BoysDontCry

BoysDontCry - Boys Don't Cry 1 Running Head: Boys Don't Cry...

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Boys Don’t Cry 1 Running Head: Boys Don’t Cry Transgendered Individuals in Film and Life Ryan Fontana Chapman University
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Boys Don’t Cry 2 There is a wealth of movies made every year that fall into the category of “dark, romantic drama”. Most of them tell the story of a guy and a girl falling in love, and proceed to take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster of events that try to tear the characters apart. Boy’s Don’t Cry is one of these films. However, this particular film stands out from all the rest, for it showcases the complicated and confusing life of a transgendered individual, and her struggle to accept herself and her sexuality. Teena Brandon, played by Hillary Swank, is a young woman with a gender identity crisis. Throughout the film, we see her struggle to try and live her life as a man name Brandon Teena. Wrapping her breasts, stuffing socks in her pants, and hiding her feminine hygiene products are just a few of the habits that Brandon must constantly adhere to in order to portray a believable image of a young male. This is the only way for her to feel “normal”. See, Brandon is attracted to girls and even feels like a male on the inside, as if she is a man trapped in a woman’s body. This is very difficult for her to deal with, and only adds to her struggle throughout the film. At the start of the film, Brandon’s life is already a mess; she is wanted in her hometown for grand theft auto, and has accumulated a few other charges. She heads off to a new town, and soon finds herself a group of new friends, including an ex con named John Lotter, and a pretty girl named Lana. Lana is the hometown beauty, and Brandon is immediately attracted to her. As the romance grows between the two of them, the viewer is constantly left wondering if Brandon will be able to pull off her act, or if she will be caught. The consequences would prove to be severe in a small town in Nebraska. Once John and his friends found out that Brandon was actually a girl, they exposed the secret to everyone and took matters into their own hands. Brandon’s life is ripped apart by
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Boys Don’t Cry 3 betrayal, humiliation, rape, and murder. After viewing the film, many people are left with unanswered questions. Was Brandon gay? What about Teena? Is she a lesbian? While these questions are up for debate, I do not believe that Brandon is gay. Although the dictionary definition of homosexuality may consider Brandon to be gay, solely because of her sex, I believe that the importance lies in how the individual identifies with his or herself internally. Therefore, Brandon is not gay since she feels like a man, and is attracted to women the
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BoysDontCry - Boys Don't Cry 1 Running Head: Boys Don't Cry...

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