Just when you think Twitter is a mindless wasteland …

Something radical happened to me the other night while scrolling through my feed. I received a message from @Thessalia101

She said: “Love, your books. Love them. But very sad you recommend /Sleepaway Camp/ even if as silly fun. Transphobic + mean. That ‘amazing last scene’ you praise, for me as a teen with gender dysphoria, made me think my body was evil and monstrous.”

I was taken aback. Holy shit. I wrote about Sleep Away Camp in Garden of Vegan and I never thought of that movie from her perspective before. Of course it’s Transphobic! The premise of the movie is that a pre-op MtF hates her body (and her penis) so much that she tortures and kills people. Ugh!! How awful!

My eyes filled up with tears as I thought about how painful watching a movie like that must have been for her. I collected my thoughts and wrote back: “It was a different time back then and I guess when I look back at it now -I still think of it as I did as a naive teen. Thank you for re-framing it for me. ;)”

She wrote back: “I really appreciate that you understand why the film was so incredibly hurtful to me during a very bad time in my life. In no way meant to make any accusations about you as a person or your very giving and generous spirit. Please understand. I am deeply heartened that you can understand my sincere feelings on what that movie represents to women #girlslike us.”

I wrote back: “It makes me wonder what else there is that I need to re-frame. #foodforthought

@Thessalia101 explained further: “My gender dysphoria = creepy nightmarish punchline to a slasher movie? I must be really, really sick inside. 🙁 So I felt.”

The more I thought about the ramifications of that movie for someone with gender dysphoria the more upset I became. I mean – the movie is what it is. It’s a time capsule of 1983 and where we as a society were in regards to gender. It makes me wonder what other things that I look back at from my past (with fondness and childish naivety) are actually hateful and hurtful.

Thank you @Thessalia101 for turning my world upside down with a tweet. I am now looking at everything from a different perspective and I needed that.  🙂

If you’d like to read @Thessalia101’s essay about what happened for her when she watched Sleepaway Camp – you can read about it HERE.



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3 Responses to Twitter-vention

  1. Emily Aoife Somers says:

    I thank you once again for the kind and thoughtful response you gave to my strong concerns. Too often, such criticisms are swept away as rambunctious crybabyism. I appreciate you linking my thoughts on the matter, as I do wish to stress how insidious these kinds of gleeful monstorising of marginal people can be. Even as I type, Chloe Sevigny (throwing around the word ‘tranny’ in interviews about her role) is preparing to star in a new drama about a transsexual assassin who really likes to kill people.

    I appreciate you taking the time to think through these frames and see the ugliness that is in the foreground.


  2. Lou says:

    Thanks so much for sharing that, Sarah! I never saw the movie, but the message is valid for everyone — we all have certain mindsets that could use a little challenging! 🙂

  3. Pingback: A Drowner’s Rebellion | Aoifeschatology

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