it's funny, i've noticed a strong correlation between my creativity levels and my stress levels. as soon as i start stressing out about something (ahem, school) i start thinking genius thoughts and creating so much Art (in the most untraditional sense). i'm not really looking forward to school, despite Loving school a lot. i'm just really nervous to start again. so for the past few days i've been thinking a lot about how the trans experience is represented in movies and tv shows.
i made my first ever zine (on canva... i didn't have the materials i wanted to make it by hand which was what i had originally wanted to do)! it's basically a character study on wolfwood and i used him to think about the connection between the body horror genre and transness. you can read it here, but i think i want to find a home for it on my website too. later. the page i'm most proud of is the one on injuries. i feel like i articulated those thoughts the best. you can click on that image to view in full quality.
since then i've been on a roll of consuming media with very similar themes. i watched The Fly (1986) which was a very fun way of exploring gender through body horror. and now i'm re-watching BNA with my friend lola. i had first watched this anime in 2020, so i remember literally nothing. it's perfect because it feels like i'm watching it for the first time all over again. during this watch i was really struck by the transgender themes, especially in episode 4 that centers nina and our main girl michiru. the entire episode basically tells the story of two closeted trans kids sneaking out to a party where they seek acceptance, get to explore their gender the way they want to for the first time, are met with hostility, and come back home with no regrets.
nina is introduced as this dolphin girl who's totally obsessed with being a human and "passing" as one. she's an internet celebrity and tells everyone online that she's a human. online, she can actually control the way people perceive her and gets to exist in the identity she chooses! the one she feels she belongs to! michiru also has a lot of Body Struggles existing as a beastman when all she wants is to go back to being a human too. she's unhappy with her body and doesn't feel like it belongs to her. so once she realizes she can look human again on command, she and nina sneak out (without permission) to go to a party where nina is told she will be accepted. there, nina fully embraces what it's like to exist as a human. even tho michiru is still so hesitant and terrified and anxious and not ready to Come Out. and this party is so fascinating because everyone there puts up this facade of #allyship and nina gets so caught up in the excitement she accidentally turns back into a dolphin in front of everyone. the partygoers then start to parade her around like she's a shiny new toy creature and from that point onwards they only see her as a dolphin. it's like even when cis people get your pronouns and name right, you can tell when they don't really see you as your true identity. they still subscribe to the gender structures you're trying so hard to break out of. the partygoers just put nina back in this
box (fish tank) she never wanted to be in, and it really sucks. nina gets hurt, michiru takes her home, and talks about regretting going to the party. to this, nina melts my heart and tells her that even though their night out didn't go as planned, and even though she was hurt and it was hard, she still loved her time there. she still loved being a human because that's who she really is! it was such a beautiful moment and so explicitly queer.
do you see how all of these thoughts come to me at 4 in the morning when i'm supposed to be sleeping, fixing my sleep schedule, and preparing for classes. do you see how these thoughts plague my mind during the most inconvenient of times. do you see how i struggle with these huge massive juicy brilliant brain babies that come to me during the wee hours of the night when i have other babies to tend to.