Monday, September 12, 2016

There Are Only Two…

…Non-trans people who I think can teach about trans culture.
Comic book store features transgender heroine
By Tim Clodfelter, The Winston-Salem Journal
September 12, 2016

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Comic book characters have long fought against supervillains, mad scientists and alien invaders, but on the cover of new comic book out this week, a superheroine takes on North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2, widely known as the bathroom bill.

Ssalefish Comics, in the Silas Creek Crossing shopping center, has commissioned an exclusive cover for "Alters" No. 1, a new series from AfterShock Comics that focuses on Chalice, a transgender superheroine. The cover makes fun of HB2 by depicting Chalice holding up a unisex symbol to replace the sign on a bathroom door.
Magdalene Visaggio writes about what she thinks of non trans people writing about trans people,

Magdalene Visaggio on the Problem with Cis Creators Writing Trans Narratives
By Magdalene Visaggio
September 9, 2016

Back in 2014, TIME Magazine proclaimed “the transgender tipping point,” a supposed moment humanity had reached in which trans people encountered unprecedented welcome and acceptance in modern society. And to an extent, that transition has occurred. But with the flip side of that increased exposure comes our newfound re-assimilation into American popular culture, a process fraught with missteps, frustrations and pure exploitation.

It’s an arena where respect is mixed with what sometimes feels like a willful disregard, and—as always—an assumption that our stories are the purview of others to tell, as if we ourselves were voiceless.

We aren’t voiceless. But it can feel that way, especially because we often play second fiddle in stories that are ostensibly about us. There are trans supporting actors in Transparent, but the star is a cisgender man. And the justified kerfuffle over Mark Ruffalo casting cisgender gay man Matt Bomer as the main transgender character in his upcoming movie, Anything, while actual trans women play other, less important characters is merely the latest prominent example.
A cis man is trying to tell a cis audience what it’s really like being a trans woman. This is akin to the pope describing the experience of childbirth, the sort of thing for which ecclesiastics have been rightly called out for ages. Communicating essential parts of the trans experience is not the purview of a cis writer, and it’s extremely frustrating to see yet another “media triumph” for transgender people being once again the product of cisgender people commodifying our experience for cisgender consumption. Transparent is a smash; Her Story is a queer media YouTube afterthought. Eddie Redmayne plays Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. Again and again, the message is that it matters so much less when we tell our stories ourselves.

There’s a critical difference between cisgender narratives of being trans and real self-directed narratives: it turns being trans into a spectacle, something to be stared at, consumed. It’s strange and other and foreign, and the presentation is driven by a gaping fascination with the facts of transformation. In Alters, the creators produce a loving depiction of Chalice doffing her wig, costume and makeup, and an understated but none-too-subtle full-body reveal panel of her in boy mode, because the cis audience loves a before-and-after photo. What it does is underscore the cis audience’s sense of artificiality; here is something she must become, and not something she is.
A trans woman lives our lives 24/7 trying to deal will gender dysphoria anyone who hasn’t woken up wondering “Why me?” or longing just to be “normal” and not seen by some as a freak does not know what it is like. As the article says it is like a man trying to describe childbirth.

There is a growing number of trans people drawing trans comics, some of them are mediocre and some are really great but they all have one thing in common, they come from the heart (You can see a list of some of the trans comic on the side bar. If you know of any other trans comics please let me know so I can provide a link to them.). I think that the success of Her Story is that it is directed and performed by trans people.

No comments: