Going Crazy!!!!

I did it!   I submitted my gender fluid pilot to Amazon!

https://studios.amazon.com/users/125052

Click on the link if you want to read the script for free.  I would also love feedback!!!!!!

What was I thinking?   Everyone knows this type of stuff is just for a niche market.   Amazon would never consider it, right?

Well, I don’t know, but I had to try.  I have this belief that everyone is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, if you know what I mean.  And I feel like now is the time to really bring an exciting, action packed show that explores gender identity!

The story, which I am also shopping around to agents as a YA novel, uses some plot ideas I have written about for adult readers.   The Crown Prince of The Shattered Isles finds himself transformed into a princess, and as the younger sister watches in disgust as his older sister seizes the crown.

Now, both of them find themselves struggling to gain and keep power and young women in a man’s world.  There is palace intrigue, sibling rivalry, witches and priests as the whole world faces massive and dynamic changes, and everyone has to ask– what does it mean to be a woman?  Or a man?

I don’t know what will happen.   But, I know that I am excited to have written the script and made the effort.  If you get a chance, check it out!  I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Be who you want to be, people!  It is awesome!

Going Crazy!!!!

The Best TG on TV (Spoilers)

 

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(Tip in Boy Form)

For fans of TG fiction, the best place to find it right now is on Emerald City embody in the character of Tip and watchable on Hulu and NBC.   Now, everything that follows is a spoiler, so you may want to just go and watch!  But, if you read on, just know I will be revealing a lot of Tip’s journey.

Thematically, one of the reasons I love this character is that he discovers he can only gain power by embracing his female self.  It is a nice twist on traditional gender roles, and when I say embrace his female self it comes down to him accepting that he is a princess and magically dressing himself in a fairy tale dress, earrings, a fancy dress and an elaborate updo in order to command the loyalty of a group of witches.

Now, to back up, when we first meet Tip he is being held captive by a witch, who feeds him special medicine everyday and tells him she is protecting him from the dangers of the outside world.  Right off, the situation is deliciously twisted, as Tip is being held in a tower sealed by brambles, and he is hoping that a male friend named Peter will rescue him from his captivity.  Sounds like a traditional damsel in distress, right?

Well, Dorothy comes along– this is an Oz-based TV show– and she frees Tip, who runs off with his friend Peter to be free and explore the world.  There’s only one problem: the next, Tip wakes up to discover he has turned into a girl.  He hides from his friend and is appalled and embarrassed to have a girl’s shape, so he and Peter set out to find someone to make more of the medicine the witch had been feeding him.

Image result for emerald city tip
(Tip in girl form)

All along, we get nice little crumbs of Tip’s struggle with his identity.  At one point he is in a restaurant, his boobs exposed in his too small shirt, and a waitress tells him that unless he’s planning on making some money off his boobs he should probably cover them up.  He is shocked and humiliated to realize men have been ogling him.  He freaks out when he needs to use a restroom and can’t decide which one to use (very timely), and then he gets the greatest shock of all when he and Peter find a chemist to analyze and make more medicine.

The chemist returns and tells Tip he can’t make him the medicine because it is black magic and will turn him into a boy.   “I am a boy,” Tip says, and the man says, “No.  You aren’t.  You were born a girl.”

This knowledge unnerves Tip, who is totally disoriented by the idea that he was born female.   He refuses to believe it.   This situation gets worse when his equally confused friend, Peter, tries to kiss him.

The journey continues on with Tip trying to join the army, but instead ends up at an all-girl orphanage run by Glinda, who wants him to be a nun.   Then, the Witch of the West arrives and offers to let him join her and learn to be a slut, which causes him to say, “So, as a girl my choices are to be a virgin or a slut?”

He chooses to go with West, but only find himself forced to wear dresses and work as her serving girl, making her tea and performing other menial tasks.

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(Tip as serving girl)

Now, this is all doled out very slowly over several episodes.   Finally, he discovers that not only was he born a girl, but a princess, which is just the worst form of girl in his mind, but then Witch of the West asks him a question.  “Do you want to be a boy who has nothing and no one, or a girl who is destined to rule Oz?”

This, to me, is where it starts to kick into high gear because he begins to understand his path to power only comes if he embraces his girlhood.  It takes a couple of episodes, and he briefly even manages to regain male form, but then he is once again powerless, and it is only by going full on princess that he can advance and have any power and future.

The actress who plays Tip, Jordan Loughran, is extremely talented and does a almost too good job portraying his confusion and alienation as he struggles to figure out who he is and what he can be in the world.

I am looking forward to see what happens, and eagerly watching the ratings to see if there will be a second season.  This is very cool stuff for a network TV show to explore.

Check it out!

