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- 참 조 : 영미문학페미니즘 제 27권 2호 (2019)  
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Gender and Sexuality in Boys Don’t Cry
Abstract Kangyl Ko
This essay examines the 1999 biographical drama film Boys Don’t
Cry, which represents the story of Brandon Teena, a transman, who
was brutally killed by transphobic violence in 1993 in Nebraska. The
first half of this essay queries the idea of masculinity as performance
by exploring the film’s portrayal of the transsexual protagonist's
transgressive gender presentation. Paying attention to how the
cinematic text presents Brandon’s masculine performance, my essay
analyzes the film as a queer text in which an alternative masculinity
is presented against hegemonic masculinity. I also address the film’s
indictment of transphobia shared by heteronormative men and
women. In the second of the essay, I investigate the film’s queer
dogma, which dismisses the transsexual subject’s desire and identity
as symptoms of homophobic homosexuality. By looking closely at the
last part of the film in which Brandon is unambiguously represented
as a lesbian, this essay discusses marginalization of transsexuality in
queer studies. In doing so, I refer to Jay Prosser’s critique of Judith
Butler’s notions of transgender and transsexual, and examine how
Boys Don’t Cry re-inscribes such queer dogma. This essay concludes
that the film is an ambivalent text oscillating between an expression
of subversive queerness and repressive transphobia.

Keywords : Boys Don’t Cry, transsexuality, alternative masculinity,
queer studies, transphobia



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