If you’re reading this piece you’re about to get molested by some movie spoilers… that means you should stop reading now if you don’t want to know what happens in the middle of The Hangover II… totally serious here…
Okay, you’re still reading, so that means you’re okay with knowing that Ed Helms’s character bareback bottoms for a trans-woman in a Bangkok stripper bar and she totally jizzes inside his formerly 100% hetero rectum.
Here’s what happens next: Ed Helms’s character briefly freaks—admit it, gay, if you woke up next to a straight woman who excitedly told you that you had just done “it” with her you might have a similar reaction—and then adds, in shock, “I made love to a man with boobies.” Later in the film Helms sings a song where one of the lines is “I got fucked in the ass by a girl with a dick.”
Clearly, transpeople deserve to be described as they are, with respectful language and yes, the Helms character fails on that count. But it’s what happens around those statements that tips the scales toward the side of this all being good for transpeople:
- They cast an actual trans-woman (Yasmin Lee, star of porn titles like “Bitch Got Balls” and “She-Male Strokers 12”) and the camera doesn’t flinch from her full frontal nudity, penis and all.
- Her character is clearly the one running the show. She informs Helms’s character that he liked the sex they had, they simultaneously orgasmed and that he shouldn’t be surprised because, after all, “they call it Bangkok, not Bangkunt.” Furthermore, her character is never in any danger; no one wants to retaliate. In a world where transpeople are seemingly routinely being attacked in what most people would consider reasonably safe locations—parking lots, the local McDonald’s—an image of an assertive transwoman taking control of a sexual situation is pretty powerful stuff.
- Every other character in the movie—in fact, the movie itself—laughs it off as just one more crazy episode in a wild, drunken night.
Obviously it’s all in the eye of the beholder, but it feels like, in the long run, that a film like Boys Don’t Cry might heighten sensitivity and awareness, but it’s going to be the otherwise raunchy, politically incorrect comedies that push culture forward for the masses, transwoman-dick-inch by inch.