I seem to be one of the only gender queer people to fully accept and love Dallas Buyers Club. I understand that transgender representation in movies is problematic and generally poor to abysmal, but I simply liked this movie. I suppose I’ve done enough work accepting the male side of myself that I no longer draw a thick black line between my transgender identity and the part of me that lived 30 years as a cis male.
I’ve learned in my transition that changing the world will not make me love myself. I love myself and my enemies the same. I love my now, and my now wouldn’t exist without the struggle imposed upon me by those who sought to destroy me.
Was the movie transphobic? I would say no. If you see the figurative forest for the trees, this movie was blatantly pro gender queer. Any other reading is built upon the myopia of analysis borne of self-loathing and the inability to remove oneself from art and achieve a measure of objectivity. But I do understand the ripping pain felt in the hearts of the transgender community and the quick aversion to trans representation because usually the representation is hate, hate, hate.
I’ve had to work very hard to get over the impulse to internalize transphobia. Trust me, I’ve had my share. I’d say on the scale of 1 to 10, I’ve had an 8 on the hate-o-meter. I think, however, that in order to bridge the gap between cis and trans existence, there must be a spirit of compromise and acceptance. We must put aside the past and live in the now of the new.
Anyway, I liked the movie. I thought Jared Leto was fantastic. Was he perfect? No. None of us are, and none of art is either.