death.

I think this movie was written by Ray Blanchard, the famous autogynephiliac.  The movie begins with Einar Wegener being asked to pose for a painting.  It meant putting on silk stockings.  He had an orgasm the instant the silk touched his leg.  After that, there was no keeping him out of women's clothes.


Is Lili Really a Woman or a Man Wearing a Dress?

Would you promote Lili to be regional manager of, say, a clothing store?
After watching the show, would you be less likely to tease and harass transsexuals?

What would you say if you met Lili in a North Carolina women's restroom?


At least Danish isn't a comedy.  It's more like a tragedy.

Best Practice Movies

What sort of movie would advance the trans community?

-- Show trans people in a positive light

--  Portray a trans woman as Really a Woman

You know when the trans community has arrived, when transsexual themes and trans actors begin to appear on the big screen.


...Or maybe not.  The fact is, trans people have been center stage since the beginning of story telling.  -- Because a "Man in a Dress" always makes the audience laugh.  He's a fool.  Or he's a fraud.  Or maybe both.  (Eg, the magistrate in Aristophanes' Lysistrata)

So before we start celebrating about how far we've come, let's look at what authors, artists and screenwriters are actually saying about transsexuals.  Every time a trans person appears on the screen, ask yourself:

     -- Will the audience accept, laugh, or taunt a transsexual shopping at the mall?

     -- Will the audience accept, laugh, or call the police, when they see a transsexual entering a restroom?

     -- Would they freak out if their father announces that he's a transsexual?

     --  Would they run to assist an elderly or disabled transsexual who's having difficulty?   ...Or would they run away?

Tootsie  (1982)

I know, Tootsie is a comedy.  And Dustin Hoffman doesn't play a transsexual, but rather a desperate man in need of a job -- at any cost.

But Tootsie is a show within a show.  She beats the competition for a key role in a daily soap opera.   Although the movie audience knows that Tootsie is Really a Man, she's convinced everyone connected to the TV show that she's Really a Woman.  In fact, she becomes a female role model.  She's on the cover of every woman's magazine.  She's the voice of self-reliant feminism.

And men fall deeply in love with her -- as a person, not as a sex object.


Time goes by and Dustin Hoffman has to eliminate Tootsie.  In the process, the movie becomes a catastrophe from a Gender Theory point of view: 

   --  The best feminist is Really a Man?   Ha, ha.

   --  There are the standard "tricked into being gay" side stories (Both John &Les are eager to form a romantic relationship with Tootsie.)  Ha, ha, yuck!

   --  Meanwhile, the male Tootsie's love interest feels attraction for the female Tootsie.  Is she Really a Lesbian?  Ha, ha!  How gross!

   --  Watch out!  Even the perfect woman may Really be a Man.  Check genitals before smooching!

   --  Are transsexuals just like Tootsie?  Ie, are they frauds trying to lure innocent men into sexual relationships?


This time, we all know that Tootsie is Really a Man who is very good at making others think that he's Really a Woman.  Is that what a transsexual does?

After watching the show, would you be less likely to tease and harass transsexuals?

What would you say if you met someone like Tootsie in a North Carolina women's restroom?


But the show within the show tells the story of a successful transsexual woman (in a way) without dwelling on her genitals, her genital surgery, and all the harassment she doesn't have to endure.

Ace Ventura:  Pet Detective (1994)

Detective Ace Ventura is tracking down the kidnapper of a Miami dolphin.  Plus a human Miami Dolphin, Dan Marino (quarterback, playing himself).   In the end, it turns out the crimes had been committed by an insane transsexual who is impersonating the police officer investigating the case.

-- Ace Venture vomits & burns his clothes:  Oh yuck!  I kissed & seduced a transsexual who was Really a Man! 

-- To prove his accusation, Ace Ventura gingerly strips the transsexual police woman in front of the rest of the police force.  They also vomit and look disgusted by what they see:  Oh yuck!  Fraud!  I worked with and talked to a transsexual who was Really a Man!


Ha, ha!  How funny!  Look at the crazy Man in a Dress, who couldn't pass if her life depended on it.


For a more detailed account, read  Cord Jefferson's essay, How I Learned to Hate Transgender People.