Los Roldán and the Inclusion of Travesti Narratives

Representations of Gender-Nonconforming Identities in Argentinian Telenovelas

in Screen Bodies
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  • 1 Washington College, Maryland, USA mponti2@washcoll.edu
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Abstract

In Argentina, trans people have experienced extreme marginalization exacerbated by authoritarian dictatorships. Despite this history, since the return of democracy in the 1980s Argentina has witnessed legislative changes as an outcome of extensive trans activism. Travestis became more visible as they protested police brutality. Travesti mobilization brought more visibility, specifically within the media industries. To elucidate their participation in media, this article focuses on travesti celebrity Florencia de la V in Los Roldán (2004–, Telefe). I examine the representation of travestis on telenovelas and how fictional characters have an effect on structuring a star's career through the telenovelas’ ability to blur the distinctions between character and star. Ultimately, this article questions the introduction of mainstream audiences to gender-nonconforming characters through the industry's incorporation of travesti stars in relation to themes of scandal and domesticity. I build on the work of trans scholars Blas Radi and Lohana Berkins, who theorize travesti identities as politicized non-binary bodies.

Contributor Notes

Martín Ponti is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at Washington College in Maryland, where he currently teaches Latin American language and culture with an emphasis on gender and media. His current research focuses on trans stars and celebrities and their participation in melodramatic serials with particular attention to representations of scandal, citizenship, and the effects of neoliberal forces on marginalized communities. Email: mponti2@washcoll.edu

Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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