Transgender Gaze Blog and DQ

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After our discussion in class yesterday, I had no clue how film could be shot through any other gaze than the male, not even the female. That's why I was particularly interested to see how Halberstam would describe a transgender gaze in cinema. I haven't seen any of the three movies described in this article, so my only opinion of the movies is based off of Halberstam's descriptions. Nevertheless, it appears that the last movie, By Hook or by Crook, is successful in employing a transgender gaze because it reveals a new world void of the focus on heterosexuality.

Halberstam goes on to say that the other two movies, "rely heavily on the successful solicitation of affect - whether revulsion, sympathy, or empathy...." However, the directors of By Hook or by Crook explain that, "This is a movie about a budding friendship between two people. The fact that they happen to be queer is purposefully of the point. If you call them something, other than sad, rambling, spirited, gentle, sharp, or funny...you might call them 'butches.'"

I guess I just have one big discussion question about this reading because it is the main thing running through my head after reading it. Viewing these opposite approaches of showing sexuality in cinema leads me to the question, do you think it is cinematically possible to evoke the romantic emotions described in the first two movies without using the heterosexual, male-dominated gaze? I only ask because it doesn't sound like the third movie, with a proper transgender gaze, pulls upon these human emotions that are so commonly linked with (heterosexual) romanticism. That is not to say that transgender people cannot feel romantic emotions, but how would you show true romance on the screen (not just lust) without having a male-oriented gaze? It seems to me that an element of difference must be present in order to believe two peoples' attractions. If difference is not identifiable, the viewer may not believe the romance. I hope this makes sense and does not offend anyone! It is definitely not intended to.

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This page contains a single entry by Laura Smith published on October 16, 2012 3:19 PM.

Discussion Question- Transgender Gaze was the previous entry in this blog.

Brent Stensrude Transgender Gaze is the next entry in this blog.

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