New Narratives

“Could the doctors have made a mistake? Could I have accidentally been born a girl? I should’ve been born a boy. Can that happen?”

Jo describes this pivotal moment as “terrifying.”

“‘I have to be honest. I can’t lie.’ That’s what went through my head,” she tells me.

Jo’s reply to her child’s pressing question was simple: “Yes, that can happen.”

Her emotions were not so simple.

“That was the hardest part, trying to be supportive to your child and act like it’s no big deal and inside you’re exploding,” she says.

There’s a lengthy pause and then Jo says: “I’m sorry. I’m trying not to cry just talking about it now.”

Reflecting on that crucial conversation with Sophie, Jo says she was both “terrified for my child” and “very sad.”

“Back then I knew nothing about having a transgender child.

“I didn’t know where I was going to go from here, what was going to happen, what sort of life my child would have.

“Also, the idea of losing my only daughter, as well, was quite sad. I really wanted a daughter and all of a sudden I was going to have two sons,” Jo explains.

‘Mum, could the doctor have made a mistake?’

I suppose I understand that it’s considered a sign of progress that we’ve moved from “My child is a freak; I’m kicking the kid out!” to “I’m grieving to learn that my child isn’t cisgender. Oh, woe, for my shattered expectations.” But I’m already pretty tired of the new narrative.

Thought for the Day

There should be word for the exhilaration of a half-success coupled with the glowing disappointment of the half-failure, that two-sided coin.

— Claire Light, Sense8 and the Failure of Global Imagination”

A Creature Who Cries a Lot

boyMeetsGirlI noticed that Netflix had Boy Meets Girl on its list of recent additions and decided to check it out. It’s very indie and charming, but with occasional bits of dialog that were more awkward than I wanted.

There aren’t a ton of trans Rom Coms out there, but I suppose I’m thinking about it in terms of how solidly it constructs and/or adheres to a “trans story formula.” Perhaps one day I’ll write my autobiography in comic form and I’ll need to know the proper shape for such a story.

Take one trans woman. Well in to transition. Sporting the boyish name, Ricky. Ricky lives in a small town in Kentucky. That alone brings along a context. The townsfolk know who and what she it. We get flashbacks to conflict. But in the present, there’s… what? Uneasy peace? Mutual agreement to not mention the elephant in the room?

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Holiday on the Moon

I’m reading my grandfather’s record of our 1985 trip to England/Scotland. 1985 was the year that I graduated from high school, and my grandparents and I, along with my grandfather’s brother, Jerry, and cousin Errol plus Errol’s wife Dorothy, took a trip together.

I had been eagerly anticipating this trip, it being my first international trip (excluding the States). I was also a total anglophile before this trip, but not afterward.

Here’s an entry from day 12, which appears to have started in Liverpool and ended in Bristol:

That night, [BC], Margaret and Don walked 3 blocks to a famous jazz bar, Dukes, for a drink, a look-see and listen to the jazz band there. It was great. (Jerry/Errol/Dorothy didn’t want to go — they missed out on a treat). Walking back 3 young girls are getting out of a black taxi cab, dress [sic] to kill and all with purple hair. [BC] likes them. Must be the hair.

Thought for the Day

I never thought I’d be the kind of person who believed that a crime against feminism was less important than a crime against storytelling, but in this case, they’re so interconnected that it’s hard to tell the difference. When you can’t write, you can’t write women.

— Sady Doyle, “Age of Robots: How Marvel Is Killing the Popcorn Movie”, Medium.com

Thought for the Day

Captain America: The Winter Soldier books Robert Redford as the heavy and makes a few halfhearted allusions to our own imperiled civil liberties, and everyone calls it a “’70s political thriller” with a straight face, forgetting that actual ’70s political thrillers seldom excused government malfeasance by blaming it on defrosted Nazi agents.

— Alex Pappademas, “Giving the Devil His Do-Rag: Why Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ Is the Least Marvel-y Marvel Property Yet”

Wearable Communication

This TED Talk was very different than I expected.

A Page of Me

Well. This is interesting.

Thought for the Day

I’m sure we’ll continue to talk amongst ourselves about how to handle the current crisis. Cis people don’t get to lead that conversation. We don’t care what you think. We’re more concerned with what you do, or more often, what you don’t do.

— eastsidekate at Shakesville

2014 in Film

I feel like it was a weak year for films. As I reflect on the films I saw in 2014, not many really stand out. I also feel like the whole “back-end loading” problem is affecting more and more every year. I’ve stopped watching films in theatres, and studios keep holding back their best films until the fall (when Oscar season starts), so I tend to see the best films several months after they’re released.

Anyway, here are my favourite films that I saw in 2014:

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