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How Would Brandon Teena Have Fared In Today’s World?

bteenarevWith access to the Internet, Brandon Teena would have seen and known a lot more about queerness and transgender identities. Brandon did research about having sexual reassignment surgery, so I would imagine, twenty years later, he would have seen images and videos of butch lesbians and trans men and trans women talking openly about their feelings about their gender identity and about their desire to transition or not. He might have seen self-made videos of people dressing in their preferred identity and/or transitioning.  He could have seen a doctor’s presentation on how a surgery might be done.

In writing the script for Boys Don’t Cry, we asked ourselves, ‘Why did Brandon who lived in the relatively large and cosmopolitan city of Lincoln, Nebraska [population: 265,000] not go to New York City or San Francisco, which he likely would have thought had greater queer culture and out populations? Why did he choose to move to the much smaller, less cosmopolitan town of Falls City [population: 9,000]?’ We concluded that he stayed in a place that was familiar and where there were fewer queer people because that environment made it easier to pass as a man. So while Brandon Teena twenty years later would likely have been more knowledgeable of queer culture, if he did not want to move into a queer life and instead wanted to disappear into a straight life, he may still have made the same choice to go to Falls City. And while the people that he hung out with in Falls City twenty years later may also have had some more knowledge of queerness, they may have been no more accepting of it.  I never thought Falls City was the problem. I always imagined it was the people Brandon sought out and fell in with. If he had chosen more tolerant people, he may have had a different outcome.”

 

– Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce asked how cultural shifts might have changed the life of Brandon Teena, the transgender man who is the subject of her film and who was murdered in 1993, during an interview with Harper’s Bazaar

By:           Editors
On:           Feb 7, 2014
Tagged: ,

  • 28 Comments
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      He’d probably as bitter and nasty as the rest of the trans advocates are.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @DShucking: Yes, I bet he would have been a cynical internet coward, completely unlike your own fine self (/sarcasm)

      Feb 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wakeupscreaming
      wakeupscreaming

      Moving to a bigger city, youve got the clustering effect of gayborhoods, but I’ve personally had my most homophobic encounters in the big city. One occurred right on the gay strip, which you’d think would be relegated to the burbs.
      My point — assuming small towns are full of uneducated backwards people is a little presumptuous. I’ve also noticed, having lived in 4 different sized cities, the bigger the city, the more unfriendly the gays are. My big big point — bigger cities does not necessarily mean better.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe38
      Scribe38

      @Thedrdonna: *hugs* for that.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      Snark all you want, asshole, but the trans community is losing support because of their hostility toward anyone who incorrectly uses a comma.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @DShucking: Really? I think people know better than to listen to whiny jagoffs on the internet, regardless of whether they’re trans or just like to complain about trans folk.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      Yes, really. The backlash against Mock for her appalling behavior is bad for the entire GLBT community, especially the trann*es. If you have such a problem with the GLBT community then why don’t you get the fuck out? You really think we’re all happy trying to explain your confusing story to our straight friends?

      Feb 7, 2014 at 8:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      What backlash? Where? Anonymous internet cowards? Name one real world example of a backlash by anyone other than those actively involved in the issue, namely Piers Morgan and his merry band of “panelists”.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: lol Get out into the community and hear what people are saying. The internet is also a legitimate form of communication but of course you would have to diminish it as such in order to remain in your delusional, trann*e bubble. Please leave our community if you have such a problem with us.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      I am in the community, I do talk to people, including my brother and a great number of my friends. They don’t feel the way you do, because they don’t have a “guilty until proven innocent” attitude towards trans folk. But you have no intention of giving us a chance, do you? Because you have decided already, and you’re on the same side of history as Frank Schubert and Tim Donnelly. Have fun with that.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: Idiot. I support the trans community but I don’t believe you deserve special treatment by not calling out poor behavior when I see it. The most vocal transgender advocates are alienating both current and potential allies with their hostile accusatory behavior. Ignore it at your peril.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @DShucking: Really? I’ve been on here a while now and you’ve never said one nice thing about the trans community, as far as I can see. You have, however, been insulting and boorish. Just how do you “support” the trans community? By slinging slurs online? By claiming they’re creating a backlash, without ever backing that claim up with evidence? Get real. You’re a hater, at least have the intestinal fortitude to admit it.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: Awww, so it’s okay for you to be insulting and sling slurs but not for me? Perfect example of the special rights you think you deserve. The backlash is obvious and I think you know that. You’re just pretending because you don’t want it to be true because you’d have to admit something negative about some of the very few activists you have speaking for you. I understand. You have a close personal relationship with pretending.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      Ummm you opened by insulting both a dead person and a disadvantaged minority. Tell me again how you support the trans community? Is it by accusing us of “pretending”?

