Transgender Issues In Patriarchy, A Look At &Quot;Boys Don't Cry&Quot;

2292 words - 9 pages

The film, Boys Don't Cry, Kimberly Pierce's brilliant work of 1999, is the true story of, Brandon Teena, born Teena Brandon, played by Hillary Swank, who created a male identity for herself. Brandon was born in 1972 and died at the hopelessly young age of 21. The actual story takes place within the last two weeks of Brandon's life, in 1993. The movie, a dramatized documentary, was released in 1999. Brandon is a transgendered individual; he was born a female, but feels that he would be happier living as a man. She leaves her brother and hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, where everybody knows her as Teena, to start a new life as Brandon. Brandon ends up in Falls City and his short life, as a man, begins. It is in essence, the epitome of the human spirit's sexual identity crisis, where our souls decide what kind of people we want to be, defying standard gender roles. He searches for truth, regardless of what his body says. In a world where we categorize everything as male or female, white or black, good or evil, right or wrong, heterosexual or not, there is something indefinable about Brandon. He represents the fight for female freedom in a male-dominated society, the freedom to be taken seriously and to be in control of your own life. Brandon was just breaking the gender mold nature and our patriarchal society had set for him. As a woman, you take a backseat position in your own life; the male figure is your driver. Whether it be your father when you are younger, or your boyfriend/husband when you get older, men are given first priority in the decision making process. Teena Brandon wants to make her own decisions, as a man, as Brandon.

Brandon made friends wherever he went because of his docile warm personality, normally attributed to a female. He was sweet and caring of others, which shined through in his excited smile. No one knew he was actually a female except for his brother who was constantly warning him against the harsh realities of their small-minded rural community. Aside from the man who knew him as his sister, he was well accepted and appreciated as young man by the people around him in a small Nebraska town, called Falls City. We will see their true colors later as Brandon is horribly raped and murdered, upon being recognized as a girl, by his disgusted "manly" hillbilly buddies. Brandon was only just beginning his search for identity, something that most people never figure out, let alone someone who goes against their own anatomy. Finding your gender identity in a world where you are given no choices has got to be the hardest battle of them all.

We watch the transgender story of Brandon Teena unfold into a heart-wrenching tale of what it really means to tell the truth. Despite the fact that Brandon has the biological make-up of a female, he bravely takes on his world as a man, doing everything he can to introduce each person that he meets to his genuine masculinity. He picks fights with men in bars, to...

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