What's on this week

What's On?

red_sparrow-III

What's On?

There's only one Oscar favourite I haven't watched so far, the based-on-true events I, Tonya. I remember the original attack on the skater Nancy Kerrigan, and how her rival Tonya Harding was later implicated in the attack (specifically, Harding was found guilty of conspiring to hinder the prosecution). I don't know what Nancy Kerrigan is feeling, seeing Hollywood's most likeable bad-ass girl, Margot Robbie (famously Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad), playing Tonya Harding for sympathies, on billboards and on TV and in magazines. I get that it could be a fascinating story - descent into crime always makes a better story than a tale about Ned Flanders of The Simpsons or some similar do-gooder. I also know of people who have watched this film and liked it. But personally, I'm guessing the film re-opened the trauma of the assault for Kerrigan, and now this added injustice of Harding playing victim – I wonder if a Tonya Harding book deal will be coming soon? Anyway, I really feel for Nancy Kerrigan, and I'm not interested in Tonya Harding.

So instead, I'll watch a popcorn movie. Red Sparrow, starring Jennifer Lawrence, is the perfect post-Oscars event, with its world of espionage and plot-over-character. In such a world, what could be better than a female Bourne (from what the trailers showed) kicking arse in a slightly fantastical way. This may seem like double standards, given what I've just said about Tonya Harding, but I don't have a problem with violence as long as it's far removed from my world, or anyone's in real life. I enjoy the ridiculousness of James Bond and loved the Bourne franchise, so am hoping for something similar.

Since I'm watching the film with friends, I may go afterwards to Edinburgh's gay quarter. I've always been underwhelmed by this part of Edinburgh, and perhaps there's a part of me that, as trans, doesn't want to go. This may sound paradoxical, but with the physicality of my trans identity, I wonder if some people go to the gay district with the hope of something exotic, of seeing men kissing, or a trans woman, or a drag queen. Decades ago, I had straight male flatmates who sometimes went to gay clubs, despite their homophobia. They would boast about how, if any guy tried it on with them, they would beat them up. I never went to the gay club with them, and never understood why they needed to go. Actually, it's strange why they only went to the gay clubs (in Cardiff, if you're asking) when I wasn't around. I was in the closet at the time, with a poster of Pamela Anderson on my bedroom wall to prove my masculinity. Maybe the flatmates were protecting me, like Van Helsing trying to protect Mina Murray from Dracula's kiss, lest she go to the dark side. Maybe my flatmates worried if I entered a gay club with them, I would leave in a gold dress and the conquest of several men on my hands; a werewolf finally confronted by moonlight.

What was strange was that I genuinely think they were straight. Why do homophobic guys go to gay pubs and clubs? Perhaps my then-flatmates felt gay men were inferior, and that trans was like a freak show. Perhaps it re-affirmed their own normality. Fast forward, and I know I'll be with friends this Saturday, but my journey into the gay district will be one in which I listen and watch intently for anyone approaching, especially for gangs of drunken men, and the echoes of my own life twenty years ago.

What's On?
What's On?
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Sunday, 08 December 2019

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

Joker
October 05, 2019

Joker

October 05, 2019

Joker

Joker The trailer did its work, flashing images of anomie and fury perfectly pitched for these unstable times of precarious working conditions, grievance and institutional indifference. For these same reasons, Joker , directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, has attracted pre-release criticisms like few other recen...
September 29, 2019

Resisting Whiteness event 2019

Resisting Whiteness one-day event, Edinburgh Returning for the second consecutive year, Resisting Whiteness came yesterday to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, providing an intense and inspiring series of panels, as well as a wonderful spoken word section, and a final segment based around the documentary short Invisible by internationally-acclaim...
August 21, 2019

Hearty by Emma Frankland

Hearty by Emma Frankland Raw and dripping with punk aesthetic, this one-woman-show's one-woman emerges in ripped tights and a T-shirt that paraphrases loudly the words of anti-trans theorist Germaine Greer: Lop Your Dick Off. My first impression of Emma Frankland is edgily uncertain and in awe, her Lady-Gaga-looks combined with Heath Ledger's mesme...
August 21, 2019

Pronoun, Pass, & Amnesty International

Transgender drama: Pronoun To be clear at the outset, this was the production of a youth theatre group, not a highly resourced team of experienced, professional career actors – although some of the performances left a powerful impression, and the show as a whole achieved some remarkable moments. Pronoun , written by Evan Placey, follows the transit...
August 13, 2019

Transgender Dance: Sound Cistem

Transgender Dance: Sound Cistem It starts with a heartbeat, the dancer-directors Lizzie and Ayden in slow-motion entry, setting the scene of a nightclub featuring two young transgender bodies who are in fact multiple. Sound Cistem is theatrical dance set to a series of pulsing, dance-floor rhythms and the voices of several trans interviewees projec...
August 04, 2019

Drone by Harry Josephine Giles

Drone by Harry Josephine Giles The blurring of human and machine reiterates here in a comedically surreal, startling performance by the performance poet Harry Josephine Giles. Drawing on visual and aural effects, Giles presents the disturbingly evocative middle-class arc of the life of an electronic, military drone. With Giles as both narrator and ...
August 03, 2019

Burgerz by Travis Alabanza

Burgerz by Travis Alabanza Playing currently at the Traverse Theatre is Travis Alabanza's poignant and comic one-person show, a thought-provoking meditation created out of a jarring personal experience. Back in 2016, Alabanza, a non-binary person of colour, was abused in a London street, with a burger thrown at them by a stranger. The show's series...
August 03, 2019

While transphobes get more hateful, I become more freckly

While transphobes got more hateful, I became more freckly Written weeks after the conference Transgender: Intersectional/International There's nothing good to say, even the films I enjoyed watching this past week, Midsommar and Apollo 11 , I've lost the Sunday will to write. Perhaps Brexit Britain will become like the village cult in Midsommar , bu...
June 09, 2019

Dark Phoenix, John Wick 3, Godzilla: my reflections

Three fantasy movies within three days: X Men: Dark Phoenix; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Godzilla: King of the Monsters The Lacanian feminist Kaja Silverman says about cinema, we go because we need the affirmation, to see the things we hope to see and fail to see in the real world. In Lacanian-speak, Silverman says we go because 'the desire ...