Trans Horror Films: Degrading Trash or Childhood Heros

  • click to rate

    Spoiler Alert don't read this if you haven't seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, or Silence of the Lambs. If so watch them because they are all awesome horror movies


    Ok so this is a bit of a leap but stick with me here. When I was a teenager my three favorite movies ever where The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original of course), Psycho (again the original Vince Vaughn will never be Norman Bates, Anthony Perkins is awesome), and Silence of the Lambs in that order. Now if you will notice all of the antagonists in these films are transgender (sort of). Leatherface is the matriarch of the Sawyer (get it) family and even dresses like a house wife at one point, also he has the "pretty face" complete with wig and make up. They even made a movie were Leatherface went all out and wore a dress and heels (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation starring Matthew Mcounaghey (spelling) and Renee Zelweger) don't watch that one unless you like "so bad it's good" kind of movies because its incredibly dumb. Psycho has Anthony Perkins trying to become his mother which is not really trans but the element is there. And then Silence of the Lambs has Bufallo Bill doing that weird dance to Goodbye Horses and making a woman suit out of actual women, again there is a strong transgender undertone even if thats not really what it is.


    Now some may say that these movies are insulting to trans culture and cast trans people in a negative/false way and thats a totally understandable arguement because they do. Yet for some reason I still love these movies. I'm a crossdresser and to this day I can never take offense to these films because in an odd sort of way they helped me through a very difficult time in my life and made me proud to be a transvestite (I promise I'm not a serial killer). The reason why is that kids always want to be the biggest, toughest, baddest person on the movie screen. Kids see movies like Rambo, Die Hard, and The Terminator and they want to be Sylvester Stalone, Bruce Willis, or Arnie. But where is the Trans action hero, well she doesn't exist. Most LGBT characters in media is either one of two things comedic relief or a victim in some way. From Stanford on "Sex and the City" to Brandon Teena in "Boys Don't Cry" the idea of comic relief or victimhood is prevalent in a number of mainstream media regarding LGBT characters with a big exception being horror films. Leatherface isn't funny and is most certainly not a victim, he's a badass with a chainsaw who peeled a woman's face off to make himself look "pretty" and virtually the same goes for Norman Bates, and Buffalo Bill. Granted the whole peel your face off bit is not an admirable characteristic and isn't heroic in anyway but in a horror film are we really rooting for the dumb wave of stock characters who are supposed to be the "victims" or do we want to see blood fly. It wouldn't be any fun if the teenagers simply filled up their van with gas and just drove off to their destination. In fact I would argue that the victims in a horror film are more akin to the henchmen that get mowed down by any action hero than characters we actually care for.


    My point is that the characters of Leatherface, Norman Bates, and Buffalo Bill are important to trans culture because they are examples of intimidating, scary individuals who will not fall prey to being a victim or a side show character meant solely to be funny. Much like how Clint Eastwood is a scary, intimidating character in many of his movies. The fact that these characters are psychotic and evi is irrelevant when they are the only characters in LGBT history that have any sort of backbone and won't take any **** out off anybody. Thanks for reading. (again promise I'm not a serial killer)





  • Jessica Nova Hey Masi. Neat post. I'm a movie fan and love the genre horror. Those three films definitly have tg theme undertones within them. I know there has been some anger in the tg community over these films because yes they are accepted powerful characters who...  more
  • Maci Branch Thanks Jessica I will definitely look into Tranny Force