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Boys Don't Cry

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A re-examination of the violence and values of the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry.

Hailed as groundbreaking upon its original release, the Oscar-winning film Boys Don’t Cry offered the first mainstream access to transmasculine embodiment in North America, one that many simultaneously celebrated and rejected. More than two decades after its original release, the film has become a lightning rod for contemporary debates about the representation of trans lives and deaths on screen.

Representational possibilities for trans people have changed dramatically since 1999. Morgan Page and Chase Joynt approach the accumulated tension with a spirit of curiosity about the limits of these historical returns. They argue that new visibilities of transness on screen require us to re-engage earlier portrayals: Boys Don’t Cry is central to conversations about casting, violence against gender non-conforming people, and the borders between butch and trans identities. Acknowledging a younger generation of queer and trans people who are straining against the images foisted upon them, including this film’s egregious violence, and an older cohort for whom it remains a formative, if complicated, touchstone, Joynt and Page revisit the original contexts of production and distribution to unsettle the overdetermined ways the work has been understood and interpreted.

Boys Don’t Cry ultimately relocates the film in a way that attends to the story’s violence and values, both on and off screen.

Chase Joynt is assistant professor of gender studies at the University of Victoria and co-writer and co-producer, with Morgan Page, of the feature film Framing Agnes.

Morgan M. Page is co-writer and co-producer, with Chase Joynt, of the feature film Framing Agnes and writer and host of the One from the Vaults podcast. She lives in London, England.

Title: Boys Don't Cry

Format: Paperback

Product dimensions: 128 pages, 8" H x 6" W

Shipping dimensions: 128 pages, 8" H x 6" W

Published: June 15, 2022

Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press

Language: English

ISBN: 9780228010821

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Boys Don't Cry


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