 

 

 

 

The Best TG on TV (Spoilers)

Legion: (Spoilers)

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So, I know a lot of us heard about the body swap element in the new FX show, Legion.  In fact, it served as a central element in one of the promos for the show. I haven’t been so excited for a show’s premiere in a long, long time and even raced home from a social engagement to make sure I got to watch it live.

The TG element of the first was promising, but not awesome.  I love the girl that he gets placed inside, and the whole thing was set up nicely because he is in love with her, and they have a relationship, and then he suddenly becomes her, and he is just kind of freaked out and wanders off into the city.

We get to see him check himself out in a mirror, touch his new boobs, but not much else. There is a trippy scene where he has all these flashbacks to being a boy, and his mom calling him her little boy, and it contrasts nicely with him now this pretty blonde woman, and sugggests ways in which the switch may be impacting his sense of self. However, before really having to deal with his new body and gender at all, her just suddenly pops back into his own body and goes on with his life.

As for the series, the body swapping character, Syd Barret, remains in the show, and the two of them continue to have a relationship.  It seems very likely there could be further explorations between the two, and that as she learns to control her power she may do swaps with other people.  As it is, she projects into his mind and influences his thoughts and memory, and we get a nice role-reversal where she comes and rescues him after he has been captured.

In addition, Aubrey Plaza plays a very butch character named Lenny who seems like she may have some gender issues of her own.

So, I think this show is going to have lots more to say about gender fluidity, and will have additional body swaps as well.  Best of all, it is a really interesting show in its own right, and is great to watch, so it isn’t like one of these TV shows or movies where you have to suffer between the TG moments.

It should be interesting, and I can’t wait for the fanfic to get going!

 

 

 

 

Legion: (Spoilers)

The Swap Versus The Swap (Spoilers)

Image result for the swap disney posterImage result for Jacob Bertrand and peyton list

In this corner, Meghan Shull’s young adult novel, The Swap.  In that corner, Disney Channel’s movie length adaptation.  Which will emerge as the true champion?  Ring the bell and let the battle begin.

Both the book and the film are PG, and both of them artfully dodge anything that a family or young person might find creepy or weird.  For example, in the book Jack, in Ellie’s body, refuses to undress for his physical because he knows it would be wrong for a boy to see a girl naked.  In the movie, when Ellie’s mother induces him to take a bubble bath, he wears a bathing suit.

The story focuses mainly on the characters and their relationships.  Jack has a strict, military father and three rough-housing older brothers.  The father is cold and distant, and he pushed his sons to extreme physical fitness and competitiveness.   When Ellie finds herself suddenly in his body and life, she has to adjust to being yelled at, wrestled with by half-naked boys (all of whom she finds very attractive, something she must hide since she is in the body of a boy and a younger brother.)  She also has to experience other embarrassing moments, like waking up with morning wood.  We learn that one reason for this testosterone driven dude life is that his mother died a year ago.

Jack, on the other hand, finds himself living a life of luxury and ease as a girl.  He has a big, fluffy, comfortable bed, a loving mom who is full of hugs, encouragement and understanding, and even makes pancakes for him just about ever morning.  Jack, though, shies away from this mother’s attempts to be close, and his further horrified when both his mother and his doctor want to talk to him about his impending menstrual cycles and graduation into womanhood.  In addition, he now finds himself mystified by the female politics of the all-girl world he finds himself in, and as a shy boy who never could talk to girls, it is an extra terrible struggle as he finds himself a girl in a girl’s world.  In the book, remember, Jack is now a 12-year old girl, so the all girl social  makes sense.  It is a little harder to believe in the Disney movie, where they are both sophomores in high-school, but this is a Disney Movie, where even adults never do more than offer each other innocent little pecks.

The movie did a better job creating suspense. In the book, the characters believe they just have to make it through the weekend, so that can find the nurse that switched their bodies and get turned back.  The movie made a better choice; the characters have a limited amount of time to earn the right to return to their own bodies, or they will be trapped forever in their new lives.  And how can they earn the right to get their own bodies back?  Well, Jack has to perform rhythmic gymnastics, wearing full make-up, body glitter and tiny little outfit, gracefully dancing around while twirling a ribbon.  Ellie has to dominate other boys in hockey, though she finds a way to use some of her gymnastics skills along the way.

In the end, and stop now to avoid the ultimate spoilers, the book just stops.  The characters do what they need to do, and then they just pop back into their bodies.  The whole thing about the nurse and getting through the weekend vanishes.  In the movie, we get the traditional false ending.  The characters fulfill their quests, and then… they don’t change back.  They think they have failed, and they both seem resigned to their new lives.  Ellie turns to Jack as he stands there in his gymnastics costume, and says, “I am sorry Ellie.”  He looks at her in her hockey gear and says, “I am sorry, too, Jack.”   I would have liked for more of this section of the film, where the two characters are facing their futures and boy and girl, but it turns out they really needed to deal with their unresolved parental issues.   Jack opens up to “his” mom, and they have an emotional moment together, while Ellie stands up to “her” father– and then they are restored.

