Sunday, August 2, 2009

Writing Assignment #1

I promised the respondents to my "contest" posts that I'd write something on whatever topics they chose. I've had the first topic for about a week, and I must confess that I'm somewhat stumped.

Caroline wrote to me:

Lets be predictable and combine two subjects which interest us:-

"The Movies which got Transgender right"

I must confess: I haven't seen a lot of movies that get us. There haven't been a lot of mainstream movies that talk frankly about us, and too often TG characters are victims of hate crimes or serve at the butt of jokes.

I've heard a lot about Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman, but I heard lots of negative reviews from assorted trans friends, so I refuse to watch it. I might have to break down and give it a look, just in case I'm wrong.

There's Boys Don't Cry,

(I am currently experiencing difficulties with my Italics button)

the story of Brandon Teena. I'm MTF, not the other way around, but I found it to be very real. Gut-wrenchingly so.

I've only seen a few other movies that depict trans characters in a believable fashion. The oldest one would be The World According to Garp, which isn't about a trans person, but one figures big in the story. Roberta Muldoon, played by John Lithgow, was the first transwoman I remember seeing in a film. I enjoyed the novel more than the film, but I saw the movie when I was ten, but read the book when I was twenty.

Another grim one I've seen is Princesa

The title character is Fernanda, a trans teenager who travels from Brazil to Italy to work as a prostitute in order to finance her SRS. She has some rough experiences, but she finds a sugar daddy. I don't want to give away the ending, but it's not a happy story.

One light-hearted movie I've seen is Different for Girls

Back in the 70s, the two characters were best friends in school. Flash forward to the 90s, and one of them has transitioned and is trying to build a new life for herself. She finds herself falling for her old friend, but things don't always work out the way we hope they do.

That's all I've got for now. I apologize if it seems half-arsed, but I confess to feeling underprepared for this one. If anyone could suggest some decent trans-themed films to watch, I'll be happy to Netflix 'em and post my thoughts.

oming soon: Assignment #2, from Chrissie, "Dreams of Flight".


  1. Sorry to have set such a task, hoped a movie fiend would have found some elusive positive representations in the movies but even acceptable roles are few and far between.

    "Vie en rose" will cheer you up.

    Caroline x

  2. Don't deny yourself a view of Transamerica.
    My Girl felt it was a wonderful depiction.
    I also liked The Adventures of Sebastian Cole.