Trans tv / film unofficial subtext 

So theres definitely the obvious shows about trans characters, but i feel there are several notable layers lower down where its more subtle to be something a closeted trans person will find.. appealing.

1> Characters who are forced into alternate gender roles either to be / play as another gender, or to be allowed to exist in a different heavily gendered space (eg. a mens football team, or a sorority)

Trans tv / film unofficial subtext 

2> Characters who are somehow allowed to have a new body, whether real, cybernetic, or existing in a virtual reality (Altered Carbon) or to swap bodies (Freaky Friday) - A layer about "what if it was possible to have a new body" which may not necessarily be about different gender at all.

3> Characters who exist outside of society, such as those who are able to survive an apocalypse (Night of the Comet) - A layer about "what if you could do whatever you wanted"

Show thread

Trans tv / film unofficial subtext 

3 cont> I think a different version of this would be what if society and technology had advanced forwards (Star Trek)

Show thread

Trans tv / film unofficial subtext 

4. Characters with Magic / Wishes / Mind Control powers.

5. Alternate Reality, Parallel Universes, Time Travel

I think what underpins these stories as trans catnip as it were (and im sure there is a lot more) is the fact that they're all sort of wish fulfilment scenarios that effectively bypass having to either admit to yourself, or others that you want it, or come out or transition.

Show thread

Trans tv / film unofficial subtext 

But really whats most interesting to me, is that these sorts of themes will make us feel weird inside, at a time before we really have the words to convey why they seem so important to us, before we understand ourselves.

Even now i dont think i have good enough language to describe that unknown butterfly feeling inside like you're looking at a something that holds intense deep meaning to you.

Show thread

Trans tv / film unofficial subtext 

I missed out a very common trope.

6. Character who discovers they're not real, or that the entirety of reality is not real. (The Matrix, Blade Runner 2049) - Draws heavily from dissociative fears that is often present in transgender people where they feel like their body, their emotions, their existence does not belong to them / is fake.

Show thread

Trans narrative themes 

So what can be gleaned from this?

Well it explains why those same tropes are used time and again in fiction by transgender writers, artists, music producers etc.

It helps us to better understand characters who have the potential to be trans icons and why we might feel that way. Such as why do many view the replicants and holograms in Blade Runner and its sequel to be very trans?

Show thread

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

It also explains why a lot of our erotic fiction and artwork focuses on these same themes - and why that same fiction is then popular in drawing in closeted trans people.

It gives us a clear understanding of how when many closeted trans people discover erotic transgender themed media, and upon experiencing that same unvoiceable weird feeling around it, there is a tendancy to put the chicken before the egg so to speak.

Show thread

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

That is to say, the mistake of believing the internal unspeakable pull and need for this sort of story, is simply a purely erotic need.

Which can lead some down the whole road of believing these desires to be a fetish. Which then leads those people to create more material with that belief which self perpetuates creating communities of closeted trans people who all confirm to each other that it is a sex thing.

Show thread
Follow

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

To be clear, not saying that sort of erotic stuff is wrong in any form. Just that it can be a trap that prevents some pretransition people from realising they're transgender and later often develops a lot of shame issues.

· · Web · 2 · 3 · 10

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

@mxsiege
Oh hey, hi, yeah...i will vouch for that.

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

@AudreyJune @mxsiege I have been CALLED OUT

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

@lawremipsum @mxsiege

It’s funny, I feel like this transition narrative often remains a taboo. Trans women seem hesitant to talk about it because it’s the kind of thing that transphobes point at and say “AGP AGP!!”

Of course the reality is just so far removed from that bullshit, but transphobes don’t want to *listen* to our experiences if it doesn’t conform to their priors.

Trans narrative themes, fetish 

@AudreyJune @lawremipsum Yeah its definitely a continual struggle to set straight. When you see that it has evolved to be a genre that is now produced and consumed by those on either side of the closet door, and that issue leads to a lot of schisms within the trans community with many feeling it should be shunned or eradicated. When really it is in essence trans themed narrative, so to destroy it is to to destroy a fundamenal part of ourselves.

Trans narrative themes, fetish 

@mxsiege @lawremipsum

Personally, I am always really uneasy about destroying another person’s coping mechanism. It was literally fetishization that allowed me to exist with these feelings from 15 years old onward.

Trans narrative themes, fetish 

@mxsiege @AudreyJune @lawremipsum fortunately some ppl are reclaiming this terrain; one creator that immediately comes to mind is Alex Zandra and her light novels about genderfeels and transformation stuff

Trans narrative themes, fetish 

@velexiraptor @AudreyJune @lawremipsum Yes! I saw the covers of those, and was keen to hear what happens in them. There definitely through time has been trnas people producing fiction that takes that route, however its always been stored and catalogued alongisde the others that go into more erotic narrative.

Trans narrative themes, fetish 

@mxsiege @AudreyJune @lawremipsum they're exactly as cute and wholesome as you might expect - no sex stuff, just genderfeels and self-discovery with a side of magical realism

it's a very, very different and much lighter tone than the other more literary/"legitimate" side of trans fiction by trans authors (Casey Plett and Kai Cheng Thom come to mind) where trans suffering and finding joy despite that suffering take center stage

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

@AudreyJune @lawremipsum @mxsiege oh big mood

doesn't help that all that gave me a complex about talking about sex in any context

it's a self-reinforcing thing, too, the construction of transness as just a sex thing causes media to be created with that in mind, which drives more of us to the "it's just a fetish" mindset, which causes more of that media to be created... et cetera. i've only seen stuff break out of that mold in the mainstream in like, the last ten years, and even then it's dicey

Trans narrative themes, lewdish 

@mxsiege this somehow hit more home than it should..

Thank you for sharing that thoughts.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Octodon

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!