In October 2015, South Asian trans performer and activist Alok Vaid-Menon called for more visibility of folx that do not fit the man/woman binary. While various media outlets proclaim that we are at a ‘transgender tipping point’, an unprecedented period of visibility for trans-people, Vaid-Menon argues that those non-conforming don’t necessarily reap the benefits of this time. After all, this tipping point revolves around trans-celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox and Ian Harvie, who visibly fit into the archetypal aesthetics of either manhood, or womanhood.
by Jess Howard
When it comes to film remakes, many viewers are very protective of their original cinematic loves. In the same way that people react to novels being turned into films, many feel that film scripts should be left well alone, with the common opinion being that it was the original script, cast, and production that made their old favourites work so well. However, as with any form of art, films are constantly ageing, and so new perspectives are constantly being developed and incorporated.
I’ve been hearing a lot in the last few weeks about how 2015 was the year that trans gained mainstream acceptance and that this development was all thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox and that Amazon show that fails to understand the trans experience in any way. No matter who I speak to, I am told that I must hero worship Jenner and Cox for creating a world in which I can walk down the street with a slightly lower chance of being violently attacked, but I’m not going to fake enthusiasm to people I don’t like any more, because this year I will be demanding a better standard of hero.
Let’s ignore Jenner’s homophobia and support for the Republicans for a second. I’m even willing to ignore her belief that the hardest thing about being a woman is deciding what to wear. Pointing out that Caitlyn Jenner sucks is so 2015. In 2016, we must demand better heroes because we cannot leave a world where we are told we are not to be valued because of the journey towards our true genders, only to enter a world where we are only valued because of the journey towards our true genders.