Tag Archives: trans

Antiviral: A Transgender Take on Body Horror

TW for discussions of: abuse, sexual violence, forced institutionalization.

As I entered into adulthood, I didn’t have a way to name my dysphoria. I had three queer friends, one of whom came out as trans my senior year of high school. I remember feeling a little envious, wondering why I couldn’t be trans too. I spent hours trying to find information about medical transition, reading everything I could. Unfortunately a lot of what I found were trans-exclusionary blogs that assured me I’d want to detransition, and that I would be much happier as a cis butch lesbian. That, and bodybuilding forums. Even the supportive, useful resources I found scared me off. They often greatly exaggerated testosterone’s effects. Puberty sucked the first time. I didn’t want to go through it again. But I did know my body didn’t feel right, so I kept looking.

That was about the time that I discovered the body horror genre. It was inevitable that I’d run into it. I loved cult horror, I loved anything psychological and atmospheric, and I loved special effects. The genre scratched my itch for weird, unforgettable movies. In retrospect, my fascination made a lot of sense. The creeping horror of watching your body mutate, transforming into something improper, inhuman, and wrong is something I think a lot of people with dysphoria can relate to. I knew that horror from my own adolescence. And I was afraid I’d know it again if I transitioned. What if hormones and surgeries only made me hate my body more?

Continue reading Antiviral: A Transgender Take on Body Horror

The “Thing”

Hey! My name is Mackenzie, and i’m a queer chicanx non-binary transfem artist, and i’m currently a concept artist, but also dabbling in comics as of the moment. My art is usually found under my art alias Tsi-bi on artstation, deviantart and on social media such as tumblr, and finally Tsi_birds on twitter.

For me, when i was looking at an idea for queer horror, my good friend Mallorie who’s a movie buff reminded me of when we watched John Carpenters “The Thing”, and noted that its a good analogical example of how cisgendered people see trans people–how trans people are seen as this  “other”, but also as something predatory, as if someone or rather, some”THING” that is trying to pass and fool, hide, to conceal what it truly is–like a predatory camouflage seeking to wait and hunt those foolish enough to not see through.

This idea delves deep into the fears of how cis people perceive trans people. It reminded me of when my mother who was raised catholic called me a freak, a monster, for being both gay and transgender. I recall her stating that i would never pass, that trans people cant pass, and that i’m an abomination.

When i thought about what queer horror was to me, and the daily nightmares of being trans, the actual fear of being queer and the fear of not being able to transition due to financial constraints and lack of health coverage and autonomy. Not only that, but the fear of violence that many trans woman face, especially trans women of color. It feels almost like horror brought to life. How not passing well enough can result in trans people being attacked, sexually assaulted, harassed, or even killed.

Though, i remember always finding solace in the queer punk scene. Then it brought something to my attention, the already preexisting societal negative perception of punks, but especially queer punks. If there’s something i’ve always loved about the queer punk scene, is how they don’t care what others think about them–unapologetically queer and punk.

Now going back to John Carpenters “The Thing”, and rewatching it again, i really ID’d with “The Thing”, the creature. Trying its best to “pass” in order to survive, but it would always end up being found out that it wasn’t human, and the people in the film would try to kill it,while at the end of the film, it truly shows itself, and in a way, it feels right, like it makes sense, it was done hiding, like saying, “Hey, this is what i am, i’m trans, gay, and punk, and i don’t give a fuck!” There something about the aspect of radical queer trans punks that frightens and pisses off a lot of cis people, yet also advocating self-love, and not giving a fuck about outside perceptions and not caring about trying to pass as super feminine and honestly, that’s awesome.

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Body Political

(Originally published on Gender Splendor in Fall 2013)

My body is a political weapon. I’m not talking about just the fact my body is a transgender one either. I am a walking political billboard, by my own choice. I use my body, especially how I dress my body, as a statement every time I go out into public. I am a visibly queer and transgender person. While I dress rather gender non-conforming (since I am a non-binary person who prefers feminine clothing, heels, and extreme colors), there is something much more eye catching than that.

I wear a hoodie, covered in buttons and patches ranging from simple trans pride flags to loud exclamations of gender terrorist, the gender binary is a form of hierarchy and oppression, and your silence will not save you. From the moment I walk out the door of my grandmother’s house, I am setting out on the table who and what I am. I am THAT queer person who introduces themselves as queer almost before they give you their name.

This simple article of clothing has become an important part of me. I love being visible. I find empowerment in it. I love knowing that the moment I walk into a place, I automatically get the label of queer (or some form of it). Every day is some form of social experiment depending on where I go and it seems to be a bigger success than my topless NYC Pride statement (where everyone just thought I was a hairy lesbian. More planning needed for next year). If people are not staring at me, I am probably at a friend’s house. Everywhere I go, people stare and look.

Continue reading Body Political