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Meredith Talusan's review of Fun Home

excerpts from review written by the albino trans woman of color :

They do so in the context of an American legal and social system where homosexuality is the form of gender-nonconformity that has proven most difficult to repress, because physical and romantic desire is such a cornerstone of Western subject formation. Its resilience has helped homosexuality become the site of activism, albeit at the expense of the wider collection of gender-nonconforming identities that transgender and nonbinary people inhabit.

Conflating sexuality and gender expression makes Americans uncomfortable, as the delicately negotiated terrain of sexual politics has tried to demarcate a line between the two. But this line was erected for specific purposes that benefit binary (or binary-presenting), cisgender gay people at the expense of transgender and nonbinary people. This is a line permitted by a heterosexist regime that has now come to frame homosexuality as merely a variation of itself, as evidenced by the jubilant and self-congratulatory reaction around the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S. As the poetry collective Darkmatter recently asserted, “in order for ‘homosexuality’ to become de-pathologized, gender nonconformity had to become re-pathologized. Gayness had to distinguish itself from trans: ‘We are not freaks like them.’ The modern gay subject only emerged in distinguishing him/herself from gender nonconformity.”


The significant tensions between gays and lesbians, on the one hand, and trans and other gender-nonconforming people, on the other, are a result of how the gay and lesbian political movement has sought to retain its cisgender privilege, even as it was won through the sacrifice of many individuals within the larger space of gender-nonconformity in which gays and lesbians are only one part. Foucault argued that homosexuality is a modern phenomenon generated by isolating same-sex desire as a mark of identity, which only works by presuming an artificially stable and binary gender system. The modern gay rights movement has successfully promoted that artifice for its own strategic benefit even before Stonewall.

In an individualist, privacy-driven society, it’s been easier to protect the gender variance of homosexuality because it happens largely behind closed doors, or otherwise expresses itself in public through variations of heterosexist norm, such as images of gay marriage that reiterate a quintessentially patriarchal and heterosexual institution.

by Anonymousreply 2308/01/2015


I had started a thread on Fun Home about six weeks ago when I saw the musical and subsequently read the book.

The musical made me profoundly sad and weepy by the end of it ........

Then reading (kind of's a graphic novel) the book, the author makes the whole death of her father a bit more sketchy.

Maybe the musical didn't cover it the same way because of time constraints ..... but the picture painted there was that the father's suicide was aligned with her coming out as a college freshman (because he'd lived such a hidden, closeted life for his 44 years)

The graphic novel 'muddies that up' a bit by throwing in that her mother had sought a divorce two weeks earlier AND that the truck driver's statement indicated that the father had 'jumped back into the road as if he'd seen a snake' (the father had been transporting yard debris from the house he had recently purchased across the road to the brushy area on the other side)

So the question of whether it was even suicide (and why) remains open.

And there is a memorial website that a daughter in law has updated recently a few times (for her children/his grandchildren) where she mentions wanting her kids to know the truth about their grandfather.

I don't think there's questions about his homosexuality or his fondness for younger men ...... but I'd imagine she is referring to the circumstances surrounding his death.

by Anonymousreply 107/29/2015

[quote]the gay and lesbian political movement has sought to retain its cisgender privilege

All the concepts he holds so dearly in his little albino head are nothing but sand castles...completely wiped out when the tide (or logic) rolls in.

by Anonymousreply 207/29/2015

R2 I agree

by Anonymousreply 307/29/2015

[quote] And there is a memorial website that a daughter in law has updated recently a few times (for her children/his grandchildren) where she mentions wanting her kids to know the truth about their grandfather.

Yeah, some pissy old frau who keeps insisting he was a little angel and "wish you could see these precious babies" and blah blah blah.

I think it was a Find a Grave memorial, and she is very short about Fun Home. "I am NOT here for that."

by Anonymousreply 407/29/2015

[quote]such as images of gay marriage that reiterate a quintessentially patriarchal and heterosexual institution.

You know what else promotes images of heterosexist conformity?

by Anonymousreply 507/29/2015

I can't believe any of you made it through that diatribe.

by Anonymousreply 607/29/2015

So you cut off your dick.

by Anonymousreply 707/29/2015

I didn't bother ........ I saw where she was going and as I indicated in R1 ..... YES, there are definite differences between the show and the graphic novel.

Alison's liking boy clothes and boy haircuts, etc is just another thing that the show either minimally or differently addresses.

To be honest --- I didn't walk away from either with feeling Alison wanted to be a man or (more specifically) that her father wanted to be a woman. He just seemed to be a tough parent who wanted his way and was pissy if she took out a barrette that she was told to wear or if she wanted to dress less feminine (I recall a scene in the graphic novel where he 'bullied' her into wearing a dress by saying all the other girls would and she'd be mocked.

Has Alison herself identified wanting to be trans ? She could be now if that was her wish. Seems a moot point related to the specific Fun Home story and review.

by Anonymousreply 807/29/2015

The lie that is "Transgenderism," r5?

by Anonymousreply 907/29/2015

It's all written in cheap Queer Studies 101 jargon. This person wants to make it as a writer? Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 1007/29/2015

Yes, I $waded through that sea of grad-student verbiage, and yes, it's as pointless and contradictory as it seems.

The one interesting thing is that she doesn't see gay people as anything but an adjunct to the struggles of transpeople. She doesn't see them has having any identity or issues of their own, to her they're just a class that is failing to support the trans the way she thinks they should.

by Anonymousreply 1107/29/2015

Why does the transcult go after gays and lesbians, but not straight men?

by Anonymousreply 1207/29/2015

Oh God..."cisgender privilege". Honestly, that's just ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 1307/29/2015

"Why does the transcult go after gays and lesbians, but not straight men?"

There are a lot of reasons people attack their allies or quasi-allies. One is that it's much easier to convert people who nearly agree with you to your POV, because they're mostly there. And your allies won't fight back the way your enemies will, which is why the immature and cowardly are so fond of criticizing their "friends" instead of their enemies. And it's a way to exert control over the group you belong to, or wish to belong to.

There's a hell of a lot of it among the lefties, always has been.

by Anonymousreply 1407/29/2015

This person makes Rachel Dolezal look sane and reasonable by comparison. Also, if you have albinism you are not, by definition, a person of color. If this tedious pigment-less biological male can insist he's a black woman and expect the world to accept that...I don't even know what to say.

by Anonymousreply 1507/29/2015

She certainly knows how to take the "fun" out of "Fun Home".

by Anonymousreply 1607/29/2015

I don't understand transgender, because if she changed into a guy...her lesbian lover would not want her.

by Anonymousreply 1707/29/2015

r16, there is no fun in life EVER for trans people!!! How dare you suggest otherwise!!!

I scream with angry power!!!

by Anonymousreply 1807/30/2015

[quote]because if she changed into a guy

Who's 'she'?

by Anonymousreply 1907/30/2015


by Anonymousreply 2008/01/2015

[quote] It's all written in cheap Queer Studies 101 jargon.

So because something is hard to understand (for you), you get pissy? What happened to gay men being smart, well read, and articulate? Did all the clever gays die in the plague?

Not a single interesting piece of commentary to anything the author had say in this thread. You don't have to worry about the trans destroying gay culture, it's so evidently already dead....

Sorry for the digression!! You boys can go back and turn on the NPR so you can [italic]feel[/italic] smart again. :)

by Anonymousreply 2108/01/2015

R21 spoken like a true Millennial

by Anonymousreply 2208/01/2015

[quote]So you cut off your dick.

But DON'T GET CIRCUMCISED! That is far worse than cutting off the WHOLE THING, because......

by Anonymousreply 2308/01/2015
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