LET'S GET PHYSICAL
Did you see Hit and Miss on Tuesday? Sky Atlantic's bold new drama
has been much-hyped - there are posters for it everywhere - and
star of the show Chloë Sevigny has been doing the
publicity rounds. You've probably heard by now that she didn't like
having to wear a plastic penis during filming. I wonder what
happened to that penis and if it is saddened by
Chloë's comments. Perhaps it's sitting in a draw
somewhere, lonely and limp. Poor thing.
Online forums were flooded with rambling discussion about the
rights and wrongs of a non-trans actor taking a trans role. It's a
long-running debate, and pops up every 6 months or so. From
Transamerica to Hollyoaks every time a trans person is depicted in
drama we see the same argument float up, like a penis to the top of
the bathwater. Consensus there is not.
It was interesting, then, to be asked to write something for the
Guardian on this very subject. Even more interesting were the
comments, most of which are variations of "It's acting, innit?"
People variously compared playing a trans role to playing a welder,
a conservative or a hobbit. I might add these are all things that
people do. Hobbits don't exist. Being trans, by its very
definition, is a physical reality. Trans bodies are bodies that
have been through significant changes - it's not a career choice,
or a political persuasion or a figment of JRR Tolkein's
In the Guardian yesterday, impressionist Morgana Robinson
said: "you can tell a tranny by their hands and their feet."
That's a rude and false generalisation, but there are, of course,
trends of difference between trans people's bodies and non-trans
people. If the public were more familiar with this, perhaps we'd
get stared at less often. I hope that one day we have successful
trans actors of Sevigny's undoubted calibre.
THE PATRIARCHY PREVAILS
Carina Trimingham, the partner of Chris Hulne MP, has lost her
case against the Daily Mail for a string of articles which she
believes breach her basic right to privacy.
Mr Justice Tungendhat disagreed with her claims though and today
ruled in favour of the Daily Mail, reports the Press Gazette. He
said: "Ms Trimingham was not the purely private figure she claims
to be. Her reasonable expectation of privacy has become
Yes, it was incredibly stupid (and hypocritical) of
Trimingham to insert herself into the private life of an MP and his
family and expect to keep her own privacy. But I just can't side
with the Daily Mail and its lurid and gleeful "lesbian love
triangle" headlines. Once again, bisexuality and the nuanced
fluidity of human sexuality have been co-opted as a means to grab
attention. Once again, same sex relationships are presented as an
extra layer of controversy, a sexy add-on, a cause for smirk.
I'm also disappointed that the judge defended a prejudiced and
personal piece by Richard Littlejohn, which contains this
"If you asked to draw a comedy lesbian from central casting,
Carina Trimingham is what you'd get. All spiky hair and Doc
Martens. Chuck in a boiler suit and she's Milly Tant straight from
the pages of Viz magazine....What Huhne sees in her can only be a
matter for speculation. Apparently she has told friends that the
sex with Huhne is 'amazing', which must have gone down a storm with
How on earth does he get away with this? The judge explains: "To
the extent that the words complained of include insults and other
offensive matter, insulting and offensive speech is protected by
the right of freedom of expression."
Good. That leaves me free to call Richard Littlejohn a
misogynistic, homophobic, rancid turd.
Is it me, or is the whole world going gay? President Obama has
released a video which touts his record on gay rights over the past
4 years, and sets out his manifesto for the next term, reports Pink
News. The president clearly thinks that support of gay rights is a
vote-winner. I hope he's right.
The clip is narrated by Glee star Jane Lynch and documents such
highpoints as the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell in the
American military, the extension of visitation rights to same sex
couples in hospitals and his video for the "It Gets Better"
campaign. OK, so he could have done more, but you have to admit -
Obama is considerably more gay-friendly than his predecessor. He's
practically a fag hag.
Here's what he has to say:
"Not only to preserve the gains that we've made over the last 3
years, but to make sure that any discrimination is eliminated,
you're going to need a strong advocate in the White House. I am
that strong advocate."
He adds: "It's not just a matter of head. It's a matter of
heart. It's who I am. It's what I care about."
Thank you, Mr President.
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