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Transgender Cinema

Transgender Cinemagives readers the big picture of how trans people have been depicted on screen. Beginning with a history of trans tropes in classic Hollywood cinema, from comic drag scenes in Chaplin’s The Masqueraderto Garbo’s androgynous Queen Christina, and from psycho killer queers to The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s outrageous queen, it examines a plethora of trans portrayals that subsequently emerged from varied media outlets, including documentary films, television serials, and world cinema. Along the way, it analyzes milestones in trans representation, like The Crying Game, Boys Don’t Cry, Hedwig and the Angry Inch,and A Fantastic Woman.

As it traces the evolution of trans people onscreen, Transgender Cinemaalso considers the ongoing controversies sparked by these movies and series both within LGBTQ communities and beyond. Ultimately it reveals how film and television have shaped not only how the general public sees trans people, but also how trans people see themselves.

Author Information

REBECCA BELL-METEREAUteaches and directs media studies at Texas State University in San Marcos. She is the author of Hollywood Androgynyand coeditor of Star Bodies and the Erotics of Suffering.


"Rebecca Bell-Metereau has already written the definitive work on androgyny in cinema, and now she completes the circle with what is unquestionably the paradigmatic work on transgender cinema. In Transgender Cinema, Bell-Metereau not only provides a series of incisive interpretations of important transgender films but also recognizes how these films present new possibilities for organizing our enjoyment."
— Todd McGowan, author of Only a Joke Can Save Us: A Theory of Comedy

"Rebecca Bell-Metereau’s Transgender Cinemais a superb advance on her early, ground-breaking book, Hollywood Androgyny—it's a scrupulously researched, lucid, major contribution to the study of cinema and gender studies more generally. Timely and both politically andartistically important, it deserves the widest possible readership."
— James Naremore, author of Charles Burnett: A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge

Audience: Professional and scholarly;