Whose Club Is It Anyway?: The Problematic of Trans Representation in Mainstream Films——“Rayon” and Dallas Buyers Club

in Screen Bodies
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Abstract

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) offers a stereotypical representation of trans themes and images that do not fit contemporary gender-diverse communities, creating negative images and damaging connotations that could last for years. This article explores the stereotypical characterization and clichéd narrative devices deployed to create the fictitious character of Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club and examines the ongoing problematic of trans representation within mainstream cinematic texts by comparing Dallas Buyers Club with The Crying Game (1992), Boys Don’t Cry (1999), and Transamerica (2005). To contextualize the ongoing issues raised by the film and its screenplay, this article reads Rayon as one example in a long line of socially proscribed Hollywood “fallen women,” here, with the narrative displaced onto the transgender body.

Contributor Notes

Akkadia Ford is a PhD graduate in Cultural Studies, School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University, Australia and is a trained filmmaker. Ford established and directed Queer Fruits Film Festival (2009–2012). Ford’s current areas of interest focus on transgender representation in film, transliteracy, queer film, film classification (ratings systems) in Australia and the United States, gender disruption, film festivals, and issues of audience and spectatorship. Ford’s recent publications have focused upon transliteracy as an innovative theoretical approach to reading gender-diverse cinema in the Trans New Wave.

Screen Bodies

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Experience, Perception, and Display

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