Culture

Hollywood Trans

Culture

Hollywood Trans

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Despite a rabid, late fascination for all things trans-, this obsession has yet to be carried over to Hollywood. Big budget films about transfolk are few and far between. The ones that do exist are usually a barrage of harmful cliches and boring stereotypes.

Which is exactly why when something with the potential for humor appears on the horizon, there is cause to rejoice–or at least to stop cringing. Hit and Miss, a British series created by some of the minds behind Skins UK (a Bullett office obsession), stars Chloe Sevigny as an MTF Irish assassin, with progeny she never knew she had (the tactful way most of the write-ups describe this is that the character as having had children ‘from a previous life’, as if pre-transition time takes place on another cosmic plane). In combining the plots of Transamerica, The Crying Game, and Dressed To Kill, Hit and Miss seems to have covered the canon of film’s burgeoning genre–though somehow this doesn’t make it any less interesting. Something about the psycho-killer genre really suits the way Hollywood understands the story of transpeople’s lives: as an instant, desperate transformation, similar to the way a character in a heist movie throws on a ski mask and proceeds to kill all the witnesses.

Though to be fair, there have been agonizingly vague attempts to tell a mature, bloodless story of transformation. For instance, if you’re trans, you’ve probably been talking about The Danish Girl for well on two years now. It’s no longer news. It’s no longer exciting–with news of every cast drop-out (Rachael Weisz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard) fears as to the sensitivity of the project increase: are leading Hollywood actresses dropping out because the project is controversial, or because it’s doomed? If the thought of Nicole Kidman as a transwoman is absurd to most, it’s also the one kind of role which is safe from an attempt by Meryl Streep. And that, in these times, should still counts for something.