In the end– sorry– do both.  Read the book.  See the movie.  Both argue for a more genderfluid sense of identity as Jack in some ways makes a better girl than Ellie, and Ellie makes a better guy. Meanwhile, both of them learn that they can indulge in activities that defy norms and actually not only enjoy them but get stronger as Jack learns to enjoy bubble baths, for example, and Ellie starts to thrive in bro-culture.

One regret for me comes from the casting of the movie.  Peyton List is taller and actually looks more muscular and athletic than the scrawny actor who plays Jack.  List looks like she lifts weights, and has a bigger bicep bulge when she challenges another girl to a fight than we see from Jack, who in the book is very muscular — it would have been interesting for me to see Jack react to the realization that as a girl he actually has more of some of the things guys want–  height, muscle– but  maybe I will just have to write that book myself!

 

 

 

The Swap Versus The Swap (Spoilers)

Transparent (Spoilers)

transparentwedding

So, I finally watched Transparent, mainlining the two existing seasons over the course of a weekend.

And I don’t know what to say.

I liked the show.  I found it very watchable, and I feel it won on all fronts from a creative perspective: great writing, acting, directing, music.  However, The Pfeffermans are horrible people.  Unbridled narcissists, they crash into the lives of much nicer, more caring people and remorselessly shred their psyches and then cast these people aside like outgrown toys, occasionally popping back in to see if they can inflict new pain upon their victims.

Transparent feels very much like a soap opera, where a lot of the drama is driven by the lurid pleasure that comes from watching these people lure one victim after another into their web of lies and then wait for the moment when the poor person realizes that they are just another victim of a very sick family.

What makes Transparent different from Falcon Crest, however, is that many of the characters, not just the father, find themselves exploring their identities, sexual and gender.  The father, Maura, has come out as transgender and expressed her desire to live as a woman.   Sarah leaves her husband to rekindle a lesbian relationship she had in college.  Gaby pursues both a trans man and later a lesbian relationship with an old friend and one of her brother’s former conquests, and Shelly, the mother of the family, explores a lesbian relationship with her former husband.  So, with the exception of the son, so far, they are all what I would call genderfluid, open to exploring their own sexualities if not always very accepting of others.

But they are all assholes! Narcissists. They are a prevalent stereotype of LGBT people as people who love only themselves and do not seem to care at all how their actions impact others.  They are always me, me, me, and they lie and abuse people with impunity. So, isn’t it a problem that this show, being lauded as a ground-breaking step forward for LGBT people, portrays LGBT as horrible, selfish parasites?

No, and for this reason; because it is just like Falcon Crest. Or Dallas.  Or countless other shows where rich, entitled turds go around being selfish and abusive toward others. Transparent is not a documentary or an after-school special. It is a soap opera, and nice people are boring, so naturally these characters need to be flawed and terrible, because that is what viewers find entertaining.  No one is going to tune in to watch a well-adjusted family work out their problems like mature adults.  No one.  No one is going to tune in to watch a happily married couple go on an uneventful vacation.

There needs to be conflict.  Disaster.  Bad thinking.

In addition, among the victims suffering for the misfortune of getting involved with any of the human misery machines known as the Pfeffermans, are straight and LGBT characters alike.   We see that in the world there are good and bad people, and some of them are straight and some of them are not, and it is a good thing that this show can portray a balance.

If I were going to fault anything it would be the classification of this show as a comedy.   It seemed very clearly a drama to me.  There are some funny moments, but they emerge out of dramatic situations and are far less frequent than more dramatic moments.  It seems to me that the only reason that anyone would find this to be a comedy is if they are an immature person who thinks anything with non-traditional gender roles is automatically funny.  There is a scene, for example, where Maura has decided to perform at a LGBT talent show, and as she comes out and begins to sing all of her children begin laughing uncontrollably and then flee the room in the middle of her performance.

When Maura first emerged onto the stage, I was thinking– yes!  Do it!  Live your life!  I didn’t find it hilariously funny that she would have the courage to get up there and do it. Not at all.  Nor did I find it hilarious that her children would burst out laughing and then run out of the room.

But then I am one of those kind-hearted folks that people like the Pfeffermans would prey upon, so maybe that is why I found it sad people would be so hateful toward their own parent.

Transparent is a soap opera, and I would say a good one.  Season Two got more and more into gender identity, and I found it more and more interesting.  I am looking forward to the third season.  To me, I would call is Falcon Crest in transition.

If you are looking for a show about good people who are interested in growing and becoming better people– for real, not just for fashion– this probably isn’t the show for you.  But if you want to see horrible people being horrible, check it out.

Free on Amazon Prime

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transparent (Spoilers)