Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Wild Gender1
Aren’t Trans Bodies Beautiful Bodies? Chloë Sevigny Tries On Dysphoria
LONDON — In shopping her new television series “Hit & Miss” about a trans woman “hit man,” lead actress, Chloë Sevigny has fielded unbridled questions about the prosthetic “penis” she wore shooting the show.
“Everyone’s obsessed with this prosthetic!,” she told GQ (UK). “I hated it, it was an awful experience. I had to fight with the producers every time we wanted to have it applied. We talked about how many times you were going to see it. Part of why I was afraid to watch the show tonight, is because I was afraid about how they were going to show it. But it’s so subtle: these glimpses that are shocking, but quick and fleeting. It’s very well done.”
Why is genitalia so important in a cis-discourse on trans identity? Why would it be “shocking” to see what might be considered a “penis” on a female-identified person? Is the fear that “trans bodies” aren’t beautiful bodies? Why is the prosthetic so upsetting to Sevigny? Well, a recent Telegraph “article”, cites an interview Sevigny supposedly did with “Culture Magazine” (Wild Gender wasn’t able to substantiate any of this) in which she reportedly “cried every day when they put it on.”
“You know, I’m ample-chested and I have this on,” wrote the Telegraph of Sevigny. “I felt very exposed, and it was hard, very hard, having people so close to your personal parts anyway – who you’re not sleeping with – for an hour-and-a-half each day, to put it on. Then looking in the mirror… it was weird. I was lonely and I felt really unattractive. I was confused about my desirability – was I desirable? – in having put that on, and having men see me with that on.”
Welcome to dysphoria! Although this particular quotation is an interesting glimpse into cis-culture’s understanding of trans identities and bodies, we at WG have our suspicions of these particular quotations, as there is no record of Sevigny actually saying anything of the sort to any reputable news source.
While no actual trans-identified person was involved in the making of this series, according to GQ, Sevigny studied “transitioning” for the role through booklets on medical information and worked with trans people both “M to F and F to M, to talk about their experiences,” said Sevigny.
“What really appealed to everyone who was working on it was not being extreme and controversial, but about the fact it’s about family,” said executive producer of the show, Nicola Shindler to GQ. “That’s the fantastic thing about watching Chloe’s performance, her being a father/mother. In the end, the killing and the prosthetic penis is only going to take you through one episode or two – the rest is about the heart.”
Hit & Miss is slated to air as a six-week TV series starting on Tuesday, May 22 on Sky Atlantic in the U.K.