So this week I wrote about Arcade Fire’s new music video for Honi Soit.
It’s somewhat fitting, but mostly just ironic, that the first piece I wrote this semester was about a woman who made the world listen to her story, and how that made me feel a bit less alone–and the last piece I write is about what happens when someone doesn’t get to tell their own story, or people don’t get to see someone like them telling that story.
I think people don’t realise what seeing a reflection of yourself in popular culture does. For a lot of people it’s not something they need to think about, because the reflections are readily available in everything they consume–but for me, Transgender Dysphoria Blues was half the reason I was even able to come out to my family. It was like someone reaching out a hand and saying, hey, you’re okay. It’s alright to feel that angry.
And I look at this video now and I don’t feel like someone thinks I’m okay. I feel like someone thinks I’m an interesting dinner party anecdote. I feel like someone thinks I’m a cause, or an “experience”. I don’t feel like a human being.
Since I finished writing this article I’ve thought a lot about it. It’s not something that’s easy to pin down an opinion on, and so I keep finding more things to say about it. I keep looking at the picture above–Andrew Garfield’s face as the character just crumbles, the way their body twists in on itself–and I know how many times I’ve seen that exact look on my own face in the mirror. It’s such a helpless moment, but its indescribably, palpably real. In a lot of ways I’m glad I got to see that moment.
But it doesn’t quite feel the same as that hand reaching out. If anything, it’s more of a slap in the face because Garfield gets to leave. He can drop the character and take off the costume and go home, no strings attached. Seeing him engage in that emotion feels more like a taunt than anything else.
Anyway, this was just supposed to be a quick link. I think I’m just done with editing out how I feel.