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Posts Tagged ‘media’

Webcomickery

June 17, 2011 1 comment

So, in a continuing theme of “it’s summer and I’m still unemployed and have nothing to do”, I’ve been reading a lot of webcomics lately. I’m not enjoying it as much as you’d think.

Trying to find legitimately trans-related comics on the web is a chore. We’re talking about a genre that thinks that the “trans” in transgender stands for “transformation.” Even in print comics it’s all body swapping and “huh I seem to have woken up with tits let me grope myself”. Sludging through all that to get to the ones that actually feature transgendered characters doesn’t produce many gems. This is kind of a personal preference thing, but it really seems to me that every single LGBT related comic follows the same pattern, and it’s not one that’s very good. Slice-of-life genre stuff about queer kids in high school (or more rarely, college/university) who do and talk about queer things all the time. I guess this is OK if you like that genre, and it can be done well, but as far as I can tell it is literally everything. Actually, LGB protagonists are featured in a number of science fiction, fantasy, and horror comics where the tropes of those particular genres drive the plot, but inevitably any comic in those genres claiming to be trans-related is just another transformation comic. Usually, and especially with transgendered characters, if a protagonist is queer, queerness eats the plot. What I would really like to see are comics with trans protagonists that are about something other than transition, ones that flesh out the characters and show that trans people care about more than just hormones. I could totally take the utter proliferation of slice-of-life high school transitions if I could actually find something else once in a while.

Speaking of hormones and transitions: pretty much every trans character in any LGBT comic is a transsexual who is transitioning or trying to transition. No non-ops, few post-ops, and few nonbinary identified people. When nonbinaries do show up, they aren’t recurring characters and are there to be mocked (or at the very least this was a poorly thought-out joke). Even comics that acknowledge that nonbinary-identified people exist fail to have anything that remotely resembles my experiences. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if the transness of it all didn’t eat the plot of every one of these comics. When you’re only talking about trans people, it helps to develop them as actual people.

I know what the obvious response to this is; I would totally be making my own webcomics if I thought I could draw worth a damn (my writing isn’t much better then mediocre either). Check back in a few years to see if I’ve learned to draw faces, and then we’ll talk.

Women and Men

May 15, 2011 4 comments

I’ve been on the road a lot recently (moving, I fucking hate moving), and the car is pretty much the only place I listen to the radio. Advertisements are the bane of my existence right now. I think I’ve heard every variant of “men and women” over the past week or so. Every time I hear it I just think “Oh, well I’ll stay home then.” There’s a particular add for Planned Parenthood that runs pretty often on some of the channels over here that really makes me want to poke my eyes out, because that’s supposed to be a safe space, and I just get that twinge of “well, that’s not me”. Fuck, I was in a therapy group not too long ago where they did that, even after I had talked to the counselors in charge about my identity.

The problem is that they think they’re being inclusive. They’re trying, but missing the mark for a tiny percentage of us. They don’t want to specifically exclude me (often, they don’t even know that people like me exist, which is its own problem), but that’s what they end up doing. It’s always the little things. I think I could handle someone coming up and screaming in my face, just so I could have something that’s obvious to other people to deal with, but that’s not what oppression looks like most of the time anyway. People treating me like an alien is one thing, but treating me normal and still making me feel like an alien is depressing as hell. This stuff is so ingrained in our society, sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever be able to escape it.

Pink toenails I don’t care

April 19, 2011 1 comment

Obligatory post about the recent pink toenails boy ad thing, I guess. I keep seeing it come up, and honestly I’m having trouble caring too much. Neocons are reacting with the expected “OMG boy plus pink nooooo” that makes them look idiotic and non-credible. I mean, are we really supposed to believe that so many people care so much about what one mother put on her son’s toes once? I don’t know if I’m jaded or just overstressed from school because every time I see someone freaking out about it I just go “oh, the nobrains are talking again, I’ll just sneak away quietly”. I just don’t see how that level of true stupidity even needs to be addressed beyond “seriously? check your priorities”.

It also irks me a little that every single non-idiotic article starts out by saying that the child will probably not be transgender. While this is true, it seems to be a bit of a “calm down it’s not that bad maybe” line rather than a “get over it” line. Especially since it’s pretty much ubiquitous. I mean, what if the kid did grow up to be transgedered, would that immediately validate all of the media hype and cis-panic? I know that this is nitpicky, but it get’s old after the fifth article in my search for things I actually care about.

So, can this story die already?

Becoming Chaz

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

So, for those of you who can stomach Oprah, a trans-life-story documentary called “Becoming Chaz” is airing on her channel may 10th, so mark your calendars if you like. Not having a television (and I wouldn’t pay extra for access to the Oprah Winfrey Network if I did), I’m not going to be watching it, though I will probably make an effort to see if it is made available online after the fact.

Since it hasn’t actually aired yet, I don’t have much to say, but I already have a couple criticisms. First of all, the presentation in the article about this of previous “trans” related media includes “Nip Tuck” and “South Park”, and from what I’ve seen of the trans-related content of those shows it’s pretty clear to me that either the writer hasn’t actually seen these, or maybe just brainstormed a bunch of things that they knew once featured trans people and didn’t bother to think about the actual content. I mean, should these things really be juxtaposed with a documentary without making any differentiation? The only distinction that the author makes is that they weren’t documentaries (certainly fucking not). Secondly, Rosie O’Donnell is going to spend an hour afterward educating the audience on trans issues. I honestly don’t know much about her, but is she qualified to do that? Could they not get an interview with anybody who participated in the documentary at all? Why not let the documentary stand on its own, is the life story of a trans person not informative enough?

But beyond that, I’m looking forward to having it come out. I’ve seen a lot of trans-related documentaries already (but apparently none that were mainstream enough to count for anything, according to the author of that article), but something I haven’t seen yet is a documentary that is primarily created by a trans person and not presented or narrated by someone outside the community. I’m just hoping that it’s not quite as sanitized-for-public-consumption or voyeuristic as the other stuff.