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: He’s not a disadvantaged minority because as you pointed out, he’s dead. My comment is in response to several incidents of outrageous behavior by trans activists. I am losing my desire to support your ‘community’ because those angry activists are lashing out at their own allies for using terminology that your community can’t even agree upon. I’ve spent so much effort in my life trying to explain trans issues to straight people and argue with other gay people who feel the T shouldn’t even be included in the GLB community because ours is an issue of sexual orientation while yours is about gender identity but watching people like Mock & the trans woman who heckled Jared Leto has really tried my patience.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @DShucking: I was referring to trans folk as a disadvantaged minority. Because we are, regardless of your feelings about it. And again, how does insulting Brandon or the trans community show your support for the trans community? You were a little vague on that point.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: Like I said, it was an admittedly cynical reflection upon the recent unpleasant outbursts from trans activists, you cannot possibly deny there have been a spate of them lately. And many people are also fed up with the attacking behavior for using the wrong words that your community can’t even agree upon. P.S. The insults toward you came after you insulted me. Own your behavior.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      “it was an admittedly cynical comment reflecting my feelings about the recent unpleasant outbursts from trans activists”

      That’s how I should have worded that.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @DShucking: So, two relatively isolated incidents, along with people complaining on Twitter, is enough for a community of people to lose your support? You must hate gays after that whole Robert Oscar Lopez thing.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: Oh grow up. I’m not ACTUALLY going to stop supporting them. I’m venting! This is why they invented the internet in the first place!

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      Ah, ok. Well, I actually do agree that the woman who heckled Jared Leto could have chosen a much, much better way to express her anger about the shit trans folk have to deal with. On the other hand, I really feel like Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox were justified in their side-eying of the treatment they received on Katie Couric’s show. It’s about as tasteful as having a gay-rights advocate on your show and focusing mostly on questions about gay sex.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: The least that should have been done on the Couric show was to ask Carmen ahead of time if it was okay to ask on air. My only problem is that it seemed to be a surprise to Carmen and that’s what makes it rude. But the discussion about genitalia, surgeries, etc. need to be discussed if people are going to understand. When I grew up it was understood that “I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong body.” meant that person wanted to live in a way that is in line with who they feel they are and if it is a guy who always felt like and wanted to be a girl, you have to go through a period of a year living as the other gender so that you would understand what it was actually like and then you had the surgery. Now there is an entire segment that chooses not to get the surgery and that’s one of the most confusing things to people, including gay people. That has to be discussed and what I find so pathetic about Mock’s outrage is that she actually does discuss that in her book, very intimate details, and then gets upset about Piers saying she was born a boy when she herself said the very same thing in the article. The Couric thing was different. I would have been horrified if she had asked me that. When I was first in the gay circles, young, basically okay looking, gay men felt they had a right to touch you and ask all sorts of questions. More than once someone I hardly knew asked me if I was uncut. THAT is how I feel that Carmen must have felt when Couric asked that. Then again, I didn’t go into gay environments to be treated that way. An activist must one day discuss such things. Christine Jourgeson was a better trans activist than pretty much anyone out there today. She handled such things with great dignity.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @DShucking: I felt that Laverne and Carmen did respond gracefully, given that they weren’t there to talk about genitalia in the first place and it wasn’t conveyed to them beforehand that they were expected to talk about it. I feel like Laverne, especially, has been doing an excellent job of representing trans folk.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @Thedrdonna: I agree that both of them handled it well. Better than I would have. When I speak about the hostility from trans activists I do not include the two of them. I’m basically happy with both of them and I have to say, Carmen looks like a beginner when she sat next to Cox. I just personally feel nostalgic for Jourgeson and think she should get more attention as a reminder to us all that this topic is not something that we just heard about a few months ago.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      This is one of my favorite interviews with her. I love it. Listen to the language he uses and see how our dialogue has changed but I guess also, hasn’t changed that much. That is class, dignity and maturity right there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyh8BxPxtnw

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      @DShucking: Shit. When I said he that was a typo!!!!!

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DShucking
      DShucking

      Oh wait. What am I saying. Now I’m the one being hyper sensitive. I did mean he because I was referring to the male interviewers language. Do you see how you got us all twisted and nervous over what we say?!!! lol

      Feb 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsp
      dsp

      I guess this is the DShucking & Thedrdonna variety show! HAHAHA, you two made my day!

      Feb 8, 2014 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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