So with that in mind, Helen Boyd of the en/gender blog (and the books My Husband Betty and She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband) posted a blog entry entitled Trans Documentary Drinking Game for those planning on watching ABC’s special on Chloe Prince (airing at 10 p.m. on ABC
tonight Tuesday night).
Helen’s blog post is for those who aren’t aware of the stereotypes of how transgender women are shown in most documentaries and network television shows about trans people. That these documentaries almost always focus on transition itself as well, and not on the lives of trans people after transition…well, that’s key to how trans people’s stories are told.
So, out of the closet comes the drinking game! Here are the rules:
1. Putting on makeup. Two drinks for reverse camera shot into mirror.
2. Doing anything better done in jeans and sneakers in heels and a skirt. Examples: cleaning the house, shoveling the sidewalk, yard work, walking the dog.
3. Before picture shown. Two drinks for picture in stereotypical male mode (sports team, facial hair, military, wedding tux)
4. Camera shot putting on or taking off a bra.
5. Photo of any wig, breast form, padding, etc.
6. Surprise disclosure, when a trans woman is introduced and then partway through the piece, her secret is revealed.
7. Camera focus on masculine body parts: hands, feet, Adam’s apple, height, etc.
8. Any reference to genital surgery that refers to “becoming a woman” or “finally a woman”
9. Minor chords played softly on a piano
10. talk show host saying “you go girl”
11. any discussion of plumbing or electricity
12. black and white childhood shots, MTF with cap gun and cowboy hat, FTM as ballerina.
13. Trans woman saying, “I am not a crossdresser. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
14. Trans woman clutching large teddy bear in hospital bed.
15. Birthday balloons after surgery.
16. Trans woman with new boyfriend (after shot of tearful ex-wife).
17. Trans woman sitting in chair in above-the-knee skirt, posed so you can see what great gams she has.
18. Patient wheeled off to surgery …
19. … lingering shot of the hospital bed with the teddy bear (or wife) left behind.
20. Shot of protaganist sitting at the computer keyboard, looking at a trans support website or surgeon’s website….
21. Any helping professional teaching deportment
22. Camera in the operating room – just drink the whole bottle
23. Any and all deployments of soft focus = 1 shot
24. Close up of dotted lines in magic marker on pale fleshy body parts = 1 shot
25. Earnest surgeon describes his motivation as “to help [girlname] become the woman she’s always really felt herself to be” = 3 shots
26. Before picture with extreme facial hair – 1 shot
27. Before picture in uniform – Military, Football, etc… – 2 shots
28. Video from hair removal session : Laser – 1 shot, electrolysis – 2 shots
29. Before picture – Last time she wore a dress (F2M) – 1 shots
30. Breast binding – 2 shots
31. Taking Hormones – Self-injecting
3 shots, orals1 shot
32. Did anyone mention an arduous and lonely childhood?
33. Meeting the school bully as “the new me” at the High School reunion?
34. Looking at the old picture of self and saying something to the effect of “he was a nice guy….” or “Ken was a lot of fun, but his time is over. It’s Ginger’s turn now!”
35. Trans woman claiming to have [intersex] chromosomal pattern, an affinity for washing dishes, a sudden dislike of sports, etc.
Professor Boyd adds:
Believe it or not, these are not the most snarky suggestions, but also remember: there are quite a few people who hang out on our boards who have done this kind of media work, including me & Betty, of course, but also Jenny Boylan. We need to laugh at ourselves as much as we laugh at the inanity of it all.
Twelve-Steppers should find their own version, of course. Maybe those ice cream poppers? But the point is to feel as physically ill by the end as the drinking crowd.
I personally don’t drink, and I don’t eat lots of sugar any more due to the gastric bypass, so I’ll just have to feel ill watching the special itself if too many of the stereotypes are dragged out from the documentary closet.