GENDER BENDERS

Was R. Crumb’s Rejected New Yorker Cover Transphobic Or Just Classic Crumb?

THE SHOT – R. Crumb’s proposed cover for the June 2009 issue of The New Yorker, rejected by editor David Remnick (presumably for the gender inspection sign, though Crumb says that Remnick never offered him any explanation). Gawker’s Seth Abramovitch points out:

“…millions of gays and lesbians who would have undoubtedly felt marginalized and stereotyped by the depiction. On the other hand, you need to put the illustration in the context of the illustrator: Crumb’s entire career was built on his hypersexualized images of hulking women with lumberjack legs and the scrawny she-men who fawn over them. The picture was celebrating gender-defiance, not mocking it.”

Though the illustration has a definite transgressive quality, we know men and women who look like all three of the people pictured—life imitates art imitates life?