The movie Boy’s don’t cry is a depressing film about Brandon Teena a transgender person who had the body parts of a female but chose to live life as a male. Due to the fact that it was Brandon’s personal choice to live as a male Brandon will be referred to as a male in this paper. The movie portrays Brandon’s struggle with his gender identity in the face of prejudice and discrimination that he suffered because his unique circumstances. Not only did people around him refuse to accept his identity but they also abused him for being what he was.
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The movie does not waste time in displaying the kind of prejudice Brandon suffered. Almost from the start he gets personal threats for dating a person’s sister, considering that other than his misassigned gender he was a normal teenager, this is something that is very unfortunate. Then he is evicted from his home. When he moves to Nebraska he forms friendships with other misfits John, Tom, Candace and Lana. Since his new friends are unaware of his gender condition he is able to form a romantic relationship with Lana who is inspired by his sensitivity and charms.
This part of the movie gives me a sense of hope. While most of the movie is about the homophobia of the heterosexual people around Brandon, the blossoming of the love between Lana and Brandon suggests that heterosexuals can get past their homophobia and appreciate people like Brandon. Even after she discovers Brandon’s condition Lana does not shun him. She is a good example of how people can overcome their homophobia. In her words Lana says she will love him “No matter what he is”.
Even when Brandon ends up in a female prison because of his birth gender he is exposed to prejudice and discrimination. While men are almost expected to be intolerant and prejudiced it was a bit sad that the women in the movie are also portrayed as being just as intolerant and prejudiced as the men. His suffering in the prison is particularly depressing because it indicates that prejudice and homophobia are not limited to men.
Perhaps the darkest part of the movie is the rape and beating of Brandon after his erstwhile friends discover his gender. The rape is very violent and painful to watch. What makes it worse is the sense of betrayal that comes with being raped by his own friends. Perhaps this can be related to the way that many homosexuals hide their true gender sense because they are afraid that they will be betrayed by their friends if they reveal their sexual identity. As a result many choose to “Stay in the closet” out of genuine fear of rejection. The same fear of rejection that was realized in the movie during the rape and beating. Scenes like this seem to justify the way people prefer to hide.
In summary, the movie was a very sad and depressing film because despite the hope that the movie gives us in the love between Brandon and Lana it ends with savagery and death. Heterosexuals again prove their prejudice and discrimination against those with different genders. Homophobia is a very unfortunate attribute of middle-America. It would be good for others to also this film to realize that homophobia is a very real and very tragic thing and that people should be able to see beyond their homophobic tendencies and see that those with alternate gender preference are people too.
Fox Searchlight. Boy’s Don’t Cry