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