At some point in 2015, NBC plans to launch a re-imagined version of Wizard of Oz. They need to be careful, because in my opinion, the 15 or so Wizard of Oz books that have been written by L.Frank Baum, the creator of that magical land, are THE most transgender positive, mainstream story books out there. Starting from the 2nd book, It’s all about a little boy who didn’t know he’s actually supposed to be a princess. Those books have a really positive message about women’s rights, and about the fluidity of gender. Having the Tin man say that it’s ok to be a girl, and that some of his best friends are girls, really had a positive effect on me as a gender-confused, genetic little boy. I just wanted to be accepted, like Princess Ozma who used to be male, was accepted. But unfortunately, I have a feeling they’re going to heterosexualize the crap out of that story, like Disney recently did with their hetero-centric, re-imagining of the land of Oz.
Because according to an article I recently read in Advocate magazine, the producers of the new NBC series are planning to turn it into a “grim and gritty” adult retelling of the L. Frank Baum’s original story. So what’s the message here, NBC and Disney? That over the top violence is ok, but that positive stories about gender equality and transgenderism, are not?
I agree I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a TV series by its promotional slogans, at least not until I have seen it. But if it turns out to be a massive whitewashed debacle that erases all the setup about Princess Ozma’s origin, like the recent Disney movie did, I’m not sure I have the stomach to see it. I mean, come on Hollywood producers, why do you have to go slander what is to a lot of people, the only trans-friendly classic fairy tale story out there? You should be careful about messing with our LGBT heroes. Also, why does it always have to be re-imagined without the positive female role models? In the classic L.Frank Baum books, it’s the girls that totally kick ass. The supporting male characters like the Tin man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion, are at best C-3POesque in their bumbling abilities. Why can’t girls kick some ass, for once?
So what am I going to do about it? I’m going put NBC on notice, and follow-up on that story. And if they end up taking out all the Feminist and LGBT-friendly elements out of those wonderful stories, you can be sure I’ll be writing some more to complain about it.
NATNOTE: For a look at a tv show that didn’t completely dishonor the original Oz source material, be sure to check out the Excellent “Wizard of Oz” tv series by CINAR animation:
Rupaul is a rat, period.
And that’s not even up for debate. Rupaul Andre Charles was born on November 17th 1960, during the year of the rat. And with his recent refusal to budge on the issue of avoiding inappropriate transgender slurs on his highly popular tv show, he has shown himself to be someone who lives up to every characteristics of a rat.
He is not some aspiring, struggling, queer artist so desperate for attention that he needs to resort to using fowl language to be noticed. At least, not anymore. He’s the first lady of drag. And as such, he should conduct himself with a little more class.
From a legal and judicial point of view, the T-word is equivalent to the N-word. If somebody beats the crap out of someone while shouting one of these words, it will be recognized as being a hate crime. Regardless if one term is more culturally acceptable than the other.
As a drag queen who also happens to be trans, I’m a huge fan of Ru-ru. To the point that he’s pretty much become a religious figure to me. Seriously, I must have read his biography at least 6 or 7 times. And the part that really clicked with me, was that he identified himself as a nicer, southern queen who avoided living up to the stereotype of the vitriol-spewing, audience-mocking, toxic drag queen. I guess he’s turned his back on that philosophy, big time.
NATNOTE: Personally, I’m willing to give Rupaul a second chance, that’s why I’m still following him on twitter, and why I’ll continue watching the show.
As it turns out, Ru-ru and Logo did finally see the light, apologized, and agreed to stop using inappropriate language on the hit show “Rupaul’s Drag Race”. I personally believe in forgiveness and turning the other page. I actually felt kind of bad about the way I approached that subject myself. I was planning on amending some of the harsher comments I had voiced in this article, but I was beaten to the punch. Nevertheless, I made sure to remove some of the harsher paragraphs originally posted in this article. This site doesn’t have that much visibility, so I’m doubting Rupaul’s feelings were hurt, but regardless, I regret resorting to mud-slinging to make a point. Sorry Ru-ru!
Realistically though, I don’t think it’s physically possible to make Rupaul look bad, even when resorting to using a mouse-eared caricature. He is that fabulous. It’s not humanly possible to make him look awful, the only thing that he projects his visual glamour. I’m sure he could make wearing a lumberjack shirt with heels look stunningly divine. Plus he very handsome as a guy too.
In an effort to redeem myself I want to talk about the outstanding characteristics of people born the year of the rat. That sign is the #1 sign in Chinese astrology, and for good reasons. People born that year seem to excel at absolutely everything. And there’s no doubt Rupaul is the full package. Beyond the obvious goddess-like good looks, he’s got everything else going on. A great sense of humor, a great voice, an unbeatable stylistic and artistic flair, as well as compassion and grounded sense of humanity. He’s my idol for a good reason.
Now I’m not even sure I want to keep this article posted. I honestly think the piece I drew is cute. And actually, I draw all celebrities as their Chinese astrology animal, but regardless, I’ll have to think about whether I’m keeping this article online or not.
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Posted in CATEGORIZED, COMMENTARY, LGBT, TEXTUALS WITH VISUALS, Uncategorized
Tagged 180, 1960, animal metaphor, apology, drag queen, Drag Race, LGBT, logo, Rat, Rodent, Rupaul, Rupaul caricature, t-slurs, t-word, trans, transgender, transphobia, year of the rat